I never wanted to be a blogger
I’ve done a bit of soul searching about the blog recently. I thought it was high time I tried to arrive at a real answer around why I am doing it (I know…heavy, right?! Just this once, I promise).
I didn’t want to be a food blogger. I felt it was completely unnecessary – there already are plenty of food blogs out there..and some pretty darn good ones to put it mildly. And I’m not a writer. Writing doesn’t come easily to me and I don’t think it ever will. And sometimes, when I have picked one too many muffin remnants out of the bookshelf/underwear drawer/couch/bed, I don’t even feel like cooking.
So why am I here sitting in front of the computer writing this post? Well I’ll come clean, I did this for myself. I wanted to take photos of food and make up recipes and share all of this with the cooking, health seeking, parenting cosmos. I’m sure a lot of people who set up a site such as this one do it in part for themselves – whether that be as a creative outlet or a way to promote a business or a million other reasons really. And after several months of this pursuit, of ups and downs, of epically crappy photos, of forcing inedible sugar-free muffins and other random culinary fails on my family, of being totally pumped when each new person signs up to receive emails and totally devastated when someone unfollows me on Twitter my soul searching has led to this realisation (not a profound one, but a realisation nonetheless). I AM another food blogger. And what’s more, I love it! And it’s the busting-out-photographs-and-a-post-after-cleaning-out-the-tenth-muffin-in-the-couch moments that I enjoy the most.
Rub a Dub Dub has become so much more for me now and I’m sure that’s what keeps most bloggers going. I have already been in contact with some astoundingly generous people who have helped focus my techniques, my approach and my goals (with a very special mention to Kristine from Thank Heavens – The Gluten Free Lifesaver…what a legend!). And since beginning this blog I have cooked more creatively, taken more risks, been featured in The Post Social (yay! Thanks guys!), been forced to be open to criticism (eek!) and to embrace and learn from disappointment. All in a few short months.
Once I had accepted who I was with the blog and why I was doing it, I realised that so much about food and eating is about trust. You trust your favourite cookbook or restaurant, you trust the meals served up by loved ones to nourish and sustain you. My daughter is learning to trust Dario and I to put food in front of her that she’ll like (I repeat, learning). And so I feel I must extend the opportunity to you, the readers, to trust me too. And so much about trust is about knowing something about the perspectives of the person you are dealing with.
Initially I had deliberately left my About page quite sparse as I wanted to generate interest in the food and the photos rather than my story (not that it’s a particularly interesting one!). Similarly I had also committed to having rather small posts…light on words and heavy on food and photos (I’ve blown that one out of the water with this post haven’t I!). So in keeping with this approach but for anyone who wants to know a little more about me and how Rub a Dub Dub began (instead of adding more to the body of this post), I have included a little post script at the end of this recipe. And don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to me too!
So there it is…to celebrate my blogmancipation here is a salad. Thanks for reading, following, liking, sharing and commenting. It genuinely makes my day!
Roasted Carrot and Pomegranate Salad with Honey Cumin Dressing
Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 bunches of small dutch carrots
2 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups parsley, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 zucchini, shaved into ribbons
120gm goats cheese
Seeds from 2 pomegranates
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp raw honey
5 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Trim carrots and place in a bowl with the olive oil, cumin and fennel seeds. Mix until the carrots are coated and spread over a baking tray. Roast for 35-45 minutes or until just tender. Remove and leave to cool while preparing the salad.
In a large bowl combine spinach leaves, parsley, cucumber, red onion, pomegranate seeds and zucchini. Slice each carrot in half lengthways and combine with the salad mix.
To make the dressing, combine the vinegar, mustard, cumin and honey well in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil slowly until well combined. Add seasoning to taste. Serve the salad dressed, with the carrots slightly warm still and a round or two of goat’s cheese on top.
Post Script. Hi! I’m Zoe. I find it difficult to describe myself but I do have some strong feelings and philosophies about life that I hope I adhere to. Here is the simplified version that particularly relates to the creation of Rub a Dub Dub.
A defining factor in my life is my approach to healthy living (or at least the pursuit of it). For me, well being is determined by diet, physical and mental fitness, being kind to our planet and each other, as well as the pursuit of faith and spirituality. I aim to eat a healthy vegetarian diet (low in processing, seasonally produced wholefoods) and have been a vegetarian for about 7 years. I am not gluten intolerant (thank goodness because I have an unhealthy love of bread) and I don’t necessarily have an aversion to cooking with gluten although I think diversity is important. Together, Dario and I have made the decision to raise Raff a vegetarian too – why? Well maybe that’s for another post.
Nutrition, fitness and health occupy an absurd amount of my headspace – I don’t really know why, it just always has. I strongly believe that we have an obligation to educate our children about healthy living and provide them with food that is as close to how it is in nature as possible without compromising the enjoyment that we human beings get out of eating. As this has become a real passion for me I am about to embark on a nutritional medicine course (I currently have undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in International Development) so watch this space I suppose!
I take all the photos on the blog myself. I’m using the blog as both a creative outlet and a ‘test kitchen’ (pardon the pun) to develop my photography skills. I want to get much better. In fact I must confess, I want to get really, really good at it. I would be stoked if I could get even half as good as this.
And finally…I don’t know where any of this will take me but I’m going to keep at it for now.