It’s been 6 months!
On this day six months ago, I launched Vivek’s Epicurean Adventures. So far, blogging has been an unbelievable experience. I have tested and challenged myself to become a better cook. Instead of making the same old thing everyday, I am forced to come up with or try new and interesting recipes so that I may share them with you. I’ve cooked with ingredients I didn’t even know existed (like sunchokes and watermelon radish)! I joined a CSA with Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms so I could access local and seasonal produce. I value quality over convenience. Hell, I’m curing meats for a year and making my own bacon now! I’m learning to cook seasonally and to build relationships with the area that we are from, for in doing so we understand and appreciate where our food comes from. The fact that it tastes so much better helps too! I believe in helping out and supporting our neighborhood farmer, our local milk man, and the rancher that lives only 40 minutes away from me. I believe in supporting local businesses, like Linus’ local brewery, Yazoo, Tom’s homemade pasta shop, Lazzaroli Pasta, or Whitney’s cupcakes and whoopie pies at The Sweet Stash. Moreso than changing the way I eat, blogging has really changed me. I now have a greater appreciation for creativity, artisanal production, the pursuit of perfection, and the embrace of imperfection.
I love what makes the city I live in mine. The things that make Nashville special to me are not the Walmarts, Costcos, or Targets. It’s not the Applebees, the McDonald’s, or the Starbucks. What makes Nashville special is the small little things that make it unique. If we focus on that which is unique about each place, we learn to appreciate it more. When I travel now, I look for those unique places to really understand and get a feel for a different city. Everyone and every city is unique. My blog has allowed me to not only understand that uniqueness, but also embrace it.
Most importantly, however, I have been able to meet exceptional people and develop some incredible relationships. In a world in which social media sometimes lessens the frequency of human interaction, we find ourselves unable to go out and meet new people. The blogging world is one of the most inviting groups I’ve ever been apart of – a place where social media brings you closer to others and usually becomes the impetus for developing real bonds in person. Our group of Nashville food bloggers is awesome and I’m so happy for being able to meet each and everyone of them – Lindsay & Taylor, Beth, Lannae, Lesley, Aly & Scott, Adam, Leah, Erin, Kira, Amy, Heather, Tabitha, and Kevin (even though he’s from Houston!) You all are great. I’m glad I have had the chance to meet you and hope to continue getting to know as the years pass. I have developed friendships with great producers like Eric Wooldridge (my farmer), Tom from Lazzaroli, Noel from Bravo Gelato, Chef John from Fido, and so many others that make “running errands” seem like going to your old friend’s house. The world truly has some great people in it. I’m lucky to know quite a lot of them.
As we celebrate these six months, let me finally take the time to thank you – my dear and loyal readers. I started this blog off for myself. But in these past few months it has become much more than anything I could have imagined. The fact that you take time out of your day to read what I have to say, cook a recipe that I’ve posted, or send me an email about how much you like the blog, means THE WORLD to me. When my friends like Elham send me a message saying “that mac & cheese was the hit of our potluck party – thanks for the recipe!”, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve helped to make one person’s day a little bit better. That’s a special feeling and really what the core of this blog comes down to. Even though it’s a blog focused on making your everyday life a little more gourmet, it’s all about making your day, your week, your year, and your life a little more enjoyable. Whether that is by making a fresh batch of whoopie pies to take to a friends house, or enjoying the great outdoors with some perfectly grilled chicken as your family comes around the picnic table. It’s about expecting the best that life has to offer and then experiencing it, embracing it, and enjoying every little second.
So here’s to the first six months, and many, many more. Much love.
Photo Credit: United Poets Laureate