Where do I start? That was the question facing, or rather haunting me, to be dramatic- (me, dramatic? jamais!) as I set out to delve once more into my blog.
A lot has happened in the past year! I finally got my visa and two days later a job landed in my lap. We traveled to Asia for the first time, (Thailand) and it was amazing. More on that later. We traveled around France a fair amount too, and there still remains much to be seen! We tried and failed to move into the city, and subsequently made a decision to learn contentment in our current situation. And closely linked to that goal, we invested in an honest-to-goodness bed and mattress. Our first time ever, I might add, picking out a mattress for ourselves. It was quite a heavy responsibility, but we bore it mightily. I mean, I rolled around every mattress IKEA had on display without putting my shoes on it. I felt very grown up. (Onlookers may have felt differently.) Throughout all these incredibly significant milestones (snicker), I have also been nursing a serious case of writer’s block.
When creativity for creativity’s sake is the motive, inspiration is vital. Without inspiration, what’s the point? A beautiful and temperamental thing, such is inspiration. It surfaces in limitless forms but can be difficult to harness within the structure of life. Life: gulp.
So where does one start when life looms but the need for creative expression looms right along with it? Well… anywhere! But the truth is, it can be scary to share what you love. Especially when hundreds of millions of people are plugged into social media and all sharing what they love, only with cooler filters and better hashtags and more followers and trendier recipes and just all-around superior lives it would seem! (Nasty or just plain bizarre accounts aside.)
So I started thinking about food. Not in the passive “Dang I’m hungry, is there a Harvey’s off this exit..?” kind of way, but in the deeper sense. Food as art, food as love, food as expression. Food as the thing that kicked off this microscopic spot on the web in the first place. The first time I saw Julie & Julia, I felt this kind of spark. Like, ‘oh man, how awesome would it be to get to try all kinds of recipes, and then write about it!’ And it is awesome. So why not do it? Who cares how many people follow or how perfect your photos are. And while we’re laying it out there, who cares how perfect your life looks? If there’s joy to be derived and if someone else happens to get a kick out of it too, all the better.
Of all the incredible food images on display in that fabulous film, the one that struck me first and stayed with me was of a perfectly simple, beautifully colourful, bruschetta. So I can think of no better recipe to jumpstart this humble blog.
loaf of your favourite crusty bread (I used a classic baguette)
several tomatoes (any kind ya like)
handful of fresh basil
I haven’t given any exact measurements because this is very much to be adjusted to your taste. As you can see pictured, I did two variations: one more rustic and garlic-forward version where you slice the bread lengthwise, toast it, (either in a toaster, under a broiler, or on the stovetop) rub it all over with garlic, then slice the tomato and lay it on top with thin slices of garlic and scattered basil leaves with a drizzle of olive oil… and another version where you chop up all the tomatoes and toss with thinly sliced basil and olive oil and spoon that onto your toasted, garlic-rubbed bread. And don’t forget a sprinkling of good quality salt to bring those flavours forward.
You really can’t go wrong. Fresh, colourful, simple, and a sure crowd pleaser.
And when it comes to finding one’s place in this massive world of virtual food sharing, my philosophy for maintaining peace of mind is this: Find joy first in what you do, and appreciate any return as the bonus that it is. Be sincere, be generous, be you. No one else can be.
If you build it, they will come. ← That’s a joke, btw, in case you can’t hear my ridiculous tone and or haven’t seen Field of Dreams. 😉