I can't believe it has been a whole year already! Time to sit down and reflect on my experiences. I must confess that, before I started this food blog, I had never looked at one. In fact, I had only known one blog about local "Things to do for kids". So why and how did I start? Well, after watching "Julie and Julia", HubbyGrouch kept telling me I should start a food blog. I have lots other interests and hobbies and hardly any time as it is, so I surely didn't want anything else on my daily to-do list. But subconsciously (helped along by HubbyGrouch's occasional remarks) this idea must have kept nagging on my mind because one day, seemingly out of the blue, I decided to start a blog. I have been keeping a "dinner diary" for a few years - just a notebook where I write down my meal plan and references for the recipes. I think I decided to start a blog as an online diary for whatever food I prepare. I used to put little post-its with my notes in my cookbooks, and with the blog, I would simply write down the recipe as I had adapted it for me. (In addition, I had the intention of including some views/incidents/opinion about life in the U.S.. I did that in the beginning but then cut those out because of lack of time. However, I do have a long list with notes about things I would like to mention and write about some time; and there are still rare occasions when I do find the time for one of my "opinion" posts.)
I had not the faintest idea about the whole big world of food bloggers out there. I did get more familiar with it over time, of course. Coming to understand the world of food blogging led/leads me to make some decisions and ask myself several questions. The main question being how much time and energy I was willing to invest in my blog. The answer was obvious to me: I started this blog as my online "dinner diary" and I want it to remain that way. Just typing up the recipes and writing a little introductory blahblahblah for each post, take enough (not to say more than I would like) of my too little time. Already I have difficulties keeping up with my posts. I guess I should just do more leftover days each week.
Among the things I have come to understand about the food blogging community are the following. Food blogging is not really about exchanging recipes. Most people seem to be rather set in their own way of cooking and although they are only too willing to look at a nice food picture on some else's blog and write a nice comment, it is very unlikely that they will ever try it. There seems a little more willingness to tryout other people's baked good, though. Also, maybe for that reason, baking blogs seem to be more popular that cooking blogs. There are several food blogger events where participants are "forced" to prepare a recipe from someone else's blog (and in my experience, more than 50% choose to bake rather than cook something). On the whole, the food blogging seems mainly seems to be a social network: you comment on other's posts, they return the favor. I like to look at other food blogs (though there are several among the most popular food blogs which, for me, are not worth wasting my time on because they don't offer anything exciting or worth trying). My favorite food blogs are ethnic ones, as I love to try out new recipes and get to know world cuisines. Other blogs I like to follow are those that have out-of-the ordinary, yet feasible (for a family) recipes. Then there are of course those blogs with truly stunning and inventive five-star recipes which I neither have the time (nor, probably, the talent) to prepare. The one thing I want to get better about is commenting on other people's posts. I keep scrolling through my google reader blog list and discover so many great posts but never get around to comment on even 10% of the posts I like.
The other thing about food blogging is, of course, photography. I have never considered this a hobby of mine and I never will. All I want is to quickly take a decent picture of my food and start eating. By the time dinner is ready to serve, I am hungry - I just want to eat. I know that I could just take a picture the next day when there's natural lighting, but we don't always have leftovers and I certainly don't want to cook an extra serving just to take a picture. I do want to improve the quality of my pictures and I am always looking for a quick and easy way to get a decent shot. Like most foodies (what a silly word), I love to look at amazing food photography, and there are some very talented food stylists out there. Again, I am well aware that I lack the time, talent and equipment for great food photography, and at this point I am unwilling to invest any time or money to improve either one.
At this point, the situation is as follows: Blogging is taking up way more of my time than I expected it would. My main objective is to keep the blog as my cooking/baking diary, spread the word a little, and, given the time to do so, look at & comment on other's recipes and participate in blog hops and events.