Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Compound Butters, Pie Dinners, and Self-Promotion.

Of all the things I think I'm pretty proficient at, self-promotion is not really one of them.  I am of the battery of home cooks that truly believe that anyone can cook, that recipes are merely suggestions for inspiration (with the exception of most bakery goods which can be modified within ratio-appropriate reason), and that the more time people would spend in their kitchens, the better off we'd all be.  I also believe in that saying "nothing new under the sun", which in and of itself pretty much prevents me from wanting to take credit for anything.

I would be no cook at all without the hundreds of food writers and photographers who continually pique my interest,  but the time has come for me to cross my line in the sand and try to promote myself more.  I love my life at home, mostly in my kitchen, as a mother and homekeeper, but yet I definitely do not consider myself a "mommy-blogger".  I plan my weeks around line-dried clothes, when the floors need washing, when a boy needs a visit to his Grandmother's house or to read a book to me; it's a busy life with real, from scratch food at the heart of it all.  I don't spend much time trying to gain followers or friends in an online Internetty sense... and I think maybe I need to improve on that.

I genuinely use social media in a more personal way:  I get excited to talk with people I've never met about the things we choose to put in our bellies, and more than once the bridge has been crossed when an online acquaintance became a real life friend to me.  If you click the Facebook like button, I assume that you really want to be part of my wider circle of friends, and I hope to be inspired by you too.

basil-chive compound butter

Even with a new baby I am still at full force in the kitchen, but I find myself with a little less time to dedicate to in-depth musings on the subject.  I'll use this time to invite you to Flickr.  I love Flickr, and have for years.  I frequently record recipes and things there that don't make it over to Facebook or my blog.  If you click the above Basil-Chive Compound Butter, for instance, you'll find the recipe.  Not every food picture I put on Flickr has a recipe, but if you comment and ask me about it, I will find the time to record it there.  While I'm still kind of getting used to the new Flickr format, it's probably a good thing for new users since everyone gets tons of free storage and it's free to join.  Make me one of your "contacts", and you'll usually be privy to the pictures for a blog post before I have the time to write about it too.  I'm usually good at linking back my photos to the corresponding CakeWalk post, and I use this resource myself when I'm trying to remember something I've made.

another pie dinner

beet green tart w/ sesame crust.

I also will sometimes cross-post pictures from the CakeWalk facebook page to Flickr with more in depth information too.  I think this is easier for me (or just faster, anyway), because I can do it from my phone.  Case in point: during the past month I've been obsessed with an olive oil and sesame tart crust (click the second photo for the recipe) that caught my eye when leafing through a Martha Stewart magazine at the library.  I have made one every week, throwing in different types of greens and whatever cheese or vegetables I need to use up.  I eat a slice or two for my lunch nearly every day, the one meal in the day where I don't have to satisfy anyone but myself.

I could probably be better at joining groups and posting comments on Flickr, I'll try to work on that too.

beets, their greens.
Beet greens: I cut the stalks up very fine and use every last bit of the beet plant.

October 29th, I'll be giving a presentation during the Learning Never Ends program through the Wauwatosa Recreation Department.  (Click the link to find the sign-up information.)  My class is titled The Ancient Art of Fermentation and will focus on lacto-fermentation.  It's going to be a small class, so come with questions and ideas to share and we'll also start a cabbage slaw of some sort (I haven't decided what type yet), and taste samples.  I'll also have copies of my book for sale at the event.

So, there you have it.  A short and sweet post on my attempts to self-promote.  And I can't forget about my book!  The copies are starting to ship, and even Outpost, my food co-op, is going to be selling copies soon!  I'm still trying to work out how I will sell it here on my blog, but meanwhile if you'd like to buy a copy directly from me, send me an email and I'll make it happen.

my cookbook.


  1. I agree with you about cooking, it truly takes a village! I love your butter, I've been experimenting with a spiced pumpkin butter this week, and yours looks so beautiful with the threads of green running through it!

    1. I hope to see that over on your site, Sue! That sounds really good... especially on a pancake or waffle...

  2. I was just on Flickr a couple of days ago trying to find a picture of chia granola that I vaguely remember you tweaking from Cultures for Health I think, and I thought your tweaks may have been listed in a caption there. While I was browsing, I was thinking there must be a way to follow you there so I didn't miss out on all those captions...all before reading this post of course!

    1. I checked out your flickr stream, Marisa - I had no idea you were a quilter! I love your idea of the map quilting... brilliant. We'll have to talk about that the next time we catch up :)

  3. I love your blog and your flickr photostream; your sensibility & aesthetics about life and food are wonderful. I am not a saavy internet'r for sure; chronic illness eats up my energy causing a continual pick and choose. Love my ferments though and our from scratch food. It is a hard thing to LIVE and balance the type of life you want all the while tweeting, FB'ing, blogging, etc, etc, etc. You do a great job!

  4. I love your blog and your Flickr photostream; your sensibility, and aesthetic, about life and food are wonderful. You write in such a sincere and thought provoking way. I am not a savvy internet'r; chronic illness has me choosing everyday where my precious energy goes. We love slow food, ferments and conscious living. You live with such lovely intent ... keep at it!!


Communication is a good thing, most of the time...