Monday, February 14, 2011

Hungry for a good blog

How obsessed with food we’ve become. The telly is full of it. Nigella, Jamie, Rick, Annabel and Gordon (see, you don’t even need their surnames to know who they are) and all the reality-show wannabe chefs are everywhere. So it’s no wonder the web is also brimming with edibles.
In my mum’s day, neighbours used to swap recipes over the fence. Now the food universe is both enormous and local, all at the same time. Keen cooks are launching blogs, taking their own photos of their lovely dishes, and sharing their creations with the world. I love it.
Emma Galloway’s blog is a delight. It’s about “my family, food and recipes, my vege garden and how we cope living with food allergies”. Based in Raglan, but soon moving to Perth, Emma is a vegetarian (except for fish) and trained chef. She has a wide range of yummy-looking recipes that include lots of sweet treats, such as chocolate afghans free of dairy and gluten. And I can’t wait to try her grapefruit curd.
Emma’s work is included at Foodgawker, a San Francisco-online gallery jammed with thousands of treats cooked up and photographed by ardent foodies.
That’s one of Emma’s photos above – a platter of grilled courgette with parsley, olives & garlic crumbs Anyone can submit dishes; if you’re keen, look up the rules and have a go.
Of course, a big international site like Foodgawker doesn’t take account of topsy-turvy seasons and regional preferences – for that you need to look closer to home.
Example: Plum-kitchen, created by Auckland accountant Kristina Douglas. She loves it when people try her recipes and comment on them. “How cool is that,” she says.
UK-trained chef Allison Pirrie Mawer of Muriwai, where she runs the Gourmet Gannet cooking school, also has a beguiling blog. At her site, I found a link to Nigel Olsen’s blog.
He’s even made gorse useful by concocting a pale yellow gorseflower cocktail, made from equal parts vodka, dry vermouth and gorseflower cordial. That is derived from boiling handfuls of flowers in water, caster sugar, lemon juice and orange rind. How does it taste? Apparently, like "mangoes", "cut grass", "spring" and with "herby notes".
If tackling gorse sounds too hard, you may just need someone to point you to great places to shop. If so, MrsCake is a good port of call. Rosa Wakefield lives in Wellington but loves reporting on culinary explorations all over the place. Her Twitter account (also under the MrsCake name) says she is “working to explore the world one meal at a time”. Aren’t we all.

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