Foodie Friday: Why Are We In This Handbasket?

So, Lyz, why food?  Why blog about food when there are already approximately one billion food blogs out there, all with fantastic recipes and beautiful photography and accompanying shows on TV?

Well, the short answer is that I love food.  The slightly longer answer is that I really enjoy cooking (and basically all other aspects of food), and I often post pictures of whatever I’m making on Facebook.  People seem to enjoy the posts, often ask for recipes, and engage with them – but to be honest, Facebook is a crummy format for that sort of thing.  So I toyed around with the idea of blogging about food, and here we are.

Two bowls of homemade caesar salad

Homemade caesar salad is pretty incredible!

How did we get to be here? (Sondheim, anyone?)  Well, when I was growing up, dinner was not optional.  My family sat at the dining room table to enjoy a home-cooked meal (and one another’s company, I suppose) at 6:00 pm, seven days a week, probably on the order of 355 days a year.  We ate from-scratch meals even when we were on our week-long summer camping trips (at 6pm, by the way).  Eating out was the most special of activities, reserved for either road trips or birthday dinners.

I brought that with me as I moved into adulthood.  While I eat out more now than I did as a kid (after all, there’s a lot of great food in this town, and you can learn a lot from eating things that other people make), and dinnertime in my house is more flexible, dinner itself is not optional – and I eat at a dining room table with my spouse every night.  (Location of said table may vary.)

A pot of stew with carrots, potato, and lamb meat

A few simple ingredients can become a warm, comforting meal for a cold night. What’s not to love?

But I’ve learned something along the way.  I’ve learned to really *love* food – not just eating (although I do love to eat!) – but everything about it.  Shopping – looking at all the lovely delicious things available, talking to the people making/growing/selling it, and choosing which ones I’m going to work with.  Cooking – using my hands to turn a pile of veggies and a chicken in to one or more delicious meals.  Eating – did I mention that one already? I really like to eat.  Reading – I love to see what others are doing with food, learn about new food, understand where our food comes from and how it fits into our lives and society and world.

bags of key limes for sale at a local grocer

Aren’t they just the cutest teeny little things?

And so my hope, in posting here on Fridays, is that I can share some of that love with you, and help you enjoy this weird thing we do several times a day, every single day of our lives.

To be fair, this is probably not going to be quite like most food blogs out there.  Food blogs employ many wonderful things that you will not find here, such as:

  • two grilled cheese sandwiches being cooked on a griddle

    These are grilled cheese sandwiches. They were tasty. They took about 10 minutes. Julia Child this is not.

    Fancy food photography – no light box, no SLR – I have an iPhone and an iPad.

  • Painstaking, complex, get-every-dish-in-your-kitchen-dirty-and-spend-three-hours-doing-it recipes.  Nope.  Who has time for that?  (Unless you do, in which case, more power to you.  But you’ll have to go somewhere else for recipes.)
  • Elegant, eye-catching food arrangement.  I love the way the Japanese arrange their food, and how really outstanding restaurants place things together just so.  I do not love doing it myself.
  • Recipes the way you think of them, with lists of ingredients and detailed step-by-step explanations.
  • Baking (such as bread, pastries, etc.) – it requires rather precise measurements, and I don’t usually have the patience for that.
  • Seafood – I live in central Ohio; there is not seafood here. I don’t have much exposure to it or experience cooking it.
  • “Woo” or preaching – this is food, not voodoo mysticism.  My food is not better than your food.

What you will find here:

  • a black plate with separate piles of onion, carrot and potato

    Chop up an onion, a carrot, and some fingerling potatoes…

    Walkthroughs on how to make tasty food, with pictures from my trusty iDevices.

  • Posts about both vegetarian and meat-based food.  Take what you want, leave what you don’t.
  • Links to recipes that I started from – very often I make something as a variation on another recipe, or just straight up make something that someone else made first.  I love sharing!
  • Real-world measurements (a carrot or two, about a handful of chopped parsley, that container of broth).  No “1/4 cup chopped onion” – what are you going to do, chop 1+ onions and then measure out the choppings?  No way!
  • Occasional musings about food in our society/media/etc., but only as relevant and only if I have something worth saying about it.  I generally won’t post anything if I do not feel educated enough on the issue to take a stance.
  • Occasional forays into the more obscure realms of food – canning, fermenting, cheese-making, etc.  Not that anyone is going to be coming to me to learn about how to make cheese or sauerkraut – I see them more as experiments and sharing experiences.  Sometimes these things are way easier than they seem.  Sometimes they’re a disaster.  They’re often good stories worth telling.

So there.  And in case you feel cheated from having a Foodie Friday post without anything edible in it, try this.  The next time you’re looking at a PB&J for lunch, get out the griddle and grill it up like you would a grilled cheese sandwich (thin butter on the outside of the bread, low heat, turn when it’s golden brown).  Be careful, the J will be a close approximation of napalm, but it’s so very worth it.

a grilled PB&J sandwich with a glass of milk

I did not take this photo, nor create this recipe: I found it on everyday occasions by Jenny Steffens Hobick.

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