Entering the blogosphere: thoughts on food and food blogging
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been diving more and more into the world of food and cooking, and have found it to be endlessly interesting, provocative, and tasty. I love a good food or recipe blog (see a few favorites, here and here), and have been idly fantasizing about having my own for awhile, but was always waiting for the right time and premise to get one going. Finally I think I’m starting to define my take on the kitchen, my point of view as a “foodie” (not sure how I feel about that term, but nonetheless), and it starts with coming to understand myself as an eater and a blogger.
As those of you who might identify as foodies (food lovers, gourmands, enthusiastic eaters, what have you…) will know, there is of course a dangerous side to enjoying the culture of food– when you make food a hobby, sooner or later you’ll have problems if you don’t take measures to compensate! As someone who cares about trying to be healthy, but who also loves cooking and eating, I have often found myself struggling to find balance in my relationship with food. It feels like being a “foodie” means accepting a constant struggle between what you want to cook and eat, and what you should cook and eat. But if you try to hide, push away, or restrict your inner food-lover, it always seems to bubble back up and you never feel satisfied.
So I’m going to try a new strategy. Rather than trying to squelch out the part of me that enjoys food and cooking, I’m going to treat food like any other hobby. So, to take a random hobby example, let’s say a person loves…stamp collecting? They wouldn’t spend all their time with those stamps; a person would probably manage to get in some quality stamp time a time or two a week. You can still, uh, love your stamps–but the hobby doesn’t have to dominate your life. You approach your hobby in a healthy way, with some restraint, but really appreciate your hobby time when you get it. This, I suppose, is the whole “moderation” thing people are always talking about, and of course it applies if your “hobby” is food.
But I think there is another part of the equation that people sometimes forget about when they embark on a moderation regime. At least in my experience, your body and mind will always be tempted to break the moderation mantra, and if you attempt to completely outlaw the idea of an occasional splurge, you will either fail, and over-splurge, or you’ll endure, but I doubt you’ll be very happy. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer another solution altogether that could avoid both of these hiccups. I recently purchased the cookbook Mexican Everyday, by Mexican guru, Top Chef Master, and all around awesome guy, Mr. Rick Bayless, and I think his thoughts on the matter are really spot-on:
Cuisines that have healthily nourished generation after generation have a pretty brilliant–but basic–way of putting essential foods together in the right proportions for everyday eating…Yet those same cultures also realize that feasting is essential for a culture’s aesthetic development, encouraging cooks to reach for new culinary heights. And that feasting is essential for culinary unity, bringing groups of people together around the table to share sustenance, culinary art, related histories. And that feasting is essential for the health of our bodies, allowing us the satisfaction of feeling thoroughly, completely full–with no need for midnight Haagen-Dazs raids.
Essentially, Bayless is saying that 1) Feasting is awesome 2) Feasting is necessary 3) Feasting is totally justified because it can bring you to new heights as a cook, bring people together, and make you healthy and satisfied. That all sounds good to me!
So, this blog will track my ongoing efforts to document the recipes and progress of the following plan:
1 Practice eating simply, healthily, and well, at least 5 nights a week (theoretically during the work week, but of course things may vary from week to week). As a preschool teacher and a part-time blogger, this realistically means that I will sometimes cook less-than-blogworthy meals, sometimes repeat successful menus, and will not update daily. But I will strive as much as possible to make my everyday cooking simple, healthy, and exciting, even if it isn’t always blog-worthy, and post my successes (and maybe failures) here.
2 Once or twice a week, indulge in a feast (theoretically the weekend). This may mean richer preparations, it may mean an added desssert, or it may mean something of grander, dinner party or special occasion proportions.
Now comes the part where I admit that this is far from a well-tested, proven plan of culinary attack for me. It seems to work for Rick Bayless (which for me is good enough for a starting point), and it seems simple enough to work, but just to set the record straight, this is a new adventure for me. I hope it will turn out to be successful, and I look forward to sharing it with any fellow gourmands who may read this. Stay tuned for recipes!
Entry filed under: blogging.