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,
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.