I always tell newbie bloggers that an "About" page on their blog is so, so important. "But what if crazy stalkers use the info to come to my house and attack me?", some of them anxiously ask. Well, I've had an About page for a good 6.5 years and I'm still here – so clearly this cannot be that common! The great thing about those who do dare to have an "About" page, is that it provides a snapshot of the person behind the food and, more often than not, shows you in the space of 30 seconds whether you would hit it off in the real world or not. And when I read Marisa of The Creative Pot's "About" page, I just knew that she was somebody at whose kitchen table I would love to sit and share a glass of something. But seeing as we are separated by a continent or so, I have to settle for dropping by her lovely blog regularly instead. Let's get to know her a little better:
1. Where are you – in South Africa or out in the wide world?
I live in the most beautiful town in South Africa (no, I'm NOT biased) – Stellenbosch. I came here to study in 2001 and have been one of the lucky few who was able to continue living here. Oh, I also met TheHusband here, so that might have had something to do with it too!
2. How long have you been blogging?
I think the question should rather be how long have I been blogging regularly. 🙂 I started the blog in Aug 2006 because everyone else (it seemed) had a blog and it seemed like something interesting to do. But the blogging bug actually properly bit me in April 2009 when I started blogging more regularly. It rapidly became an addiction and now I try to plan a few meals a week around what would be good blog material.
3. What do you enjoy the most about food or wine blogging?
In the beginning I just enjoyed having a forum to show the world what I made and ate, but I'm starting to really enjoy getting to know fellow bloggers. In all honesty, I think foodie bloggers are probably some of the nicest people around. It's great "meeting" likeminded people who understand the constant thinking about food, planning food, imagining food that is my life.
And of course I get to eat my "product" at the end. Which is a nice bonus!
4. Any downsides or frustrations?
I can't say I've encountered downsides. Oh, except for the one time when a commenter said my Palak Channa (with Paneer) looked like vomit! Needless to say I deleted that pretty swiftly! Mwuahahahahaha, the power of the almighty blog author! I was a bit upset, but you know what, everyone is entitled to
their own opinion. And of course, I'm entitled to choose not to display it. 🙂
Frustrations are mostly on the technical side – when I'm struggling with the layout of my blog, or blogger is refusing to co-operate I get pretty irritated. Patience is not one of my virtues and my poor husband has had to endure many whining sessions along the lines of "why doesn't it want to
woooooooooooooooooooooork????". It gets easier as I learn more, and luckily there are a lot of resources out there to help bloggers nowadays.
5. What or who are your inspirations to cook, drink and write?
If I have to single out a specific person it would be Tessa Kiros, author of various magical (to me anyway) cookbooks. The way she makes you feel a part of her life and her food is simply extraordinary. Add to that her drool-inducing photos and I think it's easy to see why I'm hooked. To top it all off, she seems so down-to-earth. Not that I've met her (outside my fantasies at least…).
But besides Tessa, I'm inspired by all of the food blogs I read (and there are a LOT), and various other sources both on-line and off-line. I've always loved cooking and I've had an intense love of reading even before that, so suffice to say I cannot get enough of reading about food. Anywhere, anytime and what I read always inspires me. I won't always create the same exact recipe (in fact, I have trouble sticking to a recipe exactly), but I'll build on it, expanding it to my own tastes.
6. Where and when do you like to blog?
I usually blog at night, after we've eaten. Of course the photo needs to be taken immediately after I dish up, and TheHusband knows better than to try and take the plate before I've documented it for posterity. My blogging is mostly done lying on the couch (oh laptop, how I adore thee!). I don't have
a specific posting schedule, but I do try to post about 2 or 3 times a week. It will just depend on when I can find the time and when I have material to post.
7. What’s your signature dish or favourite wine?
If you ask my husband, he'll probably say my stuffed chicken breast fillets. As for myself, I don't think I have a specific signature dish – I don't make meals often enough to become signatures! I try and mix it up with what we eat on a daily basis, it keeps things interesting and I think it enables us to get a wide variety of nutrients in. Nutritious food is quite important to me – note, not neccessarily calorie conscious or low-fat foods, but wholesome foods, made from scratch with a wide variety of veggies in it.
8. What other food or wine blogs do you read?
Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many. My google reader list is overstuffed with foodblog subscriptions – I struggle to keep up with them! Luckily I'm a voracious (and fast) reader, so I still manage. But I fear my subscription lust will get out of hand one of these days… For a short list of my favourite favourites, check out the link page on my blog.
9. Favourite restaurant?
I'm going to limit my choices to Stellenbosch, and add my favourite dish from each. Just to narrow it down (otherwise I could go on and on…).
Lunch – Col'Cacchio for their superwide range of pizzas (my favourite is the butternut, brie, caramelized onion & sesame seed one). Or Brazenhead for their boxtys (potato pancakes with various fillings)
10. For my last meal on this planet I would order…
I think I'd need an entire day….
Breakfast – A Fishy Norwegian (creamy scrambled eggs on a giant fluffy croissant with smoked salmon slices and aragula – sooooooooooooooo good) at Basic in Stellenbosch. Oooooooh or the French toast (served with syrup, bacon, banana & cheese) at Cubana. Can I have seconds since it's my last day?
Lunch – a big (as in GIANT) platter of tuna sashimi. Ooooh and Cape Town Fish Market's crab salad.
In-between snacks – Lindt Fleur de Sel Dark Chocolate. And salted macadamias. And a big box of fresh strawberries.
Supper – Starter – I think I would be too full at this stage for a starter.
Main – Butter chicken. Or bobotie. Or roasted garlic-y veggies. Or my mom's split-pea soup.
Dessert – Creme brulee. Or something uber-chocolatey. Probably both if it's my last day.