It’s not news around these parts that I listen to podcasts. Most of them related to Gilmore Girls or true crime.
However, sometimes I listen to ones that are as inspiring and they are humorous, as insightful as they are heinous. One such podcast was Off Camera with Sam Jones, the episode featured Jason Isbell. I listened to it months ago – in early spring – walking Edgar along the damp sidewalk in the morning mist.
There’s a lot about that podcast I remember, that struck me, stuck with me. Where the name of his band, “The 400 Unit” came from, what his childhood was like, the lovely lilt of his voice. But, what hit me hardest, what I still think about on a weekly, if not daily, basis, is a phone call between Jason and his mother.
He was calling home to check in with his family, check up on his little brother. His mom said, “He thinks he wants to be a baseball player.”
“Well, is he in the yard with a ball in his hand?” Jason asked.
“No, he’s not.”
“Then he’s not going to be a baseball player.”
He’s right. If you really want something – you go for it, work for it, doggedly, tirelessly. If you want to play baseball – you do. Before school, during lunch, after dinner. If you want to be a musician – you are. Playing every gig, any gig.
And if you’re a writer, you write. As soon as you wake up, before you go to bed, on every slip and scrap of paper.
I’m no baseball player. I’m no musician. I don’t feel like a writer. I want to be. Maybe? I want to develop recipes and write about people, their passions, their food.
But not this way. Not half-assedly.
Right now, I have one foot in bartending (which is paying my bills and keeping me afloat) and one foot in this space (trying desperately to connect to this void I feel I’m screaming into). I’ve got backlogs of recipes, edited photos banked. But, I don’t feel anything about those foods, those photos. I don’t like how they turned out – in picture or in print. I guess I don’t feel like a writer because I refuse to fill these pages with empty words or subpar products, with no real meaning or connection. There’s only so many times I can say “OMG. You Guys. This is delicious!” It’s not sustainable, not really suitable for me at this point in my life. I’m figuring out what is. Slowly but surely. Gathering my thoughts and my fears and my hopes and my dreams. Formulating a plan that fills me with purpose, drive. That is in pursuit of my passions.
That means a lot of work is ahead of me – a lot of time will be used. And not necessarily for this space. It may be a bit quieter around here heading into the end of the year, but my plan is for it to be purposeful (unlike the other times I’ve gone radio silent). Meaningful. Careful. Quality over quantity is the name of the game (so is surviving).
Until then, there’s waffles. There will always be waffles.
Pumpkin Sourdough Waffles
2 cups AP flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unfed sourdough starter
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, spices, and salt; set aside. In a large measuring cup whisk together oil, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and starter until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
Allow batter to rest while waffle iron preheats.
Spray iron with baking spray and fill with proper amount of batter for the size of your iron.
Serve immediately with whipped cream cheese and granola or warm butter and syrup. Alternatively, freeze any leftovers to pop in the toaster on busy mornings.