There comes a time in the life of many blogs when they reach the 5 month, 9 day mark. Today is that very special milestone for TNS, so I thought it only fitting to mark it with a grand announcement.

Start your engines and get ready to smack it on down: First Thursdays are upon us!

If you read TNS, then you know the Thursday drill – I pick a recipe from my cookbook collection, make it as-written, then photograph and blog it. It’s been an invaluable experience; my cookbook collection has never gotten so much use and I learn a new method or work with a new ingredient almost every week. Most importantly, it’s shaken up my standard repertoire and made my culinary world more interesting.

Why should I be the only one to reap these benefits? After all, if you read TNS then chances are that you have a shelf full of cookbooks or a 4-foot high stack of Bon Appetit back issues. And if you’re a normal person, chances are also that you look at the pretty pictures, tell yourself “I really want to make this,” and then…don’t.

So: the first Thursday of the month will be the Special Edition Smackdown where everyone joins in. Go through your books and magazines, find that thing you’ve always wanted to try, and try it. Use an unfamiliar ingredient, drag out the kitchen gadget you’ve never gotten around to using, try a cooking method that makes you nervous. Tell us how it went, how you liked it and what you think of the cookbook/magazine. We’ll all learn from each other’s triumphs, laugh at each other’s failures, learn about books we may not have heard of and eat well in the process. And it’s not limited to dinner, bakers are welcome too. Here’s how it goes:

  • The first Thursday of the month, you make a dish of your choosing from your cookbook or magazine collection. Most months, I’ll announce a theme. For the inaugural event, it’s a free-for-all.
  • Write it up, and send the writeup to firstthursdays at thursdaynightsmackdown dot com by noon on Saturday. If you don’t have a blog, send the details in an email. If you have a blog, send:
    • Your name
    • Your blog’s name
    • Your dish’s name
    • The cookbook/magazine you used
    • The permalink to your entry
    • A 150×150 pic of the dish (optional)
  • Mention the event and link to TNS in your entry, so more people can come play along.
  • The roundup will be posted 10am Monday morning.

We start July 3rd. Again, no theme this time, so pick that one thing you’ve ALWAYS wanted to try and get cooking! Seriously, get a move on; don’t make me look like a douchebag all alone here.