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On Writing About Food

Let's get in the DeLorean and travel back about a dozen years.  Once upon a time, I wrote a food blog.  No, don't go looking for it.  You won't find it.  I took it down a few years ago.  I still have a few mixed emotions about that, but it's done and there's no undo button for it.

I started that blog, on a whim, when we live in Missouri, and I didn't yet have a job.  I wrote a post nearly every day for just over seven years.  It started as a food blog and then morphed into a handmade blog when I started sewing and crocheting things to sell on Etsy.  In hindsight, I wish I'd just left it as a food blog, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

I haven't done much work on food writing, since those couple of years in  Missouri, but my food writing didn't start there.  It started a few years earlier when I was bored at my day job as a receptionist and needed something to keep me busy when things were slow. I  was also in a new relationship with a man who loved food as much as me.  I later married that man, but that's another post.  I opted to write a cookbook, which turned into two cookbooks that I self-published and sold to friends and family.

I tried to keep my food passion and food writing going as we got married and moved three times, but by the time we reached Alaska I had lost sight of the real reason I started a food blog in the first place.  I'd also tried to convert it into a crafting blog and honestly made a mess of the whole thing because, in the end, I had stopped writing any kind of quality content. 

Fast forward to the current state of affairs - pandemic, social distancing, etc.  I'm home, socially isolating, quarantined, whatever you want to call is and I'm doing what I do best to cope, I'm cooking.  I've reignited my food passion, started a Facebook Group, and my desk is piled with unfinished recipe and cookbook projects.   I find myself writing and rewriting recipes to share in the group and working to help people figure out how or what to cook during this pandemic. 

We're all experiencing some kind of home cooking, food-related stress.  Whether it's a shortage of the things we're used to having easy access to, having to cook every meal, or not know what to make with the things we already have.  Sharing ideas and tips helps take some of the pressure off.  Talking about how to make bread without yeast, what to do with leftover coffee, or how to preserve food in the freezer, all helps to take our minds off the constant news feed play by play of the COVID-19 virus. 

So why am I writing about all of this?  When I put it out there that I was dusting off this blog and going to start writing again I had several people tell me they would love to see me write about food, the challenges I face in small rural remote Alaska, and share my recipes again.  My friends give me a bad time about the "food porn" photos I share on my personal Facebook feed.  They ask me questions like "when is your restaurant opening?" and "do I send Uber Eats to you or do you call them?"  Most of them want to move in with us just for the food. 

Food really is the universal language.  Most of us start talking about the next meal while we're eating our current one.  Food is how we show people we care, tell them we missed them, welcome new babies, and that we're sorry for their loss.  We do bake sales and pancake breakfast to raise money for clubs and school trips.  We celebrate milestones and surviving until Friday by having dinner surrounded by friends and loved ones. 

I speak "food" fluently.  I've never gone to culinary school, I've never even taken a cooking class.  I learned to cook in the kitchen of some dear friends some 20ish years ago.  I know what I know because I am passionately curious and enjoy making good food, recreating those amazing dishes we've had living in other states and traveling, and because I've never been afraid to try something new.  I adapt recipes to make them easier, to fit the ingredients we have access to, and to suit our tastes.  So why am I writing about all of this?  Because I'm giving some strong consideration to writing more about food again.  Stick around, this could get pretty tasty!