Dear Me: Happy Blog-O-Versary


Chocolate chip cookie recipe courtesy of Deb at Smitten Kitchen.

So I only went and did it again and totally forgot to celebrate my blog-o-versary (I should really put the date in my diary) and I Am A Feeder is now 2-years-old! It’s weird to think that I’ve been cultivating my little inch of the web for just over 2 years – when I started it I don’t think I ever expected to be doing the things that I’m doing in my life right now or, even, still blogging. So a huge thank you to all of my friends, family and readers who have stuck with me over these 2 years, for all of the lovely messages, comments and emails, and particularly to the new friends I’ve made all over the world. You guys were an unexpected bonus when all I wanted to do was write down my recipes and vent at the world (as I do so often) – am massively appreciative to all of you!

And I suppose a 2-year mark is the perfect time for me to make a couple of little announcements. Well. Maybe not so little. Remember how I talked about change in my last post? Well the first change is that the offer we made on our dream house was accepted and so I’ll be moving to a completely different part of London next month, but the biggest change of all is that this October I’m going to be starting culinary school.

I’ve been thinking about a change in direction for a long while – though I love food writing, at the moment the market is so over-saturated that making a living off this is nigh-on impossible. It has been ridiculously hard and for the past few months I’ve felt like I’ve been slogging through a wasteland, desperately trying to make ends meet and failing miserably. In short, my passion for the thing I love has been waning and has felt, instead, a chore – something which I never wanted to happen. I love to write but the spark has gone and without that I’m merely churning out listless reviews and endlessly recipe editing, most of which pays poorly at best. After a fairly decent amount of time being freelance, I was being forced to look at what I’ve been doing and reevaluate, and so that’s exactly what I did. And when I did I realised that the one thing I’ve denied entry into my life and refused to even entertain the thought, is the one thing that I should really be doing: hands-on professional cooking.

I’ll be starting the 1-year (3-term) Professional Diploma course at Leith’s School of Food & Wine in October with a view to eventually starting my own catering business, a course that many have done before me and the very one that, hilariously, I have been avoiding like the plague.

I used to live in the area and whenever people found out that I enjoyed (read: was obsessed with) food and cooking, they all suggested Leiths because they had gone there/worked there/knew somebody who had. Of course, being the stubborn mule that I am, I kept on refusing to even look at the school – I had no aspirations to be a professional chef (true), I wasn’t interested in that side of the food industry (a lie), it cost too much (very true), I didn’t think I’d be appropriate for the course (massive lie), etc., etc. Every excuse you can think of, I gave… but mostly it was my own pride. I didn’t want to admit that maybe it was time to accept the fact that I needed further training; that I couldn’t just go from being a graduate to a freelance journalist with zero experience; that, being as social as I am, I could not sit day-after-day in my lonely “home office” forcing myself to be self-motivated and often failing; that I needed somebody breathing down the back of my neck and forcing me to push myself… but that’s the benefit of experience.

In a way I feel like I’ve wasted quite a bit of time getting to this point but I know that two years ago I wasn’t ready to admit that I needed focus and direction, now I am. And so I fully anticipate the next year being a ridiculously difficult time, I will be exhausted, I’ll probably cry at least five times on the first day, I’ll make a lot of mistakes and beat myself up about them for hours, but you know what? Even with all of that, I think I’ll be incredibly satisfied and happy.

Anyway, watch this space – I’ll try and document as much of it as I can and until then I’ll keep giving you mundane updates about my life and taking photos of the food I’ve been making and eating. I can’t wait to move house (if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know what an absolute nightmare my current place has been for the year past year) and I absolutely can’t wait for October – that’s when the real work will begin and it feels like the start of something wonderful.

Until next time, peace and love,

Jax x

PS: The chocolate chip cookies at the top are awesome. See Deb’s wonderful blog Smitten Kitchen for the recipe! I recommend making them smaller – if you make them too big (mine were roughly golf ball sized) they tend to spread and become a bit more crunchy than chewy… which is not necessarily a bad thing at all, but if you want them a little more chewy go for a smaller cookie dough ball. Of course you can always freeze the dough and/or refrigerate before you bake, which will stop too much spreading, but I was being impatient – can you blame me? Look at them! COOKIES.

13 Responses to “Dear Me: Happy Blog-O-Versary”

  1. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite Says:

    Jackie – I am so incredibly proud of you my dear!!! What a brave brave move you’ve already made, going freelance and how smart you are to recognize that it needs to NOT be a chore. Even smarter to let in that “elephant in the room” – cooking for a living. I am 100% confident that you will succeed at any career you eventually decide on. You are amazing and inspirational. I am incredibly jealous of you going to culinary school and look forward to reading all about your adventures in the kitchen. XO

  2. Paula Says:

    Yes the cookies look wonderful and thanks for the tip to make them smaller. However, the most enjoyable things about this post was the two big upcoming changes (for the better) that will be taking place in your life. Congratulations on finding your dream home and on attending Culinary School!!! You are going to excel over the next three years and I’m looking forward to following your new culinary adventures!

  3. Paula Says:

    Ooops’ forgot to wish you Happy 2nd Blog Anniversary!!!

  4. Kavey Says:

    Aah, happy belated blog birthday and woo hoo on making your decision. You know I wish you huge success. x

  5. Jun Belen Says:

    WOW! What a BIG change. my dear. Best of luck to you as you turn over a new leaf. And congratulations to two years! Looking forward to more!!

  6. Not Just Another Milla Says:

    Seeing ‘culinary school’ and ‘Jackie’ in the same sentence is perfection. Good on you for focusing on what feels right and on a path which will help you along with fulfilling your dreams. You’re such an inspiration!


  7. Tunde Says:

    Happy blog-o-versary ! You will do great in this endeavor. The only constant is change and what a HUGE one it is. If the teachers give u flack tell them you are big on the interwebs ;). Looking forward to all your new and great adventures.

  8. Ashley Says:

    So proud of you! What a great step and something about it just feels really right. Can’t wait to see what you whip up! :)

  9. Regula Says:

    I also started professional culinary school a year ago, it’s going to take me 6 years to complete it cos it’s 1 evening a week. I could do more evenings and speed things up but that’s just too much if you work full time as well!
    Best of luck!! You are going to love it!!!
    Wish I could take the year off, move to LDN and attend that school!! Yey for the house!!!

  10. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking Says:

    This is wonderful news!!!! Happy blogoversary and congrats on big exciting steps!!

  11. Sarah, Maison Cupcake Says:

    Congratulations on 2 years blog-oversary and lovely to here of all the other wonderful things you have going on too, you deserve them! xx

  12. Emmyw @ Kitchen Goddess (in training) Says:

    Yay for the house and culinary school :D how exciting! This year is obviously going to be your year, I can’t wait to read all about it :) Good luck with all of your adventures! xx

  13. amelia from z tasty life Says:

    how exciting: all of it!!! proud of you, Jackie. You will rock it.

Leave a Reply