About this blog
Sooner or later everybody starts a food blog (OK, or at least starts posting food-related Facebook status updates or Instagram pictures), and so this is mine.
Why a food blog?
There are a lot of reasons to start (and hopefully actually continue to update) a food blog, but two of particular usefulness to me (besides yet more fun web- developer stuff) are as follows:
First, a lot of my cooking is pretty impromptu and improvised, and many times I’ve thought back to something I made years ago, and wanted to make it again, but couldn’t remember what exactly I did to throw it together, or, if I had used a recipe, which cookbook or web site the recipe came from. Writing things up in a food blog is definitely a way to solve that problem.
Second, when I make something and people ask me for the recipe (usually this involves cookies for an event), it’s pretty cool to be able to just send them a link to a blog posting.
Why “Cookies and Carrots”?
This short catchy name was inspired by my volunteer work with AFE Games Group — among other things baking cookies every week throughout the summer, and bringing baby carrots every week during the school year — but it also represents my two basic cooking heritages and styles:
You know those events where invitees are asked to bring a “the food of my people/ cultural heritage” dish? Well, for me, that is definitely cookies and other desserts. My mother, Jane, is an accomplished hand at among other things cookies, hot- fudge sauce, coffee cakes, rhubarb pie, and elaborate gingerbread houses; and was always willing to supply me with ingredients for my own baking as well. And my grandmother Mimi (Gunda), who had emigrated from Sweden as a nine- year- old, used to make (and send out as delicious Christmas presents) the most beautifully shaped and decorated cookies — I remember my fascination and excitement watching her make one of her specialties, using a fluted pastry wheel to slice a tray of baked jam-and-icing-topped dough into diamond-shaped cookies. These days I’m well-known for my own cookies that I make for parties and other events, and I often refer to cookies and other baked goods as “good wholesome vegetarian food”, knowing that regardless of whether any of the other foods at an event/potluck/ restaurant are vegetarian, I should at least be able to eat the desserts.
… and Carrots
I was a teenage vegetarian starting in 1976, which rather than being some kind of golden bicentennial era of wholesome food was more the land of hamburger helper and TV dinners, a time when even packaged cookies, crackers, and ice cream sandwiches were likely as not made with lard or beef tallow. The general availability of a very large variety of fresh and dried produce, legumes, grains, spices, international foods, etc. is just incredible now compared to the way it was back then, and I do take advantage of it, but I still have a strong core of the kind of hippie/starving-student vegetarianism where you just throw together and experiment with whatever vegetables and other ingredients you happen to have wound up with. Also, as a “never enough hours in the day” person. I’m very into making large batches that will provide meals for many days, either as plain “leftovers” or as being adaptable in multiple ways.
My original plan was to do some hand-drawn pictures of pastries and other vegetarian foods for my banner and sidebar headers, but not having gotten around to this (and not having my concept totally figured out anyway) yet, in the meantime I decided to make everything look all carroty. In my “Dear Old Mom Is Baking Virtual Cookies” posting I bemoaned not yet having made virtual cookies to accompany the virtual carrots in the design, but then shortly afterward I did make cookie “HOME” and “ABOUT” navigation buttons. I thought about using a bold white handwriting font with “HOME” and “ABOUT”, to make the text look like frosting on the cookies, but at least at that font size it didn’t actually look like that, so nope.
By the way, this is not going to be one of those many food blogs packed with what I think of as “boudour” food photography (everything in white and lots of soft- focus — hey, it’s beautiful, but I also find it amusing); rather, it will generally feature quick shots from around my house and yard via my trusty ten-year-old camera.
updated October 1, 2013