Ten years ago! Exactly ten years ago Steve and I put up our first blog post, here. Right after I’d taken a blogging course at the local college. The instructor said to be sure to post photos, so Steve offered to model, and, well, the rest is history.
Hmm, looking back at that photo of him, Steve has aged a bit in the last ten years. He’s spent a fair bit of time smooshed into travel bags and riding around in the bottom of backpacks; that’s what you get for being a world-renowned cover model. His natty necktie is looking rather more crumpled these days, and his fur is a bit matted. But he’s still the feisty small bear that he’s always been.
Speaking of herbs (we were speaking of them, weren’t we? Well, Steve was. The rosemary and green onions were tickling him in the nose), I actually put up two blog posts that first day ten years ago. The first one was the bloggy birth announcement. The second one was on – Surprise! – food.
Under the heading of “Joyful Eating”, I said this:
I’m reading Julie and Julia, which is surely required reading for any new-baked hopeful blogger (book contract, here I come? Uh… never mind).
Apart from the fact that Julie Powell is a whole lot more foul-mouthed, albeit also funnier, in her writing than Amy Adams portrays her in the movie, what strikes me about the book is the sheer pleasure Julie gets from her cooking. She cooks not from a vague sense of “shoulds”, from a desire to follow the latest tenet in the religion of “thou shalt/shalt not eat this-n-that”, but because it’s sheer, unadulterated pleasure. Well, the eating is, anyway; the cooking, not always so much (the story of her first extraction of marrow from a beef bone is rather entertaining. Even if she didn’t find it so at the moment).Here, listen to this:
“Julia taught me what it takes to find your way in the world. It’s not what I thought it was. … It’s joy. […] I didn’t understand for a long time, but what attracted me to MtAoFC [Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child’s book] was the deeply buried aroma of hope and discovery of fulfillment in it. I thought I was using the book to learn to cook French food, but really I was learning to sniff out the secret doors of possibility.” (page 356 in the paperback edition).
She’s talking about a cookbook here, people.
In fact, that last quote reminds me of nothing so much as my favourite un-diet book, French Women Don’t Get Fat (Mireille Guiliano). It’s all about that: eat delicious food, in portions small enough so you can enjoy it, because it’s just so dang good. Because it’s all about life. Not about calories, not about “thou shalt”. The joy of eating, eating for joy.
Hmm. Maybe it’s time I re-read Julie’s book. Or re-watched the movie. Or both. Tap back into the joy of food, the joy of eating, the let’s-not-overeat-because-it-spoils-the-pleasure. Sometimes it good to take a trip down memory lane; you might find a few things you’d inadvertantly left behind.
Steve and I are a bit more crumpled these days, the fur a little matted, the hair going grey. We’ve accomplished some pretty big things together – university degrees, book publications, trips and events. And then there were long stretches of, more or less, curling up in corners wishing the world would go away.
But as you can see, in essentials we haven’t changed much. It’s still about “amo vitam“, “I love life”. It’s good to remind myself of it, because really, that’s never changed. Even the tag line is the same. Maybe it’s time for a new one? Naaah, let’s not fix what’s working.
So I’ll sign off with the old line from ten years ago – it’s still valid.
Life, the universe, and a grilled steak with greek salad, pita bread and hummus. Oh yeah.