It's hard for me to accept compliments. Partly because I sometimes don't see myself the way others do, but also because I want to appear humble and modest (doesn't everybody?) But earlier this month, when Blogher.com food section editor, Genie Gratto, selected my caramelized onion dip recipe as a feature member post in their "Celebrating Vegetarian Month" series, I was stunned. The sight of her name in my email inbox caused the whole lot of butterflies to take off in my stomach. And when she featured my S'mores recipe this past Tuesday, I felt this was the ultimate compliment of compliments.
My blogging was accidental (if you can believe that) because I never considered myself a writer. My sister was the English major, the lawyer, the one my parents rely on to write letters and documents. I was the biochemistry major, the pharmacist, the one that gets asked about flu shots and Medicare. But as the researching, experimenting and baking began, I found I wanted to document my creations and Vegan Off the Leash was unleashed. Pun intended. :)
I had no notions of being the next "Julie/Julia", after all, it was entirely possible that I would be the only one reading my blog (or perhaps I could coerce a few friends.) But seeing my recipes featured on Blogher.com, having over 1300 reads for my onion dip recipe, having followers that aren't just my friends, I realized that I was making an impact! My message that veganism doesn't equal deprivation, that veganism can mean indulgence, that veganism can mean ooey, gooey, carb-busting, waistline-expanding goodness was getting out there! It warms my heart to introduce my favorite restaurants to newbies and hear them say, "Wow! I would've never guessed!" (The fakin' bacon Oklahoma cheeseburger from Native Foods does it every time!) I feel a great sense of pride when my friend Crystal proclaimed she wanted to try Meatless Mondays and asked for help finding vegan snack foods. I feel honored to impart what I have learned from all the vegans before me as well as some new tricks up my sleeve.
So while my Asian modesty wants to say, "Oh, the dip was probably too salty," my Vegan pride is shouting, "THANK YOU SO MUCH!"
P.S. Thank you to all my guinea pigs (aka friends and co-workers) for taste-testing week after week. I don't want you to think it's a thankless job.