An Ode to the Blogsphere
My blog muse is on a temporary holiday, and I have good reason to believe that she's seeing other bloggers while she's away. I say this because while my creativity might be ebbing, other bloggers are cranking out incredibly wonderful stuff.
If you're anything like me, you read many of the best-written blogs for the escapist aspect. As I sit in front of my computer, bleary and caffeine-deprived, I frequently imagine that there is a whole world of fuzzy-faced people with gorgeous produce and high-end cameras that are baking and foraging and making reservations at high-end restaurants for the sole purpose of my enjoyment. What a lucky girl I am! I'm in awe of people like Sam, who posts wonderful, entertaining entries every single day of the week, and jetsetters like Pim, who seems to travel the globe on a weekly basis. Ladies: however do you manage it?! I can scarcely make time for my bi-weekly mani-pedi. Your secrets, please.
Entertainment value aside, I find that blog recipes are infinitely more accessible than, say, a recipe in The Elements of Taste cookbook by Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky, a heartbreakingly lovely work which has sat untouched on my kitchen shelf for years. Recipes by bloggers tend to invite experimentation and participation; though they can be quite sophisticated, they generally aren't overly fussy. More and more of late, I've found myself turning to carefully written food blogs to answer the question of "What's for dinner?"
Just last week, I took posession of a beautiful organic cauliflower, snowy white and firm, with a lovely green-earth smell. As I pondered what to do with it, I remembered something I had read a couple of months ago. I summoned Google, and an hour later, I was re-creating Brett's Least Popular Recipe Ever: slow-roasted cauliflower with pounded anchovies. I followed his recipe to the letter, right down to the parchment paper on the baking sheet. The pile of sweet-tender, caramel-y pieces of cauliflower that came out of the oven were so delicious that B and I were jabbing our forks at each other to get the last bite. It was that good. Now B is gone on an extended business trip, and while I'm terribly lonesome, I have plans to make the recipe again and eat it all by myself.
But food blogging is about so much more than recipes. I must admit to having a girl-crush on Jennifer Maiser, who not only headed up the brilliant Eat Local Challenge last year, but also frequently posts on issues relating to big business, agricultural sustainability, and the increasingly complex puzzle that is eating well. Her recent link to an article about The Man Who Said No to Walmart and her thought-provoking post about voting with your pocketbook at large chain stores have all been incredibly inspiring to me as I ponder the sad plight of the Novato strip mall scene.
I think I saw Jennifer one afternoon last week, while I was sipping a cup of tea outside of Peet's on Fillmore Street. I wanted to rush up to her and blurt out my admiration for her outstanding work, but she was on the phone, and I didn't want to barge in. Another time.
When I need a soul-affirming reminder about the mysteries of the earth and the intricacies of this tenuous, fragile life, I visit Root Cap. Recently, RootCap says: "The promise of an illuminated freedom lies in the apprehension of organic truths. Truths that grow out of the ground like great oaks. Their vividness is our liberty; their flourishment our instruction; their fruitfulness the means for our love." See? Doesn't that make you feel happy?
And for those days when I'm worrying about suburban schoolchildren eating too much sugar, I found a blogger who writes under the moniker of McAuliflower. She has a Biology degree (just like me!) and she has a unique perspective on food and dining. Her post on fizzy fruit made me smile. Fizzy Fruit is going to turn kids away from packaged sweet snacks and on to the wonderful world of fruit... oh, joy! When I went to the Fizzy Fruit web site, the illustrations reminded me of the scratch-and-sniff stickers I used to collect in grade school. Grape, orange, cherry, and lemon... get the whole set!
I'm continually amazed and delighted at the incredible writing and photography out there. Keep writing, everyone, and I'll keep reading.
But could you do me a favor? Grab that capricious little muse of mine by the feather boa and send her home where she belongs, would you?! Thanks!