Reflections on April Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2023

This is the second time that Pepper Route has joined the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Last time around, we had featured 26 signature dishes from 26 regions of the world; this time around it was 26 commonly used kitchen ingredients and a soup focusing on that ingredient.

It was not too much of a struggle to put together the list. And having done that, easy to cook the stuff and take pictures and keep them ready for the writing and posting during the challenge. Alas, it was not to be. When my phone got lost in March, that too while traveling abroad, I learned the hard lesson that timely backups of your phone is one of the first requirements of participating in a challenge as big as this! 

Anyways, managed to complete the challenge with only one change to the original list of topics selected. Veal was my initially chosen ingredient for the letter V, but when I started writing about that, quickly realized there is nothing good to say about veal! And vermicelli was right there for the rescue! Here is the complete list…

The only regret I have is that I could not visit other bloggers and post comments. Believe me, it was it was not intentional. Actually I managed to visit in the early days of the challenge but later doing two posts a day got a bit overwhelming. And I fell back on the visits. 

And a toast to my visitors who took the time to read the posts and left wonderful comments. My heartfelt thanks to: Molly of Molly’s Canopy, Kristin, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Anne E.G. Nydam, Mrs Fever, Misky, Timothy S. Brannan, Archana, Dave Roller, Deborah Weber, Dime, Darrel, Anita Jagath, and Jeanne Friedrichs and many others. 

So… April Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2023 was an all consuming affair, where life was put on hold while the whole focus was on writing captivating posts for 26 days! And guess what… I thoroughly enjoyed it! Here’s looking forward to next time. 

Reflections on A to Z Blogging Challenge, April 2022

This is my first experience with the A to Z Blogging Challenge. And just as I had expected, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But oh my, it was a lot of work too! 

What made it harder was the lack of planning on my part. Don’t get me wrong, I knew this was coming and was doing all the mental planning, but the actual work not so much. When the start date rolled around, I just had the first two dishes photographed! Thus, this turned out to be a real challenge. And it feels so good to have finished the schedule without dropping a single day. So yeah, a lot of work but a lot of fun too!

As part of the challenge, I presented 26 dishes from 26 different regions. A majority of them I had cooked many times previously; a few were newly cooked for the blog posting. The research looking for the perfect dish from the representative region, starting with the specific letter of the alphabet I wanted, was a fun experience. And once the rhythm of activities – cook the dish, take and process pictures, do the write-up, and post – was established, things moved a bit more smoothly.

Of course, I could not have done this without the friends who cheered me on. Molly of Molly’s Canopy (my guide and inspiration), Anita, Jeanne, Jeri, Michelle, Dee, Min, Dime, Pash, Lekshmi… I owe you all. You can pick a dish from the A to Z list, and I shall cook it for you the next time you visit me. And last but not the least, a big ‘thank you’ to Cux, my technical consultant and proofreader.

My only regret? That I could not be supportive of my fellow bloggers as much as I wished to be. I have immense gratitude to all those who visited my blog during the challenge and left comments. My sincere apologies to you all, and a promise. In the coming days, I promise to return your visits, in spades, absolutely!

The next year’s challenge? Yeah, I’ll be there with bells on. Already looking forward and doing some mental planning. Hoping I would do some actual planning as well, next time around. See you all next year!