Having reached the 100th post ‘landmark’ on Monday, I’ve been spurred on to contemplate the food blogging phenomenon. Reassessing why I’m running this Taste Without Waste fandango. Revisiting what motivated me to take it up in the first place. Coincidentally I came across a post over at The Curvy Carrot the other day, running along a very similar line of thought. Shannon’s blog actually played a significant role in nudging me on to actually start seriously considering creating my own food blog. I respect her outlook on life and agree with many of her food philosophies. I was thus inspired to motivate/impassion others in a similar manner. It was almost too fitting to come across this post at a time where I too am taking a moment to ponder the whats and whys of running a food blog.
Creating Taste Without Waste was a bold, bold move. One that I would not have dared to dream about in the past. It involved too much wit, too much audacity to be something ‘Shani would do’. Yet as usual life gets in the way. People change. A decision to terminate my Geography degree at Oxford in December 2012 haunted me in the early stages of last year. I was lonely. I felt lost. All that seemed straightforward no longer was. Had it ever been? Or was it all a delusion? It was a ‘welcome-to-the-real-world’ moment. Enrolling in a year-long culinary course in Sydney was a refreshing change of scene. Suddenly my life revolved around cooking – something I would have dismissed as impossible just months before.
I spent a lot of time reading food blogs. The sharing of the ideas, the passions, the likes and dislikes, the food fetishes and the culinary fiascos of other similar souls was entrancing. It drew me in like a fish on a line, surely, surely – though fitfully at times! Here was a place that someone could belong. A way to communicate one’s own love for all things food – whether it be cupcakes, pies, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, a strictly carnivore religion…anything. You’d be sure to find at least one other kindred spirit. (Oh dear I’m starting to get a bit too philosophical aren’t I? Rein it in girl. Rein it in.) To cut things short, I jumped on the bandwagon. Obviously.
When one begins to impose stressful deadlines, set the bar fractionally too high, becomes sucked into the not-so-nice-competitive-side (another aspect of the blogging world that I agree wholeheartedly with Shannon on), it’s important to head back to ground zero. Revisit your initial motivations, desires for how things would be. To stick to your guns. Be you. To not feel the need to post everyday/comment every-which-where (reading and giggling/smiling/pondering/shedding a tear or two is more than sufficient)/follow current trends. You’re the one steering this ship, remember? If there’s any hope of this lark remaining sustainable it needs to continue to be enjoyable.
I’ve been quite very lax on the waste posts this past month. It’s been a struggle at times to ignore the pangs of guilt associated with that darn perfectionist streak. Yet it’s been important to understand that it can be a good thing to take a short hiatus. It’s opened up the time to focus on building up a reservoir of recipes and photos, a squirrel’s stash for when university 2.0 begins. There’ll be plenty of time to pen waste posts then, and a reduced need to cook. What is heaven for most is, for me, one of the major pitfalls of living at a fully catered college! Strange bird, I’ll say.
Next week the ‘missing’ posts shall return, along with a rambling or too along the way – I guess that’s what you’d classify this as – for good measure. It’s all about trying to find that balance after all. And while we’re on that, no recipe tonight – I’m revisiting an old classic by whacking together this lasagne. Cheesy, tomatoey, packed with lentils and veg and layers upon layers of pasta….perfect Friday night nosh.