If you’ve ever wondered how someone starts blogging about food, I invite you to read my friend Anne Foster-Coleman’s story of wanting to leave a legacy for her children.
“My love for blogging came from, not surprisingly, my love of writing. I don’t mean writing in an artistic way, but the actual mechanics of putting pen to paper. For as long as I can remember, one of my favorite things has been a clean, smooth sheet of paper and a pen filled with flowing ink. Whether it was to doodle as I talked on the phone or to write the same sentence again and again, there was always something soothing and tranquil about guiding a pen across paper and creating whatever pleased me.
That love was doubled when I married my husband, who had stacks of paper on-hand at all times; graph paper and blank sheets, journals bound with stitching, spiral bound notebooks and composition books of every color and size. He always had a fine-tipped pen filled with blue ink while my choice has always been medium black. This love then, was also doubly conveyed to our children and so, one Mother’s Day they presented me with their proud find of a dollar store journal. The cover was blue and white with a drawn hummingbird hanging in flight over a flower. Inside, the pages were lined and little scrolls placed at the top and bottom of each.
I held onto that journal for a time I was certain what its use would be for, and it turned out to be a food journal. We had many years when the food budget was rather lean, and I would jot down what we had eaten during those times so that I would have it to look back on when times were tight again. I would add in stories about what we were eating and why, or a recipe with a twist to incorporate or leave out a certain ingredient.
When I would find recipes from my own family they were always a simple set of ingredients and directions, but I yearned to know why they made that recipe. I wanted to know what led them to eat the foods they did or to whom they served them. Was grandma’s recipe for stewed rabbit something they ate to get by, or was it something she served to company? There were great gaping holes and I longed to have them filled.
I vowed never to do that to my children, to leave them a legacy in food; why we ate what we ate; when we ate what we ate; what we felt about what we ate. I decided to look at online journals, thinking it may be a good way to pull everything together and possibly share it with far-flung family. I started in earnest writing Cooking with Anne in July of 2005. Very shortly after I began my blog, I found that I had readers. I was astounded that anyone wanted to read what I had to say, and even more astounded when I won an award within 6 months for best food blog that year.
I kept on doing what I loved, cooking and writing about it, and I developed a small but close-knit following. Just after my first year anniversary I was contacted to write for Disney as a food blogger at Family.com. The rest, as they say, is history and I now write for another online publication, as well as writing another food blog all about soups. My writing life is filled with all the things I love – food, cooking, family and writing. And though my work appears online in a format created by a computer keyboard, my favorite method of writing is still, and always will be, pen and paper.”