Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jumping without a parachute

Hello and welcome.

After keeping a personal blog for many years, I began to realize that the majority of my posts were now food-centric. This coincided, unsurprisingly, with my learning how an RSS feed works and a newfound obsession with food blogs. (See left hand column) Not to say that life took a backseat to food, but that food has become more tangibly integrated into my life, this past year in particular.

I found myself posting restaurant reviews, new recipes that I stumbled upon and just had to try, adventures at the grocery store and farmer's market, love letters to a particular dish that turned my knees to jello and made my mouth water at the memory, queries about substitutions and updates on whether a particular recipe turned out as promised or turned my kitchen into a flour-covered, dough-spattered wasteland. And does anyone know how you get canola oil out of a favorite shirt after adventures in french fry making?

These posts generated response, reflection, suggestions and shared joy from my community of like-minded (read: food-obsessed, or at least food-enjoying) friends. And it made me smile. Me, the girl who dreams of dinner parties (yet can't seem to coordinate one effectively) precisely out of that desire for food-as-community building.

I've also found myself reflecting on my abilities as a writer. I am fortunate to be surrounded by those who write, who truly find themselves called to the craft. I do not classify myself as "a writer," but I have been craving a structured environment that holds me accountable for what I'm putting out into the digital world. Perhaps this venue will rein in some of my sloppier writing habits.

All that said, my goals for this blog are these:

1. Have fun. Learn something. Do some good.

Penguin, my loyal kitchen mascot.
She helps out sometimes, from her perch high atop the refrigerator.

(photo courtesy Christopher Greene)

2. Create community through open discussion with all who choose to participate. I have only been able to find a handful (Less than 5! Surely there are more... No, I don't count the Asheville-dominated Chowhound South thread) of Asheville based food blogs. Several of them are not currently active. There should be more. Asheville is a city with amazing food and deserves to be recognized, indulged in and shared.

3. Share my personal food experiences. Eating, creating, dreaming, dining, researching, and learning new things about food. My new things may be your old hat. That’s okay. I love introducing people to new food experiences and I love being introduced.

4. Documentation. The successes! The failures! The odd condiment pairing or wine revelation! This is purportedly one of the worst reasons to start a food blog. I don't care.

5. Hone my writing skills. Be a better writer. Period. Feel free to call out my gratuitous comma-splicing, use of ellipses and adverbs, as well as my devotion to contractions at any time. I’m trying to quit, alright?

It promises to be an exciting challenge. My intended goal is to update 2-3 times per week, with at least one photo per entry. Between work and graduate school, we'll see how long it lasts.

My caveats:

1. In addition to not being "a writer," I am not "a photographer." Pictures taken by me will be taken with a point and shoot digital Canon Elph. No frills. No fancy lighting. No "Food Photography for Blogs 101." Just a (hopefully) decent depiction of whatever it is that's being talked about in the post. However, I am very fortunate to have "photographer" friends. You'll know their pictures when you see them, but I'll always credit just the same.

2. As I mentioned, part of my impetus for beginning this journey is the warm happy feeling I get from the community that is generated from talking about food with people I care about and strangers who share my passion. That's y'all. I can't do this without you. Comment, critique, challenge, share, swoon, dissect. Practically everything is welcome. I draw the line at pointless spammy or hurtful comments. I can draw down the wrath. Don't push it.

3. This is a work in progress. It may not be pretty and shiny right now, using canned default templates and limited navigation features, but as I get more content and familiarize myself more with the limits of the medium, the shiny will come. Until then, patience requested, suggestions welcome.

4. I classify myself as neither expert nor amateur. The continuum between the two is vast, but it is safe to say that most everyone loves a good meal and a good drink, with pleasant company, regardless of taste and experience. I’m just a girl who loves to cook and loves food, who was cheerfully surprised when meals started coming together and I could differentiate between braising and searing. I come from a matriarchal family of talented cooks, but it took years for even some of that knowledge to sink in.

5. Observing proper Netiquette is important to me. I have no intentions of stepping on existing cyber-toes or plagiarizing anyone. Where appropriate, I’ll either link to the origin of a particular recipe or cite the cookbook and author. I can’t say for sure whether I’m going to end up a filter blogger or a food blogger. I’m striving for original content, but there’s nothing new under the sun. Especially with all of the amazing talent currently out there creating deliciousness: Heidi Swanson, Adam Roberts, Amanda Hesser, David Leibovitz, Mark Bittman, Deb at Smitten Kitchen, and so many more. They are a source of so much inspiration.

This is simply my take.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller

1 comment:

  1. This looks to be a fun blog, LGK, so don't stop your adventures in the kitchen and telling us about them. It's how we all learn, and you have a sense of humor about the entire process (sometimes, humor is all you have left when black smoke is filling the house from an oven spillover).
    Best wishes for years of success.
    A new fan