Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thoughts on Scaling Up

Lately I've been rethinking this blog. I do that about every 6 months. That's because I make a whopping $40/year on this thing, which comes out to about a penny a day or approximately $.015/hour, which means it really needs to be fun and rewarding for me. It usually is, but lately...lately it's been starting to feel more like an whom I'm not quite sure--to that force of the universe that pushes compulsive, goal/duty-driven people like me to keep their habits even if those habits aren't quite leading them to the places they exactly want to go. 

When I started this blog a year and a half ago, it was super fun for me. I didn't care if it was just my mom and sisters and friends viewing it becase I loved the writing, I loved the challenge of eating super cheap, and I loved the recipes/ideas I was posting each day. At that time, I was posting recipes that I'd tried several times and in several ways. These days I feel like I try something once and if it comes out pretty well, I post it. Let's take last Wednesday's Crock Pot Rotisserie chicken for example. The chicken was fine, the breasts were a bit dry, and I didn't much care for the rub. I posted it because I thought the idea was great and that with a few tweaks it would be perfect (and I posted it because I try to post every day and I needed something to post). Yet, I didn't give myself time to try the tweaks out. I had no idea if they would work or taste good. This is one thing I'd like to remedy in this blog. I think one reason the blog has started feeling ho-hum-do-I-have-to-do-this-today is that many of my greatest family recipes have been blogged and I've started blogging more and more recipes that are just circulating online--ones I've tried and liked, but that I haven't taken the time to make my own or to perfect. Thus, blogging starts to have a desperate feel to it. And I don't like it. I also don't like feeling like I "have" to post something even if it's not perfect when I'd rather be in the garden or hanging out with my kids or, heck, taking a nap. If I'm going to post, it has to be worth the exchange. And a dull post like yesterday's Leftover Tuesday just isn't. I've even noticed that posting is taking so much of my free time that I haven't had enough to plan my meals out well (oh, the irony) or work on other writing projects that are meaningful to me.

Consequently, I'll be making some changes to the blog. I'll most likely be posting less often, but in exchange I'll be posting the best of the best--recipes I've tried several times and loved and perfected or recipes that are truly bang-up winners or ideas I really think will benefit the lives of others. If I don't think something is a recipe or method I'll use over and over again, I won't be posting it. So even though you can expect fewer posts, you can expect better ones. You can also expect more ideas for using scraps and leftovers, and other tips for food frugality. I'm planning to keep Leftover Tuesday around, but only insofar as it continues to be fresh and fun and useful, not like, "Oh, yeah, and then I made soup again." I'll also be taking a day each week to call out incredible recipes that I've tried (I try quite a few, so I'm hoping this will be helpful to folks). I won't re-blog them, as I've been doing; I'll just link to them and say why I loved them so very much. In the distant future, once I've made them a jillion times and they've become my own, I may blog them, but only then. At the end of the month, I'll dedicate a post to the recipe I made this month (mine or someone else's) that was the very best recipe of the month. I'm hoping that all these changes will give readers really amazing ideas for food and frugality and not just a bunch of good, but not great, food information. 

In short, the blog will be scaling back, but in doing so I hope that it will also be scaling up. I hope that although it will have fewer posts, those posts will full of ideas and tips that are higher quality than what I've been turning out lately. And I hope it's funnier than it has been lately. And that people will read it and think that they've stumbled upon a Dave Barry post (I have every intention of naming a chicken--when we get them--after Dave Barry.) And I hope it will be more thoughtful that it sometimes is and that people will stumble upon it and think that Wendell Berry finally embraced modern technologies for all the thoughtfullness that's going on (I fully intend to name a chicken after Wendell Berry as well.) And finally--I hope that posts on this blog will be thoroughly successful and go completely viral and make me rich and famous, or at least rich and 10-minute famous. But mostly, mostly, I just hope it's more useful and fun for you and more useful and fun for me. Because that's what it was about in the beginning and that's what I hope it to be about always. 


  1. I feel you, sister, I really do. And I think that fewer, BETTER posts are something we bloggers should embrace more frequently.

    Also: Dave Barry Chicken. Yes, please.

  2. True true. It's tough to find the good stuff when we're all posting whatever so that we can post

  3. I am just glad you havent decided to take it down! If that ever happens you better notify us and give us a few weeks to write down our favs. Right now your blog is about 90% of my bookmarks!

  4. I just came across your blog today, so I won't even know the difference if that helps!



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