Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Updates & On Foodblogging

This little hiatus I've been on seems to be dragging on for quite some time.

I have had quite a bit of stuff happen since the start of the new year. I started a new job, for one thing, and so far that is going well, though seniors seem like a finicky bunch to cook for!

I also found a place to move to, and I have been distracted lately with the details of that. I'll be moving between March 15 and April 1 (the place will be vacated by March 15 but it needs some paint & a few odds and ends done to it), and you can read more about my new home here. I haven't lived on my own for about 13 years, and I'm feeling quite daunted by it. The responsibility of it sometimes threatens to overwhelm me. This is a huge step for me, and I know it will be a positive thing, but it's stressful and frightening.

I also have been asked to be a columnist for our local online paper, The Rossland Telegraph. This came about indirectly through blogging, but more directly via my one-woman Owe-lympic protest when the torch relay came through town on January 24. You can see that post here. The protest went great and I was not arrested, and the editor of the Telegraph saw me out there with my sign (I was hard to miss). When he did his story on the torch relay, I sent him the link to my blog post, and after he read a bit of my "every day" blog, he asked if I'd like to write columns for the Telegraph. He invited me to a meeting with the two other guys who run the site and it was a great group of forward-thinking, open-minded people. So, now I have a a monthly column, the first of which was published today, and you can read it here. Well, I am now a columnist twice over, since I am still writing for Bread 'n Molasses (the new article will be coming out in the March 1 issue, and I'll post it when I get my copies of the magazine).

I have been struggling with food blogging lately for a few reasons.

For one thing, I'm trying to lose a bunch of weight, so I have pretty much stopped baking and I am eating what seems to me to be fairly unblogworthy meals. Nothing exciting, nothing overly photogenic. So far, so good: I am down 17lbs and have 24 to go.

I also have been distracted with other life stuff, as detailed above.

Mainly though, time is a factor. It's not the writing of the blog that is the big time consumer, it's the reading & commenting on everyone else's blogs. I subscribe to dozens of food blogs and I love them all! I really do! But I simply have not got the time to read and comment on so many food blogs anymore. And let's face it, there is a lot of give & take in the food blogging community. No one will read this site if I don't read other sites; my traffic proves that.

Food blogging has been a huge lifeline for me these past 3 - 4 years as I've been through a huge episode of MDD and been in recovery for that episode in that time. This blog gave me purpose, structure, goals, interaction, it's produced friendships and connections, and it's been fun, educational, and a great adventure. But I'm not sure I need it in the same way I did while I was so sick. Life is starting to open up for me (knock on wood it stays that way) and I don't have the same need for what food blogging has provided me with in the past.

I am not shutting down the site and I'm not quitting food blogging, but I do need to find a way for it to work in my current life, and I really don't know yet how that will look. It might be in limbo for a while longer as I sort it all out for myself. My traffic is going to suck, which means my advertising revenue is going to suck, but there isn't a lot I can do about that. I have to find a way for this to work for me again, and I don't know how long that will take.

Thanks to everyone for reading & sticking with me. You can always keep up with my general life stuff over at Wandering Coyote. Take care & I will see you when I see you!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Review: My China, by Kylie Kwong

I treated myself to this weighty tome for Christmas, being a fan of Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking, which launched my series Cooking with Kylie.

My China's subtitle is "A Feast for the Senes" and that it definitely is.

Kylie is a fourth generation Chinese Australian, born in Sydney. This book is her homage to her Chinese heritage, and recounts her travels through much of China and Tibet, cooking and eating as she goes. She starts off in the village of her ancestors, where she is greeted like a long lost relative and where she cooks up the first of many feasts featuring local ingredients in rustic cooking conditions. My China takes the reader everywhere: up the Yangtze, along the Silk Road, the Great Wall, to the great cities of Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Beijing, to Lhasa in Tibet, and to a place that really fascinates me Xi'an, where the Terracotta Army resides. Interspersed with food history and stories, are cultural vignettes featuring Chinese history written with Kylie's sense of wonder, respect, and enthusiasm.

Kylie's descriptions of her experiences are a feast for all the senses. She is a great writer, I discovered, incorporating sound, taste, touch, and smell into her narrative so well I could imagine myself there with her. And there are plenty of large, colourful photos to feast the eyes on.

There are over 80 new recipes in this book, and I have yet to try them. But I will!

This is a great companion book to Beyond the Great Wall, which I reviewed here. There were many similarities between the two books, both being a great mixture of travelogue, photographs, recipes, and personal stories.

If you are fan of Kylie Kwong and Chinese food, history, and culture, you cannot go wrong with My China!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Recent Lunches

My SIL and I ate at The Greek Oven in Castlegar a couple of weeks ago, and it was pretty good. I had eaten there before once, three years previously, and didn't think it was very good. I had had a calamari meal and the coating on the squid was really salty. I decided to give the calamari another try this most recent visit, though, and it was actually decent. Shan had a chicken souvlaki wrap. The lunch menu at The Greek Oven is varied and inexpensive, and I would definitely go again.

I also had yet another great lunch at the Sunshine Cafe last week, along with my brother & SIL.

I had a chicken burger with mushrooms, bacon and Swiss cheese - yum!

My brother had the special, which was a capicolli pannini.

My SIL had a custom wrap full of all kinds of goodies - she said it was delicious.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Job So Far...

I just posted about my first three training shifts here, if you are interested.

Quiz: What Diner Food Are You?

I found this at Raincoaster's site.

You Are Chicken Fried Steak

You are bold and fearless. You tend to think big, and that includes eating big.

If you're going to go out to eat, then you're going to order something amazing. No salads for you!

You live in the now. You figure the future is uncertain, so you might as well just make the best of today.

You don't believe in moderation or holding back. You just go for it, consequences be damned.


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