Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sprigs of Rosemary: Food Blogger Unplugged


Several weeks ago, Susan @ The Spice Garden, invited me to participate in "Food Bloggers Unplugged," where bloggers share a bit about themselves and their food (and blogging) inspiration.  I've been delighted to get to know Susan and her blog.  I imagine Susan's life is much like mine -- living in a rural part of the country and, after working a lifetime, having the time and freedom to do much of what you want, one of which  for me is spending time exploring food and writing about it.

So, here I go . . .  unplugged:

1. Who or what inspired you to start a blog?
Not a very original or epiphany-like start, I'm afraid.  I read Orangette and merely said to myself:  "I'd like to do something like that."  And after reading a few other blogs and letting a few months lapse, Sprigs of Rosemary was born.

2. Who is your foodie inspiration?
Probably my Aunt Mary, although my sister Lynn has a lot to do with it, too.  They both were very adventurous in the kitchen, not satisfied with the ordinary and always inspired to try something new.  And they always seemed to do it well.  I've certainly also been inspired by many a food blogger and a handful of TV cooks.  I was watching Rachael Ray when she had just one show and before she became an enterprise.  Back then she seemed so fresh and had a free-spirited way of cooking I admired.


3. Your greasiest, batter-splattered cook/drink book?
The first cookbook I ever bought for myself is one I still turn to often.  It's Gourmet on the Run, published by Glamour magazine, edited by Jane Kirby.  The spine is cracked and it has many smeared and dog-eared pages.  I loved the book because more than giving you recipes, it taught a way to cook with charts that showed this could combine with that or that with this.  I am a cookbook addict, though, and I'm always adding to my big, fat and still growing collection.  (And to think if I didn't weed it out once in a while!)
Glamour's Gourmet on the Run
4.  Tell us about the best thing you've ever eaten in another country.  Where was it and what was it?
I was lucky enough to go to London once, the only time I've been outside the country, except for Canada (which doesn't really count -- same continent and all!) and we catch our own walleye there!

The London trip was for business.  (Lucky me!)    We flew over on the company's private jet (one formerly owned by Arnold Schwarzenegger -- it still had a stenciled "I'll be back!" on the door!)  My boss took me to a Russian restaurant where we ate really good caviar, but my most vivid memory is her taking me to Harrod's Where I gazed open-mouthed at the Food Halls. Then she took me to a sushi restaurant there and  taught me  to use chopsticks, although I could still use some practice.  I felt so very cosmopolitan that day!

 


5.  Another food blogger whose table you'd love to sit at is . . .
Very tough question.  There really are so many!  But if I really, really could only pick one, I'd pick Marie@ Proud Italian Cook because she seems to be equally creative as traditional, making a roasted vegetable tart one day, then hand-made pasta the next.  She also balances rich dishes with light ones. Maybe she's a Libra, too!


6.  What's one food gadget on your wish list (price is no object)?
I'm really not much of a gadget person.  (When you have a small kitchen, you can't afford it!) I have my Kitchen Aid mixer (and a few attachments), got a pasta machine, a new salad spinner I love.  I need a new food processor, but I think if I could splurge, I'd get a good mandoline and hope I don't cut myself. Or maybe Wusthoff knives.

7.  Who taught you to cook?
My mother taught me all the basics even though she spared me the correct terminology.  I learned how to braise, cream, chop, brown, make gravy, test a cake, how to season, plan a meal, etc.    I still can't get her pie crust down, though.  (She was one of those who didn't need a recipe for pastry!)  But the rest of it is self-taught, just from reading magazines and cookbooks and experimenting.


8.  I'm coming to dinner.  What's your signature dish?
I love to make cannelloni! Making the crepes is a pain, but I love it.  The filling I like best is a mixture of spinach, ground beef and chicken livers bound with cream (and a little nutmeg!)  Then there's two sauces, a simple marinara and a bechamel, and lots of cheese  Delicious, rich, a definite treat.

9. What's your guilty food pleasure?
Chocolate chip cookie dough.  Nuff said.  I feel guilty just thinking about it.

10.  Reveal something about yourself others would be surprised to know.
I wish I could say something like I worked my way through college as a pole dancer, but I don't have very many surprises or secrets.  I wish I would have been a librarian.  That's it.

In addition to sharing some of your self, part of Food Bloggers Unplugged  game means inviting other food bloggers who intrigue you to do the same.  That's probably harder than baring your foodie soul, because there's so much inspiration out there, so many new blogs I pop in to see.  I have my favorites, of course, and some just seem like old friends (who happen to be good cooks.)  And I visit some of the food blogger luminati occasionally, too.  But here are a handful of  "new to me" bloggers I've been reading routinely lately.   Please visit . . .

      Melissa @ I Was Born to Cook
Heather @ girlichef

Thanks for reading and letting me indulge in a little storytelling!  And thanks for the invitation, Susan!


45 comments:

  1. Thank you so much Rosemary for mentioning my blog - I always so enjoy visiting here! It's fun to know about the inspiration behind a blog and I will be very happy to to be part of food blogger unplugged!
    Mary oxo

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    1. Great, Mary! I'll enjoy getting to know you even better! Happy Super Bowling!

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  2. Fun to learn more about you! (I thought you were on vacation????)

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    1. I'm back, Claudia! Had four great days in Tampa but I'm home (and my cameras -- may fave and my back-up) are broken! Can I draw food?)

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  3. Awesome to learn more about you :) nice post!

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    1. Talking about myself isn't my strong suit . . . but this was fun!

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  4. Great to learn a little bit more about you! I am not big on talking about myself either, so answering these questions would take more than a passing thought. Glad you participated.

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  5. We've done this type of question/answer things last year, or the year before to tell 7 things about yourself. I have to re-track mine to delete that portion. Wasn't too "keen" about answering it.

    Love to hear about your exciting adventures; flying on a private jet, formerly owned by Arnold must have been a treat (although I'd be petrified to fly the private jet) you've got "spunk" Rosemary. Also the photo of you catching those beautiful fish, love that photo! As for Orangette...I think she has the oldest food blog out there, since 2004, when I didn't even know food blogs existed, until I learned about food blogs 3 or 4 years ago...and even then, I never would have thought that I would ever start a food blog. Didn't you feel that way?
    Great post, I really enjoyed reading all about you:DDD

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    1. Yes, Elisabeth, when I first started reading blogs I didn't think it would be me. Now it is . . . and a few thousand more!

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  6. Loved learning more about you, Rosemary...especially your fun trip to London! And now I have some new blogs to check out :)

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    1. London was a hoot! Wish I could go back! (No, I really want to go to Italy!)

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  7. It was so fun to learn more about you! I am a chocolate chip cookie dough fan right there with you...yum :) Thanks for tagging me and have a great weekend!

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    1. Yes . . hope everyone has fun this Super Bowl weekend!

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  8. This is a fun post. Number 10 made me grin, I probably would have written exactly the same thing, right down to librarian. Have a blessed day!

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    1. I probably would have been a librarian until I learned you have to be organized, Mary. These days they probably have to be pretty tech savvy, too!

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  9. Lovely to learn a little more about you, Rosemary. I too love Harrod's food halls (they have a lovely cookbook which is probably out of print but I've seen copies knocking around secondhand book stores). I love the "Your greasiest, batter-splattered cook/drink book" question, and when you are next making those cannelloni, please send me an invite. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I have that cookbook, Hester! Bought it after the trip. Love looking at it, but never made anything!

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  10. This was really fun to read--Orangette was my inspiration for starting a blog, too!

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    1. I think Molly must have been for a lot of people. I bought her book, too. Darn good one.

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  11. It was so nice to get to know you better. The London trip sounds fantastic and I'm so glad that despite it being a business trip you had some time to enjoy the city as well. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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    1. London was short but fun. Lucky I had the boss/friend I did!

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  12. What a fun interview Rosemary and it was nice to get to know you better. I'm not much of a gadget person either, but I also wanted a mandoline. My step-son gave me one for Christmas and I promptly cut my finger. Now I say in my nicest voice to my husband, "Oh Dear, could you help me in the kitchen?" Works every time.

    Marie would be an excellent choice and for sure you'll eat well. She prepares some of the best Italian food on the airwaves. I've been following her for years.
    Sam

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    1. I know I would eat well at your place, too, Sam. Come to think of it, you're closer than Chicago, I think!

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  13. Oh Harrods! How I love thee! When we were in London last year, I went nuts over Harrods' food section. Great reading some more about what makes you tick, darling! Even if you DIDN'T pole dance your way through college ;)

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    1. Wish I could go back to Harrod's. So many beautiful things, so beautifully displayed! (Oh, but the bargains you had in Thailand!)

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  14. I can only imagine how fun it would be to stroll through Harrods. Wow.

    I always wanted to be a librarian, too.

    It was fun to learn more of you.

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    1. Funny how many people wanted to be a librarian, Kristen, but, like Cheryl says, not too many jobs. At the school where I substitute teach, they even had to eliminate a librarian position!

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  15. Rosemary,
    When I went back to school, I was interested in Library Science, but librarian positions are few and far between. I mean, someone has to die before you can get a job! So, I studied English.
    Keep on a cookin'!
    xo, Cheryl

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    1. Me,too, Cheryl! But stick me in a library or a bookstore and . . . wow!

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  16. I loved reading all of the info about you Rosemary. I, too, have visited Harrod's (only once) and I was just amazed! I'll never forget the food departments! WOW! I just love cannoli, but have never made any and would love to try to do so someday! Keep up the GREAT blog!

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    1. Thanks, Roz. I always love to visit your blog!

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  17. Lovely to learn more about you, Rosemary! Huge walleye!

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    1. We'll be going back to the same place in Ontario late May. Maybe I'll really get the big one!

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  18. I've always wanted to visit Harrod's! I bet it was incredible! And I too love books - I've always thought it would be cool to own a funky bakery/bookstore. I visited one in high school when I went o go check out the campus at Duke, and I fell madly in love with the idea!!

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    1. A bookstore/bakery is a great idea! I love it.

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  19. OK, 1) An I'll be back stenciled door? That's amazing. 2) The fact that you wished you could say you'd worked your way through college as a pole dancer..? Well I just love that your mind went there. and 3) Chocolate chip cookie dough. All I can say is, I. Get. You.

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    1. I like that you like that my mind like goes there. Get. It. Back.

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  20. Hmmm, homemade cannelloni for dinner, that sounds just scrumptious to me!
    Always interesting to get to know more about you, very cute picture holding the walleye, sounds like a relaxing and fun getaway! I visited London when I was seventeen and it made a huge impact on me so I can relate to your impressions. I however flew commercial,lol;-) Have a great week!

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    1. The company jet was incredible: cloth napkins, real silverware and plates. Just wish someone would have encouraged me to walk around more. Swelled feet!

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  21. I love the fishing photo! Thanks for all the stories about yourself.

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    1. Talking about myself ain't real easy . . but having conversations is! (Never thought I'd be a fisherman!)

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  22. Fun to learn more about our blogging friends, Rosemary. Nice post!

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    1. Yes, it is . . . getting to know more about the people we "meet" blogging has been the best benefit of it all!

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  23. nice idea. thanks for sharing...

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I realize you don't have to take the time to comment . . . but it makes my day! So glad you decided to stay.