If you want to know the truth, I have had this recipe in my Wordpress drafts for weeks now. Weeks. Every time I would go to post it, just as something quick and easy, I would think, this is too simple, this is nothing special or, I don't know, here we go with kale again, and I would talk myself out of it. I do this kind of thing a lot. Maybe you do, too?
Recently, Gina from Skinny Taste said something to me and Tim that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. She said, you know, when it comes to her blog, she's noticed that it's always been the quick and simple posts, not the elaborate and thorough ones, that have resonated most with readers. She could spend a ton of time crafting something just so, but then it's that fast and easy breakfast she throws together in a rush that people get excited about. And what her anecdote about blogging tells me is this: there is real value in creating, even in creating something simple, especially if it's true.
With blogs, it's not only the award-winning sites that have something to offer; it's the blogs written by people in their pajamas, at late hours of the night, created because those writers are dying to make something, to publish something, to give a voice to all the thoughts in their head; it's the blogs written by people who don't want to forget their recipes, who want them recorded somewhere for their friends and their grandchildren; it's the blogs pursued for no other reason than because they're fun.
I think this applies to more than blogging.
Every now and then, one of you tells me you want to start a food blogor, to write more or, to experiment with flours or, to learn more about whole foodsyet then you wrestle with questions like "What do I have to say?" or "But it won't be as good as X," and I get it because they're the same questions I wrestle with.
So here is what I want to say to you, to say to us: first of all, you should know that there are bloggers (just like there are writers and musicians and chefs and painters) who will tell you not to even try unless you do what they didcommit to posting thrice a week or, really understand recipes or, shoot pictures that are as crisp and glossy as a magazine's. There are bloggers, fellow creators, who will discourage you by giving you their blog stats and telling you about their blog trips and saying how long it's taken them to get to where they are. Try not to listen to them.
When you hear these voices, remind yourself that there is something about the creative process that often makes us hesitate, that makes us question and compare, that makes us think, no one will want to read this kale and eggs post or, I need to tell people how great my work is so that it can feel true. When you sit down with another blogger and hear these things, realize they're wrestling with the same struggle you areand keep creating.
In Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, she says this about the value of making art, be it books or music or a food blog:
I know that life is busy and hard and that there's crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and khaki pants and a haircut. But don't. Please don't. Please keep believing that life can be better, brighter, broader because of the art that you make. Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making your art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable.
There's nothing wrong with taking a real job, any more than there's something wrong with khaki pants, except that sometimes doing the culturally acceptable things are exactly what keeps us from pursuing creativity. The way I see it, just as the world needs more art, the world needs more people who are passionate about making it, and so therefore it needs more food blogs. Not because the writers will become famous authors. Not because they'll get free things or gain acclaim. But because, at the most basic level, there is value in creating, value in putting something together the way our Creator does. And these days, every time I see a new blog, that's what I'm thinking.
Kale and Eggs
For an alternative version of this recipe, use leftover vegetables (think chopped peppers, onions, mushrooms) instead of, or alongside, kale, sauteeing them until soft and then cracking eggs on top. Every time we do this, we wonder why we don't do it more. Also, when I Googled eggs over kale, I found Jacqui's February post, and because she's someone who regularly demonstrates what it means to blog as an art form, I have to send you over there, too.
About a tablespoon of coconut oil
2 large leaves of kale
Crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over moderate heat. Give kale a rough chop and add to oil once it's melted and warm. Add crushed red pepper flakes all over, as well as a good crack of salt and of pepper. Saute until kale is wilted. Crack two eggs right on top of the kale in the pan. Salt and pepper eggs. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. Leave covered for three to five minutes, until eggs are cooked as you like.
Shanna Mallon writes the literary food blog Food Loves Writing, about food and about everything else. She started it back in 2008, on the anniversary of the day her grandma passed away, and since then, it has become a place that’s changed her life, leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim.
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