Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Treasures from the East...an ode to food bloggers


As much as I love cooking and baking, and even sharing my successes (and yes, failures) with you; my favorite thing about food blogging is the people.

I maintain a 'regular' blog, for those who might not of known, as well as this one. It's fun. My original intent, when I started keeping that sorta kinda online journal, was to keep my family and friends informed...I had recently become pregnant with Alex, we were about to move across the country; and every single person we knew was far, far away.
Cheaper than a phone call, or even a stamp; blogging was my way of letting those people I cared about what was going on in my life.

Somehow, and I think I can pinpoint the time to around Alex's birth, the blog became less about information, and more about fun. Quizzes, funny stories, odd news articles.

I still post the occasional revealing piece, but these days, my focus is really on this blog. My food blog.

And while I've made friends (and by friends, I'm pretty sure you all know what I mean...someone you've exchanged comments or even emails with, but have never met in person) with a few of my 'regular' bloggers, it's the food blogging community who've really welcomed me, and any number of foodies (who, like me, use run-on sentences. Bad English minor.), with open oven mitts.

Food bloggers...what an interesting group of people. Mostly women, but a decent showing by the guys, too. I like that. A man who cooks? Talk about sexy...

Diverse. I've 'met' people from all over the globe...Australia, Canada, Singapore, Denmark, New Zealand...and of course, all over these fifty states.

Careers. Housewives, lawyers, professional writers. Chefs, even. People from all walks of life, brought together by one passion: food.

And food bloggers are the most generous, supportive group I've never met. Put up a post about some dish you've made, and people are dropping by..telling you how tasty it sounds, what a gorgeous photo, and may they please have the recipe?
Ask a question; be it about an ingredient, or a dish, and you'll get responses from several continents. Food bloggers want to help. This is food we're talking about, after all.

And while there can be lively debates, I have not, in my experience, found examples of anyone degrading another blogger's attempts, or choices. We may not always agree with each other, but we're generally polite and positive about it.

Think about the various food blogging events...IMBB?. EoMEoTE. SHF. They bring us all together, for a common goal...without turning into a competition. There are no winners, and thus, no losers. Can you name many real-world events like this? When so many people put so much effort into something, and they don't walk away with a prize?

We grow older, we lose touch with our childhood friends. We move from our home base. But here, in the world of food blogging, we are surrounded by friends. We aren't clones; no, each one of us has a different personality, a different background. But we can all come together in the name of food.

And I don't know about the rest of the blogging community, but I've come to truly care about the day-to-day lives of many of you. My 'daily reads' are as much for the recipes as to see how you're doing. Make sure all's well with you.

When we begin to exchange emails, it's something like friendship, isn't it?

This past week has enforced that belief, somewhat. First, I received a lovely little package from Nic; cookies and candy, and a nice note...thanking me for participating in a new event: Blogging By Mail. What a wonderful surprise!

Saturday, it was another happy mail day, as Nicole of Craftapalooza sent, all the way from Australia, the May/June issue of the Donna Hay magazine (which I'm loving, by the way)...as a way of thanking me for sharing my crumpet recipe!

And this morning, another box from the mail man (that poor guy's always carrying packages to my door); this time, from Julia of Aroma Cookery, with whom I'd arranged a 'swap'. We sent a box filled with Mexican ingredients (not because we are Mexican...Matt's about as white as Wonder Bread, but because I'm told you don't find much authentic Mexican cuisine in Singapore), and Julia mailed one stuffed with local treats.

Our box arrived today...and the above picture shows what kind of goodies we got.

But it's not so much the stuff, although Matt kept saying 'oooh' to all the different packages; it's the fact someone I have not met face-to-face wanted to do this. Thought such a thing, a foodie swap, was important. That whatever our relationship is, it's important.

That's what I love about this community. That it is, in fact, a community. Don't ever change...

20 Thoughts for food:

At 1:14 AM, Blogger Anthony said...

They're a nice bunch the food bloggers. I think there's something naturally altruistic about somebody who'll go to the trouble of putting recipes up for people to use.

At 1:17 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Yes, they are!

At 2:18 AM, Blogger Clare Eats said...

Hi Stephanie!
I agreee :) (you already know that though!)

I think the recipes people share on their blogs show are very personal and show us alot about the writers personality. Anyways...

That looks like an awesome package you recieved. How much fun is it to get stuff by mail? *sigh*

It couldnt have happened to a nicer Gal :)

At 4:17 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

You're so right, Clare. I personally love reading about regional dishes. I mean, I grew up with the old American meat-and-potatoes, so there have been so many new food concepts for me.

It was a great package; now that I have a photo, I can starting enjoying it!

Aww...shucks. Thank you.

At 5:19 AM, Blogger Pille said...

Hi Stephanie,
I'm new to foodblogging, but indeed the atmosphere has been very warm and inviting - quite different from some web forums/discussion boards I used to visit. Knowing that someone you haven't met face to face is out there and reading your posts is very satisfying, and makes you much more reflexive about yourself and your cooking. And I really enjoy reading other people's blogs - a wonderful way to get inspired.
Looking forward to reading about your way of using up treasures from the East!

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Sam said...

Hear hear! To me - community - it is the best side effect of food blogging.
Btw - my dad sent me a subscription to Donna Hay for Christmas. I love it.

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Pillie...welcome to the wonderful world of food blogging! And may I say I'm thrilled to have someone from Scotland reading? Some of my family hails from there (long time ago...).

Sam, you're so right. Food bloggers are good people. And I'm almost jealous about your subscription! Lucky you...

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

I completely agree as well - I keep gushing to anyone who will listen about what a wonderful thing this food blogging is. And you are so right - it is a community, one that feels amazing cozy despite the fact that we are scattered far and wide.

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

No other place, on-line, have I found this sort of thing, either. It's just foodies!

At 11:40 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Nice Goodies!!

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, Joe...and Julia!

At 4:31 AM, Blogger Zarah Maria said...

Have nothing new to say, you already said it so well Stephanie! So just a "hear hear!" from me!:-) (And what lovely goodies!)

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Pille said...

Thanks, Stephanie. I'm indeed reading from Scotland, though I come originally from Estonia. I guess that explains my fondness of cabbage rolls:)

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Zarah Maria! Matt's already tried to talk me into making one of the curries for dinner, despite having other plans. Last night, he sat there, reading the boxes, over and over again. Like a little kid, waiting to have his candy! Only this box isn't as sweet.

Frankly, Pille, knowing you're from Estonia makes it even cooler! I don't think I've been read by anyone from the Baltic states prior to this. You're making this quite the global blog. So, thanks!

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Lex Culinaria said...

What a beautiful post. Makes me feel all warm. You're so right about everyone being wonderful and helpful. Such a great group of people really, and I'm so pleased to be a part of it.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thank you, Lyn!

It's nothing like message boards for TV shows, or actors, or comic books...or really, anything else. This is just a good place to be.

At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Julia said...

Hey Stephanie,
That was an amazing piece of prose. You couldn't have said it better. :)

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Julia...thank you so much!

You had a little bit to do with it, too...

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Laura said...

getting stuff in the mail is just too cool i'm a member of an odd pen club with a poetry site I belong too, and I love sending and getting nifty things.

this is the first food blog encounted (and I forget how, now, except that I was enthralled) it's so neat to see people that get excited over things like goat cheese, pastry, and good artichokes (okay you get my drift-- sounds tasty though doesn't it?)

I've even taken to photo graphing my best culinary exploits...

okay-- gonna wonder back into my shell again-- enjoy those treats!

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Laura, welcome!

I do love getting stuff in the mail, as long as it isn't an over-due notice!

Come back any time!


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