It all started with this morning's Saveur Food Blogger Award Nominations. Actually, that's a big, fat lie- it started the day I learnt to eat and 'it' has been growing every damn day since but let's not go there. So this morning- I started opening tab after tab of nominated food blogs, some that I follow so religiously I could recite their recipe index backwards, some that just pissed me off for the goddamn twee-ness of it all (mormon marriage and supah-cute temple wedding pix + babies included), and then there were some that straight up knocked my socks off and made me reassess all that a 'food blog' has the potential to be- kinda super atomic, incredibly inspiring, game changin', really rad, and firecrackerey stuff.
Basically through this morning of clicking on links, jumping from interweb to intergalaxy, to interuniverse- I found a whole lotta foodie awesomeness. If you know me from before, you probably know me as the crazy lady who stress baked her way through high school, or further back as the toothy 5th grader who brought tofu sandwiches and sprout salads for breaktime. Never fear- you can now get to know the wacko liberal arts student/photographer/all round kooky kid for whom it isn't enough just to eat her feelings, she has to blog about 'em too.
A lot of my foodie favorites can be found over here, whereas the most recent additions of awesomeness can be found below-
1. Fieldwork Food - An anthropologist in Ghana keepin' in real and addressing important food related and unrelated issues while she's at it. Too much twee, pinterest driven bullshit out there in the world- I'll take some standard photography with some compelling story telling and noms any day, thank you very much.
2. Life & Thyme - Basically all the coolness of good photography, film and journalism, on one really fucking classy page. Yes please.
3. Sometimes I want to hit Food52 on the head (like when they don't respond to my internship emails, because obvz everybody should wanna hire me) but then sometimes they take my two favorite ingredients and make magic happen, in the most no-nonsense way I can imagine. 10 points for Food52.
4. Pen & Palate - Lucky Peach is doing it, The Bold Italic is doing it, but somehow food blogging has so far been restricted to short depth of field deliciousness and miniature bundts (WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT BUNDTS? AND WHY ARE THEY EVEN A THING?). These sharp ladies are finally putting illustration and watercolor and art-that-is-not-meant-for-pinterest-type-of-art onto the food blogging scene, though to be fair My Cooking Diary has been doing a damn fine job of it since 2010 but then again Sharon Hwang has been an unstoppable force of awesome since her creation so whatever.
5. I will admit that I initially didn't get the hype behind The Yellow House. There were no dramatically lit rosemary cheddar biscuits, or luscious lavender infusions to reel me in- instead there were pickled beets, and the occasional marmalade cake but always really bloody intelligent writing. What I love about The Yellow House is the imperfection of it all- a blatant love for food and food culture, but without the glossiness. Each post comes with questions, doubts, and depth of thought. It reminded me what a blog should be- a place to be vulnerable, to share, to ask questions, and to figure it out as you go.
6. Fat & Furious Burger - Hands down favorite. So darn smart, so darn fresh, so fucking good.
BUT ANYWAY. What I'm really trying to say is that food blogging is a big vast space, in which I could potentially carve my own big vast space, and there would still be enough big, vast space to go around. I don't have to food blog so that my site will get hella hits and I will someday be able to put up banner ads from Costco and have pretty babies and blog about the act of flicking through the latest Anthropologie catalog (though full disclosure- that may happen, please still be my friend, throw your drink on me and set me straight). I want to use food, and meals, and the overarching themes of produce and agriculture and eating to create something meaningful, real, aware, and maybe, but only if there's still room- beautiful.
I want to remain true to myself as a photographer- in love with peeling walls and the quirks of my motherland. I want to stay true to my aesthetic, my heritage, my privilege- I do not want to style my way to a Martha Stewart mag, or gently desaturate and channel Scandinavia until I might as well scream Kinfolk. I want food that will acknowledge that ripe avocados are about as rare as flying pigs in this glorious nation, but who cares because I can make a damn good kashmiri mirch kimchi that is every bit as Bombay as it can be Korea, Quatar or California. I want to talk about how I bought a loaf of almond and coconut paleo bread this morning and then my waxing lady brought me some parle-G + cadbury dairy milk pressure cooker chocolate cake because ovens are bloody expensive and parle-G is cheap carbs and bloody hell, that was a more interesting meal than my damn paleo bread will ever be. I want to talk about what organic means, and why America turned me into an overall wearing hippie who dreams of kale in the first place. I want to draw, and make intricate maps of bazaars and cities and developing country chaos. I want to encourage people to cook like crazy, and make time for their meals- but not because that's what's cool these days, or because it should look pretty and instagrammable. I want a place where I can put up watercolors of a fresh fig- so many shades of purple and pink and orange it makes me giggle. Because really, that's it- the gloopy, gooey, gorgeous, gunky stuff , that's what makes me tick, and what i keep coming back for.
But most of all- i want people to share this with. I want this tangle of hopes and dreams to resonate with someone out there. An illustrator, a writer, a lassy who's good with numbers, a fella who likes to make movies and maybe eat too, someone who thinks I'm bloody crazy but wants to stick around and watch me flounder? Holla if you're out there, let's make cool stuff together. Foreal though.
Here are some pictures of my beloved Roger Langbour, ex-employee of the French Embassy in New Delhi, current owner of The French Farm for every kind of organic, free-range duck, chicken, goat, turkey or fucking adorable little piggy, and future recipient of many long distance phone calls for when I am far away and my memories of his snippet of paradise start to fade.