This little blog turns six years old this week. I was being interviewed for a project recently and was trying to describe why I started my blog. At the time, there were very few food bloggers, and I started because I needed a creative outlet. I always thought that I didn't start with any specific purpose, but looking back at the beginning, it's obvious that I was destined to write about food and farmers and farmers markets.
The most remarkable thing about starting Life Begins at 30 is how much it has infiltrated every part of my life. Even when I'm not writing here on a daily basis, things I do each day are some way related to the fact that I started this blog.
When I sat down to write this post, I went through every blog post I've written to find my favorites. The posts you see quoted below may surprise you -- they are not necessarily the most popular, or the most important. But to me, they played an interesting part in the life of this blog.
Thanks friends and readers. You are the reason this blog is still going.
My first hint that something was very different about this coffee is when I saw their booth at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market. Instead of large carafes of already made coffee, customers were standing around for approximately 5-10 minutes to wait for their coffee as it was individually dripped by a woman who poured hot water through a filter by hand. We ordered cafe au laits, and the addiction began. The coffee was full-bodied and wonderfully flavored, and not burnt-tasting, overly roasted or scalding hot. We almost went back 15 minutes later to get another. (Blue Bottle Coffee Company, 02/2004)
We wrote them a note. R wrote it on the back of a Chez Panisse postcard and it said something to the effect of "Dear Six Apart people, congratulations on the new release. We love it (actually we drew a heart here). You are our celebrity blogger sighting of the week. You rock (yes .... we did write you rock)! From two loyal Type Pad bloggers." (This is where I geek out, 11/2004)
At the end of the session, she said to me, "In Chinese medicine, they say that whatever you are deficient in, you should eat it. Now I'm not telling you to go gnaw on a bone, but do you cook?" "Oh, I cook. And I have a bunch of chicken carcasses in my freezer." (Two Day Chicken Soup, 08/2006)
This week I shopped for myself for the first time. And I was stopped cold as I was in the store trying to figure out what I wanted to eat ... not what I should eat, or what I'd like that he liked, but solely what I wanted for the next week. No tofu went into my basket, no jam, no rice, and no fat-free yogurt. I found cereal and cheese and popcorn and (gasp!) boxed macaroni and cheese. (September Changes, 09/2006)
I am eating the most amazing things. Yesterday, I ate five fruits that I had never eaten before ... The best thing I ate today was grilled pork from a street vendor wrapped in "la lot" -- a pepper/betelnut leaf. Wrap that all in lettuce and add spices and fresh herbs, and it makes for an amazing snack. I also have had to learn to be comfortable with having the locals laugh at me, because we Americans trying to eat local food seem to be their entertainment. (Day Four, Hanoi, 01/2007)
I'm back to defaulting to happiness, and it's the most amazing feeling. I have to catch myself from saying to a line up of strangers at the local coffee joint, "I'm happy -- do you understand what a miracle that is?"(Defaulting to Happiness, 07/2007)
Recently on a trip to the Taco House alone, I tried to assess the taco. It's a seasoned hamburger patty, grilled and cut into three pieces, with a slice of cheese ("What kind of cheese, Grandpa?" "Yellow cheese."), diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and a spicy chili gravy all wrapped with a fried taco shell that is more soft than crunchy but with a fried flavor. (The Tacos that Built a Family, 10/2007)
"You know," she said, "the drama is always there. And you can opt out of it at any point. You can just let it wash over you. And you know what? If you decide that you want it back, the drama will always be there." Since that day, when she spoke those words I needed to hear, I have really been trying to "opt out of the drama" when possible -- not completely succeeding yet, but at least trying. (Word Retreats, 04/2008)
I know, without a doubt, that starting a blog five years ago changed my life. The friendships that have come out of it, and the ways that it has expanded my life -- personally and professionally -- would not have happened without my blog.(Girl Geek, Through and Through, 02/2009)