• Kat

Kat's Kitchen, No More

Thanks to Covid I am now forced to take my blog in a new direction.

paper in typewriter, with the typed words "New Beginning Chapter One"

For those who don't know, I got Covid back in October. It hit my olfactory system HARD. The olfactory system is your sense of smell, and ultimately taste. I recovered after about 3 weeks, but then a few months later those symptoms returned and are now a part of my life. Little is known about the "long-haul" symptoms and whether the damage is permanent or not, however, I've had a very difficult time dealing with this.

My intent was to become a vegan recipe creator and food blogger. I've been cooking up a storm, playing with ingredients, learning what I can about how each ingredient works with others. But Covid changed all that. It started with phantosmia, or phantom smells. For about a month, all I smelled was cigarette smoke 24/7, strongest during the night. Once that stopped, I started realizing certain foods tasted weird. And not just off, but like rancid. Intolerable. Here's a list of those foods:

  • celery (this is where it allllll started)

  • cucumber

  • pickles

  • green peppers

  • red peppers

  • yellow peppers

  • banana peppers

  • jalapeno peppers

  • cilantro

  • avocado

  • lettuce

  • onions

  • coconut

  • chocolate (morsels, spreads and flavoring has been fine)

  • coffee

The list keeps growing. Celery, coconut, chocolate, coffee, and lettuce are on the same wavelength. I can't even describe the flavor or scent but it is so overpowering and just intolerable.

All of the peppers, pickles, and cucumbers taste like sour yogurt in a city dumpster on a hot summer day. That is the best I can describe it.

So think of how many spices you have that contain celery salt or onion powder. Think of how many lotions or candles you have with coconut. I ended up having to get rid of so many different things because of the smell or taste. Also, coconut oil seems to be fine, but coconut milk or shavings? Forget about it. It's truly the most bizarre thing. So many dishes ruined.

This has been really hard for me to come to terms with. I stayed hopeful and tried different techniques to try to get my sense back to normal, but I've finally come to the conclusion that I need to start going down a different path. I don't feel confident sharing recipes anymore and I almost feel like I'm lying to you all if I do.

Please keep in mind I also have PMDD, and I have been dealing with that while going through this weird change, and at times it has felt like my world was crashing down (even though I know that sounds dramatic). All of this lead me to either binge eat the foods I can tolerate, not eat at all because I had no drive to, or have a liquid dinner. My weight has fluctuated the past few months and personal projects suffered. So yeah, it's been hard.

Silver Linings

Here's my positive takeaway from this debacle. I started taking a food photography course at random, mostly to improve my skills for Instagram and my blog. But what I've found in this course is a renewed love for the creative side of myself, the side I've suppressed for so long. I've never allowed myself to share my artwork, whether it be drawings, writings, photography. But it's been in me all along.

When I was 15, I would spend hours on whatever version of Photoshop was out at that time and create art using photos of butterflies I took in my backyard, adding lyrics from Pink Floyd songs and making it look like it was in space.

I am a writer. I have poems, short stories, and the beginnings of novels, ever since I was little, stashed away. I've only shared my poetry with maybe 3 people in my whole life, who all said the same thing: this would be a great song.

Music has been my lifeblood since I was born. I can't even describe my relationship with music. I can't sing and never dedicated myself to learning an instrument enough to make something of it, but I can discuss music and it's impact for hours. I would love to write music, or make music of my poems. I also admire how music greatly impacts film, whether in music videos or movies.

Which brings me to film. I have always been fascinated with all aspects of the filmmaking process. Cinematography, set design, special effects, makeup, costume design, sound, lighting, I could go on. But that is the one thing I never allowed myself to explore. I always just figured it's such a competitive industry, why bother.

But here I am, now in my 30s and realizing that the paths I did choose to explore, like becoming a recipe creator, may have come to an end, but my passions have not. I have wasted so many years not allowing myself creative freedom for fear of judgement, rejection, vulnerability, and I don't want to waste a minute longer. So this door has closed, but my dreams are getting bigger, and I am finally realizing they are not as out of reach as I've always thought.

So, in a twisted, Stockholm syndrome kind of way, thank you Covid. Thanks for showing me that not everything will work out as planned, but these closed doors can lead to even better things.