Check the airspeed velocity of your local porcine population, The White Trash Gourmet is about to use her food blog for the unthinkable: to discuss food. Specifically, the creative process behind the food, and how much work it takes to be me. If I’ve made this whole web logging thing seem simple to anyone, or maybe even elegant… that’s just the shell game my chest plays. While you’re busy talking to me between my neck and naval, the rest of me is selflessly taking the heat so you can stay in the kitchen.
Consider this: I’ve posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the last five months. I realize that’s a drop in the bucket compared to how some people blog, but think about what I put into each lovingly-crafted post: a minimum of 350 words and a brand new recipe. Easy? Absolutely. Now do it three times a week without missing a deadline, while juggling a career, a relationship and motherhood cubed.
Plus, I don’t know if you know this about me, but organization doesn’t exactly send me a family newsletter at Christmas. It’s not as though I’ve kept an autobiographical card catalog of culinary masterpieces—unless I specify otherwise, the featured meal/drink/whatever has likely been plucked from my noodle/butt/whatever that day. (Usually after too much hair pulled and too much of my own money spent. Someone remind me why I quit smoking.) Now I’m not congratulating myself; no back-patting is going to be found here. I’m merely expressing my newfound admiration for anyone that can make a blog work even barely.
Just look at today’s recipe as an example of the rigors of creativity: I wanted to make something with polenta for no better reason than I thought I could. I was originally going to attempt a sort-of lasagna. I had Russell make his super secret (but super perfect) marinara sauce, bought mushrooms, zucchini, shallots, garlic and fancy cheese… then decided lasagna was too plebeian for my audience. Back to the drawing board, stupid. I decided on a tower—something that really showed off the layers and let each element stand on its own.
It was delicious, to be sure, but then I’m tasked with selling it to the world (i.e. all my 200 followers) in a way that’s funny, clever and hopefully topical. Should I run out of topics, then all I can do is talk about the arduous process that lead up to the absence of topics. And this is just for Monday. Long story short, treasure your bloggers. They may not be fun to look at, but their salt is definitely earned. I’m fucking tired.
Leaning Tower of Polenta
Born of suffering.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 4 zucchini, sliced
- 10 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
- 3 cups spinach
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- marinara sauce
- 1 package prepared polenta (in the plastic tube)
- shredded mozzarella
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add remaining vegetables, sauteing until mushrooms and zucchini are cooked through. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and set aside. Thinly slice polenta and pan fry in a small amount of olive oil, until browned on each side. Remove from pan to plate lined with a paper towel. Place one round of polenta on a plate. Top with a spoonful of warm marinara sauce, a spoonful of the vegetable mix and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Repeat. Top with a third round of polenta, a small amount of sauce, cheese and fresh basil leaves. Take pictures (mandatory) because this looks as great as it tastes.
Complainingly as the above reads, I actually love the attention that having this forum has garnered. (How could I not? It’s about me.) I had been bragging for years that I was going to make a cooking blog one day… I just had no idea how much I was biting off for the chewing. Anyone who dismisses this virtual community as “just a hobby” is asking for a shanking.
TWTG says, “Hello Japan times five.”