The lights at this blog have been dark recently. Anyone who doesn’t know me may have visited this site a few times only to see, for the twentieth time, my last post on Irving Penn’s death and logically thought I sailed away into a dark ocean of depression, never to write again. A friend emailed me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I was okay. Almost daily, I have been gently reprimanded by readers and friends that I’ve been a poor excuse for a blogger. Sigh. I know.
Here’s the truth about blogging. One, it does not pay. You come home from the job that pays you, and then you spend two hours in front of a computer writing when you COULD be sleeping or snuggling with the man you love. Two, if you don’t have a specific angle in mind, you’ll never really be that successful and you’ll lose interest quickly. People tell me I should start interviewing chefs and become more newsy. That’ll make my blog, and me, famous. Too bad I don’t want to interview ANYONE, because that means I have to record conversations and really pay attention and I’m not a reporter. Three, you have to absolutely LOVE what you’re writing.
And I wasn’t.
So I took a break.
I put away my camera and just ate. More remarkably, I started cooking some pretty good food. And after a month of just eating and not worrying about recording it all, I had a EUREKA! moment while making polenta for the first time. I had a second EUREKA! moment over an exquisite homemade pistachio ice cream with chocolate meringues (thanks to boyfriend). Wild mushroom risotta- EUREKA! Oh, and then there’s what I’ve been eating out. The 5-spice duck from BLT Market- EUREKA! Chocolate chip cookie sandwich from Babycakes! Truffled Lentils with pata negra ham and herbed yogurt from Boqueria! Chicken soup at Hearth! Momofuku Ramen! Sushi from Tomoe! EUREKA!
We’ve all learned this via one relationship or another: sometimes you need to put a little distance between you and the thing you love in order to remember why you fell in love in the first place. During what I now like to refer to as my foodie sabbatical (more like spring break, but whatever) I figured out why I spend two hours in front of a computer writing when I could be snuggling with the man I love. Eating food feels good. Cooking, just you and the ingredients and the kitchen, is therapeutic, and if you cook like me, it makes you laugh a lot. More than anything, though, sharing food makes me ridiculously happy.
So this is AFB 2.0. The angle? Why eating this and cooking made me laugh, swoon, or both.