Friday, July 31, 2009
Post Number One Hundred
And here I am, one hundred posts later, still cooking away and writing about it occasionally. I thought a lot about what to write for this one-hundredth post. Originally, I had hoped it would be a Daring Kitchen post, but my cookies came out terribly and I'm having to sit out the current Daring Cooks contest, so that was out. Then I thought I'd make it short and sweet and just introduce y'all to Husband's and Little Girl's images. They are, after all, the main audience for my food itself. The rest of you just get pictures and descriptions. One of my current favorites of the two of them near Desertville therefore graces this post.
That's how I was leaning two days ago, but I didn't have time to post. This morning, I read Michael Pollan's latest article in the NYTimes, scheduled to appear in Sunday's Magazine. The article is about the phenomenon that is food television, perhaps particularly competitive food television like Iron Chef and Top Chef. (He neglects to mention the current Top Chef Masters, which I am loving this summer.) Pollan points out that Americans are cooking less, but watching other people cook more. His usual excellent arguments about how these habits affect both our own diets and our food system are present and insightful as always.
But as I was reading it, I had some misgivings. Like virtually all food-related things these days (apparently, anyway), one of Pollan's jumping-off points is the soon-to-be-released Julie and Julia. Pollan's mother was inspired by Julia Child to infuse experimentation and excitement into their weekly meals and he remembers it fondly. His argument is that most of the competitive food shows are more about "don't try this at home" than "hey, you can do this, too!", which was Julia's message. And maybe some of them are. Bravo's website does publish Top Chef recipes (and even published a book about them). One of those recipes, for pureed cauliflower and potatoes, has become part of my regular menu with a few changes because I'm not willing to cook the veggies in straight heavy cream. My point is that not all the food challenge shows ignore the cooking and recipes.
And, of course, Julie Powell was so inspired by Julia Child that she cooked every recipe over the course of a year. Pollan may consider her to be the exception that proves the rule, but I think he's ignoring, well, us. The food bloggers.
While the Daring Kitchen has been my most-recent love among food blog events, it is not lonely! Many weekly, monthly, and one-off food blogging events can be found listed on websites such as Is My Blog Burning? and others. I've participated in several others in the previous 99 posts. And if I wanted to and had the time, I could cook for a blogging event or challenge every day and probably not run out of choices.
Food blogs have created an entirely new way for cooks to swap recipes, share cooking experiences, make friends, show off their skills, and learn new things. While food bloggers may be a very small percentage of the American population, I like to think that we are not just crazy cooks on the fringe, but the leading edge of a new revolution in cooking. One of the people interviewed for the article asks who will teach the next generations how to cook. And I say, we will! With our hands and hearts in person, through our informative blogs, in cooking demonstrations on the web for everything from cutting an onion to flipping an omelette to making Chinese dumpling ... food bloggers are people who care about cooking. And we'll be around for a while to teach others to care, too.
There. Now I've thought deep thoughts for post number one hundred. I'll be ... hmmm ... I was about to say that I'll be out of town for the next couple weeks, but there's no town for me to be out of. So, more accurately, I'll be in town for the next two weeks. I hope to share photos of farmers markets and meals, but I probably won't be cooking much.
Enjoy the first half of August!