The other day when I was updating this, I had the horrifying realization that I have had this blog for ten years.
This is what I looked like ten years ago:
This is at the Sam Adams Brewery in JP Boston, when I discovered I liked beer. I was 21 years old, only had two small tattoos, and the photo was taken on one of the first affordable digital cameras. I am drunk in this photo.
I started this blog just after I turned 21 and I will be turning 31 this year.
When I started it in 2005, I was a senior in college in Boston, living in an apartment with a fiance I never ended up marrying. Food blogs were not "a thing." Blogs in general were not particularly popular. The point of my blog was really so I could keep track of what I was eating (see my first post ever here) because I had become acutely aware that, due to my long commute and stressful school schedule, I was eating like shit. Lots of candy. Seriously, so much candy. So I started the blog as a way to keep myself accountable.
And now it's been ten years.
This is the absolute most recent photo of me, with a friend on Super Bowl Sunday:
I am 30, own a house, and am drunk in this photo as well.
As I've gone through all 2067 posts, I've discovered a lot of amazing and horrifying things. Those of you who've been with me since the beginning are aware that the blog spans the aforementioned cancelled engagement, then a cohabitation and marriage to someone else, the massive failure of that marriage in conjunction with my failed ability to conceive children, a journey through being single in my late 20s, and then a new cohabitation with my current gentleman. I've moved from Boston to Maryland to Pennsylvania, and then most recently to another home in Pennsylvania. I graduated college, got my master's degree, worked as a therapist, quit, and now work at a hospital. My financial status has been all over the map. And who knew I'd become the Cookie Baking Queen?
I have made a similar post to this, four years ago when we filed for divorce: My Food Blog: A Retrospective. Seriously, I repeated a lot of the stuff I just wrote in the above paragraph. But that post was still FOUR YEARS AGO. FOUR. YEARS. AGO.
I've been a vegetarian now for almost 18 years.
I'm not going to lie - I've been continuously trying to edit posts to exclude previous relationships. Which is hard since I have 2100 posts and can't hit all of them. It's a sad thing, to be editing people out of one's blog, but no one needs a constant reminder of the failures of your 20s. Right?
Here are some of the things I've learned while reading back over old posts:
1) I am a bitch. I actually started crying when I realized this. In my quest to expand food horizons and explore new recipes, I've subjected my partners to foods they absolutely cannot stand, trying to find a way to make them like them. To be fair, I also did this to myself on a significant number of occasions, trying to make myself like fish or goat cheese. But in retrospect, it was a dick move and I AM SORRY.
2) Related to this: my feelings about cooking meat in my home are severely relaxed now - partially because I didn't really have a choice. It was always part of the deal - if you live with me, you don't cook raw meat in the house. Toward the end of my marriage I did try to relax on this and bought local meat, but it didn't work out. My current gentleman made it clear from the beginning that he gives no shits. He has his own pan, cutting board, and knives. He's respectful about keeping our foods separate. But damned if he was about to move in with someone who wouldn't let him eat what he wants. And I'm glad, because I needed to f-ing relax.
3) I've been using sriracha since 2005. I made a post about it one time explaining what it was because it wasn't a popular condiment and no one understood its magic. I did this about Nutella once, too. WELL NOW THE WORLD KNOWS.
4) In the early 2000s, low-fat cooking was still all the rage and I was sucked right into that bandwagon. I used to pride myself on being able to convert a full-fat recipe into a low-fat one. Now I recognize that isn't about cooking low-fat, it's about cooking with Real Ingredients. I try to avoid processed stuff. I stopped drinking soda. I use real butter, not margarine. And I try not to cook with meat substitutes anymore, because they are super-processed. I'll use tofu or tempeh sometimes, but generally I try to get my protein from beans, vegetables, nuts, and grains. I think this is a healthier outlook, but food trends change constantly, so who knows?
5) I don't cook as much because I just don't care. I don't care if I've tried a new ingredient or a new cooking method. I love to bake cookies for work (see: all the Cookie Monday posts) but I just don't care as much as I used to. It isn't apathy. It's just that it isn't something that's as important to me as it used to be. I think this is what happens when you get older.
6) I used to subscribe to a ton of magazines and got the majority of recipes from them and from cookbooks. Now, food blogs are everywhere and Pinterest has taken over. All of my magazine subscriptions have lapsed and I'm fairly sure the print industry is going to disappear or turn solely digital in the next few years.
So here we are, ten years later. Denise encouraged me to do a "Best of" post, which I probably will do at some point, but right now I just have to be introspective and process all of this.
Ten years, man. A lot has happened in a decade.