the challenges of blogging

Well, this week has been an adventure and a half.  Not in the most positive way, unfortunately, but my weekend plans (romantic Napa getaway with the boy!) and friends have been helping me keep my chin up!  I’m a pretty lucky lady.

I hadn’t actually planned to write this, but I wanted to address a few of the struggles I encountered this week. Don’t worry, you’ll still get a recipe on Monday!

  1. Sometimes your recipes just don’t workAs I mentioned in an earlier Facebook post, I broke my own rule, and suffered the consequences.  I have always followed a linear plan when developing my own recipes: find a base recipe and make it exactly as stated; make notes and potential adjustments after sampling the output; pick the most impactful change and incorporate it – and only it! – into the next batch.  Changing too many things at once prevents you from being able to pinpoint what went wrong in the event that something does go wrong (and believe me, it probably won’t be perfect on the first adjustment).  So what happened?  Well, I adjusted the flour type, protein content, liquid, and leavening agents.  My cupcakes rose too fast and the structure-building chemical reactions couldn’t keep up… so instead of having perfectly domed tops, the batter exploded over the top of my tin… and stayed there.  The taste and texture were still pretty good, but it’s back to the drawing board to identify the correct adjustments to achieve the perfect yellow cupcake.  So why am I telling you this? Because the blogosphere is full of perfectly executed, immaculately styled, and delicately plated dishes.  These images are inspiring, but can also be intimidating to the casual home cook who is simply trying to beef up their recipe repertoire.  I want to make sure that everyone who reads my blog knows that my recipes often don’t turn out perfectly the first time; I want you to know that I burned my granola the second time I made it because I got lazy and impatient, and that I curdled my buttercream a few weeks ago for the same reasons.  I want to be honest with you!  So while I probably won’t publish my recipes-in-progress, I will certainly make sure you know that I’m not a robot in the hope of making you feel better when you encounter your own kitchen disasters.  And if you find yourselves encountering the same problems over and over, let me know!  I want to help you find your inner chef.
  2. It’s like having a second job.  A second job that you may be utterly in love with, but nonetheless, a second job. I’ve literally spent every single Friday for the last six weeks staying in and working on this little thing.  I’ve created editorial calendars, designed, redesigned, and re-redesigned my website, extensively researched recipes, met with my fantastic designer, and edited posts.  I haven’t even begun to touch on photo editing, the amount of dishes I’ve washed, or the drastic reduction of hours spent sleeping per week as a consequence of always having a great idea as I’m about to fall asleep.  Sometimes I finish baking late at night and wake up early to snap a few photos before heading to work in the morning.  I’m not whining, I swear.  I’ve loved every minute of this so far (okay, I haven’t loved the amount of dishes I’ve been doing).  But I had no idea how invested I was going to be in this project when I started it, and that’s what has really blown my mind.
  3. Um, what is hosting and why did it break my website?  So late one night (like, 230 am late), I decided that it was better to just self-host now as opposed to migrating from wordpress.com to wordpress.org when I have higher read rates (hopefully!).  I investigated a few different hosting options, chose one that completely failed, and had to switch.  I’m no dummy, but I managed to break my website.  Not kidding.  I’m hoping that the DNS records (it’s like your address, it tells the internet where to find you) just need some time to figure things out and that my problem will miraculously be solved… but we’ll see.  As of now, I can’t get into my website, and it is REALLY annoying me.  Fortunately, I’m pretty well-connected (most people are willing to lend their knowledge if you ask nicely and bribe them with baked goods).  But it irks me to no end that I broke something and I don’t know how to fix it!  I’ve spent the last 24 hours wishing I had just gone with the self-hosted model from the beginning.

So those were my lessons this week.  I’m hoping this learning curve is a steep one!  Anyway, I have a pie to bake and a beer to drink before I head up to Napa.  Check back on Monday for a delicious southwestern salad recipe!

Happy Eating <3a

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