Sunday, April 17, 2005

What to do, what to do?



I'm at a loss for inspiration food-blogging-wise these days. I think (hope?!) you all know what it's like - it's not because you don't cook, it's just because - well, maybe what you cook are old standby's, maybe they look goddam-awful, maybe you forgot to take the picture (although the Boyfriend has started joking that he never gets to eat before I get the perfect shot) - maybe your thoughts are elsewhere, or as in my case, should be elsewhere (exam, yes, again. Not until another two months, but our school has made it their case to make sure we only have 4 days for catching up on all the "insert cursing phrase" we didn't have time to read before exam is actually there - so we have to start now to try and get through all of it)

I thought I had things planned, with pictures already up-loaded and ready for a couple of catchy words, but alas, it's just not so much fun posting about things you've done a looong time ago - the memory of tastes, textures and trials during their making are not as crisp and fresh as they were when you'd just done them, hence the wording of it, not very fresh and crisp either. I want to post about cake today, not the Jerusalem artichoke gratin from Jamie Oliver I tried the other night...

There's nothing more boring (okay, there might be!), than blogs that never updates. On the other hand, it's also a waste of time reading completely uninspired posts as this one (heh - got you!) I like the fact that I have my Dining with the Bloggers, the IMBB's?, the SHF's, WBW's et all forcing me to do stuff, but on the other hand, would like for Food & Thoughts to be more than that.

I've been thinking about doing more out of me living in Copenhagen. As it is, I guess I could be based almost everywhere, 'cause the food wouldn't tell you I am in fact in a gorgeous, old city in Scandinavia. I like themes - I love Sam's idea of her India Curry & Spice Week coming up this week. Hmm, maybe I should do a cakewalk week? Of course, that would imply me spending time away from the books - see what I mean, I'm SO trying to dodge school!

Anyways - I've added a notify-me list, so you don't have to stroll by every now and again to check if I've gotten round to do a new post - check the right hand bar for it. Meanwhile, feel free to comment with all of the great suggestions of things you'd like to see here - I'm sure inspiration will stop by in my head any day soon and I'll get my butt back in gear again... Because funny enough, that often happens when you've complained about the lack of it! Irony, nes pas?

16 comments:

Andrea said...

I have looked through your archive but I can't see any posts on traditional Danish food. Maybe it's just not visible from the titles. Could you post some?
And good luck for your exams.

Ana said...

Zarah Marie, I agree with Dreska. How about Danish cuisine? I know nothing about it.

Ana said...

Good grief! The mouse was over the "publish" button and I ended up publishing the comment before I was ready! Or before it was ready???

Anyway, just wanted to add that I like your picture collage very much!

Nicky said...

Zarah Marie, I think it's absolutely normal, to be lacking blogging-ideas every now and then... As long as you keep posting such nice image compositions - that's a very adequate alternative :)

I also have to agree with Dreska and Ana - more on Danish cuisine would be interesting, I really don't know much about it. Btw, is it true or just a stereotype, that the Danes love licorice?

Zarah Maria said...

Ladies, you are so right - I don't post much about Danish food, because a) there's so much meat going on in traditional Danish cuisine, and while I'm getting better at eating it when out, I still very seldom feel like actually cooking it myself and b) now, is there even such a thing as Danish cuisine? Guess that's always a problem - when compared to say French, Italian or Asian cuisine, Danish cooking feels like a mock-up, an ugly girl in a pretty dress (what a picture you painted there Zarah!)

That said - LOL! There's a lot of Danish pastry, cakes, cookies, breads - why would that be the first thing that sprang to my mind!? And hmm, with summer coming, plenty of fresh vegetables, always seafood and - you know what? I think I'll look into it... Thanks for the suggestion Dreska!

Ana - Thank you! The collage is dead easy to do with Picasa, and I just found a couple of pictures I had lying around on the computer, put them together and ta-dah! I like how the colors ended up on this one...

Nicky - I think the Danes are good with candy - period. Licorice is good, but in general, Danish candy is really special, like gummy bears - I know it's one of the things we used to send my sister when she lived abroad, and a treat I welcomed with open arms when I travelled and lived outside Denmark. It's actually funny, I don't eat much candy when I'm at home, but when away, I miss it - ey, you don't know what you've got until it's gone, right?:-) Guess blogging a little about that could be fun too...

Cathy said...

Zarah there's just not enough time in the day to do it all! You know all too well I've been struggling with the same problem. I've also taken many a photo that never turned into a post! I've thought about expanding the scope of my blog too, not so much to give me additional ideas, but because I've toyed with the idea of starting another on the topic of weaving and I know full well that adding another blog would only create a bigger problem! I think you do really well keeping up your blog - especially considering all you have going in your life right now. But if you do feel you're just lacking ideas, I agree that focusing on Danish cuisine and Copenhagen sounds like a fantastic idea!

OsloFoodie said...

Zarah, this is funny but for me, the Danish cuisine is in the basic daily diner-type open sandwiches or the easy lunch food, I absolutely love them. You guys are so good at making interesting open sandwiches with so many variety! The choices in Norway are so limited and not very creative. I understand what you mean by dinner food with meat, potatoes, or bacon with sauce (I love them but I too wouldn't be able to eat this type of heavy food every day). But your food tradition is much appreciated in the way you make easy food more interesting. I go to the gas station in Denmark and I could easily get good pastries and tasty savoury rolls. The high end or the restaurant scene is yes, much influenced by the French and it is more Continental than Norway and Sweden, but I would say there is something very Danish in those yummy open sandwiches, different types of sausages and of course the endless choices of pastries. Danish are very skilled, innovative and creative when it comes to their food, even if they were to cook with the same ingredients. For example you turn open sandwiches into something more sometimes, not just in visuals but also in tastes.

Sam said...

Zarah - it's funny because I havent had this problem yet. I have so many ideas that keep popping into my head, but I know exactly what you mean about laving a post too long and then not wanting to write it up. It's several weeks since I got back from England and I still have half a dozen posts to write for that. I've done all sorts of other things that would make great posts too, but I just run out of time.

When I was at school in my first ever cooking class aged about 11, the first lesson we did was to make a Danish Open Sandwich. I am not sure if that is a stereotype thing, but I would love to see your take on that subject.

Good luck - hope the writers block disappears quickly.
sam

Julie said...

Zarah, this is so funny, because I just spent time today posting about the fact that I'm in a blogging slump! I love your pic collage, though -- I'm going to have to try that.

Dagmar said...

I totally understand you. I also have a lot recipes that I've tried, but I still havn't published them (including your wonderful Chili sauce!!!!!). I lack both time and inspiration these days, but when I return from my business trip this week I'll try to post again including the "old ones".

Niki said...

I still have lots of inspiration for my blog but not enough time or expertise. I like posting recipes but would like to do some more things with the blog too.
What about restaurant/cafe reviews? I have held off doing them because I don't like taking my camera out to dinner (attracts attentions) and didn't think readers would want to read about some random cafe in Melbourne, without any photos. But I notice Clothilde never takes photos of her dishes, and I still enjoy her reviews.
I'd love to read about some places in Copenhagen (esp as I loved the place and its food so much when I was there, and I want to return - and have an insiders view on the best/cheapest places to eat!)

Ellen said...

Life gets in the way sometimes, one way or the other. Either you're not cooking anything special or you're too busy to write anything up! I had a hiatus recently myself. I find if I wait for pictures, I don't write as often. Btw, my kids now argue over who gets to "arrange the plate" for pictures!

Zarah Maria said...

Thank you all for your encouragement - it's good to hear I'm not the only one with the inspiration-loss and leaving posts for too long-problems. At the same time I'm very happy for those of you that doesn't suffer from any of it - it's a bore , I tell you! (and I'm only a tiny bit jealous!;-))

I've been looking into the subject of Danish food, and I think I'd actually like to rediscover my own country's kitchen. Lots of the things may not be DANISH traditional cooking as such, but using ingredients and ideas that are, in my mind, a part of Danish food culture. So hopefully that'll be coming to a blog near you soon - I have to keep reminding myself that I can't just jump into it with both feet, but have to keep one foot (well, probably both, really!) in the pond that is medicine and studying... Anyways, I'll be sure to state clearly when it's in "my" category of Danish...

Niki - re the cafées and such - I've had the exact same reluctance with doing reviews as you - I don't like being the photographer maniac, and who would want to know about a restaurant/café here, of all places?

Another thing for me was the fact that I thought it if not necesarily boring, then just not interesting, to read about restaurants in places I might never go. Within the last month or so, I've reconsidered - those posts are actually just as much an inspiration to me food-wise, as is an exact recipe, if I take the time to actually read it, instead of just skimming it. But I do need the photos...

Also, I got an e-mail from a British couple going here on a weekend trip, asking me where to go, what to eat and what to see, and I was like: if only my archive had had that kind of information! Second thought: I have NO idea where to send you! So as well as rediscovering the kitchen, I'd like to work on being able to send people on a "blogger's tour" of my Copenhagen. Making that sort of posts is an on-going process, and one I haven't really started. I might try, now with the weather so pretty out, I can probably even get nice photos and tempt you all to coming here!:-)

Again, THANK YOU for the encouragement, it really means a lot to me!

Melissa said...

I think the 'your' Copenhagen idea is absolutely fantastic - and it will no doubt introduce you to a lot of new places as well. I would also love to see more of Danish food, its history, regional variations, etc. Another idea is what you have in your supermarkets! When I travel, I spend absolutely hours poring over everything new to me in local supermarkets - just smuggle in your camera and take pictures of weird, interesting or uniquely Danish things on the shelves (if you're confronted, just pretend you're a stupid tourist like me who just loves to discover new products) - or else buy them, bring them home, taste them, and then write about them!

Karen said...

I love the way you do your collages Zarah! Traditional everyday Danish food would be well appreciated, with a brief explanation of how it came about, perhaps due to change in seasons.

Oh, I can surely relate to your predicament. I have perhaps ten folders of pictures on my PC which still need to be written up. I wish I could do more research for my blog but then, we have lives.

kimmy said...

Danish cooking is simple and very enjoyable. I have been cooking Danish food for over 30 years and my family enjoys it.
I was born in Denmark and left when I was 8 years old. Denmark loves pork fat! Denmark loves food that is simple and flavourfull.
Look up sugarbrowned potatoes, roast goose stuffed with apples and prunes.
Especially look up ris a la mande. thoroughly Danish.