There is something about the end of winter that brings out the worst in people.  I don’t know if it is the cold or lack of sunlight.  Maybe it is the fact that you don’t get out to see as many people you would like to because the roads are bad.  It could just be that people are tired of plans being cancelled due to the many colds and flu.  Who knows?!!

It is this time of year that is the hardest to blog.  It is really easy to go to the “dark” side and be mean.  I see actions every day that I could mock or challenge.  For some reason, it sometimes easier to see the negative side of things than the positive.  The thing is…I don’t ever want to go down that slippery slope and use my blog as a forum of hate.

I had an incident with a person about a food event recently.  What it came down to is that it was an event I really knew my readers would find fascinating but the organizer did not think I “qualified” as a blogger.

I was curious if this annual event was held in the summer, if this person would have a different opinion.  Maybe it is just the winter blahs and the things I was told probably would have never been said if the sun was hitting their face and a warm breeze whisked over their skin.

I really took it personally because I have been diligent about writing blogs weekly if not more.  I have never claimed to be more than a “small town” blogger who is trying to learn about every aspect of the food world given the limitations of who I am and where I live.

I will be the first to admit if you are looking for someone who has thousands of followers on social media, I’m probably not the fit for you.  I will also be the first to push when I think there is something of value to share with the folks who take the time to read each week.

I felt like I needed to defend myself and the people who have followed me for the past 7+ years.  I felt like I was being told that bloggers like myself weren’t good enough.  It was like if we aren’t the cutie patooties who know how to take that perfect selfie or food shot, people don’t want to hear our voice.  If you aren’t the folks with the home improvement show-esque kitchens…you aren’t worthy of knowing more than what is available at our big box stores or what we see in a magazine.  It is the first time since I started writing, that I felt this rejected, belittled and hurt.

While a dialogue via email was going on with this individual, I picked up my computer and started to type this post.   I reread what I wrote and the fact that I named this person and the organization that they belonged to…..and then I hit delete…over and over and over.

As I saw my words being erased, I looked out my window and some snowflakes started to fall.  Bloggers are unique like snowflakes and each one is a little different.  Some of us are light and drift while others stick and hit very hard. Some shockingly blind us while others will make your yard look like it is filled with white glitter.  You can see the magic in each snowflake and appreciate the difference or you can just see snow.

It was a learning moment of who I want to be and who wants to be part of Felt Like a Foodie.  If a person is looking for gossip or tales out of the kitchen, I’m not the right fit.  If they are looking for me to post pics of chefs caught off guard (and I do have some of those), I’m not your blogger.  I will never claim to have thousands of people who “follow” me, I’m happy with the few who support my vision.  If you are looking for me to air my dirty laundry, keep on Googling.

I went into my kitchen after I double checked to make sure I didn’t say anything hateful and accidentally hit send and then looked in the fridge.  My eye caught some blood oranges.  A citrus salad is what I need to feel bright and alive again.  Why didn’t I make this sooner?

I guess I too overlook things sometimes but I like to think that I am always open to new opportunities.

Winter Citrus Salad

1 package of your favorite salad mix

1 head of fennel, shredded

2 blood oranges, supremed (Remove membranes and reserve )

¼ cup marcona almonds

¼-1/3 cup bleu cheese

Salad dressing

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

a pinch of salt

¼ tsp of Dijon mustard

Directions (so easy it is embarrassing to call them directions)

In a large bowl, mix salad mix, fennel, blood orange sections, bleu cheese and almonds.

In a small container, whisk olive oil, vinegar, salt and Dijon.  Taste.  I tend to go for more vinegar flavor but if it is too aggressive, add whisk in a little extra olive oil slowly.

Drizzle a little bit into the salad bowl and toss.  Don’t drench it, just light enough to touch the greens.