Lately, I’ve questioned why I blog. Why I create new recipes. Why I bother at all. Surely life could be a bit simpler if I wasn’t also blogging on the side? When I feel like this, I try to go back to the energy I felt when I started to blog. I was excited about sharing recipes and thoughts. About learning new things and joining a new community of creatives.
On reflection of work in general, it really comes down to the fact that I started on one career path and then, life happened. I had to give up the path that I thought was going to be in my life forever. (On a side note, it is funny how we tend to use the term “forever” more often when we’re young, “forever home” comes to mind). It was a path that I loved and that required all my time and energy. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms that there is not just one perfect career path for each person. At the same time, I still feel pangs of jealousy towards those people (for example, all of parent’s generation and many (but not all) of my friends) that have had one career that they love to pursue. Or, even if they don’t love their job, they receive great satisfaction from their contributions. Still, how do you know that a new path won’t end the same way the last one did?!
I chose to start blogging to practice my pastry skills and continue to develop them. Within this platform, I have done much more than just practice baking as there is a whole host of skills that I have had to learn (social media, writing, website development) and am still learning (social media and photography come to mind as top of the “needs improvement list”). Blogging is much more challenging and time consuming than I ever imagined it to be. Despite small, incremental improvements in these skills, I have also become a little disheartened. The blogging world is changing quickly. Some of the food bloggers that I have been following for years have expressed their dismay at the changes and how their world has shifted. Everything from the market being saturated to lack of inspiration. Long-form writing can neither capture nor maintain the short attention spans of readers these days. Social media seems to continually baffle even the seasoned bloggers with new algorithms and the follow/unfollow trend so common on Instagram.
As a person who has been blogging for less than a year, it is a bit of a struggle to figure out where to take my blog. I don’t lack recipe inspiration but I do lack time and don’t wish to participate in the follow/unfollow and other negative parts of social media. I guess I’m looking for the turning point where I wake up and think, this is worth it, this is exciting, I am contributing to others lives. Do you feel that way about your job? Am I asking for too much or am I too impatient? Have you changed careers? I would love to hear your thoughts!!
Switching gears, I wanted to mention that we are enjoying being part of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Given the abundance of zucchini’s that we received the last two weeks, I decided to whip up some zucchini bread. Taking my cue from the sunflowers that have started to bloom, I added salted sunflowers to compliment the sweet zucchini bread. Enjoy this easy-to-make recipe!
Zucchini Spice Bread with Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Makes: 1 loaf
Time: Prep time (15 minutes) + Baking time (35 minutes)
98 g (1/2 cup) sunflower oil
130 g (130 g) lightly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
58 g (1/4 cup) whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
200 g (1 ½ cups) grated zucchini
120 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
110 g (3/4 cup) spelt flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
45 g (1/3 cup) sunflower seeds plus a sprinkling of salt
1. Butter and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Dry toast the sunflower seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once they have slightly browned, removed from the heat and set aside.
3. Whisk the oil and brown sugar together in a large bowl, followed by the eggs, milk and then vanilla. Mix the zucchini in with a wooden spoon and set the mixture aside.
4. Stir the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds and flaky salt.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Serve for breakfast with tea or coffee. Or, eat as a snack with a knob of butter on top.
Don't forget to tag #lindenandlavender if you make this recipe!!