Third anniversary, a rant and a cake - when black sesame, chocolate spread and vanilla meet
Today this blog turns three years old. I've been posting recipes for three years already, does time fly by or what? I used to be very enthused about it, at the beggining, always wanting to have food that I could style and photograph and give wings to my imagination. Lately, this hasn't been so. It's not that I don't have these flights of fancy in my head, wild ideas for photo sets that I imagine will look great, but then I feel I can't be bothered. There's hardly any visits to this blog, and no comments at all, lately. SOmeone told me recently I should blog for myself above all else, no matter what the traffic to the blog might be. But I beg to differ, because I started blogging, as I have said before, for the interaction and the connecting with like minded people. And quite frankly, for the exchange, yes, the feedback, the opinion of others on my food, my photos, my words. THose blogs that do not allow for comments, honestly, I can't understand what their purpose is. It's not my purpose at all when it comes to blogging.
I'm aware that after all is said and done, I'm still very priviledged for being able to do what I'm passionate about. I have it far easier than so many people out there struggling, and because I've been there, I know how very precious it is that I can do what I do, now. Maybe this is the price to pay for all this freedom: complete and utter isolation. In the end, maybe it's not that high a price to pay for the peace of mind and pleasure I derive out of my days. I get to have cake, don't I? In the prior anniversaries of this blog, there was cake too. And funny as it is, both cakes featured chocolate! For the first anniversary I featured my husband's delicious marble cake in a very simple setting, but focused on the same dark mood photography that still fascinates me. It's the goth vampire in me that draws me intinitely to these colours, this light, these sets. this styling. For the second anniversary, it was even darker, the mood of the photos. A yogurt and cocoa cake took center stage, and to this day these are still some of my best photos ever, and my favourites as well.
For this post, the mood is still the same, sombre and darkened, rustic, yet with a touch of old times. I chose a cake that featured vanilla, so I could present it for Marta's February table, since the ingredient she chose for this month is vanilla. Boy, do I love vanilla, I use it in so many things, even tea blends! And, coincidentally, this one is also a yogurt cake just like the previous year's one! With chocolate and cocoa, but featuring the addition of black sesame seeds, which I love so much. It's a cake that will leave you satisfied and that you can't stop digging into. It's a cake that has made me want to pst again, after a whole week of not even bothering with shooting new sets. I still have no idea how I feel about this, about going on with this. There's a lot of photos on a folder in my desktop waiting for me to edit them. There's good food in there, and in my not so humble opinion, good photos as well. But what's the point, in the end? Why waste my time?
Because it takes time, to blog. It's an investment you make, you invest yourself and your time into it. Time that could be used for other things, so and despite what anyone else might say, feedback is not only wanted, it's necessary, to make you think it's worth keeping up the blog, it's worth investing yourself and your time into it. My time lately has been invested in my writing, very much so. The third and final book of my vampire trilogy has been very hard work. There's a lot of research involved. The whole series has a lot of research involved, though it may not even show when you read the books. There was research done on the fifteenth century in Scotland, the seventeenth century in England, a bit of the eighteenth in the U.S. for Unnatural. And even more research took my time for the second book, which will be published later this year. I even managed to loose all my notes on the West Indies, the plantation life, Louisiana voodoo and New Orleans during LaLaurie's reign of terror. It was not fun, as it took hours to do that kind of research. And now I need to research stuff like ladies' undergarments in the fourteenth century, the make up used then, and a lot about modern day New Orleans, things like how much time it takes to go from this road to that other one, places of interest, small stuff that may not even be featured in the book but serve to set ambiance in my mind.
All that takes time, and effort. Just like blogging does. And when the two of them colide, I'm left not really sure of what I should do. It's not like my books are selling like hot cakes, far from it. But right now, this business of writing novels and self publishing them is really a dream come true. One I feel I must pursue, no matter how silly the stories may be - I'm not putting myself down, make no mistakes, I am qute aware that my novels are not ground breaking, for lord's sake! Nor is the writing particularly amazing, I am above all else aware of my limitations and a realist when it comes to my talents and my assets. But they're my novels, and I love them and am proud of them. I also know that somewhere out there there'll be a couple of people who will be moved by those books, by the storyline, by the writing. And that's ok. And that's something to strive for, it's a ray of hope at the end of the bottomless tunnel. This blog, on the other hand, is three years old and it has only been coming down hill. There were lots of visits and lots of comments, now there's nothing. And no hope for it. Only a sense of emptiness when I look at it, despite all the heart I pour into it and all the loving, hard work. But because I've been doing this for three years, and in spite of everything else, I couldn't let this date go by unmarked.
So here it is, a cake that mixes yogurt, roast sesame seeds, sesame oil, vanilla beans and homemade chocolate spread. For Marta's table, as well as mine, for a celebration on what I have done here so far, even if this one is only for me.
- two pots of plain yogurt
- 1/2 a pot of vegetable oil - the last finger make it sesame oil, exclude if you have none
- 1 tbsp roasted black sesame seeds
- 1 vanilla pod, scraped
- 2 1/2 pots of sugar
- 4 pots flour - I used half normal flour and half spelt flour
- 2 tbsp homemade chocolate spread
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs