On Cooking and Blogging

My shoes and lettuce from Bellingham WA

It’s been really, really hard to work up the nerve to dive back into my food blog since my 3+ month hiatus. There’s the cooking and the recipe-creation and the photography that requires the perfect midday light and the requirement I set for myself (subconsciously) to write in a very specific, cheery, witty, biting, quick-witted voice. With lots of exclamation points!!! All of these things do not add up to a successful life blogging and I know it and I’m biding my time before I have to admit it to myself. Something has to give. Something will have to change.

Mostly, I think I just have to be more honest with myself and with how I want to write and what ideas I want to write about. Because, so much has changed since I first set out to create Kale & Compass over a year ago. My love for food and cooking hasn’t changed. My relationship to it however, has. How we as a country relate to food; eating out at restaurants all the time, and always talking about food and obsessing over it and food bloggers who use all the ingredients and buy all the fancy exotic elements to create the most amazing-looking recipes and they do it every single day. Phew, it’s tiring. And I can’t keep up, nor do I want to. That’s what’s changed.

While writing this, I happened upon a post that inspired me to dive back in. It’s called What Life in a Developing Country Taught Me About Food. It talks about how countries outside of the U.S. have a different relationship with food.

  • They don’t talk about food constantly, 24/7. They don’t talk about what day they’ll go get pizza as they are sitting down to enjoy a bowl of soup. An international friend once told me, “Americans spend the most time talking about food and the least amount of time actually eating it.” That observation is just, so, true and has really resonated with me, and still does.
  • Starches are a large part of their diets. They’re healthy and help you feel full and we should not be avoiding them in our diets. 100% agree with this point. I’ve been existing on rice and beans and sweet potatoes and white potatoes for months and months and I’m still kicking. Plus, these staples are easy to cook and very economical.
  • They use meat and fish as condiments – accents to a meal – not the focus. I 100% agree and live by this method when I’m cooking in my own home. I love using meat and fish to build flavor in my dishes (whether it’s adding a small amount of Italian sausage to a stew chock-full of vegetables or including a single chicken leg as a base for a delicious rice porridge).
  • They use mealtime as a resting time. This is one of those ideals I strive to live by but it’s also one of the most difficult ones. Sometimes I eat lunch at my desk, and I know it’s not the best thing to do, it happens. At least I work at home and the meal is usually something wholesome I’ve prepared instead of fast food.

What I’m trying to get at here, with this post, is that I’m attempting to finally arrive at a mission statement for Kale & Compass. One that has some real meat on its bones (pun intended). And I’m trying to solidify my voice and my point of view around all of the content I have created and will continue to create in the future. I also have to recognize that, as is natural in life and writing and art and process etc. is that these things can change. They can evolve… they probably should evolve… and that’s okay. As I continue to learn and grow from all of my life experiences (food and non-food related), I want to be a sponge and soak up all the information I can in order to present the very best insight and reflections on this blog, for you, my readers.

Right now, I know of a few things for sure.

  1. That I love food. That I’m passionate about where my food comes from, how it’s sourced, how it gets to me, who is selling it to me.
  2. That I’m passionate about growing my own food and the life it would both require and necessitate.
  3. That I find joy in my resourcefulness when it comes to elevating simple, no-frills, economical and virtually package-free ingredients sourced from my local stores and farmers markets, but also knowing I’m not perfect. We still buy potato chips from a bag.
  4. That I am passionate about writing, of all shapes and forms, and will continue to do so whether or not it goes live and into WordPress or lives within a Google doc in the cloud somewhere and nobody reads it but me.
  5. Lastly, and this is the thing that vibrates strongest within me, I know that cooking grounds me. Cooking is my way of coping, my way of relaxing, my way of decompressing and recalibrating. No matter what, I continue to find my way back to cooking, always. And that must damn well count for something, right?

Therefore, cooking, it would seem, is my spiritual compass. And so, as long as cooking continues to be my compass and steer me in the direction of mental and physical well-being, Kale & Compass will continue on. Hopefully there will be pieces of this blog you can take with you on your own journey.

Going back to point #1, in the spirit of being passionate about where my food comes from and the wonderful people who provide it to me, I want to list out some of my favorite vendors at our local farmers market. Enjoy!

introspective kale & compass on cooking and blogging

Sea Breeze Farm (Vashon Island, WA)

One Leaf Farm (Snohomish, WA)

Nash’s Organic Produce (Sequim, WA)

Wilridge Winery (Seattle, WA & Yakima, WA)

On Cooking and Blogging