One of my new years resolutions was to be more timely. Well, here is my untimely post, three weeks late. Ah, resolutions.
I wanted to get this post up at the first of the year, but alas, I am routinely late – tardiness runs deep in my veins. It is something I can't seem to change, no matter how many good intentions are set. Despite the delay, I am glad to be getting this post up. I am hoping to keep those of you that read this blog “in the loop” - to tell you that I haven't given up blogging, but that I am trying to regroup a bit at the start of this new year.
Bread and Barrow is six months old this January. When I first started thinking about writing a food and lifestyle blog, I gave it a full year to really decided how and why I wanted to do this. I went in to it thinking that I could document our region the way that so many other bloggers have done beautifully for theirs. I wanted to show readers just how great New England is – we might be small, but we are mighty. I wanted to bring you to our roots, to show you how we have every resource at our fingertips. I had plans to bring you to the mountains, to the sea, to the farms and to the woods. We were going to do clam bakes in the sands of Cape Cod, forage for shagbark hickory nuts and black walnuts along country roads, tap maple trees in the spring and make wild Maine blueberry cobbler in the summer.
Quickly my motivations and intentions for this space were skewed, and turned from quality to quantity. I felt the urge to get a post up every Friday, despite the recipe. I was busy comparing myself to other bloggers, telling myself that mine wasn't good enough. I was frantically scrambling to get a recipe made, edit photos and write a post just to have it up. I was only seeing the negative in my work, not the beauty we had created. I didn't realize how hard it would be, being in constant competition with yourself, because truly, who else is there to compete with? I often found myself depressed and comparing my blog to others. That is one of the hardest things I have found about blogging. You are in constant contact with other people doing the same thing that you are trying to do. Its hard not to get dejected at times.
I don't want you to think that I am not proud of the work Phil and I have done over the past six months, because I truly am. I am in love with this blog and the way we are working together. I am proud of the writing I have done, and I am incredibly proud of the photos Phil has taken. I am even proud of the recipes I have made, because I can honestly say that I have enjoyed eating every single one of them - and we do...we eat them all - right there at our make-shift photo table, amidst lenses and computers, random spice jars and dirty props, we shamelessly eat all of the things. I think my problem is that I go in to things with a vision, and if I don't feel I have met that specific vision, I get frustrated and annoyed with myself.
So therein lies my dilemma. I want to bring Bread+Barrow back to the roots. Specifically back to New England's roots. I don't want to get bogged down in producing a recipe a week and feeling like I have abandoned my intent for this space. This is the goal for my new year. I am submerging myself in New England historic culinary practices from the Pilgrims and the patriots of the Revolutionary War, from the colonial times to the Great Depression and beyond. I am lucky enough to have an antique dealer for a grandmother and she recently gave me piles of historic cook books, all of which carry amazing recipes of a time lost.
I will take you to the mountains and the sea, to the farms and in to the woods. I will show you how to have a clam bake using clams we have dug ourselves and sea weed we have captured from the waves. We will hike through the White Mountains and make red flannel hash with brined beef brisket to make the best corned beef. We will do all of it, because that is what this blog was born of.
In the next few weeks I am planning on coming up with a plan for Bread+Barrow's year. There will be adventuring, some new home projects, lots of cooking and maybe some gardening too. We will have trips to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, hiking and camping in the White Mountains and plenty of dinner parties. We will explore historic recipes and how to bring them current with modern ingredients and cooking practices – but perhaps we will keep some recipes ancient and just use a good old fashioned fire. The possibilities are endless.
Thank you, everyone, for being so supportive of Phil and I, and of Bread+Barrow. It means so much to us, and it truly gives me the push I need to stay creative and positive in this ginormous blogging world. Another slightly smaller but even more important resolution I have for 2015 is to stay better connected. Not just to my friends and family at home, but to my blogger friends that I have made in these short six months. If there is something you should know about me, it is that I am the worlds worst caller-backer (yup, made that up) and I am guilty of going WEEKS without returning a phone call. I have realized I am also like that with emails, blog comments, Instagram comments and leaving comments on others blogs. I need to get better at this. Like, now. Because you all are amazing and I adore each and every one of you.
listening to: Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac