Goodbye, Sweet Tater

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Four years ago I sat down to write a post about potatoes. On that same day I introduced the world to Caturday. A year later I had quit my job, moved away (and in with my then-boyfriend), and started a master’s program in nutrition. A year after that I’d ended my relationship, moved to Charlotte and signed up for yoga teacher training. After one more trip around the sun I was done with my master’s degree, teaching yoga full-time and on my way to LA for an adventure I would immediately regret (and eventually embrace).

Here, on the fourth anniversary of that first potato post, I’d like to officially shut down the Sweet Tater operation.

Sweet Tater started for no reason in particular. I was bored with my job, drinking wine and seeking a creative outlet, a lethal trifecta that landed me (and I suspect countless others) at wordpress.com. I actually almost started a workout blog called (are you ready for this…?) BlackCatFitness.com but ended up with a half-assed focus on food and a play on my nickname instead. (I’d like a high five for dodging that Black Cat Fitness bullet, thank you.)

Sweet Tater was a fun ride. The blog taught me to test my limits, explore new things, make new friends and have a voice. What I (and the blog) often lacked, unfortunately, was direction, humility and a filter. At times I’m grateful to have so much of my life on record. It can be really fun to look back at what I was doing and how I was growing at different phases in my life. But I also wrote about incredibly personal moments from a painfully shattered frame of mind in what I assume was an attempt to feel validated, heard and less alone. (These are, in my opinion, the real reasons almost anyone is blogging–no matter what they say.)

Under the veil of “healthy living” I trudged along in a never-ending battle against myself. What you didn’t see (or perhaps did) was that I was often paralyzingly depressed, reclusive, self-conscious and out of control. My decision to move away from the blog was gradual but inevitable.

I eventually hit a point where the blog I was writing was no longer a blog I would ever want to read. I started shifting gears in January of this year, attempting to reroute Sweet Tater towards something… different, though I didn’t know what. In the end, an open (but rose-colored) diary for all the world (or at least a limited readership) to see started to feel juvenile at best and cringe-worthily narcissistic at worst. As it turns out, though, four years of blog baggage (2,168 posts to be exact) is a difficult ship to steer so I eventually stopped posting all together and just let it coast.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Sweet Tater and I think there is a lot for me to be proud of in it. And I am. If I sparked just one person’s interest in yoga or vegetarianism or hunger relief or collecting cats off the street, I’ll be happy with what Sweet Tater contributed to the world. But I think it also contributed a lot of unnecessary chatter to an already loud world. A lot changes in four years and I believe strongly that this blog has run its course.

Thanks for your support over the years–for reading and commenting and emailing me. I really am grateful that you chose to spend time here, that you shared stories with me in return, and that you love cats almost as much as I do.

Worried about Caturday? Don’t worry, everyone is… Caturday lives on over at honeystuck.com. Yeah, that’s correct; I ended one blog to start another. (You may roll your eyes.)

Honeystuck is my fresh start in the food blogging world. It’s a lot of the same with a little less baggage and preaching (and plenty of cats). I hope you’ll join me there.

www.honeystuck.com   |  t: @honeystuckblog   |   i: honeystuck

Hilton Head

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I’ve decided that so long as you have a iPhone, you don’t really go on vacation. It’s my own fault because I have what my sister has dubbed “email anxiety” and can’t handle watching unread emails pile up in the inbox so I check it incessantly to try to keep it “clean.” This succeeds only in cluttering my real life with a false sense of urgency 24 hours a day. News flash: My life is not this important.

You’d think the solution might be just not checking to see if there are new emails. When you find a way to make me stop doing that, please let me know. I actually took my email off my homepage and dropped it like three pages deep in the apps to deter myself. Doesn’t work.

Nevertheless, I went on vacation last week.

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We’ve created quite a tradition out of spending long weekends in Hilton Head at Adam’s sister’s house. We don’t ever go with much of a game plan, but it always ends up as lots of eating, lots of bike riding, and lots of beach walking.

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Our favorite Hilton Head destination is Roastfish & Cornbread, a gullah kitchen a little off the beaten path with THE BEST sweet potato cornbread you will ever eat in your life AND a vegetarian menu.

I got the Ethiopian lentil salad with cous cous, acai vinaigrette and fruit. Killer.

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We also discovered a new restaurant on our drive into town: Fiddleheads Pizza in Bluffton. That’s where that massive slice of pizza above came from along with this torched romaine salad.

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Hilton Head for us is generally reserved for yoga pants and bathing suits only, but we fancied up for a legit night out at the Jazz Corner. Adam was really excited about it as is evidenced by this quote I pulled for Yoga Teacher Boyfriend:

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(In case you missed it, I started a whole website dedicated to the ridiculous things Adam says: Yoga Teacher Boyfriend)

The Jazz Corner is a tiny little venue with an award-winning kitchen and a cult following. Reservations should be made about a month in advance to get in. Vegetarian menu? Hardly. But we dined like kings on the bruschetta, grilled pear salad and grilled goat cheese flatbread.

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Successful trip. Next time I’ll leave my phone at home.

Caturday 7/6/13

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Happy Caturday. Little Weaz reporting for duty.

Little Weaz has actually become Rather Large Weaz in the last few months. I’m not sure how it happened but she got pretty rotund right around the time Joey Donut and Tilly showed up. Stress eating, I assume. So she’s on a diet and hates me.

Ralphie, too. In addition to being on diets, the cats are also being trained to stay off the counter. That’s going really well…

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Tilly is busy acclimating to her new environment (still) and is doing pretty well if you ask me.

She and Ralph took a nap on my bed together last week and I no longer have to keep her separated from the other two. VICTORY.

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I’m really proud of the progress she’s made so far and tell her every day that she’s a “good cat doing a good job.” In watching the Cat Whisperer on My Cat from Hell (you bet I watch it), I came to the realization that Tilly is not so much an aggressive cat but instead is just incredibly terrified… of everything. He was working with a problem cat that loved his owner but attacked anyone else who walked in the room. The assumption was that this was an “aggressive” cat trying to protect its owner. The Cat Whisperer, in all his gothic glory, figured out that he was actually a defensive cat scared of everything and trying to protect himself. He just had to be convinced he was safe and his behavior changed dramatically.

In case you are not insane, here is the Cat Whisperer:

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That cat’s behavior, I feel like, is totally Tilly. I’m glad I didn’t give up on her in the beginning (because it sounds like everyone else has) and have given her time to settle in and start to feel safe because she is truly a completely different cat than she was two months ago. She just needed some time. And still needs more, to be honest. (She still hates Adam a whole lot.)

She even joined us for 4th of July festivities with a little corn on the cob:

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For your viewing pleasure, here is a video (that I’ve watched a thousand times in the last two days) of Tilly eating corn on the cob.

Caturday 6/29/13

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I have an idea for a business: OTC medicine delivery service. Seriously though.

This might sound lazy or even extravagant to you until you need to be within a quick sprint’s distance of a toilet. What now, judgeypants? Wish someone would deliver that Pepto to your doorstep now, don’t you?

Four words: OTC medicine delivery service. Or you train your cats to go to CVS.

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I lucked out today because someone has actually agreed to date me long term, which means he got the early morning SOS text for an immediate medicine delivery. (I just want you to know you’re not in love until your significant other brings you anti-diarrheals very early in the morning.)

But what if he wasn’t around? Send Weaz?

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Not a chance. She’d come back with Swedish Fish and a Snuggy.

Ralph? No. She only shops Amazon because she believes everything she could ever need is on the Internet.

Joey Donut? Sadly (or happily?), she has moved to her new home. She was adopted last week.

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So that leaves me with an option to send Tilly the two-legged cat to Walgreen’s or call an OTC medicine delivery service (that doesn’t exist yet but definitely should).

I called Adam instead.

 

Longboards Tap & Taco

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Several thrilling things happened yesterday, one of which was eating my first ever fried Oreo. I don’t know who decided that Oreos could or should be fried, but now I feel pretty strongly that this is the only way they should be served.

If you read this blog on the regular it should come as no surprise to you that I don’t write much anymore, let alone about my life. This is mostly because–with the exception of my herd of cats–my life is mind-numbingly boring and not worth writing about. And the parts that are not mind-numbingly boring can’t be written about. So. Here we are. Would you like an Oreo that has been battered and deep fried? Of course you would.

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Last night was surprisingly action packed considering my standard existence lately, but mostly I just want to tell you what I ate.

We stopped by Longboards, a recent (and worthy) addition to Charlotte’s dining scene. We’ve been dying to get in there because a friend and fellow yogi owns it and is cranking some serious magic out of the kitchen.

I walked in the doors claiming to be “not hungry” but was quickly convinced otherwise when Eric started flinging plates of food our way. He started us off with tostones–plantain cups filled with black beans, guacamole and cotija cheese.

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I got a margarita (obviously) and, as is par for the course, was super obnoxious about how they should make it. This is not on their menu but if you want a real-ass, damn good margarita just ask for tequila, fresh lime juice, soda water and a splash of pineapple juice. No sour mix allowed. And tell them Katie sent you.

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We both got tempura-fried avocado tacos for dinner, which Eric was please to announce he has finally perfected in a vegan, gluten-free version. (He knows how to feed yoga teachers.) We passed on that and brought on the cheese.

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My side was cabbage and radish slaw (I LOVE MAYONNAISE-LESS SLAW) and Adam had Mexican street corn (CAN’T EVEN DEAL).

I was prepared to curl up in a ball and take a nap at this point, but Eric was prepared to feed me deep-fried Oreos and ice cream so I was all, “I am not opposed to this.”

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If you’re curious (and you are), a deep-fried Oreo is a gift from God and it tastes like a deep-fried brownie. Try to wrap your head around that. Adam is lame and can’t eat chocolate so he got key lime pie, which I’d probably have been impressed with were it not in the shadow of two deep-fried Oreos.

So basically what happened here is I ate fried plantains, fried avocado and fried Oreos for dinner. Dietetics school dropout.

Definitely what I wanted to do after a meal like that was sit in a hundred-degree room with 80 of my closest friends and listen to music. So that’s what I did.

We had a very special charity benefit concert at Y2 featuring Andy Grammer.

Andy actually played at Y2 back when it first opened and before he went platinum and performed with the likes of Taylor Swift. So, you know, getting him back in there was no big deal.

He was such a great sport to play in a small, humble space especially considering the crowds he’s seen and the fact that we couldn’t get the temperature below 90 degrees. Once a hot yoga studio, forever a hot yoga studio.

Great show. Super talented guy. He and his wife don’t know it yet but I’m pretty confident we’re going steady and I bet he likes deep-fried Oreos, too.

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