When I started this blog (five years ago next month), I was filled with all sorts of hope and promise. I wanted to show people that cooking didn’t have to be intimidating, that it doesn’t have to be hard. Then the blog took off; traffic increased, it got all sorts of attention, and with it, my excitement grew. People were commenting, asking questions, getting involved, and I felt like I was making a difference. It was exhilarating and exciting and most of all, motivating.
Then, about two years ago, people stopped commenting. I wondered, “Is it me? What am I doing wrong?”
Around the same time, I started seeing the same reaction from other bloggers. Call it the Facebook Effect, or Silent Blog Syndrome, but whatever it is, it’s pretty well documented that people have stopped commenting on blogs, and many have just stopped reading blogs all together. And if they do, they may just “like” the post on Facebook instead of commenting on the blog post itself.
Why does this matter, you ask? It matters because comments are the only form of currency I have. I don’t make any money from this blog; I don’t do sponsored posts (and for that, I hope you are thankful) and the ads and Amazon affiliate links I do have, net me coffee money and that’s about it (they certainly doesn’t cover the cost). So where’s the motivation to continue if no one is reading? I kept at it, but I could feel my will slipping with every new post I’d labored over but no one seemed to read.
What happened next is that nasty bitch Apathy reared her ugly head and whispered in my ear, “Why bother? Nobody cares…” and with that, I stopped posting for a while.
I thought long and hard about giving up blogging all together, but I don’t need to do that, I just needed to give it a rest. Since no one is paying me to do this, in virtual hugs or in actual dollars, I can simply take my time and do it when I want, right? If people like it, and learn from it, great. If not, then I’ve got a nifty little virtual cookbook here with some pretty pictures to share with family and friends.
Oh, and Apathy, you can just STFU.
Because I can’t leave you without a recipe, I give you this versatile salad; serve it warm in the winter, room temperature at a garden party in spring, or chilled in the summer. It travels well and holds up to being made in advance. Enjoy!
Oh, and if you like the dish, or struggle with apathy yourself, let me know.
6ouncesbaby carrotsor large carrots peeled and cut
6ouncesbaby bell peppersor cut assorted yellow, red, and orange bell pepper
1/2teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
For the dressing:
¼cupextra virgin olive oil
2tablespoonswhite wine vinegar
1tablespoonchopped fresh thyme
1/2teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant into 1 inch wide strips and then cut into 2 inch long pieces.
Cut the fennel bulb in half and remove the core. Slice into ½ inch wide strips. Cut the red onion into ½ inch wide strips.
Cut the baby bell peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds and then cut the pieces in half lengthwise. If using full sized bell peppers, cut them into 1 inch by 2 inch pieces.
Place the zucchini, squash, and eggplant in a large bowl and toss with half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan.
Toss the carrots, onion, fennel and bell peppers with the other half of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan.
Put both pans in the oven and roast until then begin to soften and brown. After about 15 minutes, check and stir up the items on each pan.
The carrots, onion, fennel and pepper should take about 30 minutes to brown and the squash and eggplant will take about 35-40 minutes.
When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 15 minutes and then combine all the roasted vegetables in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Whisk in the fresh thyme. Pour the vinaigrette over the roasted vegetables and gently toss with a large spoon so all vegetables are coated.
The salad can be served immediately or within two hours at room temperature or can be chilled and served later. The vegetables do improve in flavor if allowed to marinate in the dressing for a few hours.