Becoming ingrained in the food blogging world is kinda like this fierce downward spiral that you'd never want to halt. One day, you're sitting there all bored at work and not even Facebook can kill time any longer. You browse the net for articles or gossip...anything that will make the day pass...and then you stumble upon a site that changes everything. Over five years ago, I so happily came across 101 Cookbooks, one of the unwavering staples in my food blog collection today. This blog opened my eyes to the vast world of food writing and Heidi's recipes became a sort of obsession for me. I went back to the very beginning of her blog and started reading my way through the entire thing, one post at a time. Her practical honesty and straightforward approach to healthful, wholesome foods really changed every idea I had about cooking at that point. I fell in love with her ideas and craved the goodness that she was creating. She's a mighty accomplished photographer as well and something about her blog fed not only my eyes but my soul. It was the first open door that I stepped through into the culinary world and my oh my, what an unexpected treasure that is.
From 101 Cookbooks came a newfound hobby and purpose for me. I became so hungry for new material, ideas and passions which led me to find the folks dear to my heart to this day. The fiercely talented and oh so fun Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. The sweet and artful Lindsay Landis of Love and Olive Oil. The charismatic and sassy Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker. These are but a few of the people I have followed for years and have virtually gotten to know. These people invite you into their lives, expose their hearts and share with you such romantic, beautiful ideas of what food means to them. You begin to connect with perfect strangers, sharing a love of something you hold dear, and they become your friends. Their words inspire, transform and move you. Your spirits are lifted on days you feel low, their stories make you laugh when maybe all you've done recently is cry and they provide an outlet so joyful that your heart can't help but overflow. I am one of millions of people who follow these amazing women (and so many more!) and they have touched my life without my ever even meeting them. Isn't that fantastic?
My most recent find leaves me with one sentiment. HOW have I NEVER read this blog before?! A friend of mine in San Diego, who knows how much I love this stuff, sent me the link to Sprouted Kitchen not even a week ago. I have since read the entire site from start to finish and I'm in love. Sara and Hugh Forte, a husband and wife team, have created this thoughtful, lovely blog that focuses on whole food cooking. Sara cooks, Hugh photographs. I have been moved to tears by Sara's words in more than one post and all of her food looks divine. She is a creative, sensitive soul and I have never identified so much with someone's writing (or with someone for that matter!) as I do hers. When I read her post on whole wheat persimmon ricotta scones (an adaptation of Deb's recipe, hey-yo!), I swear I felt like I was reading my own writing. She says:
To read through Deb Perelman of The Smitten Kitchen's book felt sentimental for me. The photos and writing are so quintessentially Deb. When I was trapped in a cubicle, I poured over her and Heidi Swanson's work. Printing out all the recipes I wanted to try (in color, of course), put them in plastic sleeves, and in a three ring binder because those things are at your disposal working in an office."
Not only did I do exactly the same thing with the binder, I did so filling it with Deb and Heidi's recipes! And, I still have it! I had already felt like Sara's words struck my soul but this post sealed the deal. The way she feels, thinks and views the world around her is nearly identical to me and I feel like I've got this kindred spirit out there that I must one day meet. I haven't yet tried her recipes but you can put money on the fact that at least ten will be made in the coming days.
This food world, this unbelievably daunting world full of talent so great it'd make you turn and run in fear, is made so much more wonderful (and possible!) by people like Sara. Since graduating from culinary school, the devil on my shoulder so often outweighs the angel by telling me that I just can't do it. It's completely reassuring to know that other people have taken the leap, quit their job and pursued their dream. They are living examples of what the doubts will do to paralyze you unless you just have faith to take a risk. Believe. DO.
I'm so thrilled to have this new addition to my food blog treasures. I'm more inspired than ever to look ahead at what could be, no IS, possible for me as I figure out what my place in the food world will be. Until then, cheers to you, Sara. Thank you for sharing your life, marriage, family and food with us. I can't wait to continue following your journey and perhaps even follow in your footsteps.
Until then, here's to big binders full of precious old recipes, new cookbooks from incredible artists and unending Bon Appetit magazines: