Friday, December 30, 2005

I'm a different kind of food blogger

Most food blogs you visit always have a nice picture or a recipe of something they've recently cooked or eaten at a restaurant. I find myself half way through preparation, and then think oops, should've grabbed my camera. Or, if I'm eating out, the light isn't right or I've already eaten the best part.

To tell you the truth, I don't think it's the picture. It's the passion. I love food. Most food bloggers love food. But I come at it from a different angle. I like origins. It's why I began in the business those oh so many years ago. At 15 and a half. My first job: fast food. It was exhilarating, it was humiliating. Exhilarating because I got a job for the first time ever. It gave me independence. It also came at a price. When all the kids were at the football game on Friday night, I was slinging tacos. Then when the game was over, they'd come in and I'd have to take orders and feed them. It was humiliating at times. I didn't last in fast food long.

I quickly accepted a job at a photo shop down the street. Mr. Holt introduced me to the best optics available. With my very first tax return I bought the best camera money could buy. An Olympus OM-1. I still own that camera. It has taken many, many pictures. Not many of food.

I didn't last long at the photo shop. Mr. Holt retired and so did his business. I was again without employ. I wrote about the next job I landed in one of my very first posts here. It was for a big box grocery company. It has now been assimiliated through acquisition after acquisition. However, food became an obsession of mine.

I even married a farmer's son. We began dating in high school. I remember being at their home during lunch hour in the summertime. His dad would come in from the field dirty and worn looking. He'd laugh at my then boyfriend and tell him he wouldn't last a half a day working with him. It was true. The man was a worker. A hard worker. He grew the best melons and tomatoes I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

He introduced me to farming. Tractors, combines, drying sheds, sulphur. We lived in a farm community. We still do. People laugh when I tell them where I live. I ask them why and the explanation is always the silliest to me. "It stinks there". I tell them it keeps the riff raff away. And the smell to me, is the smell of money. Dairy farmers used to be on three sides of the valley, now just two. And they will disappear from the landscape soon, I'm sure.

Before the farmer's son, I had a crush on another farmer's son. He was the smartest guy I knew. He went to the rival high school in the valley. His dad had about 2000 acres of apricots. I pitted apricots at his dad's farm to earn camp money two summers in a row when I was younger. He was so cute back then, and we're still friends today. In fact when we needed a new driveway a couple of years ago, he did the cement work.

So what I'm trying to say is food began to be all around me. Farming, grocery, as a brokers seeling stock talking about food companies, and finally managing a food production facility. Where does it all grow, how is it all packed, who does all that work? That's what interests me. In the next few months that's where the focus will go with this blog. I'll still talk about recipes and favorite places I eat, but there will also be more emphasis on the stuff I love about food.

Come along, share the journey, add comments as you please.