I Saw a Heffalump Today Piglet

“The things that make me different are the things that make me me.” 
~ Winnie-the-Pooh

1. I use my own words and draw from my experiences. 
I read widely and voraciously. My everyday language includes words such as schmecks, unfettered and primrose. I love the onomatopoeia of squidgy and clatter. Just as my experiences reflect my eclectic words, my words reflect my eclectic experiences. I reference dictionaries and conduct Google searches – and I assume my audience can do the same. Being bullied into adopting an artifice where everything’s in Flavour Town (sorry, Flavor Town), yum-o, dripping in awesomesauce, or stripping down my vocabulary, so a batter is merely “yellow,” is unfairly restrictive and, I think, insults my audience.

2. My content reflects what I eat. 
Home cooks trained my palate. I write about the foods I was raised with and what I share with friends, research, or experience. I don’t have ethical or severe medically-induced food restrictions. I don’t follow groupthink, and I would be hard pressed to identify a food trend. While I respect others’ food choices, I am not responsible for someone else’s failed gluten-free-vegan-carob’d recipe reformulation for a different pan size of my wheat flour-butter-egg chocolate cake. Contrary to the speaker’s intention, comments that my foods aren’t like cello-wrapped gas station offerings are compliments.

3. I’m old school. Sort of. 
The way I cook reflects what family and HomeEc teachers taught with wooden cutting boards, sharp knives and box graters. Some of my techniques and practices were birthed before cookery shows, food processors, and before European mathematicians adopted “zero.” Some of my tricks are from those whose authority comes from expertise, not camera tests. I use all my senses, including common sense. My kitchen would be less fun to be in if I stopped using my fingertips to rub grated frozen butter into flour. My blog would be less satisfying to write if I could never mention the song of a roasting chicken, but only talk to a flashing digit on a thermometer.

4. Game playing is for game players. 
 I appreciate my readers. They aren’t stepping-stones, and I don’t reduce them to a number. I think it’s dishonest to buy mailing lists to tell product marketeers 50 bajillion people receive my newsletter. I question the ethics of telling publicists to let me into their exclusive event because I blog. Those “my baubles are sparklier than your baubles” -type pissing matches are pointless and demeaning. I believe in growth through an honest voice combined with engaging words, not through algorithmic sorcery to pump up a projected (and often artificial) persona. I measure success through adventures with ingredients, broadened horizons, and heartfelt words.

5. I let the quality of my work speak for itself. 
I’m an adept writer and middling photographer, whose recipes work. What I offer attracts some and repels others—that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Kind notes received from someone who stumbles upon my blog are valued just as much as recognition through speaking invitations, publishing offers, screen test requests, and newspaper interviews. I don’t envy bloggers who find themselves in a beam of sunshine, and I won’t treat them as undeserving of media attention or other recognition. I believe journalists, publishers, and readers are discerning and smart, and can see through brand-building and other contrived attention-seeking campaigns.

June 2015

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Image credit: Paul K/Flickr. I Saw A Heffalump Today, Piglet. Used under CC2.0