Friday, August 18, 2006

An apology...sort of.

Sometimes I think I forget who reads my blog. And sometimes I forget why I write my blog. Of course, sometimes I'm not entirely sure why I write my blog. It can be a chore sometimes coming up with just a little something to keep it current. But I think the core, the real reason why I write my blog is because deep down, I am a writer. I may not be a practised writer, but ever since I learned to form words, I have had a love affair with the written word. Whether that be writing or reading, I love words. I remember being 13 years old and sending away a test for a correspondance writing course. And amazingly, I passed the test, and they wanted me... only I needed to be at least 16. So the course went to the backseat until a few years later. Eventually, over time, I managed to finish all but the last lesson. At that time I went to college, and my passion for writing became a passion for the real world- or so I thought at the time.

Erika- you write? I never knew that! Ah, yes. But writing is very much one of those arts- like singing- that you lose over time. You need to practice it to maintain any semblance of continuity. To maintain your verbage and prose. When I left work to have Abigail, I told everyone that I was going to concentrate on writing again as a stay-at-home Mom. I wanted to write children's stories and a novel. Lol. What was I thinking? Stay at home with baby time clearly is not time for pursuing a career in the english language. And as my time with Abigail took over every aspect of my life, I even stepped back from the simple art of reading. After long days and nights with her, I wanted nothing more than to veg out with the TV or a movie. And literally, after a few years of not reading or writing more than simple e-mails, my brain became sludge. My vocabulary became simpler- and one day I realized that and began reading again. And then one day I discovered that maybe I could write again- and blogging became that platform. Faithful readers can see that I have a long way to go yet, but I am getting back into the practice and expanding my horizons.

And all that was to say that at sometimes, I forget who I am writing for, and I get caught up in the latest "foodism" or foodie controversy. I keep dabbling with the thought of approaching my local newspaper about doing some food writing for them. In this case, the other day it was my product review for Kraft cheese. I still don't know how I feel about that. I was thrilled at the time of the review- but I still maintain that I think my opinion was slightly biased by the free-ness of the product. I do want clear up something though. I don't have anything against Kraft foods, per se. It was my fault I reviewed the product, and I am certainly not going to be the only blogger to do so. I don't have a problem with mass-produced food, or the large retailers who distribute the products. Someone sent me a great e-mail this morning in favor of the large producers- and I couldn't agree more. Those large producers and retailers are what keep this country moving. They keep food and prices affordable- so that people can eat. Not everyone is as fortunate as we are to be able to eat what we like, when we like. There are people for whom Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is a true feast. And if places like the big box retailer didn't keep them affordable- these people would starve. You can do your own simple research there. If you go to a high end grocer and look at their packaged macaroni and cheese, you will find the same sized box, with the same amount of servings at the rediculously high prices of 3-5 dollars. Go to a discount retailer, and you can find the familiar blue box for as little as 69 cents. Most people simply can't afford to feed their family the "upper crust" way. And really- it all tastes the same anyway, so why would you.

This all reminds me of the huge surgeance right now for "eat local". And while I agree somewhat- I am living it high at the farmer's markets right now, it doesn't make sense all the time. It certainly doesn't make sense for much of the country. If we "ate local" exclusively, what would we be eating come January and February? Lots of beef, I suspect, and little else. I am a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain, and his show No Reservations. recetly he went on a trip to Peru and went to a local farm for a day. He was amazed at how much work these people went through to go bring in a meager 4 dollars a day- and they lived like that every day! If I did not purchase potatoes out of season that have been shipped in from people inPeru, these people would lose my dollar. I would not be helping the poor families in Thailand and India if I only bought rice from this country. Eat local just doesn' make sense globally, and quite honestly, for the most part, I don't care where my food comes from. I just care that it looks and feels fresh and that it tastes good.

I guess I'm not in the upper echelon of food snobbery, and I'm going to try real hard to not appear to be in the future. Yes, I am a food snob of sorts. I don't like boxed food and mixes for the most part. And I am a huge fan of cooking from scratch. I'm good at it, and I enjoy it, and my family enjoys it. I don't eat sub-par food. Even in the lean times- I do know how to make a great pot of soup and feed my family very affordably, and that's what I care about. Feeding my family well, and raising my children to know that there's more to food than Hamburger Helper and Sara Lee.

And with that, I am going to go do my grocery shopping for the week.

1 comment:

AK said...

Writing is another muscle ... it needs exercise.

And speaking of getting exercised ... about that Kraft cheese ;) ... which I saw yesterday at Wal*Mart for $3 a container which makes it $6 a pound for Parmesan vs $8.50 for the same Kraft container at the supermarket ... vs $12.99 for a hunk of Parmesan at the little Italian deli down the street and $16.99 at my favorite cheese shop.

Not apples to apples, no, though the delta is perhaps less, say than between ramen noodles and fresh-packaged pasta.

But if the Kraft product is good (I came home with one, we'll see!) it'll put pressure on the little deli and the cheese shop, just, as I suspect, the deli and cheese shop persuade the likes of Kraft to produce something closer to the real thing.

Love the thoughtful post, Erika. Yours is one of only a few voices from the heartland ... may it be heard.