May 2013 – February 2014
The Next Course is about why we cook and why we blog. It is a place to explore the role of cooking in our lives, but also a place to consider why we would want to write about food and share those thoughts with others.
Why do so many people take the time to step into the kitchen to create and then write about food?
Why share recipes, photographs, and stories on the internet?
What role are bloggers playing in the Food Movement?
How I got here…
My first exposure to food blogs was in 2009, when my friend Suzanne introduced me to Bella Eats. I was intrigued, and spent a long time digging back into Andrea’s archives and exploring some of the other blogs she linked to. But at that time, I decided I was not in a truly healthy enough place to be reading these mostly weight loss, 3x a day, food diary type blogs.
Flash forward two and a half years, and I rediscovered both Bella Eats and Kath Eats. I became a dedicated follower of Kath’s blog, and I began to branch out and discover other blogs. My Google Reader began to fill up with food blogs I love, and I have come to feel like I know many of these women I read on a daily basis. I have discovered new products, been encouraged to try new flavor combinations, and tapped in to an entire world that I didn’t know existed previously.
About this time, I began talking to my younger sister about starting a food blog of her own. I sent her links to blogs I enjoyed, tips on photography, and more. We discussed potential “backdrops” for photos, and I began helping her to brainstorm names.
And then it hit me… I wanted to become a blogger, too. So Casey and I started a collaborative blog, Pas de Deux. Our focus has mostly been on recipes, but from time to time we shared a book review, dance review, or restaurant review. We chose the name because, as dancers, it seemed the perfect fit—two sister, living on two different coasts, creating a “duet” through our sharing of food.
In the course of the past year, I have grown to love the many elements of blogging. From dabbling in web coding and design, to working hard to get “pinterest-worthy” photos, to struggling to find my voice as a writer, and, of course, having an excuse to spend entire weekends in the kitchen making one thing after another, blogging has been an absolute joy.
I frequently read posts about “how to start a food blog”, and one thing that has stuck with me is the question of “why”? With so many food blogs out there, why add your voice to an already over-crowded conversation? This question has begun to fascinate me, and has become something I think about often.
For me, Pas de Deux was a bit of an experiment. It was a chance to solidify the creative act of cooking, by photographing and writing about it. It was a chance to feel more “legitimate” when reading and commenting on blogs—I wanted to have at least a taste of the experience of blogging and to feel like a contributing member of the community of bloggers I was interacting with more and more frequently. It was a way for my sister and me to be in more frequent contact, and in some ways, to transform our broken relationship with food into a healthy and positive one. In the process, we re-awakened a family-wide recognition of our passion for cooking.
The Next Course will take my exploration a step further. It will include some recipe sharing, interviews with bloggers and food writers, quotes about the “why” of food, and book/article reviews.
I hope this space will become a resource to others, where we can engage in conversation not only about what we like to cook and why we choose to spend our lives in the kitchen, but also about the blogs we create, and what they add to our lives, and to society at large.