A look back at 2020 through your favorite recipes, garden and DIYs - both what was published in 2020 and all-time reader favorites. Plus a peek at what's in store for 2021.
I've already been reading other website's year-end articles and there's one refrain that I'm seeing over and over:
We're all pretty happy to be saying goodbye to 2020.
I'm right there with them (and you!) - let's really ring out the old and bring in the (prayerfully) new for 2021, right?
But here's the thing I want to mention - 2020 wasn't ALL bad. There were some very good things that came with bonding together through a worldwide pandemic.
- We spent more time in our homes (many tackling DIY projects).
- We had more time with our families and friends - who were in our "bubbles," of course.
- Our priorities honed in on the ones important to us.
- Many of us learned new things (sourdough, anyone?).
Basically we had a lot more TIME than we did in 2019. And the #1 thing I hear from readers over and over is that TIME is keeping them from living a simple homemade life.
So I hope you were able to move forward in your homemade life journey in 2020. I know from my site visit analytics that more people baked sourdough, gardened, and preserved the harvest in 2020 than in 2019, all great steps to living simply and connecting with people and the earth more than things.
This list of An Oregon Cottage's most popular recipes, gardening, and DIY projects from 2020 will highlight what you all were doing in 2020, and hopefully reaquaint you with some popular articles you may have missed.
I'm also sharing the list of the top 10 of all time here on the site - these are the perennial favorites and they're there for a reason - they are tried-and-true.
Before we get to the lists, I want to give a huge THANK YOU for visiting the site, using the recipes or doing the projects, and leaving comments and encouragement for me and others. You're support is the MAIN reason why I can even look back on 2020 with some joy - this community is the BEST.
My goals for 2021 include bringing you more content that will help in your journey to a simple homemade life - that includes more easy, delicious recipes, growing food, and using the harvest, and simple projects we're doing in our 100 year old farmhouse (which we will finally be moving into -yay!).
Most Popular Recipes, Garden & DIY from 2020
These are the recipes and articles that were published or republished in 2020 (republishing includes updating photos, adding useful information, and writing to be clearer, so in a sense, they are new again).
"These are incredible and do everything you want them to – be delicious, allow you to utilize all of the zucchini that seems to get ripe all at once, be easy-make ahead breakfast treats that are just as good when baked from frozen." -Becky
"Making these AGAIN for Easter!! (Also made for Christmas). Huge hit! Family expects me to bring them now ? I double the recipe and bake in a 13x9x2. Come out perfect. Only problem is they are addictive!" -Nancy
"Made these today and they came out great!! They came out perfect & not overdone. I’ll use this recipe a lot, especially since I can freeze some to reheat later." -Angie
"I have been making this roasted turkey recipe with our homegrown turkeys for a couple years now, and it is beyond our favorite…STILL. We are a big gravy family, so without a doubt this gravy is outstanding and does not disappoint!" -Abby
"I’m definitely adding a few of these to my “stash” this year. I don’t have a green thumb, but I’ve successfully grown basil, chives, green onions, and parsley over the past couple of years in my indoor garden space. I’ll try lettuce and cucumbers outside this year…and maybe spinach. Thanks for your post. This is exactly the level of detail and encouragement I need." -Kristina
5. How to Paint a Faded Outdoor Umbrella (with updates!)
"Finished doing this today with 5 cans of green Krylon Fusion that I had purchased last year to paint my shutters but wound up changing my mind about the color. My umbrella is about 10 years old and after paint it looks like new. Maybe I can get a few more years out of it before buying and new one. Thanks for showing how to do this." -Alison
"Thanks, you have some really good ones, I pinned it. It’s that time of year for me to make bread and you gave me lots of great recipes to try, I love to bake in fall and winter when it’s too cold to be outside." -Marlene
"Brilliant gift ideas, especially love the coasters. Thanks for sharing." -Andrew
"Can I say it, OMG? This was so easy and so good. I added Parm Cheese and Grilled Chicken. OMG x 2!" -Kathy
"We have been IF subscribers for a few months. We get a delivery every other week. We LOVE them! Our experience has been, well Perfect. We have had one bad item from them, but it got damaged in shipping. Of course some of the fruit is bruised, hence the reason it is Imperfect. We have had some cool shaped veggies. We have no complaints." -Anne Margaret
Am I surprised at what was the #1 article published in 2020? Yep! I had NO idea when hastily wrote the article (and did a video in my sweats!) because I was so excited, that there would be a pandemic that would make home grocery services a big thing. I do want to say that if you read the comments, many people are not happy with IF. However, people who are happy with a service don't usually leave comments. 🙂 I stand by my review almost a year later - the produce and groceries for me has been great! I have had some missing items, but it's taken care of right away with customer service. I still think it's a great thing to try if you're interested to see if it works for you!
Top 10 Recipes of "All Time"
(That means the life of this site - 12 years in February!!)
"This was delicious. Just what I needed on a cold day. Thanks for the recipe." -Barbara
"This is my new favorite bread! I have a little one who is now starting to eat a LOT and I was sick of feeding her store-bought bread, and sick of paying the price for the store-bought bread that I felt comfortable feeding her. We now bake this bread together (well…She watches from her sling :)) and enjoy the time spent making it and the time spent eating it even more. Thanks so much!" -Susie
"This chutney is insanely great! Yum! I can’t recommend this recipe enough. I made it and in our house hold of 5 people we are down to our last jar in 4 days. I have a request to make two more lots, one with fresh chili in it. Fantastic recipe and will be made over and over again." -Jen
"Absolutely delicious! So simple to make, but the flavor and texture are fabulous! Cooked longer than recipe called for, but probably depends on size of your cabbage. I’m hard to impress, but here I am. This recipe is a keeper!" -Jaime
"We love this salsa! Canning salsa is our main garden goal. We tried a few different recipes our first year of canning, and have since used yours for three or four years now. Thank you for sharing it." -Megan
"Thank you for the detailed video and recipe. I made it in the afternoon on Christmas eve . It was my first time making bread and it turned out like yours “soft, moist and fluffy.” I love it." -Jennifer
"Jiminy Crickets! You were NOT EXAGGERATING about how ridiculously addictive (and easy) these are!" -Marie
"I have been using this method as well, Jami, and I can’t imagine spending the time, energy, and heating up the kitchen to blanch beans! This method is a lifesaver when one is blessed with garden abundance, but having to figure out how to get everything harvested and processed before the energy runs out!" -Norma
"Thank you for posting this information. My family always cut corn off the cob, and froze it unblanched. I asked this question on Instagram and got an earful of how that was wrong to do, and that they hoped we weren’t farmers. LOL, 4 generations in the Midwest on 600 acres." -BJ
"Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I’ve been growing sourdough for about a year but have yet to make a successful loaf… until now!!!! I used my spelt fed starter and freshly ground spelt flour. My husband said it’s the best sourdough bread he’s ever tasted. (And he’s a lover of sourdough!!) Thank you so much!!!!" -Susan
That's the wrap for 2020's most popular articles and recipes - did yours make the list? If not, share your favorite recipe, garden tip, or DIY in the comments - I'd love to hear yours!