Can I talk about the State of the Blog for a sec? Ugh. I was scrolling through the recipe index the other day and felt pretty discouraged. My original goal for this blog was to assemble a collection of favorite recipes that we make all the time. It hasn't happened, at least on the "she cooks" side. Mark's recipes are pretty spot on: tortillas, flax seed loaf, yep; we make those all the time. But on my side, the cooking side? When I looked at the index, all I could think was bleh. It doesn't reflect the kinds of things I cook on a normal basis at all. (Note: I've since updated it a bit, cutting the chaff so it's a bit closer to reality, but it's not quite there yet.)
Instead of turning to my recipe index for meal ideas and recipes, I turn to my very well-organized Google document keeping track of recipes I love, with my notes on what worked and what didn't work, and an ongoing list of foods I've cooked every week. So, to recap: Google document has hundreds of recipes/links and notes. Blog has a long list but, of those, we might cook less than a dozen of those recipes on a normal basis. What happened to my goal??
Here's the thing -- writing recipes is incredibly time consuming for me, because I am not a recipe person. I am a wing-it type cook. I follow recipes as written 10% of the time, maybe closer to 5%. That means that 90-95% of the time, I use recipes for inspiration and then cook things the way I think it should be cooked. Or I "follow" recipes based on the state of my pantry/refrigerator/spice rack. I love cooking this way; it keeps meals interesting, it minimizes waste, and most importantly it works for me.
So why does this conflict with blogging? I'm not organized enough to weigh/measure ingredients as I tip them in a pan. I cook the same dish differently every single time. And I don't want to be an unreliable blogger. How many times have I scanned someone else's slipshod recipe and been like, dude, you can't be vague about xyz! It is frustrating to follow a recipe that turns out badly. I don't want people to have recipes turn out badly on my account.
But lately, I'm coming to terms with the fact that I need to prioritize my goals. To be totally selfish, I should be blogging for myself, not an imaginary audience who might try to make my ma po tofu recipe and fail because I added a splash of soy sauce and am not sure whether it was 2 teaspoons or 3. And who's my audience here, anyway? Tell me if this is isn't the case, but I don't think I have many beginner cooks here. It seems like most of y'all are, like me, fairly experienced home cooks looking for inspiration. And if you're going to riff on my recipes anyway, why am I freaking out so much about infallible recipes?
So, this is me, re-focusing my goal for the cooking side of our blog. Blog more recipes that we make on a daily/weekly/bi-weekly basis. Worry less about writing fail-proof, perfect recipes. Find a balance. Mark will continue to blog here and there, but as the baker, his recipes will continue to be precise and detailed. It's just my recipe style that will change.
Hold me to this, you guys. (And I must include a special shout out to Julia, who talked through all this with me on her last visit. Thanks J!)