Defining? Evolving? Adjusting? Adapting? Something.

Even though it hasn’t been but a few days since I last wrote about food, I still feel as if I haven’t done so in ages. Undoubtedly, this is because I have not posted a recipe for months. Heck, as I type this, I realize I cannot remember the last time I did.

It’s difficult. I’ve long said, “I don’t really have a food blog.” It hasn’t felt right to claim “food blogger” status, even though I keep a blog, and it’s mostly about food. To me, “food blog” has always meant “an internet place were a person posts the recipes they’ve invented and love.”

This place? It’s not that. I’ve posted a few recipes I just kind of threw together, but I always make it very clear that what I did was basically on a whim and not tested in any way. (Angelique told me that the recipe in the last link made her gasp, basically because she thought 1 c of wine was a bad idea.)

This place, instead, was a place for me to post recipes from my cookbooks as I cooked them. What I discovered (and have said in the past and will say again) was this became a place for me to learn to cook. In time, it became a place for me to learn to pay more attention to food, figure out how to use it up. It’s become, in many ways, my place for learning once I left the last place for learning.

One thing I’ve intended to do, basically since I spoke to Ellen and Grant, was to start using this space to learn (mostly by sharing) more about the science behind food. And the science behind beer. Not so much the science behind blather1, but I did figure I’d share some science about whatever caught my fancy as well.

The problem, though, has been that I bit off more than I could chew with that mental commitment. I feel rusty. Yes, I have an advanced degree in Biology, but it’s been a little while since I was actively using it. Statistics and I have never had a close relationship. And food and agriculture were never my strengths to begin with.

Where does that leave me for “Science!” and blogging? With two realizations, basically. First, I’m going to struggle as much with calling this “science blogging” as I do with calling the rest “food blogging”. It’s just the nature of the beast; as I perceive science blogging to be a lot more “sharing expertise” than “gaining expertise publicly” and I definitely will be doing more of the second. Secondly? Well, secondly, I’ve decided to ease myself into it. I get a little nervous with the fact that I’m rusty and stats aren’t my friend. I find I can’t just fling myself into a whole new field without jogging my memory on how to read journal articles.

So, I’m going to start with papers I have had to read many times over. The first few entries in “Science!” for reading/explaining a paper will be papers I know reasonably well (or used to). They will not, in fact, be related to food. However, I used to read a lot about lions, so they’ll still be interesting.

I hope you all stick around for it. I think this whole section is about to get a lot more fun.

fn1. Though anyone who finds a peer-reviewed article with “blather” in the title2 should immediately pass that paper on!

fn2. Jen: An example would be if you find anything titled “Blather in the Tit: How the Tufted Titmouse Communicates in Intrasex Groups.”

2 thoughts on “Defining? Evolving? Adjusting? Adapting? Something.

  1. First of all, I’m not sure why you’re so eager to label yourself. Given a little more time and a little more exposure, fans and critics will be happy to do that for you. Why tie yourself to a “blog type” in the first place?

    If you’re hell-bent on finding a name for your type of blog, to categorize your work, to define what all this is about, why not call it a “learning” blog? An “experience” blog?

    I’m glad you have a science section. I’m doubly glad that it’s not going to be a section where you spew facts at your readers and back the facts up with footnotes and leave it at that. I feel like you’re taking aim at teaching people how to bite science into manageable pieces and deal with it in a rational way so that they can be better equipped to read news stories about new discoveries and medical advances. That’s a public service, in my humble opinion, and too few places or people are offering it.

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