No, not that kind of vision…I didn’t have a major epiphany, no premonitions that have come true, and I didn’t see a ghost. My vision is of a personal nature, focusing on this blog and what I want from it. This is something I’ve been struggling with for awhile.
As you can probably tell, I love food. I love creating dishes from raw ingredients and I love the look on the faces of those who have tasted and enjoyed those dishes. What I didn’t expect when I started this blog was how much I would enjoy the writing. I always knew that my blog would never be just recipes; that I would tell a story when I had one. But I feel constrained by having to make my stories match my recipes. That’s not always an easy task, especially when you just want to talk about how perfect your day was, sitting in the sun relaxing after going to the library book sale and getting a zillion books for seven dollars. How do you tie that into shishito peppers or whole roasted striped bass?
There is an aspect of blogging that I think those of us who do it have probably all gotten caught up in: the popularity contest. It makes you want to network until your eyes are burning and you feel like there isn’t a blog out there that you haven’t connected with. I got very caught up in it, and then realized I wasn’t enjoying it as much. Around the time that Andy got sick, I started to slack off, using his illness as my excuse. Now I realize that I just needed to take a much-needed break. Over the three-month span of December through February, I posted only five blogs. I virtually stopped networking, and watched my traffic drop off day by day. But because I hadn’t been enjoying it as much, I couldn’t let myself get too upset about it. What I really wanted was to get back to a place where I was having fun and loving what I was doing.
Fast forward to today: I admit that I don’t network nearly as much as I once did. I try to consistently read those blogs that I really enjoy and network accordingly. I’ve gotten to a place where I truly am not disappointed if I only receive 15-20 comments on a post versus the previous 40-60. Don’t get me wrong, I love each and every comment I get and am still over the moon each time an email comes through…I just try not to let that be my focus.
So I can check that off my list; I’ve conquered my issues with the popularity contest aspect. Next on my list: writing whatever I feel like writing, whether it be food-related or not, and not feeling so vulnerable doing it. It’s pretty scary when you put yourself out there. It was a big step for me to actually publish the post I wrote while waiting for Andy in the surgical waiting room. In fact, I almost didn’t. But I was glad after I did it, and pleased by the response I received from it. This blogging community is a kind and genuine one…I’ve learned they will surprise you time and again.
I guess what I’m saying is that this may be the first of many posts where I’m really just talking out loud and putting it on paper. Hopefully you won’t all disown me. I plan to continue with recipes in (very likely) every post. This is still a food blog, after all. Just forgive me if the recipe has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m writing about, or if the tie-in is a stretch. That way, I get my writing fix, and still get to share the recipes that consume my days.
Speaking of no relevant tie-in…
Pickled Watermelon Radishes
1 bunch watermelon radishes
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
As thinly as possible, slice the radishes (a mandoline works great). In a sealable jar, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper flakes. Add radishes, seal and shake. Refrigerate for a few hours or longer. (They will taste pickled after a few hours, but will have a stronger flavor after several days.)
Unfortunately, the gorgeous color of the watermelon radish fades out as they pickle, but you’re left with a tangy treat. Serious pickled food fans will like these. They taste VERY pickled. Tart and acerbic would be accurate descriptors. For me, they are perfect. Perfect by themselves, perfect as a topping, perfect mixed into things.
A few ways to use pickled radishes:
- Chop them up and throw them into your next cole slaw,
- Heat some of the pickling liquid with sugar in microwave to dissolve, then combine with radishes and sliced cucumber for a fresh salad,
- Top tacos or put a few slices in a sandwich,
- Eat them straight out of the jar.
I have a feeling this will be another post where I hesitate before hitting “publish,” but once it’s out out there, I know it will be fine.
Okay, here we go. And thanks for listening…