Cooking Without the Bullsh!t
I've been out this past few months suffering with depression and anxiety problems again... the black dog doesn't want to be healed I guess but for now he has heeled... "Sit boy"!!! But I have had time to think about the future and what it holds for me as a 'foodie' if even it has a future.But I've decided to keep moving forward with it, but only how I feel I should, not how everyone else see's I should be doing it. This started out for me as a release from the depression, not to start a new career... somewhere along the line it has swayed that way and I'm very grateful of it, but also somewhere along that same path I tried to fit in with others thinking and portrayals... but screw that, from now on I will do it my way, its how I started and how I began to get a lot of wonderful followers. A lot of people I've worked through have tried to change me... tame me, but sure I don't want to be another cog in this machine of Irish food, that's not me, I don't just fit in!
Is it just me or has the world of cookbooks, cooking shows, celeb chefs etc.including myself all got a little repeatable? Everything has gone down the path of ‘quirky’ and ‘oh, we eat with our eyes’… yes we do first eat with our eyes and visually nice looking food is really appealing but it has become shoved into our faces, and I for one got totally sucked into it all.
My short story (for those that don't know) is this; I was a plasterer by trade, I had a successful plastering back home in Co. Armagh in Northern Ireland but when the recession hit my business ended and I got into a shed load of debt. I then moved to Co. Clare to start over, it is down here that I started growing my own fruit and vegetables and fell in love with cooking and food in general. From this I started a food blog, became a ‘food blogger’ (shudders) and got sucked into all the pompous bullshit that goes with it. But now I’m sick of it… the pompous bullshit that is, I’m still in love with food, love cooking and love eating, but this idea that everything has to look like ‘Art’ on a plate or look like something from a 1950’s kitchen is getting out of hand. For everyday cooking you would spend more time using props and making the food look un-natural that it would be stone cold by the time you eat the fecking thing let alone probably have a few screaming kids hanging off you that you would be ready for the mental ward!
Now I’m not saying that every cookbook is like this or every ‘food blogger’ (shudders again) serves up this kinda grub but as I say it is so easy to get sucked into all the bull! I would rather serve up real food in a real manner, not ‘art’ or not slop on a plate either… I mean food can still look nice, neat and appealing but it doesn’t have to have water cress leaves placed individually in a pattern or drops of lobster foam to represent the blah fecking blah… That’s for eating out in expensive restaurants and even for special occasions at home, not for realistic people with everyday lives feeding their family after a hard day’s work, and if you don’t agree with me you may close the book now cause it isn’t getting any prettier.
I have become a ‘food blogger’ but by God I hate the title, I love food, write and blog about it but end up with a title and being tarred with the same brush as everyone else. I cringe when I see other food bloggers put up a picture of their dinner and it looks so set up so staged… a plate from the early 1900’s, a portion of food that wouldn’t give a 8 month old wind and a glass of wine poured and some herbs and spices laid out on a little dish beside it. I’m thinking… ‘Really?? Is that something you just rustled up for yourself??’ As I said I have done this myself too but it hasn’t been real, I would have cooked something to look good, spent 20 minutes setting up the shot and then 10 photos later trying to sus out the better one from them. Then plant it up on a social media site with some ridiculous caption like ‘Nom, nom, nom’ waiting for people to tell you how wonderful it looks when really most are thinking ‘Jeez he didn’t have much to do today’!!!
What I want this blog to be is real food, easy to follow information and recipes and the main thing is not to sound like a condescending asshole. On the other hand I don’t want to sound like ‘Gordon Fucking Ramsey’ and think I must swear after each word but I am writing this how I would like to read it… no one else, but how I would like to read it because I have found that once you try to do things the way you think others would like it then you are not being true to yourself and it becomes bullshit!
I have to think of what the everyday man, woman and child wants when it comes to cooking and yes there are lots out there that want to make the ‘art’ type food but it’s not practical for every meal you cook. Sometimes you flick through a cookbook and end up feeling bad about yourself, nearly doubting yourself… you see a picture of how the food ‘should’ look like and think that you wouldn’t have a mission of making a dish look that good. A cookbook or blog shouldn’t make you feel like that, a good cookbook/blog should make you feel that you can, it should make you feel like giving it a go otherwise the author may as well say ‘I came up with this dish one day while blah blah blah, have a good look, you will never be able to make it mwhahaha’.
I do think my Book though was done in the manner how I want to continue... everyday food that looks appealing and is easy to make. So here is to the future... honest food, a bit of banter and a fresh approach. All comments are welcome and I'll reply to what I can.
Anyone can cook and anyone can cook really well, for me flavour combinations and imagination is so much more important than the visual outcome. So if you want straight talking and good food then welcome to my world, come on in and throw the weight off your feet.