There's a scene in the fourth season of Mad Men where Sterling Cooper Draper Price just lost its biggest client and the agency is floundering, so Peggy marches into Don's office and gives him a pep talk. She tells him to change the name of the agency, just like they would if a product wasn't selling. Change the brand. Start fresh.
Earlier this year I wrote about change and the urge I was feeling to reconnect with some books I hadn't visited in a long time. When I look back on the almost four years I've written Cooking After Five, I realize it's made me into a home cook. Though I was full of enthusiasm, I knew far less about cooking when I began and made plenty of mistakes (like over-reducing balsamic vinegar and nearly burning down my kitchen making mozzarella sticks). Cooking After Five also helped me find my voice, which is why I believe I'm ready to move forward with a new project. The time is right, I can feel it.
I've decided to channel my voice into a new forum by turning Eat This Poem, the series I recently started here, into its own blog. For this reason, I hope that for most of you, this is not goodbye. I'm still blogging, cooking and welcoming you to join me in my little corner of the web. I just changed the name, changed the brand. There's a whole world of literature out there dedicated to food, hunger and the idea of nourishing our bodies and minds. It's just waiting to be adapted to our kitchen! I'll read poetry (and a little prose, too) and create recipes inspired by it.
The very cool design blog conference Alt Summit took place recently, and as I followed along with its hashtag, a tweet caught my eye:
@apartment_34 Erin Hiemstra
You've got to stay true to your passion but also your content. You can't blog about everything Curation is key. #AltSummit
This articulates one of the reasons why I'm transitioning into a blog format that I believe will allow me to do just that. As much as I want to tell you about the perfect black bean chili to make for Super Bowl Sunday, there are about 500 other bloggers telling you something similar. I want to share content with you that is new, refreshing and as inspirational as it is edible. While I realize the combination of literature and food is not for everyone, I hope that many of you will continue supporting me as you have over the past few years. I really, really appreciate it.
For the time being, Cooking After Five will still be here. I may write a post or two, just to ease myself into the transition, so the blog will still be here for a good long while if you need it.
For those of you who follow me on Twitter, I'll also be changing my handle to better consolidate my "personal brand" online. But it's still me, I can assure you of that.