M. Andrew Gordon

Just Add Bacon

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm

June is proving to be something of a crossroad for me as far as this blog is concerned.  The past nine months of blogging has been an enormously fun, and more importantly, satisfying experience.  Whereas cooking and, really, all things food, has been a passion of mine for quite some time, pushing myself to write about food and the food I create has really crystallized that passion and focused my own interests on the subject(s).  In these nine months I’ve suffered a few setbacks and periods of general inactivity which I am not happy about because it violated the basic tenet of JustAddBacon: to highlight a newly created recipe each week.  In the abstract, I think I have probably met the quota for recipes over that time, as there have been plenty of weeks featuring multiple entries about multiple recipes, so all is not gloom.

Recently, I have grappled with the focus of this blog.  On September 19, 2009, I wrote in my introductory post that my plan was to blog “one new recipe per week.”  I haven’t much wavered from that narrow focus, rarely posting anything but an exposé on my culinary explorations and any resultant recipe that was brought forth.  But I have heard from several people that perhaps I should broaden the scope of the blog to include other’s recipes (guest chefs if you will), reviews on published recipes, critiques of restaurant meals and drinks, and even reviews of beer, wine, or liquors.  To basically chronicle my experiences as they relate to all things food and drink.  At first this made little sense to me, but the more I thought of it, the more the idea grew on me, to make this blog something more comprehensive, away from the narrow constraints of only unique recipes.

The reason June has been such a catalyst for thinking about this has been the sheer mass of experiences around food which have had little to do with my working at a stove or grill.  They have come instead in other places, some surprising, some not.

  • Lena and I made lemongrass chicken and gingered pork dumplings from scratch, even making the dough for the wrappers.  Because it was largely following a Food & Wine article, I didn’t see fit to blog about it at the time, despite Lena’s assertion that it would be fine to do so.
  • I have eaten a great meal at a restaurant I had previously never heard of because of Lena needing to sample the restaurant for work.  If you ever find yourself at Parson’s Table in Winchester, MA, do yourself a favor and order the Chocolate Semifreddo with Vanilla Gelato Affogato.  It is without question one of the best desserts I’ve eaten.
  • Lena and I cooked dinner for for her father’s birthday which included trout, fresh from Maine.  Amazing…and yet, no real new recipe.  But that trout could have been a blog post by itself based solely on how good it tasted.  So too could have been the coconut cream pie we made following Tom Douglas’ recipe, but then again, there are a few quality blog posts about that pie on the interwebs already.
  • I cooked brunch for about 25 people.  That fed my blog post of June 7 with my thoughts of cooking for a group of that size.
  • Cooked dinner for a good friend and collaborated on making chocolate pudding for dessert which she let me know was an absolutely egregious omission from my blog post about the dinner.
  • During a somewhat inebriated night (or as my friend Jared would say, “an overnight drunk”), I experienced the wonder of heating pretzels I had made earlier in the day on the grill at 4am.
  • I sampled several unique Montreal street foods: shish taouk and poutine.  The former is the Montreal version of chicken shwarma, the latter is a fascinating combination of French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds.   I expect to pull out a variation of this theme later in the year.
  • I had one of the greatest food experiences to date and it was as simple as could be.  While some food personalities have made their reputations on simplicity (there’s a reason Rachel Ray has made a killing) and others stress minimalism, like Mark Bittman in his Minimalist section of the New York Times, it was a completely simple moment when Lena and I discovered the joys of $7-per-bottle wine out of plastic cups, fresh (and local) goat cheese, bread, locally produced honey, an apple, walnuts, and csabai, a spicy, Hungarian cured sausage.  Sitting outside alongside Lake Champlain on a beautiful June afternoon, this represented a singular gastronomic experience.

All of these moments, crammed into a couple of weeks in June, made me think that broadening the scope of this humble blog might actually be a good idea.  So, with as little fanfare as possible, I believe today will mark the beginning of a new chapter at JustAddBacon.  While I would rather unveil wholesale changes all at once – to pull the tarpaulin off and reveal a shiny new version of JustAddBacon, polished and glinting in the sun – this blog is unfortunately not the only draw on my time.  So I offer the following as changes I plan to make and areas in which I will focus:

  • A continued push to meet my one per week goal of new, unique recipes
  • Any insights or thoughts on food that I may offer as they relate to cooking or other experiences through food
  • Reactions to new foods, new restaurants, new beverages
  • A new design/layout of the blog

I welcome any and all feedback on this new beginning.  Thanks again for reading and I look forward to doing my best to provide some interesting anecdotes about my experiences with food.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: