Today I realized I’m at a bit of a loss. I’m finally happy with the look (and most importantly, feel) of my blog, I finished editing the Japan pictures (which I’ve been procrastination on for over a month), and even had (several) good meals worth writing about. So what’s stopping me? Why can’t I write?
I have found the writing style I couldn’t quite pin down (“personal food narrative”), and have proceeded to read countless of blogs that tell the exact kind of story I wanted to hear – an essay, followed by a recipe. I’m a sucker for memories and feeling melancholic – and is there anything more melancholic (in the best possible way) than cooking somebody else’s recipe? It’s as if their own personal history, their own very unique experience, is served to me on a plate.
And yet, I cannot write. But how can you? When reading Molly Wizenberg and Luisa Weiss , how can anybody write? My words crumble in shame when the inevitable comparison arises. How can I ever? Some sentences are better left unfinished.
But then again, I must. Force myself, grind through it, one word after then next. At least I’ll try.
I’m in the midst of reading Luisa’s, My Berlin Kitchen. Despite the somewhat cliche name in the face of a rather complex story, it’s mostly beautiful. Her food descriptions are superb (I particularly love an instance in which she describes bread with notes of ashes and fire), and the recipes are inviting. So far I’ve made a few:
- Tomato Sauce with Carrots and Onions
- Braised Endives
- Baked Beans
- Beef Ragu
- Poulet Saute a la Paysanne Provencale
My favorite, by far, is the Tomato Sauce with Carrots and Onions. When making recipes out of food memoirs, they never come alone. They tug their memories along, and join theirs into ours. I like cooking it late at night, thinking of Luisa and her Nini, and all of the times that they cooked it too, alone in the kitchen, somewhat hungry, somewhat patient. It’s almost painfully flavorful, savory and complex. I like serving it over buttered egg noodles, and licking off the remaining sauce from the plate (no bread required).