Sunday, April 02, 2006

Taking stock of the food blogging obsession

I have to say, since I stepped into the world of food blogging (only a couple of months ago), I feel I've really found my thing. I get up early to check for comments, scan Food Porn Watch to see who's updated (during the 7 hours I've been asleep), before preparing the lunchboxes and breakfasts and bustling the family off to their various destinations.

I spend a great deal of time reading about food, looking at pictures of food, reading food blogs and checking out large numbers of food and cooking books from the library. And then there's the musing about blends of ingredients and the online research.

I've noticed hubby has started to look a little anxious around dinner time, wondering what newfangled dish he will be treated to with the inevitable quiz regarding ingredients. He seems happy and appreciative when an old favorite shows up for dinner. Fortunately, I (generally) manage to overcome the annoying delay-while-I -photograph-the-food by starting to cook much earlier in the day, photographing in natural light and "tasting" before hubby gets home. But is this normal? Thank goodness for the daylight savings change!

One of my favorite things about food blogging is connecting with others who share my now-admitted food obsession. It's a wonderful community and I'm constantly learning and inspired by the beautiful work of others. So, let me take this moment to express my gratitude to you all for sharing your work and participating in mine.

So what's the issue? Like Gluten- Free Girl, I am addicted to food shopping. My food shopping list seems endless and I always have a good reason to buy specialized ingredients and taste lots of different cheese because I'm going to write about it on my blog. But also, like cookiecrumb of I'm Mad and I Eat, I have a pantry and freezer stuffed with food.

So today, inspired by cookiecrumb's valiant two week ice harvest (and non-food purchasing), I spent the day taking stock of my small, but stuffed pantry, and my no-room freezer...literally. I wrote down everything available I had and came up with 28 dinners I could make by purchasing a few basic staples. (My fridge, I'm happy to report, is doing fine - those things (like cheese) seem to get used up very quickly.)

This new plan feels good. I feel grateful for what I have.


Blogger Dori said...

You expressed life after food blogging so well. I have had a very similar experience with the family wondering what new I am cooking and the frustrating wait while I am preparing to snap a picture.
I've been enjoying your blog and friendly writing style.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

Hi, I just tagged you for The Recipe Collection Meme.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Tea said...

I hear you, Catherine! I have been a bit relieved that I am on my own and can do all my insane cooking, futzing, and photographing in private. Though I did have friends over the other night and they asked if I needed to photograph their plates before they dug in:-). I too do my cooking earlier--or save leftovers--and I hadn't even thought about the bonus of daylight savings time and the longer daylight hours. Great news.

Your lentils sound lovely, I am going to try them out soon (I've got a much neglected package hiding back in the cupboard too).

7:44 PM  
Blogger Amanda & Debbie said...

Catherine, what a great story. We too have been drawn into food blogs and can't believe how professional some are. Looking forward to your next post.

9:03 PM  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Catherine. How thrilling that you have at least 28 meals on hand, with minimal shopping.
I'm still horrified to admit that we have frozen meat in the house. I'm not sure I've been completely honest about the Ice Harvest!
OTOH, ohgod, my collection of dried pastas is boggling, and you can't even imagine how many beans and rices we have here...
But, yeah. To eat up all that bounty, I'd have to buy new food.
What a weird obsession we're gripped by, and I'm not going to end this sentence with a preposition.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Kymm said...

I hear you on this one - both on the new food blogging obsession and the hoarding of food stuffs. My fridge isn't even safe, in fact right now I've had to cancel the CSA delivery and put a moritorium on vegetable purchasing until I clear out all the parsnips and celeriac hanging about in the far recesses of the fridge.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi Dori - thanks for your kind words. I had the same problem with my family!
Kalyn - thanks for the meme tag - it was fun and eye-opening!
Amanda and Debbie - I am constantly inspired by my fellow food bloggers! Thanks for visiting.
cookiecrumb - I was going to list my pantry items, but the long list of pasta made me too embarassed (and we eat pasta all the time!)
kymm - check out my parsnip pancake recipe - they were awesome and different. I buy and use a lot of veggies, so I'm OK with that (OK there's the squash - but they keep and I have plans!)

8:18 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Hi Catherine,

This is my first visit to your blog, but you can be sure I'll return. I love this community of food-centered folks, and would love to be in a room with all of us! I've been referring to myself as a "foodie", willingly and proudly! I started my blog when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in Nov. 05. When I'm anywhere near a Whole Foods or specialty food store, my eyes begin to glaze over and my husband knows he's lost me for at least an hour! I tend to buy food on spec, with the hope that I'll figure out how to use it. One of my greatest joys is making an unplanned fabulous meal from whatever I can scrounge from the frig and pantry! And the photos!!! My husband knows he can't dig in until I snap the right picture:).

7:56 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Ellen - Welcome! It is a wonderful community. I agree - creating something new and wonderful out of whatever you have on hand is particularly satisfying. in fact, its one of the traits of zen cooking per Edward Espe Brown.

8:46 PM  

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