The ‘why’ is very much the same as many food bloggers; I love food and, even more so, I love to share food. Cooking is cathartic to me and when I need a pick-me-up, the pantry is the first place I turn. I also love to create, but it’s sharing those creations and having others enjoy them that brings me true happiness.
Beyond that, and the original reason I began food blogging, was the desire to have my own family food history written down for my kids. I loved our family recipes, the ones handed down from generation to generation, and always wanted to know where each recipe originated or when it was eaten and why it was made so often, but was left instead with a stack of yellowed index cards held together with a rubber band and no history at all attached to the food my ancestors shared. It was a void I didn’t want my own children to have, so I started writing it all down - in a pen & paper journal first, then on the internet.
Once I started meeting other bloggers, I was totally hooked, and adding regular readers to the mix only made it that much more fun and challenging.
So, as an official contestant of the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog I will answer the first challenge, which is to share how my blog is unique and why I should win the grand prize of $10,000 and the coveted title of the next ‘Food Blog Star’ in 7 short points:
1. I’m informative: I am a person plagued with a ‘must-know-why’ attitude that pervades nearly every aspect of my life, and food is no exception. From where things are grown to who was the first to decide to eat them to how to best cook and serve them, I aim to know it all and I try to impart that to my readers.
Posts about growing black beans, cooking fiddleheads, which zucchini blossoms are which and step-by-steps to making stocks and sauces or crafting homemade pasta riddle this blog and always will with one exception over some others - I don’t know it all and I love to learn more!
2. Personal family stories: One of my favorite foodie things is reading stories about food and recipes and the history behind them, so I tend to share my own food connections with others. After all, that’s what blogs were intended to be, yes? A personal web log of whatever one had a mind to log. I try and keep it real here, and the family stories are not only fun for others to read, but also wonderful for me to re-live while writing. Grandma’s Confetti Cookies, Great Grandma’s Rabbit and Mom’s Fried Chicken are just a few of the tales I’ve had the pleasure to re-tell.
3. Original recipes or twists on classics: I try very hard not to re-post recipes from elsewhere. I have done it, and always give credit where credit is due, but I like to offer up something that you can’t find just anywhere, so I develop my own recipes or spin classics on their heads to keep things fresh and different. Banana Pear Bread, St. Andrè Dessert Tart and Simon and Garfunkel Roast Chicken are 3 of my favorite originals.
4. I am tenacious: When life gives me lemons, I don’t just make lemonade, I make 5-layer lemon chiffon cake topped with chocolate ganache and crumb-coated with hazelnuts - and why not?
In 2007, just after my second year of blogging and 6 months into blogging for Disney at Family.com, absolute disaster struck our family when my husband fell 3 stories from the roof of the building he was working on. It was a very dark and difficult time for us that continues to this day and my blogging outlet, though it was about food, proved to be an invaluable source of solace and the perfect outlet for all the many feelings I was going through. I kept blogging here making the most of things and came out stronger as a result.
5. Attention to detail: I am a bit of a perfectionist, so if there is a misspelling or grammatical error, an incorrect ingredient amount, or a link that’s not working, I try my best to fix it and make things as accessible and easy to read as possible. While I love to write and love to talk, I know the best way to keep a reader is to keep it short and sweet, so my posts often reflect that with a simple header, photo and recipe.
6. Humor: Life is funny, and even when it isn’t I can somehow draw the humor out of any given situation. I try to fit that into my blog as often as possible without being offensive, and I’m pretty sure most times I hit the mark fairly well. If not, oh well, at least I got a laugh out of it.
7. The last thing I have in my corner is also the best thing: I do all of this blogging here, on A Thousand Soups and recipe development at Family.com, with 7 children still at home. They were the impetus for this whole blogging career I’ve begun and they continue to be the thing that motivates me. Whether it’s because I spend a lot of time simply cooking for and feeding them or because they are my finest critics and biggest fans, they will forever be the reason I do what I do and the driving force behind my always wanting to be better.
So, there you have it, Cooking with Anne in 7 Easy Steps. I look forward to the remainder of this competition and wish all my fellow contestants the very best!