Hello Friends! Today may be Freaky Friday, but for me it’s Freaking Awesome Friday. Remember when I mentioned that I’d been offered an opportunity to write a story about DC restaurants (Spinach and Beet Salad with Goat Cheese – And Elizabeth Gets Her First Byline!)? Well, today’s the day that it was finally published!!! I had to stay mum here about what I covered and where I ate, lest I scoop myself, but now I have some free reign to chat about the piece and the experience. Check out POLITICO for the full story.
I am floored to have had the opportunity to write such a lengthy piece for a publication like POLITICO. For the past year and a half I have been a spectator in an exceptionally interesting newsroom full of fascinating people, talented writers and journalists, and hard-working media bookers, producers, and editors. Never would I have guessed that while working here I would work up the gumption to self-publish a blog, let alone be offered a chance to write about food (and not just politics) for a beautiful glossy issue. The last year of my life has certainly been one of the best and, for the moment, this is the icing on the cake.
For several years now I have been working hard at various jobs here in DC, all the while wondering what I was really working toward. I’d had a string of very interesting opportunities, but I wasn’t sure that any of them led me on a particular path or trajectory. I just didn’t have a dream. What I did have was a huge stack of food magazines that I was not willing to throw out without cataloging all of the dishes in them that I wanted to cook, a collection of family and other recipes that I’d been working on a tweaking since I was a senior in high school, and some decent pots and pans which turned out food for friends and family who came to visit.
When I lost my job last January (we’ll just call me a “casualty” of the 2010 election cycle), I was confronted with the task of finding a new job – and this time hopefully it would be one that I really wanted. When I landed at temp gig at what the agency described as a “small media and PR firm in Rosslyn” a few months later, it never occurred to me that it could be the incubator and launching pad for what would become my real dream. Then, back in April, I went for drinks with Olivia, a colleague and friend. We got to talking about food, wine, and what we really wanted to do with our lives. She saw my passion for cooking and straight-up asked me why I didn’t have a blog. She was incredulous. And then she concocted a whole plan, right there at the bar, to launch my food writing career. Oh – and she named the blog too. Suddenly I was empowered to do something that I’d always thought might be a wasted effort. But I went into it with the belief that even if nothing ever came of it that I would still be glad I did it. Cooking and then writing about food quickly became my escape from the trials of life, a creative outlet that allowed me to dream beyond my cubicle. And it was while I sat in that very cubicle on a normal Wednesday morning, that Anne Cronin, a Deputy Managing Editor, approached me to write this piece.
What can I say? You never know what great things a small decision can bring. This morning Anne told me that, “this is how a tiny acorn grows into a tall oak.” Man, I hope she’s right!