The earliest records of the Chinese cooking Peking Duck go back to the 14th century. They say that in more recent times, Henry Kissinger enjoyed the Peking Duck so much that he went to China a second time. On that trip he set up the historic visit by President Richard Nixon and the rest as they say, is history. Tricky Dickey subsequently suffered severe reputational damage when he tried to suppress the reporting of goings on in the Watergate Building. His good name, like the origins of Peking Duck is now ancient history. My worry is with more recent and personal concerns – my own culinary reputation.
Having read Silvana de Soissons’ excellent post on how to write a food blog, it got me thinking. I am not a long time blogging and I know that I have a long way to go. However, in the past 5 months, there are 5 things I have learned not to do when food blogging. Here’s my top 5 don’ts AND a special bonus tip:
1. Don’t start something you aren’t going to finish.
The telltale signs are headlines like “My new life starts here” or “What I am eating now”. I know the majority are fueled by well-intentioned new-year positivity and the “new lifer” will probably revert to the old life, just as they do most years. Best to do the work, and blog about it after you have achieved something. Trust me, we can wait.
2. Don’t do a daily online diary.
While it is good to write things down, it is not good for the rest of us to read about “Day 32 – My couscous-vegan-nut-diet goals achieved”. Again, if you do something worthwhile, let us know after the fact. We can wait.
3. Don’t start a post with “Sorry I haven’t been blogging for a while (followed by a lame excuse)”.
This opening implies some very introspective musing. Think of your readers and what might interest them. It is the only way to get them to think of you, if that is what you want. Most of us weren’t waiting anyway. If we were, we would have posted something like:
“I wonder what could be wrong, (insert your name nere) hasn’t posted in ages.”
4. Don’t use obscene language
I know it’s oh so funny to use the F word. God knows, I have been known to use profanity and bad language myself. However if you can’t communicate in print without expressions such as “F*** Yeah! that pizza was sick” or “F***ing awesome cheese sandwich, Dude!”, you probably are trying to master the wrong medium. F*** Yeah, Bro!
5. Don’t make rude noises
Never, ever start or end a post with that awful expression ‘Om Nom Nom’. Eat with your mouth closed. Don’t eat while reading my blog. You’ll get crumbs in your keyboard.
6. YES! A Special Bonus Tip – 6 for the price of 5
Don’t do lists. I am fed up of seeing “Top 10 this”, “Top 7 that”, “15 things every blogger didn’t know they should know”, “3 things to do before you get out of bed.”etc., etc… The only top 5 list to which you should pay attention is this one.
Having said all this, I could start a post like this:
“Om Nom Nom. Day 325 – Sorry I haven’t been posting in ages, I have been filling my diary with my new top three diet plans. The good news is I have achieved my mung bean, tofu and egg-plant diet goals. F***ing awesome Mo Fo, fo sho!”
Or, perhaps not….
Before I start, I have to be clear. I have nothing against hunting. We need hunting in our countryside to keep various animal populations in check. Also, I don’t have issue where there is an element of real skill and hunters are killing for the table. Having said all that….
We went to my better half’s parents’ house in Tipperary last weekend. The house overlooks Lough Derg. Just across from the house is an island. Brave men from the city pay big bucks to get in touch with their inner hunter by visiting the island and shooting pheasant. The pheasant are accustomed to people on the island and are pretty tame by local account. When groups of high paying city folk come down, dressed like country squires in padded green giléts and fresh green wellington boots to ‘hunt’, the beaters have been known to have difficulty getting the birds into the air to meet their fate. Continue reading
I am a Dubliner, born and bred inside the Pale. I am proud of my roots, my history and most things Dublin. Some of our country cousins can begrudge us the privileges we enjoy from living in the ‘Big Smoke’. We have, amongst other attractions, the Luas electric tram system, an airport with two terminals, the Guinness Brewery and the boat to England.
It is traditional and reasonable for us Jackeens, as the Culchies like to call us, to suffer some inter-county hostility. Some of the rural dwellers believe that Cork is the real capital of the country. Others think that Galway is the cultural axis on which the world revolves. I refute these and many other illegitimate claims against our capital city. I am well brought up and I will not mention Dublin being the All Ireland Football Champions at present. That would be churlish. Continue reading
I started to feel sick as soon as I got out of the gym on Friday night. It was the chicken that gave me my problems. Well it was chicken combined with beef and a selection of vegetables. Far too much at once. I felt unwell, very, very unwell. How could I have done this to myself? Continue reading
It’s my own fault. I suggested that as I was cooking for the Wife and myself, I might include my eldest and her boyfriend in the pot. They gratefully accepted my offer. Then they did what great negotiators the world over do when they have a deal over the line. They changed the terms.
I need to be careful how I phrase this. There are two old steamers in the kitchen. They have been there for years and they have even been a big influence on the lives of my children. I think it’s time they came out of the closet. Continue reading