Saturday, September 4, 2010

A year ago, blogging woes, and getting over it ...

Last summer, something very special happened. Ok .. not so special, but something very relevant to "Leslie Caradmom" happened. I was sitting at home, bored and surfing the internet. I was looking for a project to do, something to make to while away the long dusty hours in late July. I stumbled across this post about buttermilk cherry sherbet at this blog: Everybody Likes Sandwiches. I thought to myself as I read the post: wow .. I never thought making anything ice cream-like would sound so easy. I was intrigued, and glued to that website for about an hour, looking through previous posts, drooling over the gorgeous photos and pretending that I had my own kitchen so that I could re-create some of the healthy and delicious looking recipes.

Then I remembered something: I had bought a whole bag of cherries and they were sitting inside my partner's fridge in his apartment. OMG, I was going to make ice cream. An hour later, I was staring at a beautiful, deep magenta pool of deliciousness. It was the most delicious ice cream I had ever tasted and I didn't even need all those calories from from heavy cream, OR an ice cream maker. I was totally hooked, and I went on to make another sherbet with lemons and limes, and yet another one with peaches and strawberries. Kickpleat's blog not only inspired me to cook, but also to write. I remembered making her carrot spice loaf but not having any eggs. Instead, I used a vegan trick I had learned in university: a handful of oatmeal, a teaspoon of cornstarch and a squeeze of lemon. The loaf turned out so perfectly that I wanted to take a picture of it and write about it.

Fast forward to March break of 2010 when I made my very first post. I was hesitant because I didn't want to be judged or made of fun of, so picked a handle, stayed fairly anonymous and wrote and cooked my way through to the summer. This summer, I tried a recipe that I've wanted to try since I read the post: tomato and corn biscuit pie. It's everything brunch should be: tangy, filling, hearty and healthy. I never thought I'd ever make any sort of pie, but there I was, rolling our biscuit dough and decobbing corn and zesting lemon. I made on a Saturday morning when I was having my best friend over for brunch, and it was definitely a hit. I followed it with this delicious, thick, creamy orange yogurt served on top of citrus fruits and the first cherries of the season.

It was like a milestone. I left so free to cook and write .. I hadn't written anything in ages, and hadn't shown my writing to anyone since university. I loved the privacy of anonymity; it gave me the freedom I needed to just relax and share my ideas with whoever was reading, without people around me knowing what I was doing. Apart from a few people, I told no one that I had started a blog. I wanted it to be a different part of my life, a little secret that I only shared with a few others. I loved that people actually read my writing, and was thrilled when other bloggers started commenting. It was free from the judgments and mockery of daily life.

Mais, récemment, j’ai perdu cette intimité. C’était comme une sévère invasion dans ma vie privée, comme j’étais exposée, forcée de partager une partie de ma vie que j’ai essayé si fort à tenir et cacher. J’ai pensé quitter à blogger, mais enfin je continue et j’en suis bien contente. Je continue à cuisiner et écrire, et partager mes histoires avec ceux qui veulent prendre le temps de le lire; c’est en fait ce que j’ai admiré de plus chez les autres blogs que je lis : le fait qu’il y a des personnes ordinaires qui tiennent le courage d’expérimenter et de partager leurs résultats, qu’ils soient des succès ou des échecs, avec le monde. Peut-être pour moi, c’est comme un petit signal inconscient: je dois écrire en français plus souvent pour maintenir de temps en temps la liberté et l’intimité dont j’ai désespérément envie. Alors, c’est un assez longue poste, mais ça me fait du bien: merci pour votre patience. Je vous laisse avec une petite recette pour la crème glacée – modifiée bien sur de ce poste original de kickpleat. J’ai utilisé des mûres au lieu des cerises, et j’ai ajouté le jus de lime et de citron. C’est bien rafraichissant, pas très sucrée, bien acidulée et parfaite pour savourer quand le monde vous fait du mal. Essayez-la, je vous en prie. Ça vaut la peine.

Blackberry Yogurt Ice Cream
adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

1 cup of blackberries
3 tablespoons of water
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of sugar

juice and zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime
1 tablespoon of creme de cassis or a liquor of your choice
1/2 cup of skim milk yogurt

1. Put the blackberries, citrus zest, water and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small pot. Bring to boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the berries have broken down and the liquid has reduced and become slightly syrupy.

2. Let the mixture cool a bit. Add the rest of the sugar and let it cool completely. Add the citrus juice, alcohol and yogurt stir until combined.

3. Pour into the glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put it in the freezer and whisk the mixture every 30-40 minutes until the mixture has set (about 4 hours). Remove and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

***I found that no matter what I did, the mixture still froze solid come morning time. Oh well. It takes about 15 minutes at room temperature to become scoopable. Worth the wait, I would say!


  1. I feel such a kinship wiht what you said; I too entered the portal of foodblogging via Everbody Likes Sandwiches, and felt the same sense of accomplishment when I started my own blog.

    You also reminded me that I need to re-learn French, because I don't really know what you said in the last paragraph and I'm fretting that you're not going to write anymore!

    Anyways, I hope that isn't the case and I hope you keep doing what you're doing, because I, for one, love reading it!

  2. I wanna try that vegan trick! I love "Everybody Likes Sandwhiches," great food blog. Everything you made looks delicious dear :]

  3. awww, thanks Monika. i'm not quitting -- just venting! it's nice to know someone's listening .. or reading in this case. :)

    thanks, Jada! Yes, you should definitely try the vegan trick -- it worked really really well with the carrot cake and i've tried it with banana bread too!

  4. je suis trés hereuese que tu vas continuer a faire blog.... et écrirer en Francais! Ton écrits m'inspirent à réfléchir et à apprécier les petites moments de la vie. Comme le brunch. Je suis inspiré de faire des recettes que semblent difficile. merci, Leslie! xoxo :)

  5. Merci beaucoup Mia! C’est vraiment touchant. On va avoir des aventures culinaires ensemble!!

  6. Yes, that's why blogging is so great - writing anonymously and for yourself is a wonderful thing. Thank you, I'm glad that my blog can share in the tiniest part of your words.