recipe for a successful blog

Today’s guest post comes from tim

i remember seeing an article in a business study where they said that as companies were going through growth and trying to solve growth issues and deal with the ways to work best, they always broke down into manageable groups. 15 or 20 people is what they came up with as the right sized group.

more or less is possible but 15 to 20 is optimal.
i thought when i typed in “recipe for a successful blog” that i would get a lot of peoples ideas on how to do it.
it appears many people try to get a big blog with lots of followers to sell stuff or create big numbers for analytic wowsers but no one is doing it to have a group that works like a social entity.
we seem to have created an odd confab here on the trail.
the test came this summer when the idea of if we could create out own little self sustaining model was made part of the recipe equation. clyde in the midst of ailments and pain, has turned out post after post that amaze and impress. we have a cole porter of the blog venue we all visit daily. an o henry of the internet, a picasso of the world wide web. sherrilee has shined, renee is making opera in grand forks an awaited revue, linda and plain jane jom and edith will throw one in. jacque from her hotel room, steve from way the hell over there, cynthia from the past and joanne from near extinction have returned to make us smile. wessew came out of nowhere, the guy in the hat occasionally caroline , lisa are you really retired? bill thanks for explaining clydes punchlines.
(bill we need a guest blog) ben and dale have been known to make a contribution from time to time. mig and bir are all over the place and show us its ok to write guest blogs and ok not to also.
music, food, theatre, art, poetry, animals, family, the 60’s the 70’s the space program, reading suggestions, gardening tips, advice and philosophy,
i guess when i stop to think about it there is no wonder there is not a recipe for a successful blog on the google and safari search lists. its like the right pie crust if its not there you dont bother and if it is you take another bite and another and swish the succulence around in your mouth for a minute to savor the moment and then hit that invisible tick mark to remember that this is the place to come to get pie.
charels kerault retired and then died, charle osgood took over and is getting old and will leave the cbs sunday morning family to another helmsman in the next little while, cbs knows what their show is and it is now apparent that the show will shape the voice as much as the other way around.
we’ve got this damn blog thing down, does anyone have a good pie crust recipe? one for apple and one for quiche please

90 thoughts on “recipe for a successful blog”

  1. Morning all! Thanks for this tim – I didn’t know about the 15-20. I agree that we have the “cole porter of blogs”!


  2. Separate pie crust recipes for cherry pie and quiche? I’ve heard about that and I’ve even done that, but I grew up one one piecrust to rule them all. It makes 4 single crusts: 2 go into the double crust fruit pie, one makes the quiche and the last one gets baked blind for a meringe pie later (unless of course you need two right away for the ice cream social).

    I’ve lost track of the systems like this that I used to live by. Trying to reclaim them piece by piece, but it’s hard to reclaim the idea that my life is my own.

    Did buy a 20# box (does snyone else remember this as a “lug”) of truly excellent peaches and split it with a friend, so pie and frozen peach pie filling are in my immediate future.


    1. eat em quick, i just bought peaches tht went from i think they are ready to hey wait a minute to black in 3 days. costco is good for some things. produce aint it


        1. Ours come from neighborhood grocery, Korte’s. Very good produce. Processing them into the freezer today. They have also been great with a single scoop of homemade ginger ice cream.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Luck is with me, just found the venerable card with the peach pie recipe (good enough to get published in a magazine). Must remember to scan into the laptop for posterity.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. We wait for the Washington and Idaho peaches. We get fruit trucks from the west that set up in the parking lots of the farm store or State Farm Insurance. Got some monster peaches as well as Flathead Cherries from Montana. The Colorado peach guy hasn’t arrived yet.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. Yes, my mom often bought a lug of peaches. One of her specialties was pickled peach. I don’t have much desire to can things, but that might be something to inspire me to get out the canning kettle. They were so good.


  3. I would really like to help with a pie crust recipe but I don’t have any recipes at all much less one for pie crust. I do have a receipt for a pie purchase.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Rise and Blog Baboons!

    Tim, you nailed the recipe for a blog–it is a lot like a soup–the base is a good rich broth (Dale) with various ingredients (blog posters) and the proper herbs and spices (comments). Cook slowly and allow to simmer until flavors blend. Eat it all week.

    I am back on my feet and working on some posts.

    Meanwhile, I have a killer peach pie recipe which I will dig up today, as well as my aunt’s pie crust recipe. But tim, it uses lard so it is not vegetarian. You may need to substitute Crisco. It is nasty stuff, but it works to make an excellent pie crust.

    These are treasured family recipes from the cousins’ cookbook.

    Aunt Letha’s Never Fail Pie Crust

    5 c. flour
    2 tsps salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    2 c. lard or Crisco (Letha used butter flavored)
    1 egg
    2 T. vinegar

    Mix flour, salt, baking powder together. Cut in fat base (lard or Crisco) with pastry cutter.

    Beat egg in cup. add vinegar and fill cup with water and mix into flour mixture with fork or spoon until the proper texture for rolling.

    Rolls 4-5 crusts.

    It is the best.

    Peach pie recipe coming in a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good morning. I am not one of those that filled in for Dale this summer. I very much appreciate those who did. I have had a very busy summer so commenting almost every day was the best that I could do.

    I haven’t made a pie recently. In the past I used recipes for pie crusts I found in cook books. I have always made use of cook books to learn how to cook anything new to me. Also, I am now combining the information I find in cook books with the information I can find on the internet. In addition I ask people for cooking information as tim has done here.

    There are many recipes for pie crust and, I suppose, there many recipes for blogs. This is the only blog that I use. Apparently I am an old stick in the mud. I know people who tweet and I should learn to do that. I am slowly learning to make better use of my cell phone. I heard someone say that communicating over the internet doesn’t work for him. He needs direct contact with people. I know what is talking about. However, I do like using the internet for some things including the interactions I have with all of you on this blog.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I have a request, too. I will be alone in South Minneapolis tomorrow for about 3 hours. I drop my wife off on w. 24th at. Anyone know a good local coffee house with Internet? No Starbucks or caribou, please. Anywhere within say ten miles of that address. Any other places you suggest I check out. Seen the current MORA exhibit, by the way. Thanks.


        1. Sun Street Breads at the corner of 46th and Nicollet isn’t too far from there. Really nice place. I assume they have WiFi because I’ve seen folks in there w/ laptops. And Patisserie 46 is on 46th and Grand – also very nice.


        2. Throw a stone east from 24th and Grand, Clyde, and you might hit me. I don’t get out much, so don’t know much about coffeeshops, but daughter says Spyhouse Coffee at 25th & Nicollet has very good coffee. Might be kind of busy, though. She also mentioned Bull Run (34th & Lyndale) and 5 Watt Coffee (38th & Nicollet). I googled “quiet coffee shops in south Minneapolis” and got a hit for Blue Ox Coffee at 38th Street & Chicago Ave. It made City Pages’ list of Top 10 Coffeehouses.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. A few years ago I would have said Muddy Waters, but they moved down near the Lyndale/Lake intersection and upscaled, so I haven’t been in since that happened. They’re probably still good, but I liked the old dive. Bob’s Java Hut’s not bad. Any Dunn Bros is good–there’s one on Lake just west of Lyndale and another down on Hennepin near Lakewood Cemetery. If you want to range further, I recommend May Day Cafe on Bloomington and 35th–it’s my hangout when I get hangout time. The Angry Catfish is in my neighborhood (28th Ave. S.) and makes a very nice latte–too bad I wouldn’t be home to meet up. Fire Roast Cafe on E 38th St. is a comfy place to hang out, but watch out for the street construction in the area. I haven’t been to Bull Run yet, but I hear good things. Oh, yeah, and Spyhouse, they’re good too. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks, all. Made a list. May Day is calling me most. Like quiet local places. But we will see tomorrow when I get there.
      Actual address I am going to is 26th and Lyndale (had to guess until my wife got up). My wife’s long time friend and classmates designs jewelry there. They are going to a class reunion for lunch up in Brooklyn Park, in the middle of the construction mess.
      I student taught a Jefferson, then a junior high.


  7. I am really proud of my pie crusts. I f you would consult in the Pie and Pasty Bible, you will find any number of pie crusts that are really quite good. I like the one from either Baking with Julia or the King Arthur Flour Baking Book. I like to use use half home rendered lard and half Irish butter in my crusts.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The trick, I find, is to mix up multiple crusts using the electric mixer, and making them pretty moist. Too dry pie crusts are a real problem. I have 5 pie crusts in the freezer just waiting to be used.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Or use vodka for part of the liquid. It’s supposed to add moisture without the toughness that can come from adding a lot of water. Or some reason like that.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. Absolutely. A church friend of mine got it from a Jewish woman in California years ago. (no kidding. The woman was married to guy from Minnesota.) It is great. I will post it later today or this evening.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice post, tim. Might throw up another quick and picture-driven one today, just to give Dale a backup. I will never write a post about it, but let me scream right now: PAIN.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely post today, thank you Tim for including me in the list of “pros.”
    Off to do chores and on to driving a friend to her 65th class reunion lunch in Duluth. Thunder and lightning, dark clouds and rain here.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I do not understand the Cole Porter reference. Could some one enlighten me?
    I gave Mr. Tuxedo, who is staying with us right now with sister curly, a Terry Pratchard book, Sorcery before I read it. He gave it back for me to read, saying he might have to wait to be an adult to read it. He figured out that it was full of references that he would have to read many adult books for him to get.


  12. My mother used the basic shortening recipe from the BH&G cookbook for many years. Later she switched to a recipe that used vegetable oil instead, but I’m not sure what oil recipe she used. I’ve never found one that would hold together like a shortening crust.

    If you’re short on time, a Jiffy pie crust mix is not a bad option. It saves you the time it takes to incorporate the shortening, but is much closer to a homemade crust than the refrigerated kind.

    Here are links to a couple of recipes, one sweet and one savory, from local food writer John Michael Lerma. The crusts are almost identical except for the substitution of brown sugar instead of white in the sweet pie.
    Vidalia Onion Pie is vegetarian, and a little like a quiche, and then there’s apple for dessert.

    I inherited John Michael’s Piedart brand pie-making equipment. Haven’t used it yet. I will give it a try at Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Sorry, but I have no crust recipes. I am, at best, a self-taught cook who never learned how to do desert. And I have, at present, no promising ideas for new blogs. I wrote one a week ago that Dale and I decided didn’t work. I’ll try again soon.


    1. Yes, I could use a Pie Crust Class. For years, my pie crusts had the texture of shoe leather. More recently, they are better, ranging from mediocre or bad to flaky & delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This I can help with. And, should there be any doubt about my supervisory skills, I just determined with the help of the MN Board of SW that I have the proper BONAFIDES to claim supervisory competency.

      Fresh Peach Pie

      The quality of the pie depends on the quality of the peaches. Slice three large peaches into a beaked 9 inch pie shell

      Mix the following in a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly until thick:

      2 crushed peaches
      3 T cornstarcg
      1 C. sugar
      1/2 c. water

      Add 2 T. butter
      1/2 tsp almond extract (you can eliminate this and use orange juice or lemon juice)
      Pour sauce over sliced peaches. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

      I just hope that SW supervision skills generalize to Pie Crust Supervision skills. I think it does.

      πŸ™‚ And I am off to the races for the afternoon.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Fun blog, tim, and great responses, so far.

    I’ll be sporadic on the trail for the next couple of days, squiring Anne, husband’s old friend visiting from Denmark, around town.

    Having already confessed to having never baked a pie, I have nothing to contribute in that department. For pies I rely on my friend, Helen, who is a master pie bake. I also know nothing about coffee shops in Minneapolis (though I can attest to the Birchwood Cafe’s food), so can’t be of any help there, either.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Good day people–
    I’m off campus this afternoon; daughter is doing a ‘research study’ at Mayo so I’m hanging out and reading the blog.
    tim, thanks for putting me in a group with Dale; pretty good company there.
    Just remembered, years and years ago there was some sort of MPR concert or event at the civic center when I was still a stagehand. I Stood backstage and talked with Dale.

    I’ve never made a pie. Kelly has made apple pies and those sure are good. And she’s made me my birthday cake of ‘Cheese Cake’ which uses a graham cracker crust.
    I remember my mom baking pies and then baking the left over dough into that flat, what, ‘cookie’? With sugar and cinnamon. That sure was good and crispy right out of the oven.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I, too have never baked a pie. My mom made great pies with the Crisco crust recipe….especially peach pies. and she also baked the leftover scraps with sugar and cinnamon. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Above comment (and this one) is from K-two. Not sure why it came up anonymous unless using my iPad rather than my laptop makes a difference.


        1. You are now definitely one of us. We call this “ABD” or anonymous blue doily. Happens to us all occasionally!


  16. I’ve been making recipes lately and leaving off the crust (blasphemous!) – crustless quiche, crustless _____ cream pie (which is actually just a kind of pudding…

    OT: I’m a little “flakey” this week because I’m knee deep in planning an event this Saturday for Tapestry Folkdance Center. Our part is at 1:00-2:00, if any of you locals want to see what (international) folk dancing is like, at 3725 Minnehaha parking lot. Patrick’s Cabaret is curating several dance groups along Minnehaha, part of an attempt to keep businesses open while the street is under construction. I’ll be teaching very easy dances from places like Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia… (Jawaahir Dance Company will be from 2:00 – 4:00 in the same location.)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I do not make pie crust. I do make gnocchis, which I just did for daughter and family. They missed them last week. Love to bake them,noun dough, but I am both fettle do an knackered. (Sorry, been reading a travel book by a very British writer.)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Waiting for the question. Medicare book. Walking on Water: exploring the arteries of England. Nick Corble. A free read on Amazon prime.


  18. Lefse

    6c. cooked, riced russet potatoes 5T sugar
    2/3c. melted crisco 2 tsp. salt
    4T cream

    Add above ingredients to riced potatoes while they are still hot. Cool mixture well. (I refrigerate covered, overnight). When cold, re-rice mixture and add 2 cups of all purpose flour. Flour board well and roll dough very thin. Bake on very hot griddle. Use about ΒΌ c dough for each round Fold lefse in half and cover lightly with cloth. Store in plastic bags when cool. Freezes well.


  19. Keep in mind that these reasons are just our opinions and we do not pretend to offer them up as some sort of collection of empirical blogging maxims. You should not start a blog to make money.


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