I’ve been nominated for the “Writing Process Tour” by Gerard Villanueva at Bread & Tortillas – which gives me the opportunity to share some thoughts on why I’m doing this baking and blogging thing. The nomination is not a reward, but as I perceive it – a recognition and interest in the work put down. So thank you, Gerard, I’m honored.
The rules for the writing process tour are as follows:
- Acknowledge the person who nominates you
- Answer the tours 4 questions
- Select 3 others to participate
And the questions we’re talking about are
- What am I working on?
- How does my work differ from others in the genre?
- Why do I write what I do?
- How does my writing process work?
First of all, I feel kind of humble to get this challenge from Gerard Villanueva as I find his blog very inspirational and his baking on a different level than mine. His food is rustic, well crafted and professional, but still within reach for normal people. What caught my attention right away when first visiting this blog, was how his cultural background so nicely frames – and shines through, all his cooking. It is much more than a food blog, it is a journey with atmosphere, life and personality. The recipes and the food items always look very impressive, yet the style of writing is mundane and exploring. I have used his blog as a reference for my own baking, but I’ve also just enjoyed browsing through, taking in – the elegantly presented celebration of life through food.
Now, what am I working on? Right now, when it comes to baking – I’ve moved on to the challenging process of sourdough. Never thought I’d try it – but here I am. I started baking bread after moving from Norway to USA a couple of years ago, because I missed the healthy, filling bread from home, and figured the best way to know what’s in your bread – is to make it yourself.
Once I got into baking bread I found the process very rewarding. It made me feel mundanely useful; “here I am, with muscle and brain, creating nutritious, traditional, tasty food for my family.”
For every single loaf of bread, I learn something new. Every step of the process is actually an ingredient too. It is so simple – yet so complicated. It became an obsession. A successful loaf out of the oven is a thrill – yet every loaf continues to spark the question “how can I make this better next time …?” It is an ongoing project with no deadline, where the purpose is not to finish, but to be present in the process.
Like in life … So I felt an urge to share what I discovered when baking bread, and called the blog Bread & Philosophy. The intention was to interlink bread baking with thoughts on life. But I find that the blog has evolved and grown into the baking category mainly.
So how does my blog differ from others in the genre? Well, What attracts me in many other food blogs is the personal voice and the cultural representation which gives the blog identity. I guess I recognize a similar passion – that we have something in common, yet this is exactly what makes each blog unique.
My angle, or my aim, is to inspire people to try making their own bread. I try to put across how simple it can be done, how much there is to discover, and how healthy and beneficial it can be. When I started baking bread I was clueless, and my first 25-30 loafs all came out in different varieties of wrong. But I’m pretty stubborn and obsessed with getting things right, which I figured potential readers could benefit from. My blog is meant to be an honest journey of learning the skills of baking, from a personal point of view.
Why do I write what I do? I love food. I love what food represents, through flavor and tradition, in social contexts, culturally and for health. It is all interlinked. I get upset when I meet people who diet for the wrong reasons, who see food as an obstacle rather than a source of life. I get fired up by advertising that promotes processed, flavorless plastic food and annotates this as “a healthy choice” because it has hardly any calories. It’s because it’s not food! – is my opinion. I burn for a healthy living in the sense of not being obsessed with health. Balance is the key which I believe is achieved through activating the senses and appreciate what’s genuine, not by actively avoiding things and monitoring everything. Live, eat and enjoy some true bread.
As much as I’d like to provide my family with a good choice of bread and share Scandinavian traditions of bread baking and consumption, I’m also on a quest for promoting balanced nutrition through healthy awareness and a relaxed relationship with food.
… And on top of that, I enjoy writing.
How does my writing process work? When I bake, I have the camera nearby. Usually. Sometimes I forget – and if I don’t have pictures, there will not be a blogpost. Actually, if I don’t have pictures of a certain quality – there won’t be a blogpost. I’m also enjoying the photography part, which used to be one of my greatest interests. I’ve neglected this interest for some time unfortunately, but blogging keeps me in touch with the camera, which is nice.
I keep a diary and plot down every step of what I do whenever I try something new. Some of this material becomes a blogpost, a lot of it doesn’t. Although my goal is to present the honest process, nobody will open a blogpost with bad pictures of a collapsed, dull attempts of bread. Only the good ones make it to the blog, which kind of creates a dilemma towards my initial aim … but I try to sum up the failures and the learnings in the text instead. After all, it is my own commission in my own time …
There are many very good blogs in the baking category, and from those that I follow it is hard to choose three. Because they’re all different and have different qualities. Not that they have to be from the baking category … but it makes it a little easier to narrow down.
There’s one of my fellow countrywomen who’s living in Rome I’d like to nominate. Her blog krumkaker is a baking blog with interesting recipes combined with reports from life in Rome. She’s definitely an observer with a heartfelt cultural awareness and she knows how to appreciate good things in life. At least she’s good at putting this into words.
Cause Baking Makes Happy by Nadia & Noemi is a subtle, clean and beautiful baking blog with high quality photos and some very tempting recipes … And I love the name of the blog, which states a mission worth hearing about.
The third one on my list is impossible to ignore: John Vaillancourt on The Bakery Rebellion. Stunning pictures of classy bread and bakery items combined with a rebellion against the gluten-free trend and the general fear of carbs. I’m all in. He ‘s a pro, and his blogposts make me feel happy when reading them.
I'm Currently living in Florida, USA, but I'm Norwegian born and bred. At the moment I enjoy baking bread and blogging about it. I enjoy blogging in general, because I like writing. But I'm trained as an illustrator, originally ... in England. One day I'll write a book. About bread. And illustrate it myself. Maybe. Life will see.