Challenges—Food and Otherwise

The sweet sweet smell of baked sweet potatoes is filling my home as I type these words. The first time anything feels relaxing in my apartment in a while. I have lots of things I plan to write on this blog in the coming weeks, but I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and write a more thoughtful entry. So here are just a few random things about food that I want to share with you this week, dear readers:

  • Kat Kinsman’s interview on Eat Your Words podcast gives me hope about the possibility of food writing and about the fact that my food blog is kind of all over the place. Kinsman, who’s a Senior Editor at Extra Crispy, speaks mostly about her new book, Hi, Anxiety, since each episode of Eat Your Words features an interview with a food writer whose book has just been published. But the conversation also veers into the subject of food media and mental illness in the food industry. Check out Kinsman’s website, Chefs With Issues, which she launched to address the mental health crisis in the food world. She’s just such a cool and inspiring journalist.
  • The Eat Your Words interview also mentioned Amanda Hesser’s 2012 article about professional food writing. The host, Cathy Erway, calls it “doom-and-gloom,” but I love its honesty and pragmatism. I don’t know whether things have changed in the US since the article came out, but as a writer working in Thailand, I appreciate that Hesser’s advice stares at reality in the face and still offers alternatives. With so many magazines closing in Thailand last year and newspapers’ headcount freeze, professional and aspiring writers just need to be realistic and/or more creative and enterprising these days. Plus, having a variety of skills never hurts.
  • While talking to my boyfriend about history and how I can address the subject in my oral history writing class I learned that one of the first things humans wrote was not stories, but grocery lists.
  • If you follow me on Instagram (find link below), then you know that I’ve challenged myself to cook one recipe from Genius Recipes cookbook and column per week for 10 weeks. I cooked Roy Finamore’s Broccoli Cooked Forever for the first week. Last week, I made Roger Vergé’s fried eggs with wine vinegar (pictured above in comparison to the cookbook’s version). No disasters so far. And it’s been fun. This week, I’m going to try Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman’s ginger fried rice. So stay tuned for the result!

Until next time…