Thursday, October 21, 2010

Are You an Eater or a Cooker?

I've never really written about food before writing this blog. Can you tell? :) But seriously...I have often noticed a little bit of a rift in food blogs. The rift is between what I like to call "eaters" and "cookers." Often I find the food blogs are either writing about recipes and cooking or, on the flip side, about restaurants, food culture and eating experiences. I would not say that there is a total wall up between these two types of food blogs, but for the most part many seem to fall into these two categories.

I definitely think one gets a little less street cred when writing about restaurants and eating (Maybe I'm just zensziteeeeve? :)). When I perusing some information on the BlogHer Food Conference, I definitely saw more of the cooking side of food blogging represented. While the workshops were good for bloggers of all stripes to build up their skills in social media, branding, and the like, many of the food related workshops seemed to be slightly tilted towards "cookers." That's not a bad thing, but I think there are many people writing about food in a variety of contexts that could use some encouragement from a conference juggernaut like BlogHer. Maybe I'm just a tad biased? :)

If you haven't noticed, I don't write about the recipes I try or the food I cook. I'm sure some of you might even be surprised to read that I DO actually COOK. :) It's not that I don't cook often (since starting this blog, NYC had a ridiculous hot summer, which lessens my desire to cook). Cooking just doesn't inspire me to write. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy it. I made a pretty fabulous Eggplant Parmesan this weekend that Husband J is still talking about, and I had fun making it. Lots of dredging large eggplant pieces in flour and egg...woo hoo! :)

I think part of my lack of inspiration to write about cooking is a function of me wanting to blog about a certain type of relationship to food that intrigues me the most. I'm interested in why we eat what we eat and where we eat it. I'm interested in the public culture of food and the role it has in our daily lives. So far that's taken the role of telling you where I eat and whether I liked it. I hope to write some more of the social context of food and eating soon too.

On a practical level, unless I'm having a dinner party or trying to prepare for a holiday dinner, I don't go searching high and low for recipes. I just go to my old standby of the few cookbooks I've got and my trusty monthly Food and Wine magazine. Maybe it's the bad-ass food styling or the articles with fast or challenging recipes, but I usually cook at least one to two recipes from Food and Wine per month. Other than that, I am pretty lazy in my search for fascinating recipes.

Honestly, I think there are just people who do the cooking blogging waaaaay better than I would. Like who? Check out my some of my blogging friends:

Fresh Brioche
The Nifty Foodie
Big Apple Nosh (By the way, I think she's a good mix of "Eater" & "Cooker" (more like "Baker"))

So I will throw it out there to you folks. Are you a "cooker" or an "eater" or both? What intrigues you the most about food? Its preparation? Eating different cuisines? Finding a fun out of the way hole-in-the-wall joint? Finding a cool recipe that you can make your own? A little bit of everything? I'd like to know!

P.S. Perhaps one day I will write about something that I have cooked. I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I am definitely going to need your help!! Anyone know how to make turkey?


stephanie michele said...

I'm a cooker and an eater - I cook the easy stuff and like to eat the fancy stuff elsewhere. I just don't have that much time, or dedication, to devote to gourmet cooking in my own kitchen.

I blog a little of both, but nothing compared to you or the others you listed above (and I follow all of you)!

Sugar said...

Is it ok to say that I am a reader- ha. I read all of you alls blogs. I never blog about cooking because I am a pretty sad chef, and I don't blog about food because I eat it too fast.
If you are looking for the very BEST recipes try America's Test Kitchen/Cooks Illustrated. I have the BEST cranberry sauce recipe that is always a hit (contact me if you want the recipe). Plus, look for a Turkey recipe that uses paprika- best T-day turkey that I have ever had!! Good luck!!

notesfromthebench said...

You know, I'd never noticed that divide, but you're totally right! I guess I'm an occasional 'cooker' (I don't post too many recipes, but I have never written about restaurant food). I think it has something to do with feeling weird about taking photos of food in restaurants. Also not knowing how it was prepared, I feel silly saying "this was delicious" and then not being able to say anything about how it was made or what exactly is in it. Growing up, my mom was always sharing recipes and teaching me and others how to cook things she'd made, so maybe I just have it ingrained in me to share how to make something I think is delicious? Great post, it's got me thinking!

BigAppleNosh said...

Hey, thanks for the shout-out! I've noticed that kinda division into either cooking blogs or eating blogs, but I was never able to articulate it as clearly as you do here. I always feel like I'm "faking" it when I blog about cooking/baking. I really like learning about different neighborhoods and places around the world (and what to eat there!) from your blog!

Try Anything Once Terri said...

@Stephanie Michele - Thank you so much for reading. :)

@Sugar- I've heard GREAT things about Cook's Illustrated. I definitely want to check it out. I may be e-mailing you for some recipes. I am definitely making cranberry sauce from scratch.

@notesfromthebench - That's cool that you and your Mom enjoy sharing recipes and cooking info. I think one of the greatest parts of food is the sharing/communal aspect of it all.

@Big Apple Nosh - I don't think you are faking it at all. I like your baking/cooking posts! :)

lavenderpug said...

oh thanks for mentioning my blog! these days i'm definitely more of a cooker, but i used to be much more an eater. i still love to be an eater, but like you (in reverse image), the eating doesn't inspire me as much because people like you and bigapplenosh do such a good job at it! plus i live in UWS, where there's really nothing much to blog about in terms of restaurants. sad.

M and C said...

I'm definitely a cooker but I'm very happy to be the eater. I don't discriminate.


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