Sunday, September 19, 2010

Uncovering Food: An Introspection

Bloggers are like eggs in a carton just trying to stand out. All different but in many ways all the same...
Blogging is a profession for some and for others it's a past time. Some people define themselves as bloggers while others may never tell anyone they have a blog. In order to enter a contest sponsored by Foodbuzz called Project Food Blog, I was asked "to create a blog post that defines you as a food blogger and makes it clear why you think you have what it takes to be the next food blog star. Consider what makes your blog unique and sets you apart from other food blog brands: is it your foolproof recipes, your mouthwatering photos, or your perspective on family meals? Write a post that comes from the heart and is true to you and your blog." However, in order to answer this prompt, I feel like I needed to explore the essence of Uncovering Food and my relationship with blogging.

I started Uncovering Food after deciding to shut-down my Myspace account, where I had been blogging all of the fun food concoctions I had been making. This blog was my place just to take notes and store my recipes. In the first week I transferred over the sixteen best including Pumpkin and Black Bean Burritos, Turkey and Cranberry Salad, Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls, and an Apple-Beet Sauce that had a little heat!

There were no photographs in those days. It was just a quick teaser with serving suggestions and maybe a flavor profile, some ingredients, instructions, and if you were lucky, the nutritional information.

Then people started reading my blog. It amazed me that there were other people out there who wanted to take time to read what I was creating in a kitchen no bigger than a broom closet!

It took almost a year before Uncovering Food had it's first photograph, and a product review to boot! I was raving about this fermented Korean tea I had just tried and a friend said I should talk about it in my blog. It is only fitting that I picked up three more jars of the Puripan Tea in a Jar yesterday to enjoy while writing today's blog post.

My first recipe with a photograph was an attempt in food styling that, upon reflection, was not as awesome as I thought it was. But the recipe for Baked Buffalo Bites is still delicious which I guess brings me to my perspective on blogging:

Blogging to me is not a definition of who I am. It isn't the black marker that draws the outline of my being and it isn't the canvas on which that outline is drawn. Blogging will show up in that illustration as a part of the mosaic that is my life. It is a chance for a woman who spends more time in hotel rooms than in my own kitchen to celebrate food. It is an opportunity for a high school teacher who spends more time with my students then my own family to share food finds and kitchen creations, however sporadically they may come, with the friends I make around the country.


Students all grabbing for a chocolate pumpkin cheesecake bite!

Attending a blogger conference this summer, I learned that everyone blogs for different reasons. Some bloggers have created brands and can sum up what's in their blog in two sentences or less while some have no idea what their blog is about. Some bloggers are looking to be published while others are looking for an outlet. Some are looking to be the most popular blog on the Web and have nicknames for their followers and some strive to be like other blogs while some of us are just trying to avoid the popularity traps.

I struggled entering this "Project Food Blog" contest for Foodbuzz because I know my blog isn't the most popular. I don't strive for SEO but I love knowing people read my blog, so I have a monthly contest that celebrates those readers. I am not the most active poster, because spending almost every weekend at debate tournaments around the country means sometimes I have to choose between sleep and blogging (and after a day of debates, at 1am, sleep wins). If someone looked inside of my closet of unfinished blog ideas, they would be buried, but if I pushed myself to publish them all, blogging would be a job, no longer my escape but instead a part of what I have to be.

If this is a popularity contest, then count me out now. I work with high school students, I am not striving to become one again. However, if this contest is truly about having a passion for food and sharing it with others, then I think I stand a chance. Is there another blogger out there who has students sign up for tournaments so they can experience the best cupcakes in the region they are traveling to? Who spends hours researching the best local cuisine so that high school kids can experience local flavor at it's finest instead of hitting up the easy national chains? Who loves to peruse Farmers Markets just to talk to farmers for hours? Who turns the shoebox of a kitchen into a place that produces healthy eats that her family and high school students enjoy?


Cupcakes at a Baseball Game?

I think that I could be the next food blog star because I have tenacity and a love to share food. Whether it is finding a food product that ends up becoming a big blogland hit or searching for healthy eats in baseball parks. Uncovering Food is not my whole life, but it is a part of me and an outlet for me to share myself and my love of food with you.

15 comments:

Jun Belen said...

Best of luck with PFB. I actually enjoyed reading your post. I am so new to food blogging - haven't really figured out my voice. Both PFB and IFBC have made me think what I really want out of my blog. I am not a chef, not even a cook. I just love food and sharing it with other people.

I din't know you're a high school teacher. I have been toying with the idea of teaching maybe I could pick your brain one of these days on the pros and cons.

Joseph's Grainery Recipes said...

Best of luck!

House of Annie said...

You got our vote!

Come check out our PFB post:

http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/391

Cheers and aloha.

jacobskitchen said...

Great post! Very well written. I voted for you! =)

Good luck!

You can check out my PFB post at: http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/503

5 Star Foodie said...

Voted for you - good luck!

Lindsay said...

Love the post! I just gave you a vote! You can check out my entry here: http://tinyurl.com/2ec2hlq Thanks and Good Luck!

Gabrielle @ i.gourmet said...

I voted for you!

Jason Wong said...

Same as we like food and life.

Artistta said...

Appreciate your honesty. Nicely written post. Sent a vote your way. Good luck in PFB!

bhealthier said...

Great post indeed! I think you have a great blog and must be quite a person to work with high school students!

I voted for you! mine entry is here if you want to check it out:
http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/583

janelle said...

FANTASTIC. Loved just finding you thanks to this PFB! I loved the authenticity of your voice; I too am buggered by the popularity thing. I LOVE knowing someone enjoys my recipes or LOL because of something I wrote... funny twist: my son just started debate team as a HS Frosh! Fun!!!!

Lick My Spoon said...

thank you for sharing. i love meeting new bloggers that can introduce me to the dishes and experiences in their world. soo much food, soo little time. i look forward to all that you share. you got my vote :)

C.G. the Foodie said...

Thank you everyone who voted for Uncovering Food. I appreciate the support both in the votes but also in the kind comments you have left me!

togetherinfood said...

Nice post. I love that you're a teacher (I'm very interested in our public education system) and I love your passion for adventurous and healthful eating. Sounds like we are of like minds!

togetherinfood said...

Nice post. I love that you're a teacher (I'm very interested in our public education system) and I love your passion for adventurous and healthful eating. Sounds like we are of like minds!

Disclaimer:

I get asked by readers if I am being paid to push products. The simple answer is no. In fact, most of the products I write about are ones I have found and purchased during my trips to the grocery store or on the road. Occasionally, a company will send a sample my way and if I believe the product will serve a need for my readers and I would buy the product myself, then I will share it with you. Sometimes I will write to a company after reading about it, if I believe it will help us lead healthier lifestyles. But even then, if the product doesn't pass my scrutiny, it won't make the screen of Uncovering Food. You can trust that every product or recipe posted here has passed through my lips, and that I wouldn't blog about it if it wasn't worthy of you... my favorite readers.