Disclaimer: I sat down to write a Friday Favorites post and this is what came out. If posts about mental health and self-care aren’t for you, don’t fret–I’ve got some new recipes coming your way next week. Oh, and you should make these this weekend.
When I started this blog nearly two years ago, I decided to post three times a week. It was a lot of work for someone who had no experience with this sort of thing, but I figured that if I was going to have a blog, I was going to take it seriously. With limited exception, I posted three times a week for the first fourteen months of this blog’s existence.
That all changed last Christmas. I think I got burnt out from all my extra holiday work and then totally thrown off by an extended visit with my family in Texas. To put it simply, I got out of my regular routine and I’ve never quite gotten back into it.Since returning to Brooklyn in January, I’ve had a few weeks where I’ve managed to get three posts up, but those have been few and far between. This summer, I somewhat intentionally put E2 Bakes on the back burner and only posted once a week. I had a lot going on–besides work, I quit smoking (three months off nicotine this week 🙌🏻). I also muddled through the end of a truly gnarly 18-month bout of depression. Maybe that’s too personal for a food blog, but it’s what happened. When my brain fog finally (finally) started to clear in the middle of August, I made some changes in the name of self-care. First, I switched grocery stores. Bet you weren’t expecting that. That may sound minor and totally out of left field, but if you’ve been around here long enough, you know that I think grocery shopping is a blast. Since I returned from Maine, I’ve made time every weekend to take the fifty minute walk down to Fairway Market in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It’s a good way for me to clear my head (especially once I get to the benches near the waterfront), and I can’t help but be inspired by the quantity and quality of goods at that market. I still buy my coffee beans at Sahadi’s and hop over to Trader Joe’s and Key Food for things here and there, but I do the vast majority of my shopping at Fairway. With so many great options in my neighborhood, my new ritual might seem ridiculous to some, but I shop so frequently for others that this simple act of shopping just for me and at my favorite grocery store qualifies as radical self-care. Oh, and for those of you wondering, I take the bus home. <–I’m asked about this all the time.
In conjunction with my new grocery shopping ritual, I’ve also started taking better physical care of myself. I’ve written before about my weight and how I try to practice something like mindful eating. I’d love to tell you that I have a perfect, balanced relationship with food, but like a lot of people, I struggled after I quit smoking. It all came to a head when I made the mistake of stepping on the scale for the first time in years on the night before I left for a beach vacation. <–tip: don’t do that.
Since then, I’ve concentrated more on my meals and nutrition. Given the amount of baking and recipe testing I do every week, strict diets aren’t for me right now. Instead, I’ve spent time planning meals that are heavy on nutrients and limiting my snacking to fruits and vegetables. I’ve also spent more time consciously exercising; this is definitely helped by the smoking cessation. I still bake and eat sugar (obviously!) and have no intention of stopping, but I try to limit my consumption to once a day. So far, so good.
As a result of all these changes, I’ve got some new meal-time recipes to share with y’all over the coming weeks and months. Please consider this photo of a recent batch of Sausages with Roasted Grapes as a teaser.
So, why exactly am I telling you all this? Because another part of my new-and-improved self-care regimen has been to get back to regular posting. Blogging makes me happy; if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it. I have no plans to go back to three posts a week–with a day job and a social life, that is just too demanding. Two posts per week, however, has proven to be doable. You may not have noticed, but I have stepped up my posting since the beginning of September. With the exception of one Friday where most of Brooklyn lost internet access, I’ve posted twice a week since Labor Day.
My posting is not on an exact schedule right now, but I am headed in that direction again. For now, I am trying to post on Tuesday or Wednesday and Friday, all at around 1pm Eastern Time. I am planning to start posting earlier in the day soon, but as each post requires about 12-15 hours of my time, I’m deciding to concentrate on creating quality content for now and worry about timely publishing later. In addition, I’ll be debuting a more streamlined Recipe Index by the beginning of next week.If any of you have any recipe requests or ways that you think I could improve this little corner of the internet, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to reach out to me via email or on any of my social media accounts. Your feedback is always appreciated. It feels good to be back on a blogging regimen these past few weeks. After all, this blog was originally created by me for me. I wanted a food blog for six years before I got brave and crazy enough to hit “publish.” The fact that any of you come here to read my ramblings and make my recipes is just icing on the not-so-proverbial cake. Thanks for reading.
HI, so glad you are making yourself your own priority! I learned, the very hard way, that no one will have your back more than yourself! We may be fortunate to have great family and friends but when push really comes to shove, they may not choose what is best for you. Take your time sorting it all out, the blogosphere will be here when you are ready 🙂
Liz, this is fabulous. I love your thinking (and recording of said thinking in “ink”. I am putting my red grading pen down and giving you an A+ for expression/creativity, organization, etc. maybe an A for punctuation. First, I had no idea you smoked! But, I am thrilled you stopped/quit. What a healthy role model for your followers. I am with you, I love to go to grocery store, and I envy the choices and neighborhood choices you have in Brooklyn. I find it so cathartic and would not ever subscribe to a meal plan delivered to my door – just me. Keep up the great work! You are an inspiration and I so admire what you have done, my dear Liz❤️💐
Thanks for the comment (and the A!), Mrs. Maly! I, too, would never be happy with a meal delivery service–it would take half the fun out of the process. Thank you for supporting my writing/baking venture 😊💗
Dear sweet Liz I’m so thankful to know you and to get to know you better through your blog. I so happy you no longer smoke. Food will taste better! I still have shoulder, arm and hand dysfunction so I’m not able to bake or even cook too much but once I get my function back I’ll be making your recipes. Im glad your feeling better.
Thank you for your support, Robyn! I’m so sorry you’re still out of commission 🙁 I hope you’re able to get back in the kitchen soon!
Liz, thanks for creating this lovely blog. Your posts are my escape during the week and weekend, when the news cycle turns scary or my lingering depression pipes up. It is so calming reading your stories and imagining your recipes — sometimes I even break out the ol’ kitchenaid and bake!
You’re too sweet, Eric!
I love your mix of food and personal posts. Improving self-care has become a theme in my life recently and I’m always curious to know how others fit it in. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Polly. Self-care is so important, but so easy to put on the back burner. I have to constantly remind myself that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone/anything else.
Good to hear from you.