What you can do with your scrambled eggs
I love the idea that there are cooks out there who have the focus and determination to plough through every recipe, no matter how scarce or exotic the ingredients. And it's immensely reassuring to know that it is not only possible to prepare, say, Fergus Henderson's rolled pig's spleen, but also that doing so will be eminently worthwhile.
And yet I can't help wondering how many of these projects exist because they can be blogged. Which came first: the idea to devote a year to recipes, or the desire to write about something in a public arena? Would one be as likely to tackle the entire Gourmet cookbook if there was no-one to tell but the (well-fed and delighted) dog?
Not that this is meant as criticism; on the contrary, I'm delighted that we all now have the means—and motivation—to publish. My attempts to keep a handwritten diary have always failed miserably after a couple of weeks, but I've posted faithfully since September '06. I'm sure the same is true for many bloggers.
I'd be surprised if I was the only one who tried a new experience, or tasted an unusual food, or went out of my way to take photos "for the blog."
I'll write for a solid few hours on a detailed post like this L'Espalier review, including fact-checking and hunting down relevant links. I play with images in PhotoShop to make them as pretty as possible; I copyedit and proofread everything obsessively (you'd expect nothing less from the Copyeditor General).
So if I sound at all bitter, it's thanks to Lee Gomes, author of the WSJ article, who begins his piece thus:
Generic food blogs are the scrambled eggs of culinary blogging. They require little in the way of skill and next to nothing in terms of equipment—just a digital camera and a broadband connection.Oh, ah, ahem. What?