Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"good things ahead"

the food: a lot on my plate
the song: "This Year" The Mountain Goats

Monday morning at 4 a.m. I woke up and just couldn't get back to sleep. It was one of those racing mind times, laying in bed where you begin to think everything is wrong and you aren't on top of anything at all. Where you start to ponder just when everything is going to cave in and you're going to be caught. And strangely, my little blog was weighing in pretty heavily. I have been experiencing writer's block, for lack of a better word... I'm vaugely inspired by everything but have nothing to share.  I also want to show this site a little love and make it look a bit sleeker, more focused, etc. 

So in the throes of my early morning angst, I made the decision to take a brief hiatus from the blogger world. It's funny that a hobby- a completely voluntary decision to write multiple times a week about what you're eating- can seem like such a big thing at 4 a.m. But when I thought about it, I decided taking a break during this time of "meh" might be a good thing. I think it will make me a more focused and stronger writer in the long run and I guess that's what I'm going for here.

While I'm not on the computer, I have some plans for myself.  

1. Be a better partner

I'm a good wife, a decent housekeeper, a fun lady to hang around with, and a killer cook. The husband and I are happy as can be. But we have another project together, too and it's one that I maybe haven't accepted as much responsibility for as I should when I was brought on a year ago. There is work to be done for our record label and upcoming projects that need some attention. It is time I took some ownership of this part of our lives. 

2. Get my hands dirty 

I did a pretty poor job attempting to preserve my garden during this cold snap. There was no mulching, but I did manage to throw some old sheets over the plants and with the help of the husband, the roommate, and the best friend the plants mostly stayed covered during the coldest days. When I went and uncovered my plants, I wasn't expecting all that much. After all, this is the coldest its been in Austin in 15 years. (What's that about, by the way? I thought we had a deal, Texas!) But there they were...a little wilty maybe, but mostly still intact. They survived the front, not to mention my laziness, so I need to show my winter garden a little love while I've still got it. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts, anyone? 

3. Plan ahead

There are so many resources in our fair city that not only spread the word about local and healthy eating, but will also help me become a better gardener. It's almost time to start planning for the spring planting season, and I'm determined to make this one better than the ones before. I've learned so much from my garden and from the kitchen and my long term goal is to help others develop and learn something from their own. Supporting these organizations-  volunteering, attending trainings, going to the Farmer's Market- is a good place to start.

4.  Take more pictures

While not on the computer, I plan to love on my cats. But that's beside the point. We got a pretty cool camera back in November (by the way, you can see the camera in the reflection in sweet Margot's eye.) Sadly I haven't taken the time to learn how to use it. Good pictures are the bread and butter of food blogs and I need to get with the program. Up until this point, the husband has been a huge help with this and I'm sure he'll continue to take a lot of pictures for this site. But I plan to learn from him so I can take pictures on my own, too. 

5. Read & learn

The above books are spread out around my house, just waiting to be read. And man, are there some amazing food blogs out there. I could (and have) spent hours and hours exploring them. Reading about other people's experiences in the kitchen is how I get ideas, what helps develop and strengthen my beliefs about food. Where would I be right now without Michael Pollan? About a year and a half ago we were having dinner with some friends and a neighbor of theirs that I'd just met started telling us about Omnivore's Dilemma. It sounds silly, but that moment changed my life. I was already starting to think about food, trying to solidify my answer when people asked "why did you stop eating meat?" Pollan helped me realize that the questions we face when confronting America's food system go far beyond the vegetarian debate. Omnivore's Dilemma began a journey for me that has lead me to some truly amazing books, websites, organizations, and conversations. But the journey is still ongoing, and I look forward to diving into these books.

All that being said- I will be back. I'm thinking a few weeks here...a month at the most. In March, it will be six months since I first pensively clicked "Publish Post." It's time I upped my writing game, both in style and content. I want to approach six months with confidence, focus, knowledge, and a prettier blog. For the very few of you out there that read Gnocchi No Plan (thank you, thank you), please don't forget about me! If you haven't already, click subscribe at the bottom of the page so that even if you do forget I'll pop up in your email in a few weeks with new recipes and stories. 

For now, keep cooking good food, drinking good beer, and sharing good times around the table. I'll see you in a few weeks.



  1. I can completely relate. Once interests grow they can start to feel like a burden or like you can't find enough time in the day. Good luck with your 5-step plans. Looking forward to the return of the blog!

  2. I'm going to miss it, but I honor what you are doing. Good for you for knowing when to "breathe"!

  3. can't wait until you're back. please keep me in mind as your start your garden planning. would love to collaborate/share ideas/etc. xo jen