Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The blogs and sites that I have listed to the right contain some of the best writing and photography I know. They are sites that I visit often. Some are fairly well known and some obscure, but I enjoy them all and hope others will, too. Here's a quick overview of the current sites:
Cheap and Cheerful - this is the site of the fabulous Maggie - writer extraordinaire! The whole focus of her site is in the name - inexpensive things (crafts, books, meals, etc.) that bring a smile. I first 'met' Maggie at eGullet, where she is a regular contributor. Maggie writes beautifully - especially about food and she's been
published in the 'real world' in Gastronomica and Best Food Writing of 2009. Maggie is one of my online friends that I wish lived next door.
Cook's Korner - probably my favorite food site. It was started by folks who were involved at eGullet (see below), so the set-up is similar, but it is much more intimate and personal. We are a fairly small group of regulars, so we've gotten to know one another. There are some extremely talented cooks at this site and a lot of knowledge.
Dealing in Subterfuges - I think that I found this site from some website that was making fun of Sandra Lee. I don't do 'snark' much, but I laugh guiltily at it when it's funny and clever. This blogger is both funny and clever. I see her around the internet at some food/tv sites and her contributions are very personal and recognizable. She's obviously much younger than me, so I don't always get her cultural references or share her interests, but when she's snarking on Sandy or doing a hilarious recap of Top Chef, there's no one better.
eGullet - this is another food site, the first one that I really got involved in. It's a lot larger and sometimes less personal than cookskorner, but when I need help with something, it's nice to have access to such a huge assortment of folks. The other members include home cooks and professionals - from all over the world. If you need a restaurant in Singapore or a store that sells Skippy Peanut Butter in Paris, they can help. Looking at the pictures and reading the process of dishes is interesting to me.
Goodreads - This is a website for readers. At it's simplest, it's a place to keep track of what you've read. You can rate and review books, make a 'to-read' list, see what other people thought of the book. You can also join groups and have friends and get updates - like on a social networking site. Your level of involvement is up to you. They have Q&A's with authors. I just participated in one with Alexander McCall Smith and it was fascinating.
Kim's Cookbook - this is just my online recipe collection. By and large, if I've made it in the last 20 years, it's in there. There are more than 1000 recipes and they are mostly tried and true. I've put a few family recipes in there that were given to me that I haven't tried yet. The host site, The Recipe Circus, is a wonderful tool - free recipe storage, a search function and connection to their food website cyber-kitchen.com (Mimi's Cyber Kitchen at right), a fun and friendly community of home
Lawn Tea - This blog is a special, special place. I honestly don't know how to do Rachel, at Lawn Tea justice. She's the mother I dearly wish I had been, the grandmother that I pray I can be someday and the friend I aspire to be. Her writing can be hilariously funny, poignant, heartbreaking - but it is always compelling and captivating and TRUE. She started out as one of my 'invisible internet friends' (what I used to call The Child's online friends - I considered them one notch up from imaginary friends - people like Rachel and Maggie have made me reconsider that stance) on eGullet. I was irresistibly drawn to her writing and personality and magic. We connected on that shared food and country upbringin' Southern girl level (I was born in Washington DC and raised in suburban Alexandria VA, but spent every summer of my young life on my grandparent's farm in Reidsville NC) - she is Southern to the bone. We started trading emails back and forth, discovering even more shared interests and tastes. For Christmas 2008, Mr. Kim gave me a trip to see Rachel and we went out to see her and her family in the spring of 2009. This was one of the loveliest gifts I've ever received - both from Mr. Kim and Rachel herself. You know, it's kind of a weird thing that we did - traveling over 600 miles to meet people that you've never laid eyes on. Rachel and her husband, Chris could be excused for wondering who these odd, stalkery people were. Instead, they were the personification of generosity and hospitality. Chris spent time finding and investigating a beautiful B&B for us. He and Rachel planned and cooked and welcomed us into their midst like we were family. If you want to read about that wonderful trip, you can see my report and a link to Rachel's (MUCH better version) report here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/123788-travelogue-indiana/ . For me, the day that Rachel started her blog Wednesday, November 12, 2008 was like Christmas and Easter and Birthday all wrapped up in one wonderful package. I get an almost daily dose of the gentle, wry and beautiful writing and reminiscences that I so love. Of all of the sites that I visit and enjoy, Lawn Tea is my favorite.
Meandering - This is the blog of one of my dearest friends from high school. Jeff majored in botany in college and runs his own company - Jeff Minnich Garden Design. He's a wonderful designer and writer - funny and wise.
Pioneer Woman - one of the first bloggers that I started following. Ree, the author is an amazing person - a wonderful writer, cook, photographer - the list goes on and on. She's someone that I would hate if I didn't love her so much. Following the story of this city girl turned ranch wife is fascinating and laugh out loud funny.
Suck Out All the Marrow - The Child's blog. She is a wonderful writer, with smarts and wit and a thoughtful quality to her writing that slays me. She has, however, only posted one message on her blog since she started it in March this year, so perhaps not as prolific as a mother would wish :^).
The Spamwise Chronicles - This blog writer is someone that I 'met' on both eGullet and cookskorner. He lives in NYC (one of my daydreams) and is a wonderful, healthful, and imaginative cook. Just reading this blog will make you want to run out to the nearest farmer's market and get busy. He's truly inspiring.
Whenever I read a really crappy book (since I am a voracious reader this happens rather a lot), I marvel that stuff like that gets publish and people make money from it, yet these amazing writers that I've mentioned above write for free. By the click of a button, we have access to smart, funny, incredibly talented people. Gratis. And then, when I'm feeling discouraged about the state of our culture, finally, someone in the publishing business noticed Ree at Pioneer Woman and she has a book out now, with the possibility of more soon. There is hope, after all.