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Saturday, December 04, 2004

Not too late to be thankful?

A week after Thanksgiving, I hope this is not too late to be thankful for my life, and mostly, for this little sand box I have called Chez Pim.

Oh, and sap-alert by the way, if you are allergic to sweet sappiness, you might want to just skip over to the next post where I will be announcing the Where in Paris is Pim? contest winner, I am going to get rather sappy over here for about a few minutes. And if you didn't like it, heh, bite me.

Quite a few things have been happening in the past weeks that make me so happy I have this silly little food blog Chez Pim. It really had never occurred to me that the blog I started just so I didn't have to write 20 identical emails to friends in different countries would turn out to be what it has become today. The turning point was, certainly, when I began writing about my true obsession, food. That Chez Pim receives so many hits every day is completely astonishing to me. Not anywhere near Chocolate & Zucchini, mind you, but then again Clotilde is far more interesting than I would ever be.

Besides continuing to be amazed by the sheer number of people who are somehow interested in the silly things I have to say, it is always an extra treat when the people I admire and wrote about found their ways to the blog.

I was just at the farmer's market over in the Ferry Plaza here at home in San Francisco, where I ran into my Cheese Godmother Peggy Smith of Cowgirl Creamery, who told me of her recent trip to Bordeaux to visit Jean d'Alos, the famous French affineur, whom I so admire. I was at his lecture here in San Francisco a few months ago, and wrote about it here on Chez Pim. M. d'Alos somehow found his way to the post and was so touched that he proudly showed it to Peggy and asked her to describe me to him so he could perhaps recall who I was from that day. I also had another long chat with the lovely June Taylor, whose tireless artisan work on her organic preserves should be a source of inspiration for anyone, whom I got to know because of the blog and by sharing my love of her products with friends. Not to mention the chefs whose work I enjoy and admire, David Kinch, Yannick Alléno, Grant Achatz, among others, with whom I have established contacts or even become friends because of my restaurant reviews on the blog.

Chez Pim has made me many new friends, Pascale and Clotilde in Paris, the entire San Francisco food blogging set, my regular readers who send lovely encouraging emails, and many many others. I must admit that it was a somewhat bizarre and surreal experience to walk into a small bistro in the 17th arrondissement in Paris and found a number of people there who knew me from Chez Pim, or to go to a tiny couscous place in the Tenderloin I've written about and ran into Chez Pim readers who were happy to see what the bottom half of my face looked like(!), or to hear from the proprietors, Hakim and his sweet mother, that his business has picked up, and that there had even been some people all the way from Singapore who came to his restaurant during their visit in the City because of the review on Chez Pim.

There are also the many messages I received which began with, Are you the same Pim I knew way back when at ....? , reconnecting me to friends from long ago and far and wide.

Chez Pim is truly my labor of love and a never-ending source of gratification and of much, much gratitude. I am very happy to continue on this road, and ever so thankful to everyone who has helped see me through this joyous journey of much frivolity, occasional sobriety, and even a sprinkle of bitterness, I am ever curious to see where it will lead me. Thank you everyone. I am enormously grateful.

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