I sound like a broken record. I am entirely sick of hearing myself say it - "how does so much time pass?" - blah blah blah. Maybe I just need to accept that I am terrible with time management and move on. Own my laziness or lack of motivation or whatever distractions I seem to harness and not expect so much. I don't necessarily feel like a lazy person. I sometimes feel like I can't get enough done in a day - the hours just slip by. I am up with the sun most days, and can't sit idyl for very long, yet I manage to go almost a month without visiting this space. I want this to be my creative little getaway, to make this space my escape from reality and all of my responsibilities that wait in the real world - but I have quickly realized that having a food blog can just as easily turn in to an obligation. A good obligation, but one none the less.
I do this often - get myself in to this rut. A constant pinwheel of hopes and deadlines, followed by procrastination (or other projects taking the spotlight) and a downward plunge in to scrambled thoughts and stale ideas. Its like a creative ferris wheel. Up up up, just to come down again. There are so many ideas and endless pangs of inspiration and creativity that are often lost in the jumbled mess of ideas that is my brain. There are only so many recipes and adventures I can conquer per season - as much as I would love to execute all of them - I know that I must take a breath and step back every now and then.
It gets to be tricky trying to tackle a full time job, family, friends, running a home, taking on new blogging adventures (more on that next week!) as well as depending on my husband - who also works a full day job - to take and edit my photos. It gets mentally (and physically) exhausting trying to juggle all of those things around. Those of you that do all of this with kids thrown in to the mix - you are magicians. I am now very excited to say that I am slowly learning the photography and editing part of this whole endeavor - so soon you might be seeing my own photos on this little blog. It is a huge relief for me to be learning this process. I felt very trapped relying on others to do things for me. I hate saying it, because I absolutely adore my husbands work - and I love working with him - but it becomes a tricky balancing act for us. We have a zillion things on our minds at one time - our day jobs, our house, our bathroom remodel, our lawn that looks like we have abandoned it, our trip to Montana with my family in August, and Bread+Barrow. I find myself most often thinking about this blog, while I know Phil is thinking about the house and all of the remodeling we want to get done. I have time during the day where I could be photographing recipes and editing them when I have time at home. It was beginning to feel like a lot of wasted time, so now I am so excited to take advantage of those hours and hopefully capture more of those crazy ideas I have for this blog. However, I have to note, at the risk of sounding incredibly mushy - I have the best husband in the world. He is so supportive and patient with me and my crazy insane ways. He puts up with my high-strung, overly emotional personality and always always has my back. In no way am I trying to replace him on this space, just give him a little more breathing room. Plus, I am excited to learn, too - and in my opinion, from the best.
Speaking of new adventures and crazy ideas, back in early June, Betty of Le Jus d'Orange and I held a little workshop in Boston's South End at a shop called Farm and Fable. We had a bunch of really great women get together for some photography lessons and hands on styling projects, as well as a field trip to the SOWA antique mart for some prop sourcing and the farmers market for some lunchtime goodies. We made them lunch and had some dessert as we talked about food styling and photography. We also had some fantastic sponsors, and Betty did a great recap of the event with all of the sponsors listed here. At some point I am going to write a post on those triple pepper spicy cookie ice cream sandwiches with roasted strawberry mascarpone ice cream…ah, at some point.
I am not going to lie - I was incredibly nervous about this workshop. I think when I am talking in front of people, or trying to entertain a larger group that I do not know I get a bit clammy. It brings me back to my theatre days and forgetting my lines on stage - that "holy crap I'm a deer in headlights" feeling comes rushing back. I am going to blame it on workshop "first time jitters", but I also think I could have been more prepared with my information for this particular event. Next time I now know what to do and what not to do.
What I know to definitely do, is this gazpacho. I made this chilled strawberry soup for the attendees as an homage to Junes favorite fruit, and as a toast to warmer days to come. It is served cold, which I find incredibly refreshing. It is sweet and spicy, with a little tang and a lot of punch. It pairs well with a cold glass of rose and a tear of crusty bread. It is so incredibly easy to make, just marinate the fruit and veggies over night, blend them in the morning and you have lunch or dinner done before breakfast! It keeps in the fridge for up to a week.
I hope to be more present in this space, and I know that I will have to be because Betty and I have some exciting news to announce next week, so just stay tuned. I promise not to leave you hanging for too long!
• strawberry gazpacho •
adapted from Food 52's Genius Recipes, which was taken from Eleven Madison Park
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed but kept whole
• 6 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
• 2 1/4cups English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
• 1 1/4cups diced red bell pepper
• 3/4cup diced green bell pepper
• 6 tablespoons tomato juice
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 1/2teaspoons salt
• Tabasco sauce
Add the strawberries, cucumber, peppers, garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of olive oil, tomato juice, vinegar, and salt to the bowl. Toss to combine and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Marinate at room temperature for 3 to 6 hours. Puree the ingredients and their juices in small batches in a blender on high speed until very smooth. Strain through a chinois and chill in the refrigerator until very cold. Taste and season, if necessary, with Tabasco sauce and additional salt and red wine vinegar.
Serve chilled – in a chilled bowl if you want to get extra chilly - garnished with a bit of fresh or dried basil (I only had dried), a drizzle of fresh olive oil, and a few drops of Tobasco sauce.
listening to: The Foggy Dew by The Chieftains