Still in holiday mood after a vacation of mediocre weather, but glorious food and scenery in Southern Tuscany (and thanks to Kit for some great recommendations!), here's a non-food post for a change...
There's this "meme" going round at the moment and it's only recently that it has hit the food blogging world. It's all about revealing more about the people behind the blogs, but not just what the blogger is happy to share, rather he/she is put on the spot and has to answer the questions that are put to him/her. You sign up to be "grilled" rather than being nominated, so I have put this on myself... and to continue the daisy-chain, you, too, can sign up to receive a set of questions from me, which you will in turn answer on your own blog*.
My interrogator is one of my favourite foodbloggers, Ilva of Lucullian Delights, who constantly spoils me with great photography and tastes of her country of residence: Italy.
1. Has the fact that you blog about food changed the way you and your family eat?
Without question. Although it might have been influenced by other factors that occurred at the same time. I started blogging when I was sick and tired of changing nappies day in, day out, and was looking for something to distract me from life with a four-month old. This sounds really bad... I love my children to bits, but I found it hard to give up a high-powered job and all of a sudden to be confronted with feeding, changing, feeding and no feedback other than a burp or a tiny gurgling every once in a while.
So I am never quite sure whether it is blogging that changed the way we eat, or the fact that we now have small children whose dietary requirements are very different from our own.
The biggest change brought about by the blog itself was probably that I am constantly on the look-out for new things I could try and blog about, seldom making a dish more than a few times. Exceptions are breakfasts and family favourites like traditional Austrian dishes and a vegetarian lasagne for which people are queuing up from near and far to have a taste ;-)
And, of course, that whatever we eat, we eat luke-warm, seeing that I have to take a picture for the blog before I can serve it...
2. How did you end up in Britain?
I have always been a travelling soul, still am, I believe, but keeping myself glued to one spot while the children are very small. I spent lots of time in France during high school and then a year living in Mexico... then I met my now husband who ended up working for a bank in London. While he was still doing most of it long distance, working from a home office, it was no problem, but after two years, they needed him there more and more and the commute and being apart as a young family (daughter Carolin just starting school then) just became too tedious and I happily jumped at the occasion to experience a different culture again. We initially wanted to stay for a year or so, then move somewhere else, but to be frank, we like it too much to be actively looking for a new destination... but I'm open to new challenges, always! Who knows where the wind will blow us next!
3. Apart from food, what other interests do you have in life?
Mmhh... there's a life outside food?
I have to say this is a difficult question: at the moment, with a 4-month and a three-year old as well as a teenager in the house, I am lucky if I find enough time to cook, let alone blog about it. All my other interests have completely taken a back seat...
But my bookshelf still contains traces of life before the little ones, and the life I intend to slowly ease my way back into... so in no particular order, here's my interests revealed shelf by shelf:
- Travel guides: I love travelling, before the boys we were pretty much doing a city trip within Europe once a month plus two or three big holidays a year.
- Tons of literature: my background is in literature and linguistics, specialising in the Americas. So from Jack Kerouac to Julio Cortazar to Noam Chomsky you'll find everything on those shelves and the many boxes I still have in storage.
- Programmes: I have a keen interest in all things cultural, be it the theatre, the opera, classical music or exhibitions. Living in London, I'm really spoilt for choice: every note-worthy artist graces the capital with their presence and you can never get bored here. I even take the little ones to galleries and the eldest to see plays and concerts... they love it, and so do I!
- Advertising: having worked in marketing and advertising for almost two decades, you will find that I used to follow that industry with a passion. Now food has taken over.
- Self-help books: because working 70-hour weeks in an advertising agency kills either you or your relationship ;-)
4. What is your favourite comfort food?
Moules frites. Potatoes in any shape or format transport me back to my roots. Mash them, sauté them, boil them... I'll happily indulge in them. They used to be a staple back home and they always will be in my house as well. Nothing but a bit of starch to dry your tears.
Mussels because there's nothing more therapeutic than eating with your fingers. No matter how much people bang on about table manners (myself included), we've lost something by introducing the knife and the fork. Whether you form balls with your rice, scoop everything up with a tortilla or use one empty mussel to pick out the meat of another, getting close up with your food is never a bad idea, it is so sensual and therefore most comforting...
5. How would your dream vacation be (unlimited time and unlimited money of course)?
This is downright impossible to answer. Until we spent two weeks on the Maldives about a decade ago, I thought just hanging out by the pool would send me straight to a mental institution. But I could do with reading, playing backgammon and sleeping right now, to be honest!
Then again, I love to explore new things. After living in Mexico City, which I found almost too americanised for my liking, I have been dreaming of trekking South America to discover its culture, scenery, food. Maybe one day, we'll pack up the kids, take a year out and travel America from Alaska to Argentina...
At the same time, something in me says that this is not exotic enough and I also have visions of "island-hopping" in Polynesia and discovering Asia, the only continent I've never really been to (except for that tiny atoll in the Indian Ocean).
If you have something else you'd like to ask me, this is your chance. I might answer it, I might not. So choose carefully ;-)
* What next? If you'd like to be interviewed by me, drop me a line or leave a comment.
DIRECTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEW MEME
1. Leave a comment saying, "Interview me." Cut me some slack -- it may take awhile.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Please make sure I have your email address.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment, asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.