Monday, August 24, 2009

On Food Blogging: A Disclaimer, an outlet, a rant

Yesterday, I finally saw Julie and Julia, a movie that has been getting mixed reviews in the food blogging scene. This is because Julie Powell, the author of the book and blog upon which the movie was based, has been largely criticized for her rise to fame as a food guru, when really, she doesn’t know how to cook. But from reading this article in Newsweek, I was reminded that Julie Powell, like most bloggers, didn’t claim to be a great cook. Cooking was a simply an escape.

Quite frankly, I enjoyed the movie because I like to watch cooking and see how ingredients are chopped, julienned, parboiled, baked, or what have you, into a final, edible, and with any luck, delicious product. I never met the real Julie Powell, so I have no idea whether Amy Adams’ rendition was true to character. I’ll even admit that my claims to be a foodie, I’ve never really watched Julia Child’s show, “The French Chef,” except for the clips shown on the Food Network in tribute to her life after she died in 2004. But I did find Meryl Streep’s interpretation to be funny and entertaining.

But what I really want to point out is that food blogging for me, as it was for Julie Powell, is really just a creative outlet for me. I don’t claim to be a great cook, I just enjoy cooking. I started cooking on my own in my sophomore year of college, when I had no meal plan, a borrowed copy of The College Cookbook, and a television that was almost always set to the Food Network. While in law school, I started reading food blogs to escape from the doldrums of reading stuffy Supreme Court decisions and memorizing the elements of intentional torts. I started this blog because it just looked like fun. I named it “Food Judicata” because I thought I was being clever by using a play on words with a legal term, even though this blog is more about food than the law. In fact, I’ve thought about changing the name because I really don’t want to write about the law. I’ve spent the last three years briefing, analyzing, and dissecting the law. This is my space to get away from the law. In fact, the law so far has done very little for me as I type this in my pajamas at 11 AM on a Monday morning.

Food blogging, or any blog for that matter, is really just a creative outlet for most people. It is a place for ordinary people to get “published” by a simple click of the mouse.

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