Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Making of a Blog, the Making of Me, and the Making of Soup

My last post, about the photography contest, got me thinking about journeys in identity-formation ... both this blog's journey, and my own.  In some respects, this blog has never really known what it's about: I started writing about food and life, about a lack of clarity about my future, not talking yet about our inability to conceive or keep a pregnancy ... then, finally diagnosed with secondary infertility, it became about my identity as a female of childbearing age unable to conceive and questions about our future as a family ... and since I found out I was pregnant, it's been some strange combination of worry, disbelief, and tales of coping with the CSA bounty (which threatened to stage a coup this summer and take over all blog posts).  It's a wonder that I still have faithful readers and commenters (thanks, all of you, who find my little blog worth following!  You make writing feel more meaningful.).  This thing really is half-baked.

Looking back over the year, I found this post, in which I rant about doctors, and start talking explicitly about infertility and pregnancy loss, and noticed how connected my thoughts and worries about family and infertility were to my thoughts about my career and the next step in my professional life.  Since then, either I've come full circle, or I've gone nowhere at all: five months pregnant, I am still trying to figure out what's next, cooking and blogging my way through one day at a time, perhaps a little wiser now about the connections between produce and the growing season, a little more knowledgeable about sustainability, having remembered that I like to write.  The uncertainty of "what's next" is compounded by the (wonderful) fact that this pregnancy is looking like it just might actually result in a live baby, even though many days that still seems completely unreal to me. 

Should blogs be forced to categorize themselves (certainly, if I wanted more readers, I'd settle on ONE thing to write about)?  I wish I had more clarity.  If only life came with recipes.

I was going to post Curried Pumpkin Bisque to make up for all of the sweet pumpkin recipes lately, and pay homage to the Australian followers (all of whom are clearly wonderful women with excellent taste!), but then realized that I'd already posted that recipe, long ago when this blog was just weeks old.  So I'll leave you with that link to the old post (please do click above and check it out ... it's perfect for this season), and yet another winter greens recipe, because this week's box included chard, spinach, arugula, collards, and radicchio.

Cannellini and Chard Soup

1 T. olive oil
12 oz. spicy vegetarian Italian sausage (or regular if you prefer)
1 yellow onion
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. cannellini beans, soaked (about 2 c dry), rinsed and drained (canned is OK, too ... 2 cans should work)
2 qt stock (vegetable, chicken, or other)
1 bunch collard greens (about 12 oz), chopped (you can also use chard or kale here)
3 T salt
1/2 t black pepper

Saute up the onion, garlic, and sausage in a little bit of olive oil until the onions are just translucent.  Add mushrooms and continue to saute until most of the liquid is gone.  Add beans and stock, and cook about 15 minutes.  Add greens and cook until the greens are just wilted.  Salt and pepper to taste!
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  1. You shouldn't feel obliged to categorize your blog. I deeply appreciate the blogs where women share the full complexity of their lives, as no one is one-dimensional with only one worry at a time. Those blogs get a bit old after a while, in my humble opinion.

  2. Is there a vegetarian sausage you like? And was there a mutiny at your house when you served them faux-pork?

  3. JeCaThRe: there's these: ... they don't rely on soy protein, which I have mixed feelings about. And guess what? No one even knew. ;)

  4. Ooooh, lovely soup. I love canellini beans and chard (silverbeet here). And my, I do feel special now, just for being Australian heh heh :)

    I don't think you should have to categorise your blog. It's YOUR space. And I for one love reading about the intersection of food, life, baby etc. I loved your post on the NYC food pilgrimage.

    Here's my two cents about what you could do if you left your current job: open a yoga studio with healthy cafe attached, you will have an instant following selling all those gorgeous cupcakes!

  5. I think you should publish a cook book. Sign me up for 3 copies.

  6. This post is intense. Intense in a good way. There is nothing wrong or strange with being a pregnant, smart, educated woman at a cross roads. Pregnancy brings so many emotions to the forefront. It is a raw time emotionally. I am glad that you finally had this meeting. I know that you are a planner, but I think this one may be a non-planner;)
    What do you think/feel at your calmest, most fulfilled moments; after your run, after yoga class, watching Ian fall asleep? I do think that you are very talented in many areas and could do many things. You could consult with your current position or with other schools. You are also a fantastic writer, baker and photographer (CONGRATULATIONS!). I could see you writing and baking.
    Give it time. You may not know the answer for a while and that is O.K. Also, whatever decision you make need not be permanent. You can pursue other interests while the kids are young and delve back into academia when they are older. Oh wait, are we talking about you or me;)
    I am always here to vent to, I have been through this and think about it all pretty much daily...

  7. Homely and hearty soup! I like!!

  8. Hi
    With the help of your guide i prepared a soup which is delicious thanks for the information


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