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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 1: October Tricks & Treats: 5-Year Bloggiversary

Bonjour tout le monde et bienvenue. Hello everyone and welcome!

(Fun story about these lines: back in 10th grade, my French class performed some puppet show as part of our performance grade. I opened the show with that line – the French followed immediately with the English translation. Though I don’t know what came next, that part lives permanently in my memory. I often say it just because.)

Can you believe it’s October again already? Where does the time go? 

In browsing my archives, I was shocked to discover this year will be the 7th time I’ve done up fall to the max, and the 5th year I’ve featured it on my blog. That’s quite a lot of tricks and treats. 

(If you’re new here and want to read about how this all came about and has evolved over the years, I invite you to head on over hereherehere, and here.)

What to expect:
·      Daily posts featuring either a foodstuff or, occasionally, a fall-type activity.
·      Recipes either typed out on my post or linked in the post to the original source material. No matter which, source always credited! 
·      Pictures of my process along with my personal tips (things I learned along the way– sometimes the hard way…) 
·      Sometimes a personal anecdote or story to go along with the post – including random references to (mostly 80s/90s) pop-culture and/or childhood memories (see this post’s first line and subsequent explanation…) – and sometimes just the post. 
·      An assortment of food types. 
o   Although sweets are definitely my favorite thing to make and serve, I’ve found it is not practical to have SO MANY sweets around at the same time. Plus, one cannot exist on sweets alone. Over the past couple years, I’ve tried to select more non-sweet options. This year, you’ll see an uptick of non-dessert items. I’m going to feature a few lunchbox options, grab-and-go snack foods, and dinner selections. Many are not Halloween-oriented (though some will be ghoulish!), but are more “fall” inspired. Things like soups or heartier meals or those made with seasonal produce or things like that. 

One final note about this year’s blog-a-thon: this year, I’m not posting things on the day I make them. For readers, this won’t make a bit of difference. These posts are always waiting for you whenever you’re in the mood or looking for new ideas, whether I made it that day or not. 

In that case, maybe you’re wondering why I even mentioned it. The answer is: transparency. There’s something weird about the curated online lifestyle we see so often when we log on. It often seems idealized or flawless. 

But life? Soooo flawed. 

I picture someone at home looking at this 31 day blog blitz thinking, “This woman can’t possibly be doing this every day in October, can she? Where does she find the time?” 

So I wanted to just come out and tell you where I found some of the time this year: September. 

Until last year, I very often did make the things I was featuring that day ON the day I posted them. The first few years it was no big deal because I was home with the girls (who were younger) and our schedule was less regimented. Plus, the types of activities and recipes we did were simpler and we did them together. Over time, that changed. Their schedules got busier and my cooking and baking repertoire grew. Now, I do most of the cooking stuff myself and present the finished products to my family. Two years ago, blogging the month of October was like a full-time job. I’d wake up, make and photograph a recipe, write the post, and upload the photos each day. By November I was spent! Last year, in an effort to work smarter, I started planning in advance the recipes or activities I wanted to do, and sometimes I’d pack more than one into a single day in order to have a couple extras ready to post. 

This year I took that a step further. Honestly, life the past few months has been hectic and stressful. Unexpected things arose and I even considered not blogging this October. But it’s the 5th year! I couldn’t quit ahead of that milestone! Plus, I enjoy doing it. Moreover, other people seem to like it, too. And there’s so many fun recipes I’ve wanted to try. I wanted to figure out a way to make it work.

So I started early. If supermarkets and coffee shops can roll out pumpkin spice everything in late August, surely I can start cycling in a few weeknight meals with autumnal and Halloween vibes throughout September. All the better to build excitement.

For you, then, it’s 31 consecutive days of tricks and treats. For my family, it was spread out over 61 days. (Which, let’s face it, is probably better for our waistlines anyway.)

Anyway, bottom line: I’m glad to have you here to celebrate this milestone. I hope you enjoy my seasonal selections and feel inspired to try some of these yourself. But if your days are too hectic or busy right now? No worries! These recipes will be waiting for you here any time you’re ready for them. 

May you find some new favorites along the way. 

Happy October!

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