No April Fool’s jokes or stunts here! Just my usual weekend assortment of reading and other feel-good things. We have a game night with friends this weekend and I’m hoping to start some Spring cleanup projects in the yard. I also really want to try making hot cross buns–this recipe looks great and I trust everything that Britt posts.
I was on the Eat Capture Share Podcast this week talking about my career as a food blogger for over 10 years(!!). I loved chatting with Kimberley, who is an incredible food photographer and just a very kind person. I’ve been having one of those weeks where I find myself questioning how sustainable this line of work is as I get older, so it was nice to remember what I’ve been able to achieve so far. Creative work is just like that sometimes! The confidence in this simple idea that you have something to offer to folks ebbs and flows.
I hope that you’re keeping well lately! Take good care this weekend.
5 Things I’m Reading:
- Has TikTok made us better? Or much, much worse?
- 20 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life
- How Morning Sun Exposure Can Help Regulate Your Sleep
- Will Space-Age Protein Powder Change the Future of Food?
- A brief history of meditation video games
5 Things I’m Enjoying:
- Spring cookbooks I’m excited for: Tenderheart and Vegetable Revelations. Garden book I’m pining for: Piet Oudolf At Work
- We started watching Break Point this week and wow, tennis is thrilling!
- In love with Hellebores and hoping to find some unusual varieties locally.
- The Creative Independent is a favourite follow on Instagram lately. So inspiring and often almost too relatable, whatever your profession.
- I’ve shared my love of Recess Therapy here before, but this gal’s pickle obsession makes me laugh so much. Also, the queen of spice!!
- Have you ever had any negative issues with food?
I think many of us have at one point or another. These ideas that certain foods are “bad” and others are inherently good for whatever reason–whether that’s cultural/societal conditioning or some sensationalist TikTok post influencing us. The first few years of my blog reflected some ideas about food and dietary needs that I’m not proud of. I realize now that some of my views about certain ingredients, under the guise of pursuing better health (in a very public way), was likely informed by diet culture. It always had to be whole grain flours, never cane sugar, never anything refined etc. I don’t feel this way now. I eat for pleasure and because I’m hungry, and it’s honestly a relief.
- Can’t remember exactly when you moved into the new house, but how’s it going? Settled?
I have been so indecisive about decor/furnishings/gardens etc with this house and I don’t know why. As a result, we haven’t changed much about the house and some rooms are somewhat empty. I love living here and it is really comfortable, but I wouldn’t say that I feel all the way settled, which is such a funny feeling two years on. I had to pick up some mail at our old house a few weeks ago, and it made me miss so many things about it and the neighbourhood. I would also say that my life felt a bit simpler when we lived there and it’s possible that I’m just missing that aspect. It’s layered with complexity on a good day haha.
- I’m cooking for an ill friend who can’t eat any spices other than salt. Any ideas for big flavour?
There’s a whole world of flavour outside of spices! I recommend leaning into acidic ingredients like vinegar and citrus juice/zest. Acid really perks up and awakens the flavours of almost anything. Fermented ingredients like Tamari and miso are rich in umami and make most things taste like a more flavourful version of itself. I think focusing on caramelization and browning is a powerful flavour enhancer too! Just ensuring that you get a good sear on something, whether that’s in a sauté pan or in a hot oven–roasted and browned edges always add so much to a final dish. Naturally peppery and flavourful vegetables like watercress, arugula, green onions, fennel, and radishes are helpful when trying to boost flavour overall. And fermented/pickled vegetables are another great way to quickly add flavour to a finished dish!
- What’s your go-to salt?
I like the fine ground Celtic Sea Salt and Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt as well.
- How do you get yourself out of a rut and stay motivated to continue creating recipes?
I try to lean into the rut and wait for inspiration to naturally flow back to me. During that time, I’ll focus more on the paperwork and administration side of the website/content creation, just to keep the overall work chugging along. In the past, I have tried to force myself to be creative or to just come up with something, and I always wind up working on things that frustrate me/don’t feel genuine. When I am in the creative zone, I try to take advantage of it and work ahead, knowing that my brain can’t always be working that way. And also: just taking notes when inspiration strikes is really helpful. If I have an idea for a recipe and I’m in that mindset, I will take detailed notes that I can go back to.