“Why I’m Putting Bob Ross on the Cooking Channel” and the Purpose of this Blog
For many years now, I’ve run an Instagram account that specifically focuses on my art. It’s all art, all the time. This is actually a very popular concept. Artists on social media platforms create a space to share their journeys and creation, like thousands of rising Bob Ross’ on much smaller scales of popularity. For those who know me, it makes complete sense that I joined this crowd. I mean, I started drawing before I can even remember. I’ve taken professional art lessons since I was 10. I majored in Studio Art. I might even pursue a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) and teach art at the college level.
For myself, however, it is confining. I’ve never been the type of person who can choose one thing and then invest all my time and effort into it. I like variety and loath boredom. The avoidance of boredom has enabled me to push myself farther and achieve more than I thought possible. Recently, I’ve been trying to prioritize art. But it doesn’t change the fact that focusing on one thing is boring. The more I try to hone in on art, art, art, the less art I actually do. To procrastinate creating art, I started creating food.
Have you ever procrastinated doing something important by doing another less important thing? That’s what started my cooking career. In college, I would “stress bake”. When a project or paper (or life in general) were causing me too much anxiety, I would avoid it for a while by baking. When baking, there are clear, simple instruction that you follow to create something beautiful and delicious. Most of the time, I didn’t want to eat what I made, so I would bring the pastries to school. Making other people happy with food was so much more satisfying than eating 124 mini muffins alone would have been.
Once I was comfortable with baking, then I started experimenting. It was inevitable, really. I am a rule follower, but I will push the boundaries as far as they will go. A “true neutral” as one friend called it; not chaotic enough to break the rules, but certainly not lawful enough to follow the rules verbatim. With art, my experimental tendencies showed through my constant mixing of techniques and mediums. The more contrary two styles, the more I wanted to blend them somehow. With cooking, I thankfully already had a challenge lined up for me. My family has a myriad of allergies and food intolerances. Reading labels in the grocery store and grilling waiters for ingredient lists at restaurants is just part of our daily lives. Even though I somehow dodged all the allergies, I still wanted to create food that my whole family could enjoy. So, I took to finding interesting recipes on the Weird Wide Web and figuring out how to modify them into an allergy-friendly variety. Did I know how to cook? No, not really. Did I know the best ways to create “flavor profiles” without dairy, eggs, nuts, gluten, etc.? Not in the slightest. But was I enjoying the process anyways? Yes. If it was a weird, terrible cooking show, the title and concept might have been something like “Allergy-friendly or Bust: Can this cooking amateur create delicious meals that are gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, but also sometimes have meat? If she fails, someone might end up in the hospital!”
All these rambling rabbit trails boil down to three main concepts. 1) I love art and will continue to create with the same fervency as before. 2) I need variety, which means I am also going to keep creating modified recipes. I want to share these with others who take up the challenge of creating food for everyone, no matter their allergies. 3) I enjoy writing out my thoughts like this. I’ve always had an ungrounded dislike for the concept of a “blog” but that’s basically what this is and what it’s going to be. A space for me to share my art, cooking, and thoughts in general. A space to share all my mundane or insane, unrestrained.
Feel free to come along for the ride! I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, questions, and concerns.