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Why We (Food) Blog

This is my hundredth post on Ahu Eats. Besides being kindof crazy, it’s made me reflect on this food blogging adventure. I asked myself – why do we do what we do? (sometimes to annoy people, sometimes to help them make & discover delicious things, and always because we are passionate about food).

Annoying Food Bloggers

Source: Corridor Kitchen

So, do we blog because we love food, love writing or just to annoy David Chang? My theory is… no one of those things on their own. A few years ago I read a fascinating book  called Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew Crawford that really framed the way I now think about all of this. Crawford delves into the merits of being a skilled worker – or having a craft – which has quickly become looked upon as less than desirable in a society where more and more people have become ‘knowledge workers’. What’s a knowledge worker? Well, you’re probably one – especially if your main work product includes emails, powerpoints, or spreadsheets.

Not to say that being a knowledge worker is a bad thing (I myself work in the corporate office of a bank by day where powerpoint and excel are my BFFs), but Crawford touches on an interesting point – that it’s an innate human desire to craft things – to have some sort of physical manifestation of our work. What does this have to do with being a food blogger? I’m going to venture to guess that most of us are in fact some type of knowledge worker and are not able to create something to satiate that need during our day job. So the food blog becomes our craft. And we want to share it with the world.

Although a love of food / cooking / eating drives all food bloggers, it is not an easy endeavor. While fun and rewarding, it requires an incredible amount of planning (content calendar!), skill (cooking! writing! photography & editing!), and just plain dedication. We wake up at ungodly hours on the weekend to cook in time to get the best light to photograph our food, and some bloggers have 6 months of posts planned ahead of time – food blogging requires more strategic foresight than you might think!

My own food blogging journey has been an eventful one. In the last 6 months, I’ve put in hundreds of hours cooking, baking, writing, photographing, editing, tweaking my site and connecting with other bloggers. All of this while juggling a demanding day job and trying to maintain my sanity – I can tell you that I would not have done it were it not for the love of the craft. Do I sometimes struggle to get a post out because of a hectic week or want to give up when my photos get rejected from BigFoodSharingSites? Yes and yes. But I (we) keep on. Seeing the results of the work feeds me, and my long-term vision keeps me on my path. So we keep writing, cooking and eating!

All those dishes, millions of photos, dozens of posts, and that website we so lovingly tinker with – that is our craft, our baby. We aren’t chefs, restaurateurs or professional food critics – nor do we claim to be. But we keep cooking, photographing, eating, testing, tinkering with our baby… and once in a while somebody stops by and appreciates it – and that is the best feeling.

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Persian-ish Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Persian Pumpkin Spice Bread

Persian Spice Pumpkin Bread

Do you have a favorite spice or ingredient? You know – the one you try to work into everything from cookies to a marinade to cocktails? Well that’s cardamom for me. It’s like cinnamon’s pen pal from an exotic land. It brings warmth, spice and smells amazing to whatever you add it to. So when I set out to make an amped up spiced pumpkin bread, I knew some of my beloved cardamom was going right into the mix! That’s as far as the ‘Persian’-ish goes for this recipe –  the maple syrup is Canadian and the Pumpkin Pie Spice came from the Indian store. Maybe I should call this United Nations Pumpkin Bread! Continue reading this post

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Pomegranate Guacamole

Pomegranate Guacamole

Pomegranate Guacamole

Sometimes I feel like I’ve tried it all. Foams. Molecular gastronomy. A hundred beet salads. A million sliders. But then once in a (beautiful) blue moon, you try something so simple but so new to you, that it slaps you in the face and leaves you thinking ‘why haven’t I thought of this before?!’.

Pomegranate Guacamole

Pomegranate Guacamole

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Tangy Lime Roasted Almonds

Badoom Limoo Torsh – Persian Style Almonds Candied in Lime Juice

Something beautiful happened last month. A few Persian bloggers started emailing and in two shakes of a lambs tail, it turned into this amazing group of 25 of the world’s Persian food bloggers celebrating Mehregan with this cyber-feast!

So what is Mehregan? It is the Zoroastrian Festival of Autumn, celebrating friendship, affection and love by means of a large feast. Yes, our currency of love is food! This beautiful ancient Persian tradition has been obscured over the generations, so I was thrilled for not only the chance to learn about our heritage, but to celebrate and elevate it! I highly encourage you to visit all the #Mehregan2014 recipes from a collection of the nicest, most talented and fun group of Persian food bloggers out there! For the list of bloggers participating, see the end of this post.  [click to continue…]

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