I’m writing this post for the party:
at the blog the Cottage Market. Considering that this is a mewling newborn of a blog, it’s probably not a bad idea. Every blog grows and evolves over time, and I don’t think I can accurately predict where this one will go, but I think it’s a really good idea to have some kind of plan – which, I’ll be honest, I didn’t have when I started it just a few weeks ago. So here are five directions I want to take this blog, eventually.
1. I want to be particular about the recipes I post. Most of my posts are probably going to be recipes – because I love to cook so much and I enjoy other cooking blogs so much – but that’s not the whole story and that’s why I will post about other things as well. It’s important to me that the recipes I post are accessible to those living on extraordinarly limited resources. They should be healthy, based on natural ingredients, and of course delicious. I don’t want it to be a ‘cooking experiment’ blog where I post everything I make, even if it didn’t turn out quite right. I want you to love the recipes if you try them. And I want to become a better cook and baker as a result of this blog.
2. I want to share with the English-speaking world the experience of living in a foreign country with a foreign husband in a foreign language, which is not an obvious thing. Sometimes, when trying to describe life here, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “let me explain to you what it’s like here, for most people” because that’s a sort of foundation or starting point for you to understand where I’m coming from – but I’d like to go a step beyond that, to “let me share with you what it’s like for me to be here.” So far, I haven’t done this – I’ve held myself somewhat out of the picture in order to show Greece as it is. So I want to address my own experiences more.
3. I want to provide a non-stereotyping, non-generalizing, non-overblowing, non-sensationalizing picture of the Greek economic crisis from the inside. I want to limit my “bias” to my own experience, my own feelings. I have no political agenda, and no monetary investment. I want to speak only for myself and my husband, whom I feel closer to me than I am to myself. That’s why you’ll often read me saying “I have personally experienced x” – because I feel very strongly that that’s all I can talk about. I don’t have the right to speak for anyone else. It’s important to me to retain this.
4. I want to be hopeful and to keep things light. Admittedly, things are terrible here in many ways. “Dire” is not too strong a word. But I love this country, I have a deep respect and love for the Greek people who have always faced hardships with dignity and strength, and I have never been happier than in the two years I’ve lived here. We have a lot of reasons to feel hope. No matter how bad things get, we will help each other make it through. So I do not want this blog to turn into a place for me to whine and complain about how bad things are.
5. I want to improve my home and my surroundings through blogging about it. My decorating budget is zero, so that means creativity and repurposing. I can’t “compete” with blogs that show their $40,000 kitchen makeover. I’m not going to try. I do however want to show you how I’m improving the functionality and beauty of our home without spending money to do so.
Most blogs have a very specific focus: “baking recipes,” or “the Greece debt crisis,” or “frugal crafting.” I considered for a long time before starting this blog if I wanted to do that. I even considered starting three separate blogs, but I quickly realized that wasn’t going to work for me. I know that that may mean some of my readers are bored by some or many of my posts – the economists will be bored by the recipes, the cooks will be bored by the financial stuff. But the fact is that these things are intertwined. I’m cooking frugally because we can’t afford to eat out or to buy meat. I’m doing crafts because I can’t go to the store to buy something for the house. So how can I separate these things out?
I am conscious that I may be boring my readers with these ‘off-topic’ posts – but I hope that you will bear with me. I’m not trying to drive anyone away – in fact, I’d love it if you’d share my blog with your friends – but I understand that there are plenty of cooks out there who just simply aren’t interested in reading about the Greek economic crisis, and that’s totally understandable. On the other hand, maybe the economists and philhellenes will be inspired to cook, and the cooks will learn about what is happening in another corner of the world.