The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Tag: me

Food, Life, Family – what else?

Beach_SantaMonica

Beachy Feet, Santa Monica

Earlier, when I wrote on Live Journal, there would be long periods of silence and then I’d return with a post that always opened with “I know it’s been a while…” This time, I decided to forgo that standard opening line (did I?). Anyway, life has been chugging along, fairly predictable and regular and busy and leisurely and contented and itching-for-something, all at once. Is that how it is for everyone?

Food updates? Well, we eat at home most of the time and no, I am not cooking anything exciting. In fact, most of what I cook these days contains very little spice. Me and P, I have realized, are prone to Pitta aggravation, so salt-spice-sour is best avoided. That being said, every once in a while, we will sneak off for a healthy dose of Indian chaat or Kari Sayur Campur or South Indian tiffin. Sushi has been on my mind lately, so hopefully we will find a time to go eat some. I was wondering some weeks back why the baking itch was so dormant. Well, I baked a couple of items – baked oatmeal, cocoa-almond breakfast cookies, banana-oats-coconut cookies. The cocoa-almond cookies were spectacular. Friends loved it. I only tasted a couple before giving them away. Baked oatmeal? Strictly okay. Or not. Banana oat cookies? Absymal, depressing, soggy masquerading as soft. What a letdown of a recipe, what a waste of three organic bananas… sigh. This is the third time I am trying this recipe out. When I made these cookies earlier, they were sad specimens but I kept thinking that I was the one who had messed up somewhere. Hmm, I need to find a better recipe to use overripe bananas.

Life is lovely although there is a definite itch within that keeps me wondering what’s going on and where I am headed. You keep feeling like you are on the brink of something, a breakthrough, a gigantic A-Ha moment or experience. Actually, I feel like I want to go away someplace. Get rid of everything I own (okay, not everything), hunker down for some dedicated work, keep the world and its denizens OUT. I guess it is a theme that many of us entertain in our humdrum lives. Well… that’s all I am going to say for now.

Finding My Food Blogging Voice

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For years I blogged on LiveJournal. It was an authentic voice, my foray into writing online. I was never casual with grammar, spelling, etc. even though blogging is a fairly casual sport. Or at least it used to be, when I began blogging, early 2004. I took my writing very seriously. Even while expressing the most flippant of thoughts, the most trivial of experiences… I made sure that I gave it my best. And it all felt very true, very much “in the flow,” very me.

Then I started writing about food here. It was 2010, I believe. By then, I had amassed a veritable folder of favorite food bloggers. The Gluten-free Girl and the Chef (I began reading Shauna before ‘and the Chef’ was added to the blog title), Tea and Cookies, Orangette, One Hot Stove, The Traveler’s Lunchbox, 101 Cookbooks. Each one of the above is a wonderful writer, completely authentic and natural in her writing style. I didn’t ever think of being intimidated by them – how could I? I was writing for the pure fun of it, wasn’t I? Yet, it seemed (and quite often too) that I was unable to translate my natural-real-flowing self into my food blogging. I discovered it on LiveJournal, it came alive and I was ecstatic. But here on The Rich Vegetarian, it felt like I was groping, trying too hard, trying to be witty, casual-smart, what have you.

I sometimes blamed it on the WordPress interface, that it felt very constraining, did not allow me to breathe, the fonts were clunky, blah blah. All excuses, I know.

Training to be an Art of Living instructor, I learned the importance of being vulnerable, authentic, natural. There is no other way to be, and it is the simplest way to be, really. I successfully managed to channel that freedom of spirit into my older blog (even as I brooded over the horrible writer’s block appearances, ached for the effortless flow, celebrated the words as they danced from my mind to the keyboard and onto the screen in sheer poetry)… now I intend to do it for The Rich Vegetarian. Darling, you deserve the real me, nothing less.