Helen from Grab Your Fork recently drew my attention to an article about food blogging from the Times (UK). It suggested the appeal of blogs over recipe books is their personal touch. There was a cute quote from a blogger who said reading a blog recipe was like getting a tip from someone whose taste you trust.
The personal touch certainly enhances blog reading for me. Some posts make me think “yep, been there” and others are fascinatingly far from the way I think. One post that clicked was Not Quite Nigella‘s recent description of the “doof doof” cars at a fish and chips place. It took me back to year 9 drama classes. One boy had a great routine where he mimed cruising around in his hot-rod saying “oonce oonce”. The drama teacher got sick of it long before we did. A post that left me puzzled was Lemonpi‘s recent tribute to her shoes. The photos of the cake were works of art that left me drooling, but I’ve never felt that kind of dedication to footwear.
I’d love to know whether these moments that click (or don’t) are related to life experience or personality types. I’ve been reading about the Myers-Brigg personality typing system (short test here, leave your type in the comments, I’m curious). The theory gives some idea of how different types relate to each other. One type could find another so similar they’re almost boring or so far away they’re puzzling. In between the small differences are fascinating. I wonder if it’s these little differences that make the personal side of blogging so appealing.
One recipe I’ve recently tried to personalise is a creamy potato bake. My mum used to make one with milk and onions and cheese on top. Of course for me this will always be the traditional method, even though I’ve discovered that many people base theirs on cream. I wanted a creamy result but with a lower fat content, so I decided to use ricotta. Ricotta is meant to be a good food for vegetarians because it has a relatively high protein content for reasonably low fat. After reading that I always feel virtuous when I cook with ricotta. This isn’t so much of recipe as a method. You just layer up the ingredients and bake it.
ricotta (small tub, 250g or so)
1. Make alternating layers of potato slices, onion and dots of ricotta.
2. Break the egg into a measuring cup, whisk with a fork and top up to 1 cup with milk. Pour this mixture over the potato layers.
3. Bake until the potato is tender. This takes an hour or so.
4. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and return to the oven until it has melted.
Making the layers is not too fussy. It doesn’t matter if they overlap.
I couldn’t resist having melted cheese on top even though there was cheese inside. That’s why it’s two cheeses potato bake.