Wednesday, September 10, 2008

on blogging and brain-freeze

Blogging is hard.

I've been at this one now for 6 months, and all I can say is that I find it difficult to be happy with the way I am writing. I can't help but compare my blog to some of the ones out there that I find interesting -- either because they have great photography or great writing (for some examples, see my blog roll to the right). Lately, I feel like I have neither...though I know my family, at least, would say that's not true.

But sometimes you need more than positive input from your family. I'm looking into some creative writing courses to give me some new perspective.

Until I recover from my writer's block, here's a selection of some of the food-related things that are percolating in my brain:

Smoked salmon-wrapped scallops: One of the best seafood meals I had this summer was at the Green House on Main in Shediac, NB. My sisters-in-law and I had lunch there as part of a "girls' day out". In a menu full of dishes like crispy salmon cakes, seafood chowder and fresh lobster, it really stood out. So much so that all four of us wound up ordering it, because not one us could fathom the idea of sharing it. Five fresh, huge scallops hugged tight by a thin slab of smoked salmon, served with fresh fruit, a green salad and a wedge of lemon.

more of my favorite dishes from Hollyhock: I went back to the Spreads and Dips section of the cookbook and pulled out the recipe for the white bean and sage dip (my Food Co-op order with a caseload of white cannellini beans finally came in!). It was delicious, especially when I spread it on a hearty slice of wholewheat bread and ate it with the last of my spinach and green garlic soup [recipe courtesy of Orangette]. One of the most perfect pairings I have ever eaten in my entire life, because both things have very subtle flavours and smooth textures that played off each other in the most wonderful way....

not-just-the-same-old pasta dishes: Whether by design or by accident, I have not submitted a post to Presto Pasta Nights in quite a while (I'm afraid to go back and count the weeks). Pasta has turned into a bit of a side-serving with something else kind of dish, and as a result, I have not put much effort into finding new and interesting ways to serve it. I tried creating a couple of dishes without a recipe, but I think I still need to experiment a bit more before I share anything with the blogging community. (pasta with blueberries was a bomb, but couscous with roasted beets, pecans and feta cheese had promise). So hopefully, I'll be able to come up with something to submit in time for my turn to host.

One of the bigger topics that keeps rolling around in my head (and one which I'm not quite sure what to with yet) is the whole issue of where food comes from. I've been attracted to things like The Omnivore's Dilemma and a National Geographic article on the importance of soil to the world's food supply. I'm probably not going to turn this blog into a soapbox for better growing practises, but I am pretty sure that what I am reading will have an effect on my cooking and blogging.

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