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a bittersweet good-bye

May 30th, 2014 | 12 Comments »

The blog turns 8 years old this year. And it’s finally come to pass that my time is this space is over.

Actually, it was probably over 2-3 years ago. It was around this time that the traffic died off pretty drastically, but the faithful still kept stopping by to visit. My goal, as it has always been, is to be authentic and real in this space, to not doctor up the reality of my foods, to not dress them in excessive plating or backdrops or props that mean nothing to what I’m eating, but to just make honest, real food and take a photo or two of how it looks in my kitchen, right at that moment.

And that, apparently, is not what people want to see. No one wants real. So many food blogs now just look like online magazines, and many that you see all look the same- the same type of props, the same food styling, commercialized posts that sound trite and phony, sidebars so clogged with badges and icons that it’s almost impossible to find the actual content. Food blogging has become big bucks business, and you’re not in the game if you don’t play by the rules.  The moment I realized there were rules to food blogging {which seems so utterly ridiculous that I can barely type it}, I should have been signing off once and for all.

Thankfully there is a whole new aspect to food blogging that is quietly turning the tide on the old ways, blogs that are stunningly gorgeous, yet simply done, with evocative photography and incredible, fresh, wholesome foods.
I so love this new wave of blogging. This is something I can happily get behind.

Here’s the thing: I do not begrudge for one moment those bloggers who fuss and primp and tidy their photos to be museum-worthy, who follow the rules, fuss over SEO, stats and where they rank on Google, those who’ve made it a business that makes them an enviable income. I am in awe of them, for the most part. But that’s not me. It’s not my style to pretend this space is anything but a window in to my kitchen and the foods I like to eat. It’s not a gasp producing photo that I want to share with you, nor a rightly worded document designed to lift some random number. I’ve never wanted to be a commercial for anyone, to display ‘Brand Ambassador’ badges, to shill for someone who pays me money.

I’ve done it, yes; but it’s always just felt wrong.

What I’ve wanted is to share my life in the kitchen with those interested in listening. But when it’s clear that no one is listening any longer, it becomes so much harder to think about what to say.

And what I was doing was spending all my free time trying to create something blog-worthy, something that wasn’t found on a thousand other sites, a unique and fresh approach to the sustenance we all need, a story to resonate deep within us, and I was not excelling at any of it, least of all, my increasing need to just be present and enjoy my life, my friends, the foods I love and the people I share it with, without photos, without capture of a single forkful, without thinking ‘This should go on the blog’.

In fact, it’s been a long time since I’ve been moved to write about the food I’m eating,
and that right there is all the motivation I need to be done.

And this space of mine has really served me well. I’ve learned so much from these past 8 years, from the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made, near and far all over the globe. I look through the Recipe Index and see where it’s taken me, and often, it’s been far ahead of anyone else, charging out there and trying new foods, new methods, always seeking out something different to share. I’ve never been afraid to put myself out there, to show everyone what worked, and what didn’t. I’ve never shied away from an opinion, good or bad. Over time, and changes to the site, I’ve deleted aspects of this space that stopped being productive and concentrated on the food, the stories that go along with it and the way it’s made me feel.

That interest will never change, the desire to capture the words within our food. But in this space, it’s done.

There will be another space, another site for me to explore a wider aspect of myself, for writing {lots of writing} and sharing photos of my life, maybe a recipe or two, but a space that isn’t limited by only one part of the whole of who I am.

To all of you, I have only a few words I really want to say:

Thank you. Thank you so, so very much.

For listening, for sharing my recipes with others, for coming alongside this journey, however long you’ve been hanging around.
I’ve so appreciated your company.

If you haven’t already, come alongside me on Instagram, Twitter {{new Twitter name!!}}, Facebook and Pinterest.
If you know me, you know that I have a lot to say and share.

12 Responses to “a bittersweet good-bye”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I’m tidying broken and redirected links on my blog and came across this post. Well, this is sad. I’m not so sure that it’s that people don’t want real. It seems that they don’t really want to have to read too much.

    Nor do people seem to want to actually leave a comment other than one that is monosyllabic followed or preceded by hitting a “like” button.

    I’ve noticed this trend of focussing on lots and lots of fancy photos and cutting back on the writing in SAVEUR magazine as well.

    All the best to you! Happy writing and bon appetit!

  2. Jacqui says:

    So sorry to see you go, Kate. But I totally understand — sometimes I feel like I’m hanging on to my blog just because I’ve had it for so long? Or maybe because I just want it to always be there, just in case. It’s OK to know when you’re done, though, and I’ll be glad to still get peeks into your kitchen through Instagram! :)

  3. Susan Wilson says:

    I am sorry to see you go but happy you will still be on Instagram and FB.

  4. Carolyn T says:

    Awww, Kate. I’ll miss your fresh voice, honest voice and the beautiful words you write. (I think perhaps you should try writing a book?) Truly, I’ll miss you. I always felt like you were opening up your home/kitchen/soul with whatever you chose to write about.

    And I’m in accord with you about the current state of blogging. Just a minute ago I clicked onto a site to save a recipe and up popped one of those awful pop-up things (whatever they’re called) that just made me SO mad. I had to figure out how to close it, which they made exceedingly difficult to see/find. Yesterday I got one that took over my entire screen and I could not find out how to close it. Finally had to close the page and give up. It’s a sorry state we’ve become. I’ve never accepted any advertising on mine either, because my blog isn’t a business. I’ve been where you are – wondering if it’s all worth doing – yet I find myself still writing stories in my head. And even though my husband is now gone, my best fan of my cooking, I do still cook. Not as much, and it’s nowhere near as fun, I’ll tell you for sure.

    I wish all the best for your future, Kate. If you’re ever in SoCal, look me up, won’t you?

  5. Michelle says:

    What an eloquent and lovely post, Kate. I’ve learned so much from reading your blog and have so many favorite new recipes that have been introduced to me because you were kind and generous enough to share them in this space. And I’m so very thankful we’ve had the chance to meet and become friends. I look forward to seeing your new space!

  6. Alexa says:

    I will miss your blog! I’ve only been able to stop by randomly, as I forget to stop by many blogs now without google reader, but I’m glad you had it so we could meet and became friends. =)

  7. Kristen says:

    I love you and your honesty. I’m part of the “brand ambassador” blogger trend, and I actually enjoy that because using brands I know and love to create new recipes has given me a sort of push in the inspiration department I wouldn’t have otherwise. It forces me to think outside of my own kitchen and into those of others and how they might be inspired to use a product.
    With that I have been struggling lately with the way blogging has changed. Yes, I know I’m a part of that, but I don’t like it. I don’t like that everything is with the purpose “to gain traffic”. Blogging for brands has given me the opportunity to do something I love while I stay home and raise my kids, and for that I’ll forever be grateful. However, I will never understand how blogging can be, as Alyssa said, a cutthroat, competitive world. That’s not me.
    My blog has lost a ton of traffic, and I’m totally fine with that. If being a huge blogger means turning into someone I’m not, I’m not interested.
    I am so thankful you started blogging when I did 8 years ago… you have made a difference in my life. I’ve loved your space and can’t wait to see what’s next for you! Proud of you for doing this!

  8. Robin says:

    It’s such a tough call- what do we allot our time, creativity, food budget to, to best build something for our careers, and make ourselves happy?
    I know the feeling, checking that dashboard and wondering, why am I doing this?
    It’s brave, decisive, and absolutely right to do what’s best for you. All the best in your new endeavors.

  9. Brittny says:

    Hi Kate,

    I “lurk” on your blog but wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I love your streams of consciousness amidst the food you share. I’ve always enjoyed your posts because they have been so much more than just recipes! Blessings on you whereever you’re headed next, and when you do create a new space, I would love to know so I can update my feed to the new place. :)

    Thank you for your posts and delicious recipes!

  10. Jen says:

    As per usual, you wrote your last post beautifully. I’m so grateful to have met you. I look forward to reading more of your writing!

  11. Mellissa says:

    As you have changed and your goals have changed it’s only natural that your writing and spaces change. I have so much faith in you my friend! Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  12. AlyssaZ says:

    Blogging is a cutthroat world. It’s a sad reality. I will miss this place and all your gorgeous photos, but I am glad you are leaving with a vision of what is ahead!