On Blogging

Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm Duchess 26

I believe that given the chance,everyone would press pause. We live in a too-fast world; we interface, we tweet, we text. We walk down the street and close ourselves off with iPods. Instead of taking a breather, we grab what's fastest and easiest for lunch. At night we anesthetize ourselves by watching people on TV with awful fake tans yell and hit each other. We forget that rosemary and thyme make everything smell terrific, sugar and spice makes everything nice, and nothing is as pleasurable as the company of those we love.

If I can remind people of the pleasure of herbs and spices, I’d be pleased. If I can convince people that food and cooking are manifestations of love, I’d be thrilled. And when I write something that touches a reader enough to stop, breathe, and boil water even just once a week… I’m fulfilled.

I can’t help but wonder if Pauline and Olga felt the same way. After I started blogging, I discovered that two of my great, great grandmothers wrote about food:  Olga wrote about entertaining and Pauline, a journal of her struggles keeping kosher in South Africa during the turn of the last century. I’d always heard that Olga was an endlessly elegant woman and Pauline was an amazing cook and that’s all I knew. But my new found link to these women in my own history makes my journey through blogging that much more important: no longer an indulgence, I’m now continuing a tradition. I’m writing book on entertaining and recording my food journal one blog entry at a time.

As a child, I traveled around the world with my parents. No matter where we were, whether it was a beach shack in Guadeloupe or a three star restaurant in Spain, my father would say: “You don’t have to like it …” and my mother would finish with “ … but you have to try it.” And almost everywhere we went people would say, “That young child is eating that?” Yes, that young child ate squid ink pasta at five, calamari a la plancha at six, raw fish at about seven,and sweetbreads at eight. The best, however, was when a four-year-old me declared that the only egg I ever intended to eat again, was caviar.

 My 3rd Birthday


But after a long day at work, followed by a longcommute on the subway, am I really going to make cayenne-spiced, bacon-wrapped bonbons, or suggest that my readers do? No, probably not. I share recipes with my readers that I hope they will actually be inspired to make. (Hmm,cayenne-spiced, bacon-wrapped bonbons…)

I see my blog as a love letter:  to my parents for encouraging me to become who I am; to my friends for laughing with me and asking for seconds; to my readers, all of whom I would invite over to dinner in a heartbeat; and finally, to my husband, without whom this blog would be a boring, unattractive, anemic thing.

I cook, I write, I live, and love in Brooklyn. And that’s not just somewell-alliterated sentence; it’s a truth that I hold onto dearly. With this blog, I invite people into my kitchen to share my life. I hope my readers find that moment to pause and delight in the people and foods around them.

Somewhere, Olga and Pauline are setting a table and kneading dough. They’re with me, nodding in approval, as I record my own culinary history and share it with the world.

 Great Grandmother Olga


 Great Grandmother Pauline


  • my parents had the same philosophy – and I follow it still to this day – try everything once :)

  • Debbie says:

    very touching and beautiful story…life is too fast-paced….love your comparisons to food…much luck!

  • RamblingTart says:

    I absolutely adore this post, Elisabeth. So beautiful, heart-warming, touching, inspiring, everything. :-) I love learning about your past, what has shaped you. It makes your other posts make even more sense. :-) Thank you!

  • Wow – this post made me both hungry and teary all at once. This is a beautiful homage to your family and friends, and it is so true – without the people we love the food we consume is nothing more than fuel. It is the time shared that makes it so sweet (or savory, as the case may be)!

  • Ben says:

    I love Brooklyn, and I love this post.

  • A wonderful post and a great introduction to who you are as a blogger! You're writing is beautiful and heartfelt.

  • Thank you for sharing your life. I look forward to reading more. I will be posting my project food buzz entry tomorrow. Check it out and let me know what you think.Ashleewww.ashandlewplus2.com

  • HopeStreet says:

    I was a fussy eater as a kid and didn't like my mom's cooking, but now that I'm older, I appreciate most of those foods I rejected. My one regret is that I didn't pay attention and can't easily recreate my mother's recipes.

  • A wonderful, thoughtful post. Happy competing! As an aside, have you by any chance read 97 Orchard? I think you might enjoy it.

  • Reeni says:

    What a beautiful post and tribute to both of your great grandmas! You have my vote – best of luck!

  • TavoLini says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing!

  • TavoLini says:

    (I tried to post before, but not sure if it went through..)I really enjoyed reading this post–thank you for sharing.

  • Beautiful post. What wonderful experiences you had as a kid. Amazing! Best of luck to you in the competition!

  • susan says:

    makes me want to come to Brooklyn!love you,Susan

  • Ruby says:

    Stunning entry – I loved it.

  • Kindall says:

    I heart you, lots and lots. I miss sharing mussels with you. Soon? Pretty please?-Kindall

  • FOODalogue says:

    Lovely, well-written entry. I want to see more. You've got one of my votes.

  • Wow, this is an absolutely gorgeous post!!! What a wonderful gift you have for writing! BEST of luck in PFB! Voted!! :)

  • Daily Spud says:

    You had me at the first line. And I can guarantee I'll be back for more :)

  • Dara says:

    That was just lovely…your writing is as delicious as your food.

  • Claudia says:

    I don't know your blog (yet) but was enticed through the Project Food Blog to visitand glad I did. I will go back and vote. The philosophy sings!

  • Saritahj says:

    Of all the blogs I read, I found this one the most evocative and moving. It wasn't just "all about me" and really answers the question of why yours should yours should be the best food blog. I loved it. You have my vote!Sarahjane

  • What a lovely piece! Beautifully written and very personal–transported me to a different place for sure. Thanks for the vote and right back at 'cha! Good luck!

  • Joanne says:

    I LOVE this post! I think your attitude towards cooking and writing is spot on. if we can convince just one person that it's worth it to step away from the McDonalds. well. Then. It's all worth it. So voting for you! if you have time and want to check out my entry, that would be awesome! http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2010/09/mexican-sweet-potato-risotto-project.html

  • Emily Katz says:

    this is a lovely sentiment. great voice..thank you!

  • Monet says:

    I just found your blog this morning…and I am loving it! My husband and I have such a fondness for Brooklyn, and the header on your blog is just beautiful! I voted for you…and I look forward to reading more of your work!

  • 26 comments

    1. tandysinclair.com Comment:Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      my parents had the same philosophy – and I follow it still to this day – try everything once :)


    2. Debbie Comment:Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      very touching and beautiful story…life is too fast-paced….love your comparisons to food…much luck!


    3. RamblingTart Comment:Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      I absolutely adore this post, Elisabeth. So beautiful, heart-warming, touching, inspiring, everything. :-) I love learning about your past, what has shaped you. It makes your other posts make even more sense. :-) Thank you!


    4. danaalisonlevy Comment:Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm

      Wow – this post made me both hungry and teary all at once. This is a beautiful homage to your family and friends, and it is so true – without the people we love the food we consume is nothing more than fuel. It is the time shared that makes it so sweet (or savory, as the case may be)!


    5. Ben Comment:Friday, September 17, 2010 at 6:51 am

      I love Brooklyn, and I love this post.


    6. A Thought For Food Comment:Friday, September 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      A wonderful post and a great introduction to who you are as a blogger! You're writing is beautiful and heartfelt.


    7. ashandlewplus2.com Comment:Friday, September 17, 2010 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you for sharing your life. I look forward to reading more. I will be posting my project food buzz entry tomorrow. Check it out and let me know what you think.Ashleewww.ashandlewplus2.com


    8. HopeStreet Comment:Monday, September 20, 2010 at 6:31 pm

      I was a fussy eater as a kid and didn't like my mom's cooking, but now that I'm older, I appreciate most of those foods I rejected. My one regret is that I didn't pay attention and can't easily recreate my mother's recipes.


    9. Sam @The Second Lunch Comment:Monday, September 20, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      A wonderful, thoughtful post. Happy competing! As an aside, have you by any chance read 97 Orchard? I think you might enjoy it.


    10. Reeni Comment:Monday, September 20, 2010 at 11:26 pm

      What a beautiful post and tribute to both of your great grandmas! You have my vote – best of luck!


    11. TavoLini Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 1:50 am

      I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing!


    12. TavoLini Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 1:52 am

      (I tried to post before, but not sure if it went through..)I really enjoyed reading this post–thank you for sharing.


    13. themilkmanswife Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 1:57 am

      Beautiful post. What wonderful experiences you had as a kid. Amazing! Best of luck to you in the competition!


    14. susan Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 2:55 am

      makes me want to come to Brooklyn!love you,Susan


    15. Ruby Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 9:26 am

      Stunning entry – I loved it.


    16. Kindall Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm

      I heart you, lots and lots. I miss sharing mussels with you. Soon? Pretty please?-Kindall


    17. FOODalogue Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm

      Lovely, well-written entry. I want to see more. You've got one of my votes.


    18. Amy (Sing For Your Supper) Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      Wow, this is an absolutely gorgeous post!!! What a wonderful gift you have for writing! BEST of luck in PFB! Voted!! :)


    19. Daily Spud Comment:Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 11:09 pm

      You had me at the first line. And I can guarantee I'll be back for more :)


    20. Dara Comment:Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:05 am

      That was just lovely…your writing is as delicious as your food.


    21. Claudia Comment:Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      I don't know your blog (yet) but was enticed through the Project Food Blog to visitand glad I did. I will go back and vote. The philosophy sings!


    22. Saritahj Comment:Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      Of all the blogs I read, I found this one the most evocative and moving. It wasn't just "all about me" and really answers the question of why yours should yours should be the best food blog. I loved it. You have my vote!Sarahjane


    23. Sarah the Bear Comment:Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      What a lovely piece! Beautifully written and very personal–transported me to a different place for sure. Thanks for the vote and right back at 'cha! Good luck!


    24. Joanne Comment:Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 1:24 am

      I LOVE this post! I think your attitude towards cooking and writing is spot on. if we can convince just one person that it's worth it to step away from the McDonalds. well. Then. It's all worth it. So voting for you! if you have time and want to check out my entry, that would be awesome! http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2010/09/mexican-sweet-potato-risotto-project.html


    25. Emily Katz Comment:Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 8:32 am

      this is a lovely sentiment. great voice..thank you!


    26. Monet Comment:Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      I just found your blog this morning…and I am loving it! My husband and I have such a fondness for Brooklyn, and the header on your blog is just beautiful! I voted for you…and I look forward to reading more of your work!


    The comments are closed.