I was just learning to trust again after the whole pho incident, but I’m beginning to feel like we’re never going to have a truly honest relationship. YOU SIT UPON A THRONE OF LIES.
If food blogging were “over,” I’d like to believe you would’ve told me. Because I spend a lot of time here doing my little monkey dance, and I could be using those hours to do something trendier, like knitting cozies for trees or converting my small household appliances to steampunk. Screw fun! Screw passion! I AM BEHIND THE CURVE. UNACCEPTABLE.
But no, I am left to my own devices. Outside, the neighborhood trees shiver in the cold as inside, I slave away over this lentil and farro soup from Super Natural Every Day (I wanted to redeem Heidi after the black bean tragedy).
Next you’re going to tell me that no one listens to Kenny Loggins anymore. Or, more likely, you WON’T tell me, and I’ll get pity scorns on the subway as I absentmindedly hum along to my iPod. The Danger Zone indeed.
So either food blogging is over and no one sent me the memo, or food blogging is NOT over and I should keep chugging along.*
I think the question is flawed – it’s obviously not over, in the sense that anyone can still go out and start one if they like – and the actual question is probably one of the following:
- Are fewer people reading food blogs?
- Is it harder to use food blogging as a springboard for being famous?
- Are a lot of food blogs kinda dull?
- Have people taken the act of photographing every bite of food they eat too far, such that there’s no point in opening Instagram if you don’t feel like seeing someone’s sunnyside-up eggs as though there are vast swathes of America that have never encountered that method of egg cookery?
- Am I tired of all the egg photos and confused by what makes the egg such a compelling subject?
- Have I also been known to over-photograph, making me somewhat ambivalent re: my position on this point?
- Also, who am I to criticize other people for being dull?
- Who made me master of the universe?
- What are the perqs like for “master of the universe” anyway? I’d like full medical and generous vacation, but I don’t want to decide who lives and who dies or anything.
- If I did have to decide who dies, would anyone object if I picked the cast of Jersey Shore?
- Probably not. I’d still be uncomfortable, though. After all, they’ve got families who haven’t yet disowned them. I assume. Although possibly they are the offspring of an inflatable doll and a tanning bed.
*Another option: you sent me the memo, but since I usually just pick the bills out of my mail and trash the rest, I threw it away. My bad.
I think a lot of people are still reading food blogs, so #2 is the most likely culprit. No, it’s not as easy to use a food blog to become a food personality as it was six or seven years ago. Certainly, just being a blogger probably isn’t going to do it any more; you’ve gotta hustle, partner with brands, work the conference circuit. It probably helps if you sleep with Jeffrey Steingarten.
(Personally, I choose to approach things the lazy woman’s way: eventually, the other bloggers will die off, making it easier for someone to discover me without my having to compromise my voice. All I have to do is outlive everyone. Hopefully, the person who makes the discovery is not the food writing equivalent of an America’s Next Top Model casting scout. Or an actual America’s Next Top Model casting scout, for that matter. That Tyra is a despot.)
If I may be momentarily judgmental, as is my way, there’s a little bit of #3 in there too: there are a lot of dull blogs, period. I assume they’re either written by AOL-owned robots trying to re-colonize the internet or by people attempting to be blandly palatable to the greatest number of readers. A lot of blogs taste like chicken.
Which all makes me wonder, why do people start food blogs in the first place? Are we to assume that the goal is always to become a household name? I mean, I know this is America and we’re all trying to realize the American Dream of being rich enough to live a life of leisure, but maybe people just like to share recipes. And maybe, since we all eat multiple times per day for our entire lives, we happen to have a lot of interesting, relatable stories that intersect with food that we want to tell. Or we just love to write, and food seemed like a fun topic.*
To sum up, food blogging is:
- likely mostly dead if your goal is to become an overnight global brand, AND
- fun for the rest of us, THEREFORE
- let’s stop gazing at our collective navel and get on with shit.
*I still can’t explain why we like to take and/or look at photos of eggs. Ideas?
Like this lentil and farro soup with sweet potato and salted lemon yogurt. Which, you may be thinking to yourself, does not really look like “soup,” as soup usually involves liquid.
I don’t get it at all, because I followed the directions to a tee: saute diced onion* and sweet potato. Add curry powder, followed by farro, lentils and vegetable stock. Simmer – covered – until everything is cooked through, then salt to taste. Except that when I went back to the stove to the final taste-test, all the liquid had cooked out (or been absorbed) despite the presence of a cover.
I didn’t ponder the mystery for very long because I was really fucking hungry, lunch having consisted of half a bowl of Cheerios and a slice of banana cream pie. I piled my bowl full, added a dollop of yogurt and sat down to tuck in. Then I remembered Brian was there, so I made him a bowl, too.
*All I had in the house were red onions, which is what you see in the first picture. Yes, I know it looks like diced-up ham. I assure you it is not.
Soup or not, I’m in love with these lentils. My all-time favorite lentil preparation has to be this one, but these are way faster and easier and almost as good. The lentils (earthy), farro (nutty) and sweet potato (um, sweet) were wonderfully balanced. The tang of the yogurt cut through what could otherwise seem heavy. And it felt like a meal, not a side dish. I wasn’t like, “Great, where’s the pork chop?” I’ll definitely be making this again, and if I manage to successfully produce a soup, I think stirring in some dark greens just before serving would not be remiss.
And now, the dancing monkey requests a donation.