Thursday 2 June 2011

Shoots, Eats and Blogs (Top 10 List)

Blogging means:

1. Inspiration. Blogging inspires me when I don't know what to make for dinner. I turned to blogging because I was fed up with the same old vegetarian recipes in magazines and cookbooks. I never tire of the recipes I find on blogs. Since starting blogging my cooking has being more varied, more interesting and I can always find somewhere to eat out.

2. Adventure. Food bloggers are intrepid explorers in the blogosphere in search of the exotic and the novel.  I love cruising a food store in search the delight of an unusual ingredient I have read about.  A blog event can have me on the sofa surrounded by cookbooks in search of something fancy-schmancy or kooky or of a new dietary persuasion.  Blogging has taken me off the beaten track and into some strange but fascinating places.

3. Learning. Blogging has made me more curious. When writing up recipes for the blog, I pay more attention to ingredients, techniques and my mistakes.  In turn this helps me build on ideas and redress problems. Since starting my blog, I have developed recipes, picked up tips from other bloggers, and learnt a thing or two about others' food heroes such as Dan Lepard in the UK and Annabel Langbein in the NZ.
4. Presentation. Never my strong point, but I have made more of an effort to 'plate up' my food for the blog.  I confess I usually get the pretty plate and E gets the messier one.  I probably wouldn't bother as much if I was not going to photograph it and share it.  Though I do love colours and patterns, so it is satisfying when my photos are pleasing to both the eye and the stomach.

5. Patience.  Blogging means never eating as soon as food reaches the plate.  Dinner sits steaming.  I tell E to start without me (that is why he gets the ugly plate of food).  I point and shoot with my camera.  Usually I take a few photos and feel it is good enough.  I am too hungry to be a perfectionist.  I want to sit and enjoy the meal with E.  More patience is required when I have time to set up food to photograph.  Even more patience if Sylvia is anywhere near me.

6. Photography.  I have always enjoyed taking photos.  However I have never taken so many photos as I have done since starting my food blog.  I have learnt a few tricks but have much to learn yet.  Since I have decided not to put faces of family and friends on my blog, I have to think of other ways to represent people visually.  Blogging has made me value photographing more than just smiling faces. 

7. Bright lights.  Who wants mood lighting when you want to photograph your meal!  Since I started my blog, I have found that the fluorescent light above the kitchen table is my friend.  (Shh don't tell anyone as I don't think this is the right way to photograph food!)  When we eat out, I look for a brightly lit seat so I can get a decent photograph.  Window seats, summer nights, brightly lit kitchens all delight me. 

8. Connections.  The connections with other bloggers has enriched my cooking and my life.  Blog rolls, links, blog events and comments are all part of the way the internet works as a web of ideas and joins up like-minded individuals to form a sense of community.  My blog has brought me a wealth of friendships, support, feedback, comments, suggestions and ideas.

9. Sharing.  Far from isolating me (as some in the media would have you believe), blogging has encouraged me to share food with others.  Food bloggers tend to make more food than they can eat and I am no exception.  I am always happy to bring a dish to a gathering, though I will also often ask, "what do you think about this?"

10. Differences.  Blogging has taught me a lot about national and regional differences.  Having lived in the UK, I had thought the differences with Brits in cooking were because we were so like Americans.  However, blogging has given me a sense of the Australian cuisine as being more unique than I thought.  Just watch Australians and Americans discussing pumpkins, biscuits or grilling and you will wonder if they are even talking the same language. Makes me feel like a cosmopolitan foodie!

I started writing this post a long time ago.  It was inspired by Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella.  Check out her entertaining three posts about Things you should know about Food Bloggers.


  1. What a great summary. I really relate to some of these - especially points 1 through 4 - and have loved the new slant that blogging provides on cooking, recipes, and food. Not only do I gain inspiration from others, I'm motivated to try out different things myself, which is a combination I'm really liking.

  2. Great post Johanna! It's funny how blogging really opens up worlds. I'm amazed at all of the connections that I've made :)

  3. This is such a great post! I've only been blogging for 4 months now, and I can relate to almost all of your 10 points - especially points 3,4,5, 7 & 8!

  4. I love your posts about blogging! And I absolutely agree with what you'd said above. I also might add community and support because that's what I've immensely experienced during the past months.

    Isn't romanesco just beautiful? And it's actually a fractal! :D Whee, how fabulous is this?!

  5. Btw, I'm happy that the dots are still around. :)

  6. Fab post Johanna.
    Makes me refect on my own reasons for blogging.

  7. You've caught the food blogger's psyche really well in this. Some great points which resonate, but number 7 really made me laugh.

  8. Hear, hear - some interesting and thought provoking points.

  9. Great post Johanna. I can relate to most of these points and had a bit of a chuckle when I read point 5. I always tell the others to start without me which sometimes means their plates are cleaned by the time I sit down to eat!

  10. Okay, if I don't leave this very second I'll be late for my work meeting, but I just wanted to say that I love the joy and happiness you've found in blogging, which I've found too, and also... hi! I'm in Melbourne! Wheeee!

  11. This is a great post. I've found all of the above apply to me. It's been six years of discovery and learning about food and photography. And the connections made through blogging are amazing.

  12. fab post Johanna and happy to say I 'yep, yep, yep'ped my way through most of them. Haven't managed to master 7 yet and blogging in the winter always features less food posts as my indoor evening photos are so rubbish. But as you say it inspires me to make better day time lunches.

  13. Great post! So many of these apply to me, too. I really have enlarged my repertoire since I began blogging. And I must say, presentation isn't my strong suit, either! :)

  14. Thanks Kari - I am glad it resonates - blogging is great for inspiration

    Thanks Lorraine - the world of blogging is so diverse that everyone is bound to find people they click with

    Thanks Leah - it doesn't take long to feel the joy of blogging

    Thanks Kath - definitely support is one of the great things about blogging. And hearing from others who also appreciate romanesco broccoli. Glad you like the dots I have tried a few other looks and nothing fits so well

    Thanks MangoCheeks - reflecting on blogging helps me avoid taking it for granted

    Thanks Choclette - blogging is fun so it is good that it makes people laugh

    Thanks Cakelaw

    Thanks Mel - E and Sylvia eat so slowly that I can usually catch up - though there are days when I don't

    Thanks Hannah - how exciting that you are in Melbourne - and love sharing some blogging joy with you

    Thanks Ed - yes blogging is full of discoveries - just when you think you know it all, someone just blows your mind with a new taste or idea

    Thanks Nic - thank goodness for my fluro light or I would be hopeless in winter too - I once read about bloggers coming home at lunchtime in winter to photograph the previous days dinner - which gave me a sympathetic laugh.

    Thanks Ricki - glad to strike a chord - I am always in awe of your presentation so am surprised to hear you don't consider it a strength

  15. I'm totally with you - I want to eat and enjoy it more than trying to take the perfect food photo. That is such a gorgeous plate! It reminds me of the one I recently bought from Turkey.


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