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When it comes to defining moments, it’s funny how they never seem defining as they’re happening. You don’t realize you’re in the right place at the right doing the right thing until it’s all done.

When I think back to last November 19th, I could never have imagined that one simple post about pretzels would have sparked the birth of one of the most incredible things to happen in food blogdom: the Daring Bakers!

None of this could have been possible if not for a person who I have come to call one of my dearest friends (even though we’ve never actually met in person!). Lis of La Mia Cucina has found a place in my life and I could not imagine not knowing her.

So how did it all start? After a few e-mail discussions, Lis and I decided to try making pretzels at home, something that we’d never done before. We thought it would be fun if we both tried the same recipe and blogged about it on the same day. On November 19th, 2006, we put up our posts.

The reaction was tremendous! So much so that we quickly decided to try the idea again in December, except this time we were making biscotti. As word spread, people began e-mailing us and asking to take part in the next baking “challenge”.

Today, we number more than 300. Together, we have woken up at 4:00 a.m. to roll croissants, we developed a passion for fourless chocolate cakes, we have invested in red velvet, we have built monuments to crepes, we have made St. Honoré our patron saint, we have paid homage to bagels, we have looked at ourselves in the mirror, we have tarted ourselves up with caramel and chocolate, we have girded our buns with cinnamon, we have conquered bostini and this month … well … that’s still a secret.

So now that a year is behind us, what lies ahead in the year to come? For starters, Lis and I are hoping to give the Daring Bakers a proper Web site. We currently have a blogroll that lists all of our members but it’s time for the DBers (that’s what we call ourselves) to get a spiffy new site. Toward that end, we’re asking for your help. If anyone is interested in helping us with a new site design, please get in touch with us (lamiacucina67@gmail.com or creampuffsinvenice@gmail.com). Unfortunately this won’t be a paying gig (although perhaps we can arrange the delivery of some baked goods … ), but it would be a great opportunity and would offer great exposure. Beyond that, Lis and I hope to watch this group continue to grow and explore the possibilities of baking.

To be sure there have been some growing pains, but the incredible experiences of the last year have far outweighed those. And it goes without saying that the last year has been made easier with the help of a few individuals who must be acknowledged. Every Daring Baker is special but without the tireless work of our blog administrator, Mary of alpineberry, I just don’t know how this group would function. Mary oversees our private blog and she handles the huge task of communicating with every new member of the Daring Bakers. Mary, I bow to you!

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Lis and I also owe a huge thanks to Veronica of Veronica’s Test Kitchen. She took it upon herself to approach Ximena of Lobstersquad about designing a logo. Thanks to her the Daring Bakers have an emblem that it all ours. Veronica also takes on the job of sending the logo out to every new member. Many thanks, Veronica!

Having come full circle, Lis and I decided that we would honour the occasion with … what else … pretzels.

Happy Birthday to the Daring Bakers! Many happy returns!

Ciao!

Note: Pictured above are Pistachio Pretzels from the the December 1999 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

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