I’m not sure what exactly the deciding factor was–the numerous false “return-to-blogging” starts, the fact that I’m simply not spending much time in the kitchen these days, or just the difficulty in returning to a neglected hobby–but the decision has been made. I’ll be ending the No-Recipe Life blog.
It’s been several years since I last did any sort of regular blogging, so perhaps I’ll catch up a bit on what’s been happening. I don’t want to go on and on about why I’ve decided not to continue this particular blog or the things that have happened in my life, so I’ve tried to keep it more general, but include enough detail to relate to. You can let me know if I achieved that or not…
As I said, I haven’t really been cooking that much, which was the main reason I started this blog: to share my personal method of cooking enjoyable meals without having to follow strict rules, through a combination of simple cooking techniques and a dose of experimentation with spice and ingredient combinations. Over the past few years my food habits have grown pretty bad. Way too much takeout (but very little eating out at restaurants, which I miss quite a bit), definitely more frozen food, chips, and purchased pastries than are good for me, and almost no actual cooking to speak of. I still tend to drink a lot of coffee, and not as much water as I should. A lot of the fruits and vegetables I buy go bad. I’ve gained back way too much of the weight I once lost, and now that I’m 31 as opposed to 24, it’s going to be way harder to drop pounds, especially if I can’t find a good enough motivation. Vanity doesn’t seem to be quite the push I need, but I really want to fit back into a few of the dresses it’s hard to part with.
I have become a little overwhelmed with the stuff I have and stopped shopping too much, but have developed a greater desire to go out and do things, especially to travel (to foreign countries if possible, although at the moment I don’t have a valid passport). I’ve watched about a million videos on minimalism and decluttering. I think they’re fairly satisfying to watch, but I have not made any progress lately in my own decluttering process. I can’t seem to work out which things I should let go and which I need to keep … before you ask, I did read Marie Kondo’s book and I am planning to reread it soon to try to get some momentum on this project, which feels rather like a life makeover.
I stopped copyediting, and it was partially due to the particular arrangement I had ending, but in large part it was my (subconscious) desire to stop doing it. I’m happy to edit to a certain extent, in particular to avoid embarrassing mistakes and the odd glaring typo in works I want to put out into the world, but spending most of my time nitpicking over small grammar details that don’t actually matter became less and less valuable to me at the same time as it slowly killed my creative impulses. I just felt drained most of the time and never had enough left to work on my own projects. My waning interest in that type of work caused me to start procrastinating more and more, and the quality of my editing slipped. I didn’t WANT to keep up with it anymore, and yet when it ended so abruptly I was quite unhappy about it. Since I was not (and still am not, sadly) writing my own work, this seemed to me to be the only thing of value I had to offer, and then I found out that the value I offered was not good enough. *Cue personal struggles and unfortunate events that made everything worse …*
Since then I’ve mainly been working retail, and while it’s not my ultimate career goal at least it has been more steady than editing. It also lucked me into semi-regular dog-sitting for a sweet little beagle who is super into cuddling on the couch. I’ve thought about trying to start editing again, but I know that I don’t really want to, and my history in the last year or so of doing that kind of work might make it hard to find gigs anyway…
Besides, my interest in writing, if not my practice, has really rekindled lately, and I believe that would be a much better use of my time. It’s possible that it will be harder to find work as a writer, but I think it will be more worthwhile for me. Grammar rules, which vary based on dialect, level of formality, and the evolution of language, are not something I can actually get excited about (although I’ll never be able to get past the incorrect use of “its” and “it’s”–it’s not that hard, people! And commas are almost always a mess). As far as I’m concerned, if you can form a complete sentence, that’s the main thing. Using clauses properly is a good skill, effective language is even better, and an ear for great phrasing is a wonderful bonus, but people who insist that you never split infinitives are clinging to a “rule” that I just don’t think was EVER necessary.
Yes, this essentially sums up the last few years for me. It’s not too exciting, and I left out the most significant specific events because I could write entire posts about those things, if I decide to share them here at all. In the end, if you didn’t get this sense from what is above, things have just changed for me. Some of my interests have shifted, things in my life are different, and the blogging world has changed–these days, you can’t get anywhere writing about food if you can’t take great food pictures, and although my new phone’s camera is pretty good, the lighting in this apartment is as crappy as ever.
Unfortunately the domain had that whole auto-renew thing and I’ve already paid for another year, so in the meantime, as I plan a new blog that better fits with my life and writing interests now as opposed to seven or more (or slightly less, I don’t really remember) years ago, I might post here from time to time. Get my money’s worth. Clear out some lingering thoughts. Get back into the habit of writing. Basically, let it have its rattling, dying breaths before it transmutates into something new, shiny, and useful.
If you read this whole thing, thanks for that! It’s nice to think that there are a few people out there who care to read my raw and possibly too honest rantings about life. If you didn’t, then you are just here for the food so I should just end here by telling you that the cupboards here are empty. I’m going to be eating leftover rice for dinner. Thank you, and good night.
Well then, two weeks later, I still have not done any of that blog-fixin’ I was talking about! The perfectionist in me is shying away from the task. She doesn’t want to put in all this work and then have the world respond with “So what?” So I guess I’ve been biding my time until I have a good chunk of time to deal with rearranging the blog. I can tell it’s going to take quite a lot of work to get things the way I want, and I’m so behind on other life things that I can’t give it the attention it deserves right now.
My chicken tikka masala post continues to get views constantly. I honestly don’t know how this has happened. I liked the post just fine, but it’s hardly a masterpiece. Is adding a can of coconut milk to a jar of tikka masala sauce really so interesting to people that it’s almost the only post that is ever viewed? It’s kind of disheartening to me otherwise… While I’m glad people have enjoyed this post, it sort of makes me think that any seeming success I’ll ever have in my life will be a fluke.
I have a jar of the same sauce and a plan to try the “recipe” with shrimp. Will that one get anywhere near the same amount of views? My guess is no.
My hope is that I’ll be able to have the new format of the blog figured out by the end of October. I want to say September, but I worry that it will take me much longer than that to get my other stuff in order. Or something resembling it. Until then I am sure I’ll just fret about the many imperfections in this and other aspects of my life.
I have one or two posts I intended to put up but I’m not going to do that right now.
I realize I haven’t been blogging much lately. Work is busy, and outside of work one can only sort of have both free time and a social life. One cannot have both. As I’ve been trying to get certain things done in my free time, I haven’t really thought much about blogging. I also have not been doing anything that exciting with food, plus I am not fond of the practice of going to get my phone so I can take crappy pictures while I’m cooking. It’s just… no. Not really. In addition, I don’t like taking pictures of my food while I’m eating out. It’s not that I think doing so just automatically makes you something of a hipster/douche (which… it only sort of does, and only if you post all the pictures on instagram), it’s more that when I go to eat food I think more about EATING the food. So how likely is it that I’m going to pause to take a picture before starting to stuff my face? (A: Not freaking likely.)
I have been making an effort to continue my Monday Madness posts here and the new weekly feature, Five Things Friday, on my writing blog. I think that’s been going pretty well. However, I still have not found time to sit down and write, for several reasons, and I have also been dying in the heat this week. I am so glad it’s about to cool off a bit, because otherwise I might have to give up on clothes entirely. Since I don’t work at home, that could have caused problems.
I have a Love with Food unboxing up on youtube and I’m soon going to make another video about how I’m planning to use the channel as a tool related to my writing. Not sure how well that one’s going to go yet, but if you’re curious, check my channel in a few days to find that one. Since that video will be centered on writing, I will probably post a link to it in a Between Worlds post, so you can also check there. (Links to the blog and my youtube channel are both in the sidebar, just scroll down a little, you’ll find it!)
So, I’m sorry if you’ve been waiting for more food posts, I’ve just been having a lot AND nothing going on at the same time, which has made for a huge lag in posting. I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to pick up with this again over the next few months. I am going to be making something hopefully very yummy in the next few weeks, and maybe I will get a chance to get some good pictures of it. Just stick around and you won’t regret it! (At least, I don’t think you will. But I’m not psychic.)
I have at least two posts to give you here with real content, but I’ve been sucked into the world of trying to get my blogs formatted the way I want. It’s more difficult than you might think. I keep changing things, then changing them back, wondering if I think it’s good enough or if I should change it again. Luckily, the option to change everything about your blog is always available, so if I’m not happy with the changes in two weeks, I can redo them again.
I’ve been thinking about the blog background. I like the colors a lot, but I’m not sure a jellyfish is the right image for the whole idea of my blog, so that might be changing too. But I don’t have a good replacement, so why bother changing it? Anyone have any suggestions of what you would like to look at in your peripheral vision while reading my posts? (The jellyfish picture comes from the stock images on my computer, by the way.)
I got the whole pages menu back, after that brief period of having accidentally deleted them. Sorry about that. I have completely rewritten my “About” page. I definitely think you should have a glance. At present, my other two page categories are “foodstyle” and “monthly favorites.” If you click on the Foodstyle tab, it will probably be self-explanatory. The Monthly Favorites was inspired by the thing that is usually done by youtube vloggers, and that is pretty self-explanatory as well. I’d expect it’s much easier to do this in video form, because you can just hold the items in front of the camera and talk about them. I’ll have to settle for very low-quality pictures with my phone, until I can acquire a digital camera that works. In the meantime, my March Favorites, the first pass at it, are currently up, so go ahead and have a look if you are interested.
I have been working a bit on my writing blog as well, reformatting and trying to figure out how I want to present everything there. That’s still in process.
Last, but not least, I have caved and joined twitter. Really, I just had a moment when I really didn’t want anyone else to get the chance to take @devawriting. If you’re on twitter, tell me your name and I might follow you! I’ve just started, so I don’t know if it’ll be worth it to follow me yet.
Well, I should finish my procrastination activities for now and get back to editing. I decided to work tonight so I wouldn’t have to do quite as much this week, but I don’t think it’ll end up being much more than an hour total. Oops…
The title here could apply to many aspects of my life, but in this case I’m only talking about cooking. Before I get into that, hi! It’s been a while, but I figure that this blog hasn’t been around long enough to gain any regular readers who would be disappointed at the lack of posts. Therefore, I’m only disappointing myself, and that’s just par for the course… I hate that phrase. Remind me never to use it again.
I need to get myself going, move on to the present projects and not make you dwell on past anti-recipes and waiting longer for the more recent ones. So I’ll just recap the various successes and misfires I’ve had lately, the more notable ones, anyway, in vaguely chronological order.
Number 1: Cheesy Biscuits – Misfire. Read the rest of this entry