I’ve avoided the computer today because I knew I had the task of writing my anniversary blog post. I avoided writing the post because, well, what can I say? The process of blogging has been sort of a game changer, and game changers seem hard to talk about, even in retrospect, but certainly when the game is still in progress. So instead, I’ve spent today bustling around the kitchen, experimenting with a rye bread recipe and making red velvet cupcakes in celebration of the one-year anniversary of Whisks & Words here on WordPress. That’s one year of semi-regular blogging (that has become much more frequent in the last couple months). One year of eating mindfully, photographing my food, sharing stories and recipes, and actively reading other bloggers, immersing myself in a blog community.
One year of writing, people. With some sense of discipline. Even when I had nothing to say, I wrote.
Some of those posts sucked. I wrote them anyway.
As I’ve bustled around, I’ve thought back over the past year. I looked at all my old blog posts to see where I’ve been. I thought to where I was last summer, juggling four jobs, running around town, taking meetings, pulling my computer into bed with me upon waking each morning (pre-coffee – dangerous), teaching five-hour classes twice a week, working special projects for a law firm. The more I hustled, the more weight I lost, the busier my brain felt, the more I knew I needed a smart phone. The sharper I felt. The more frantic I was.
And in it all, I began blogging.
Over the past year, wonderful things have happened. I’ve fallen in love. I’ve hit my stride with teaching. I’ve published a short story. I’ve tried new recipes. I’ve outlined my novel. I’ve started writing (gulp) fiction, and have gained practice in writing nonfiction.
And over the past year, I’ve learned things. I’ve learned about what kind of writer I am, and what kind I want to be. I spent so long trying to force myself to be a certain kind of writer – serious, telling what I deemed to be important stories – and now, I’ve finally accepted the writer I believe I’m supposed to be: I’ve thrown off that cloak of seriousness that never really fit me anyway, and I’ve honed in on my passion, which is food.
With that education came the food as well. I’ve spent the past year really immersing myself in food, learning all I can, eating, reading books, talking to people, trying recipes, etc. Those things have become part of my vocabulary, and more than that, they have become my passion. I sometimes ask my girlfriend if it’s okay that 90% of what I talk about is food. She assures me, yes, it is.
So when I was thinking back today about my one-year-old blog, I returned to the name: Whisks & Words. A blog tied up in the process of making something where there once was nothing. Taking raw materials and imagination and hard work and my need for sustenance, both creative and nutritional, and making something of it. My friend and co-worker, Jan, commented on my Facebook page the other day that whisks and words (read as: food and writing) are two things that are essential to a good life. I couldn’t agree more.
I made Red Velvet Cupcakes today in honor of my blog birthday, but before I get to the recipe, here are a few of my favorite posts from the past year. (Because I’ve been asked to issue these warnings, some of these posts have made people cry in the past.)
And now, a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes! I’ve always been scared of making red velvet cake, partly because I believe I was taught (understandably) to fear the reaction of vinegar and baking soda in the batter. But as both are diluted by other ingredients, and added in small, alternating batches, the reaction is seemingly nonexistent. This recipe was easy and fun, though I worried the whole time that I would stain the counters or the dishes bright red, which might be hard to explain when Amanda came home. Alas, all was well, the cupcakes turned out beautifully, and my blog-o-versary party rocks on. I have plans this evening to share a bottle of prosecco with Amanda, eat a fruit and cheese dinner, and then chow down on my red velvet cupcakes. Cheers, y’all!
And let me say again, thank you for reading and helping me keep going with this blog! It’s been fun for me, and having the ability to write here, informally, sharing food and stories and thoughts, has been a joy to me. If you enjoy the blog, check me out on Facebook, where the fun continues!