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2014, it is almost over. So it is time to look back and reflect on the year that was. And the recipes from this year.
I’ve been blogging for 7 years now. Practically forever in the blogging world.
When I started I had no idea what I was doing, and I posted with abandon. I got in the kitchen and cooked, without fear of judgement, and blogged in the same way too. Sure, a lot of the recipes from back then were based on recipes I’d come across in cookbooks or had seen on a cooking show on tv, but I was, and still am, a home-cook, and I cooked, I learned and I discovered new foods, new recipes and new techniques.
The blogging community was small back then. Food and blogging wasn’t the force to be reckoned with, that it is today. In recent years the number of blogging awards have grown, the number of bloggers releasing cookbooks has increased, and the number of astronomically talented bloggers, who seemingly come from nowhere and explode onto the scene with huge followings has grown too.
So too, has the pressure. The pressure to be better, more interesting, more unique, more clickable and more likeable and to be everywhere – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
It seems I am not alone in feeling the pressure this year. I’ve read on many a blog, including the blogs of long term, established bloggers that I look up to, that the pressure and self doubt has gotten to them this year too. Like them, I spent much of the latter half of this year suffering from the demons of doubt. Is this recipe good enough? Is it interesting enough, unique enough. Are my photographs good enough? The doubt was crippling, resulting in a lack of posts as I wasted far too much time comparing myself to others and feeling as though I wasn’t good enough.
It is easy to look at a perfectly curated, perfectly styled and perfectly photographed Instagram feed and then look at your life, real life, and not feel good enough in comparison. But that’s the thing. It is curated. You don’t see the messy house, the messy kitchen, the pimples, the burnt cakes, the wilted half dead flowers and the crumbs that aren’t perfectly and prettily styled into artful scatterings.
I wonder whether, if Julia Child were alive today, she would worry about such things. I doubt it. I think she would simply focus on what she loves best, food, and let that be her driving force.
It doesn’t need to perfect. It doesn’t need to be beautifully styled. It doesn’t need to use a million different on trend ingredients. It just needs to be good. YOUR version of good. Because, like all things, food is subjective.
So for me, my goal for 2015 is to be kinder to myself, have more confidence, and remember that all of us, each and every single one of us, has something to give and share in this world, and that the number of Facebook and Instagram likes, Pinterest re-pins, Tweets and Page Views are not a reflection of our worth. Rather, it is whether what we do makes us feel happy and content.
Now, lets look back on the most popular recipes of 2014.