Many sudden and somewhat-unexpected life changes brought this blog into existence. As a humanities-based graduate student currently working on my dissertation in a failing economy, I suddenly found myself without funding. After sending out 120 job applications with only two bites, I ultimately started working as a full-time freelance business writer. That same month, I moved to a new apartment within Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood that has a yard, large kitchen and separate dining room. With a new job, a steady stream of clients, a new home, and a need for more focused distractions from my dissertation, it seemed like the perfect time to put my plans for a food history blog into motion.
Why food history? My professional training is as a cultural historian, and in recent years, I have begun to turn my attention to the rich traditions of America’s foodways. If we are what we eat, then we must also eat what we are. Few things reveal local and regional culture more than looking at what people eat, how they eat it, and why certain foods and recipes became a much-loved specialty.
The idea of starting a food history blog came to me in 2007, when after much searching through the foodie blogosphere, I noticed a glaring gap. There are countless food blogs on the internet, but few if any that actually look at the histories of foods past and present. Yet, when food blogs occasionally referenced a historical factoid, followers devoured the information and offered their own food lore.
The American Table is my effort to offer a place where food lovers, historians, chefs, writers and others can explore a broad investigation of America’s food traditions, to share recipes, rediscover lost favorites, consider the shifts in our society that has led to our current palates, and to enjoy the company of friends over a classic dish.
In the coming weeks, as I figure out my writing pace and acquaint myself with the new bells and whistles WordPress has to offer, I beg your patience. Blogging is to writing what baking is to cooking – to do it well requires precision and an attention to detail.
I welcome your feedback and comments and look forward to ‘meeting’ you at the Table!