Thursday, October 18, 2012

Notes from the Field: An anniversary.


Four years ago, I started a blog. 

I'm not quite sure what drove me to this madness. Perhaps it was because I was twenty-three, over the top and running with a pack of international Philadelphia foodies that were 8-15 years older than myself. Or maybe it was because I needed a place to diary my travels as a young anthropology major working in the insurance industry and trying to make sense of it all. Journals were never my strong suit, so maybe this could work. Regardless of the reason, "The Cupcaketologist" came to existence in October of 2008. 

It started fast, and I had plenty of tasters. My first posts were lofty. I baked chocolate salted caramel cupcakes, inspired by some odd Marcello Mastroianni dreams. My chef friend approved, but advised that next time I should use Maldon

Next came one of my signature and most beloved cupcakes ever made: honey and fig cake topped with goat cheese buttercream and a carmelized fig.  

Now I had everyone's attention. I even created a logo (by hand,using old recipe books that I folded, glued, scanned, and inserted into the blog).

I did bacon before bacon was cool.

I concocted disastrous malted egg cupcakes after a rough day of work and made the epitome of my confectionary dreams come true: the foie gras cupcakes that had me dancing around my kitchen like a fool.


I featured pets.

I chronicled my travel diaries through cupcakes. From Newport to Austria, England, France and to Italy more than anyone could even count.

I baked my way through birthdays, breakups, and more than one career change.

I made a lot of cupcakes inspired by New York. From Woody Allen's New York...

To the architecture of New York (I was reaching here)...

To a recent spin around Central Park in the fall.

My cupcakes won awards, raised money, and were commissioned for parties, companies and gifts. 

It's funny to think of blogging today and what it was back then. Now people do it for money. They do it for fame. They publish books from their blogs and they travel around the world as marketers for brands. 

I'm not sure that this will ever be like that for me. My blog has introduced me to a lifetime of experiences, and I think those are things more valuable than anything easy to spend. It's opened doors to friends, to conversations and to a whole side of myself that sees baking as a therapy, a passion and an art. A side that bakes to soothe, to make sense of my crazy imagination, to feed my friends and to translate experiences from my past and present into something tangible and good. I also did it for the writing.

This blog has followed me from a tiny Naudain Street galley to my Wall St. apartment with a dishwasher (!!). From kitchens in France and the South Coast of England to nearly every Philadelphia oven I could find. These are the moments, the times and the places that in some wild, whimsical and very strange ways have helped define life in my 20s.

Thank you for being part of my journey so far. 

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