First of all, big apologies for disappearing without a word. The thing is, I'm (as my hubby describes it) a "chucking it all out with the bathwater" kinda girl. Which means that if something is causing me trouble, I'm very likely to just stop doing it while I think about where to take it next. Which is exactly what happened with Rhubarb & Ginger.
I've been writing Rhubarb & Ginger for some three years now - and during that time I've changed. Perhaps not in my character - I'll leave you to decide that one! - but physically. My ability to spend long periods of time in the kitchen just isn't there any longer. Now I expect lots of you realise that I'm disabled - I make no secret of the fact - but the truth of the matter is that it is an evolving and albeit slowly, degenerating condition. However, creating lovely things to put on Rhubarb & Ginger here, was pushing me beyond what I was comfortably able to do. Now there's an argument which says "push yourself beyond what you're capable of and you'll find out how far you can go" - which is fine, except I'd gone a bit beyond that.
This wasn't the only problem, however. The photography of the dishes was causing problems too. You see, I don't create a dish in the afternoon, photograph it and throw it away! Oh no. I'm not one of these fancy pants food magazines that can afford to do that. No, the photographs you see are of what the family here eats. So, it goes on the plate, everyone who isn't involved in the photography gets theirs, everyone else's goes cold whilst it's being photographed, we get all stressed because the food's going cold and we have to hurry over the photography ... and ultimately, the eating of the meal is not a good experience.
|Some examples of how we've still been cooking! Baked Camembert. :)|
Now all that had to change. Where the photography is concerned and in the meantime while I've not been writing blog posts, I've still been active on Facebook and have been taking a quick "snap" of my meal before getting tucked in. I've used some - not all, as the above will attest! - of those photographs to decorate this post, just to prove that I've still been cooking! :) Sometimes, it has to be said, I've even forgotten about taking a photograph because I've been so keen to eat the food! I think this is a good thing though, as I was becoming obsessed with taking photographs of every little thing "for the blog" and "just in case". We've now worked out a system for the photography, which should work.
|Maneating chicken - ah strewth, but this one was good!|
The whole "Rhubarb & Ginger" thing had begun to take over my life. It wasn't just the writing of it, that was the fun bit that took the least time! Oh no, it was the thinking of something new and attractive, the cooking of said thing, the photography, the publishing once written - which involved so many connections that had to be made for each blog post, the responding to comments on Facebook (which is again a pleasant task, but nonetheless time consuming), talking to PR companies about collaborations on products and on .. and on.
|Beef ribeye - need I say more?|
So, hopefully you'll see why I suddenly stopped.
Now, the good news is that I'm starting again. Yay! However, this time, I'm going to take the blog in a slightly different direction. I've had time to think about where the pressures were and how completely absorbed I'd become - and make some changes.
|Roast pork Sunday dinner. Mmmmn.|
The blog will still reflect our kitchen - it will still be what we like to eat. That is, family food. The changes won't be immense. There won't be a huge makeover of how the blog looks, we won't suddenly go totally veggie, for instance. However, the big production numbers won't be here any more. I won't be cajoled or seduced into using ingredients that are normally outside of our price range - simply because they're on offer from a P.R. company (nice as they have been!). I'm hoping to take us down a road which makes life easier for me, whilst still keeping the spirit and character of the blog very much alive. The photography thing, well we've worked out a system for that which will hopefully solve a lot of the stresses involved and make getting to your dinner happen a lot quicker!
|Cod, beurre blanc, pea puree .... yum.|
Oh and I will still be introducing "The Travelling Hamper", as that is a fun little sideline which has evolved from writing the blog and it just happened at the wrong moment. First post should be along very soon!
|.. and lastly, our BBQ from last weekend.|
So thank you for hanging on in there while I had my little crisis. Hopefully it will be fun, finding out the new direction we're off to, as we go there!