Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Contemplation

Here in Pittsburgh it's been awfully chilly and snowy lately. I know, I know - it's January in Pittsburgh. It's supposed to be snowy and cold. I guess I'm just not a winter person anymore! The cold really affects me, much more so than in my younger years.

Icicles are dangling from the eaves and snow is sliding off the roof. The icicles outside the kitchen window look like an evil claw trying to reach in and snatch some food! The snow flurries are swirling around and every so often the wind is strong enough to send a shower of snow swirling off the roof and down to the ground.I'm already looking forward to spring: warmer weather, grilling on the deck, reading in the sun room, our wedding...

I enjoy looking at the snow, though, just not being out in it. It's so peaceful and calm and has such an undisturbed, blank canvas kind of look to it. Almost like anything is possible and everything is OK. It makes me contemplative.

Until the critters leave tracks in the snow and it starts to turn into ugly, gray slush. Then it's back to reality. Recently I've been contemplating the purpose of this blog. I feel a bit adrift with it. I'm not a runner or exercise person. Health issues prevent me from doing much other than riding the stationary bicycle, kicking a ball back & forth, and some stretching.

We also aren't completely into healthy eating. Yes, we try to eat overall healthy, but I'll never give up baking and eating cookies and cakes. I'll never give up cheese or cream sauces. Pasta and breads. Gluten. All good things - in moderation. I enjoy those foods too much and life is too short.

So it's not a running/exercising blog, it's not a healthy eating blog. I'm not a chef nor have I ever worked in the food industry, I'm not a trained food critic. My culinary skills are from necessity - unless I wanted to dine out for every meal or exist solely on powdered orange macaroni and cheese and frozen dinners, I had to learn to cook for myself. Once I started, my skills and interest grew. Except for trips home to my parents' house, I've been 'on my own' with meals for 20 years now. I'm not at a beginner stage in the kitchen.

So it's not a 'learn how to cook' blog nor is it a 'trained culinary goddess' blog.
I enjoy homemade meals and treats, browsing cookbooks and food magazines, and watching cooking shows, looking for inspiration. But due to stomach issues and personal tastes, I do not cook with or eat garlic or spicy stuff and I'm not especially fond of seafood although I do eat some kinds. I feel a bit like the blog is a 'foodie blog fraud' since I am by some accounts rather restrictive in my eating.

I find myself bothered by what seems to be an explosion in recent years of Mexican, Indian, and Thai restaurants in my hometown - cuisines I just do not enjoy because of my sensitive stomach. SP loves those cuisines, and when he comes home from dining at such establishments, I always tell him he stinks - he smells of garlic and spices and chilies and other foods that make me ill/disgust me. He thinks my nose is too sensitive! But he does know how fragile my stomach is - unfortunately, he's witnessed the effects of certain foods on my stomach.

Maybe I need a plan, or a goal, like Julie from Julie & Julia. Every puff pastry recipe in my new puff pastry cookbook? Or every cookie in my new cookie cookbook?There's been a lot of stress the past 2 months and even though the holidays are over, I remain overwhelmed and stressed. I am by nature a worrier. Maybe the blog should be about struggling to navigate through family minefields, the stress of my health and upcoming surgery, and hopes and dreams for our wedding and the future. Although I must confess that every time I think about addressing the invitations or calling the reverend or calling the seamstress or wedding music, I feel even more overwhelmed and stressed.


I really don't know. I just feel adrift. Usually, given time, these drifting feelings sort themselves out and before I realize it, I'm 'anchored' again. I think my immediate goal should be to simply make it to February 1.

For the rest of January, I guess I'll just stay curled up under blankets, drink lots of hot tea, gaze out the windows at the winter wonderland, and hope that SP & I make it through some upcoming rough seas. There's no one I'd rather have by my side, steering the ship through the swells, and holding my hand if I get sea sick.


  1. I understand at least a little of what you're going through, re: blog purpose (I'm not satisfied with mine either), health issues, winter hatred (haha), frustration at being overwhelmed, etc.
    Hang in there; I love reading your blog and I know others do too. We'll be around no matter what you do. :)

  2. Lindsay - thank you! It's really nice to know someone enjoys reading the blog! And that someone can understand a bit.