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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Five Quirky Food Facts About Me

I wrestled with whether or not I wanted to do this for a while. I started this blog with a very "website" based mentality, in which the author isn't usually a presence. But over the last few months of experiencing the wide world of "blogging" I've come to appreciate that one of the wonderful things that separately this new media revolution from older journalistic media forms is precisely the more intimate presence of the voice and perspective of the writer. And I have somehow misplaced the cord that connects my camera to computer, so my progress on recipes with mouthwatering photos is stalled until I can find it. Which is a long-winded way of saying here are a few interesting (or so I think) food-related bits about me, in case you were curious.


This whole ball actually got rolling because of a few memes floating around cyberspace. Months ago I first got tapped by Laura of The Spiced Life, and then by Julie of The Food Architect. Bloggers are asked to write about five interesting facts about themselves, and then pass it on. Then I was also honored by Sugar Bar who tapped the Skinny Gourmet as a great blog. I believe this "pass it on" award is actually called the "Arteypico award" and it instructs you to "select 5 blogs that you feel excel in creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language."

So first, about me. And then the fun part, where I get to compliment some amazing blogs.

  • For as long as I can remember as a kid I was into making "potions." I would run around the house and combine all manner of improbable liquids and solids and then proudly declare it a potion. This entertained me for years. Over time it seemed natural that I would either focus on the bathroom cabinet and become some sort of chemist dedicated to curing man's ills, or I would turn to the kitchen and become some sort of cook. The world may be one disease too many for my choice, but I hope it is a little tastier.


  • I never had salmon until I got into college. My New York roommate ate salmon all the time, and so she and her family were the first ones to introduce me to it. Everything about salmon--from the color to the taste--was totally unfamiliar to a girl who grew up on Lake Michigan white-fleshed fish. I have gradually come to really love salmon (it is a super food after all) and particularly like it lightly smoked with a teriyaki glaze or done with a grainy honey-mustard sauce and dill.


  • This is my guilty little secret as a foodie: I adore ketchup, that most plebeian of all condiments. I am a ketchup fanatic. I put it on eggs. I put it on mac and cheese. I definitely put it on almost anything fried (onion rings? uh huh) and on most things that are potato based (tots? yes please). My in-laws gave me a shirt that says "I put ketchup on my ketchup" one year for Christmas. When going to Ghana I actually packed a big bottle of Heinz to travel with me. I consider the small bottles that many restaurants put out to be single servings.


  • I have a teensy little tendency to obsession. Last summer I went on a meringue rampage that culminated in my almost famous Orange Chocolate Meringues and Pavlova with brandied peaches and chai custard sauce that my friends are still talking about. A little while ago it was scones. Currently it's biscotti. This week alone I have already made two different kinds of biscotti and have plans for a third. I like that repeating a process, with small variations, several times over a short time span has the effect of quickening the learning curve. Like a scientist in the lab, I can more readily appreciate the effects of changes in a recipe if I make them one after another. Biscotti with or without butter? one egg or two? Make one on Tuesday and the next batch on Wednesday and you don't have to take someone else's word for it, because you can see for yourself. So in my world obsession equals foodie empowerment. And I "have" to eat all those biscotti from my experiments. Mmmmmm.


  • I have an unnatural joy of foam. Not that I've ever been to a fancy Madrid restaurant where the "food as foam" movement really gained its fame. I'm talking about good old fashioned things that foam without much assistance. I'm drinking my mocha extra foamy, and that glorious two inches of skim milk foam on top is like a snowy layer of pure happiness. I was the kid who purposely poured my coca-cola hard into the glass so I could quickly and greedily slurp up that precious head of cola foam that formed. Sweet lassi at an Indian restaurant? Always best if it is whipped up enough to have that enduring little layer of cloudy sour yogurt foam. It makes me wish I had a camel tongue so I could lick up every last bit from the bottom of the glass.





And now it is my pleasure to pass on the compliment to a number of food blogs that I adore. Of course, there are some wonderful blogs out there that are already highly recognized, so I wanted to focus on some wonderful blogs that I think don't get as much attention as they deserve. The photos below are from each of these fabulous bloggers sites, just to give you a taste of what awaits...


Kalofagas

Consistently puts out tempting dishes based on his Greek heritage. Armed with attractive photos and a great sense of humor, this blog is a joy to visit. More ways to make lamb than you can shake a stick at, this site often features tempting stick-to-your-ribs food that will have you running out to fire up the grill.







Aapplemint

Kate/Kajal may be known to you if you follow the Indian Ocean blogger circuit, where she's a rockstar, but otherwise I'm guessing you may not have encountered this beautiful blog. Kate is a fellow expat living in Ghana, which is how I first encountered her. Her photography is breathtaking, and she combines stunning food photos with travel photos that will transport you to the beautiful path less traveled that she occupies. From tea in Morocco to riverside towns in Ghana, from mango cake to a melty Napoleon, this site is not to be missed.










She Craves

A classy site design focused on simple elegance that perfectly compliments the cooking style of this gifted blogger. Her food is imaginative while still being fare that a tempted chef could imagine actually preparing at a home table. She consistently brings us interesting twists on classic dishes, so you may see roasted chicken or chicken soup that is familiar yet utterly reinvented.












Closet Cooking

Kevin is still rocking a fairly no-frills blog template, but don't let that turn you away. Like a chef who spends too much time in the kitchen making magic to worry about the window treatments, Kevin consistently brings us a great variety of light and inspiring dishes from a variety of world cuisines. This is one of food blogging's under-appreciated gems.


Cooking from A to Z

This is a fun and fearless approach to food that embodies the idea of joie de vivre in the kitchen. A wide and eclectic number of recipes most of which bend slightly towards healthy fare. You are just as likely to see gooey delicious cupcakes as you are to see Indian food transformed into classy little fusion crostinis.

9 comments:

Megan said...

I read this about salmon. Take it or leave it, but I feel compelled to share it with people (ie, I have been killed many times, being the messenger.)

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/04/29/bottomfeeder/

Peter M said...

Erin, thank you very much for taking the time to create this post, tell us more about yourself and feature some blogs...you're super kind.

I hear ya on the ketchup...I luv'em on my scrambled eggs, fried with ketchup and gravy, use it in some sauces and like you, love'em on onion rings!

Erin said...

Megan, I would never shoot a messenger bringing a well informed and interesting perspective!

And for those where the full address doesnt show up on the comments form, the last part of that link should be:

.../4/29/bottomfeeder/

It is an interesting and well researched perspective on eating seafood ethically that (thankfully) actually offers practical tips to consumers who want a side of action with that generous helping of guilt.

Peter, my pleasure. I have so often enjoyed your wonderful blog. And my momma always taught me never to withhold a compliment.

Kevin said...

Thanks for the tag and the kind words. I really do need to find some time to update my blogs template...

Biloo said...

Hi, thanks for checking out my blog! If your husband wont have the soup try my curry recipe!
Beep

Laura said...

I too am a fan of the intimate voice of blogs, so I am glad to read 5 things about you. :) And the potion thing is pretty funny.

Alison said...

I totally agree with you on ketchup. And I just got called out on it two days ago when eating with my sister and her boyfriend. They didn't seem to appreciate that I was using my calamari to scoop up ketchup...

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet said...

Kevin, my pleasure. And I meant the template comment as a compliment. some people are so focused on the look, I appreciate that all your attention is going to your content (which rocks).

Biloo, cute blog, it was fun to visit.

Laura, ahh potions. Funny to see something that characterized me years and years ago still around in an adult form. Tinkering in the kitchen.

Alison, food as a vehicle for ketchup. the uninitiated just dont get it. so sad for them :)

ayumi said...

wonderful work! the way you discuss the subject i'm very impressed. i'll bookmark this webpage and be back more often to see more updates from you.

ayumi
www.brfe.net

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