You know… I get this feeling that food and foodstuffs just sound easier to write about than not.
I mean, I guess it’s a little like thinking that you can be a chef just because you like food, right? You get all gung-ho and apply for a show like Hell’s Kitchen thinking that if you can make really good lasagna and seafood tacos that you think are good because your kids will eat them, that THAT will suddenly qualify you to work in a fast-paced, demanding, hot, vicious, loud and dangerous kitchen meant to churn out delicate, ornate bites with ingredients that cost more than your entire week’s food budget back at home.
Now, don’t get me wrong– sometimes it does happen that sheer love of, passion for, and knack with, come together felicitously in such a blessed individual. But it’s also worth noting that a person like that has not won Hell’s Kitchen yet, for instance.
So back to food and blogging– they are both organic and intuitive processes that can happen most often with unnoteworthy mediocrity (when was the last time a school cafeteria chicken patty sandwich brought you to tears, really?); and about which there is little noticing until it’s something saliently good or outstandingly bad (chances are you remember every single time you ever had food poisoning).
Blogging is not a necessity like food is, it’s true; though one could argue that when a person gets involved in the world of writing, the urge to express oneself through the written word becomes of a spiritual essence akin to feeding one’s soul– if such a thing, indeed, exists. And as with food, most blogging is functional and mediocre out of necessity: the blog is there for pedestrian yet useful and important needs such as an outlet for self-expression; a communication between peers and clients and potential customers; a news source; a family ledger; and a means of simple gossipping.
But when done right, blogging can transcend that thin, membranous wall upon which our words are projected and take us beyond the simple subject matter at hand –tips for better living; harrowing infertility; bad or good parenting; amateur photography; everyday silliness– and into a place where the writer takes us by the hand and leads us into a sensory world beyond Times New Roman, fourteen point, right up there with the best of classic and contemporary literature.
A place right up there with the one lava cake in Hawaii that has made all others pale by comparison ever since; a place next to the spiciest, most thickly delicious chai latte drunk on a warm spring day with a new friend; a place as warm and comforting as, yes, that one amazing school cafeteria chicken patty sandwich that could take away those bad-teaching-day blues.
Maybe blogging about food won’t be nearly as hard as I think it’ll be. It’ll just be far more personal than I think it can be.
I don’t usually do audience-participation blogs (out of fear that all I’ll read will be the sound of crickets in the night), but I am curious to know about your food-related memories. What are some of the things you remember most fondly eating? What are some blogs that feed your spirit?
Tomorrow I will try to have a more detailed answer to both questions (and will feature a thank you to a very nice blogger who gave me a lovely award– you know who your are!)