That's the question we're pondering as we conclude the eighth year of The Bitten Word and look toward the ninth. When we reflected on year seven, we shared that we've questioned when we might end The Bitten Word. That question remains on our minds as we think about the year ahead. So pardon us while we do a bit of navel gazing and reflect on where we are both in our relationship with food but also with this blog.
We don't ask this question -- do we still care about food? -- facetiously. Of course as humans who must eat, we do. But we also recognize that we care about food these days in ways far different than we did eight years ago, when we were fumbling our way through the kitchen and trying to figure out how to put a decent meal on the table. And really, the way we're thinking about food manifests in what we choose to eat and cook, and then share with you here on the blog. So here are some things on our minds about our relationship with food.
We're finding that the raison d'etre of this blog -- to put our food magazines to use -- no longer holds the same sway for us that it once did. We've spent 8 years hanging on every word of the country's best food magazines. That has been an incredible education, and has taught us to be far more confident and creative cooks, but it also isn't as inspiring as it once was. It's not the fault of the magazines. We actually think the quality of today's food magazines is just as high (if not higher) than 8 years ago. Rather, we feel less inspired. We are, frankly, a little bored with the concept that has made this blog so successful. We often find ourselves reading magazines and struggling to come up with a list of recipes we want to cook. Those that we're most drawn to are incredibly similar to other dishes we've made; others look amazing but are things that we don't really need to be eating (more on that below). We still find inspiration -- it's just that we have to look harder for it.
Part of that is the food that we want to cook these days. A friend who reviewed our favorite dishes of 2015 said, "Wow, you guys really cut out the carbs this year." That is, in fact, true. When we're cooking at home, we're largely cooking high protein, low carb, and vegetable heavy meals. As we creep toward [gasp!] middle age, we're more and more conscious of our overall health. Hard truths in this realm: We are vain. We see a personal trainer. We want to pretend we still have the metabolism of 25 year olds. We are thinner now than we've been in years. And we're happy about that. Sure, we still bake occasionally and when we travel or go out to restaurants we (wildly, madly) indulge, but we have much more of a focus on moderation than ever before.
But we are still obsessed with cooking, and we cook the vast majority of food we eat in a given week. On average, we eat maybe 2 to 4 meals a week that don't come from our kitchen. That's a lot of meals cooked at home. And we still very much enjoy the act of cooking, and of cooking for others. (Dishes, on the other hand, we would gladly never do again.)
And then there's The Bitten Word itself. We still love the creative act of writing. And we love trying new recipes. And it's fun to put together a compelling photo to go with a story. But we find that our time do so is increasingly limited. We both have careers that keep us very busy, and we're each traveling quite a bit for our day jobs. There are a thousand things we would like to do with this site if we had more time. We have loads of ideas. And not executing on those ideas feels like a bit of a failure, even though (as we constantly have to remind ourselves) this is a hobby.
And then there's you, dear reader. Getting to know you, hearing from you, smiling at your comments, and seeing photos of what you're cooking have been the biggest, most unexpected surprise of the past eight years. We love hearing from you, and we're not quite ready to give that up yet. So stick around, okay?
So where does this leave us? Well, first, we're not going anywhere. We're going to continue to feel our way through this. But we are searching for something -- a tweak on this blog's concept? A new direction altogether? Inspiration? A sign?
We share this with you because we ant you to be a part of the future of The Bitten Word.