Do what you love and love what you do.
Ten years ago, I started this blog. I pressed publish on my first post sitting at the same table I’m at now, so some things remain, but also . . . change. So much. What a difference ten years make.
Ten years ago I wasn’t yet married, hadn’t published a cookbook, didn’t own the house we’re in now, hadn’t yet met or really even conceived of the three children who currently consume so much of my every waking breath.
I started this blog because I love food. I love to cook and bake, a passion which progressed into recipe development, and I love the connection and community that sharing something to eat can bring. Food is my love language and I’m immersed in it – for both work and pleasure – every single day. But language is also my love.
Somewhere in the chaos of nearly seven years of babies – trying to conceive, miscarriage, pregnancy, breastfeeding – I forgot how much I love to write. Sitting down, sifting through memories, putting pen to paper or text on a screen allows my brain to settle. My husband rarely prepares for things and can ad lib with ease, but I find myself generally so much more articulate on paper than in person, when I’ve had the space to collect and process my thoughts.
For years this blog was a journal of sorts – for myself first and always, but also for friends and connections I made through the blogging world and in turn thousands of people I’d never met. With babies it began to slide and – a weird coincidence – the last proper recipe post I wrote was when Joy was almost exactly the age Cleo is now. Perhaps eight months is how long it takes my brain to surface from the fog of new motherhood? In fact I fear it may never fully, but I’m back in a place where I want to write again, and I hope some of it can be here.
Today we’re talking pumpkin bread. Or cake. It’s baked in a loaf tin but let’s be clear, these chocolate studded slices are cake. I’d hoped to be baking with Joy at her nursery last week (parent volunteers are invited in to read and bake with the children) but Cleo’s only trusted babysitter (my mum) fell through (an urgent tooth appointment) and I was left with the several pumpkins I had stockpiled with a batch of 60 veg-packed scones in mind.
Some scones were made, but there are only so many one family can eat. With lots of roasted flesh to spare, I decided to make this sweet spiced loaf. Banana bread – cake – is my go to loaf bake, but I’m so pleased the stars aligned to bring me excess pumpkin because this recipe is so good. Pumpkin, brown sugar, warming winter spices and great chunks of dark chocolate all bound in a moist but delicate crumb. Twenty four hours after emerging from the oven, the entire cake was gone.
Worth waiting the year and a half since my last proper recipe post? You decide. It is pretty damn delicious.