Thursday, September 16, 2010

Project Food Blog Challenge #1 - Who am I as a foodie?

Project Food Blog Challenge #1 - Who am I as a foodie?

I’ve always been about food and drink. There are pictures of me (somewhere, finding them hasn’t been successful yet) banging on pots and pans in the kitchen while my mom cooked up dinner for my family. My mother tells me that as soon as I understood what the kitchen was for that I wanted to be in there creating and preparing food.

( Enjoying a homemade wine sangria before a Kid Rock concert. )

When a group of families from my hometown went camping I was always the first one up getting the cooking fire going, and roaming from site to site to find out what breakfast delights I could help with and ultimately enjoy. I had a high school home economics teacher who brought my mother to tears of joy when explaining what a pleasure it was to have me in class, and a man no less!! For a time I thought of culinary school as a potential direction after high school, but an affinity for math and science got the better of me and I went on to a career in information technology. I get excited about cookie swaps and preparing holiday meals for the whole family.

( Pan roasted potatoes. This simple recipe was pushed to its peak
potential through use of fresh herbs from my own garden. )

When I go on vacation I learn about where I am visiting through the local food and seek examples both mundane and unique. Not being into sports, I am more worried about having homemade snacks and good beer to enjoy when friends invite me over to watch games I could care less about. For the last six years I have made beer, wine and hard cider at home, and have twenty-six amateur competition medals proudly on display in my dining room. I love farmstands, quirky food stores, food television and I think about food and beverages 24 x 7. But what does all of this mean in defining me as a food blogger?

I am the single pot stew of food bloggers. Like a good single pot stew my food adventures and my blog are a balance of essential ingredients, with a mix of just the right seasonings, cooked for the just right amount of time, and paired with a beverage the makes the dish sing. Each day my food blogging stew gets more interesting with new ingredients, seasonings and pairings.

( Starting with fresh ingredients is always the beginning of a wonderful journey. )

Why do I think I have what it takes to be the next food blog star? Attitude.

Being the best at anything is never because of only one thing. It isn’t something you achieve and then get to keep, and always starts within. In 2003 I was diagnosed with cancer and ultimately this experience changed my life. Before my diagnosis I was too focused on work and didn’t appreciate the opportunity I had in my life. Since then I have learned to ask the right question. Instead of “why?”, I ask “why not?” I am not afraid to try new things, take risks and live the only life I have to its fullest potential.

( Bubbling butter. So much goodness begins here! )

Do I think I create the best recipes, have the best techniques or take the best pictures? No. Is my writing as good as it is ever going to be? No. Do I already know all of the right people? No. What I do know is that each blog entry I write is an expression of who I am, embodies my experiences and that I enjoy every minute of it. Does this competition scare me? Of course it does. I have so much more to learn in this world and something I wrote yesterday will always have room from improvement based on my experiences today. My fellow challengers have their own unique stories and are out there as much as I am. I have to expect that when I read their posts I will wish I had walked in their shoes for just long enough to learn what they did.

( A grilled rosemary Sazerac. Creating new spins on my
favorite style of cocktail is a never-ending source of enjoyment )

None of this will stop me from trying to fully express myself in these challenges hoping that what I do brings a smile to the judges and my peers, and that I earn a chance. I have what it takes to be the next food blog star because I believe I do and I will do as much as I can to win. I will be happy with the outcome for me, whatever it might be, while cheering on my competition to rise to their own best potential.

The Foodbuzz badge shown below is my Project Food Buzz competitor link and will hopefully be visible in my profile for the next few weeks, meaning I will be actively competing in the challenges being offered. Regardless of how far I go I am already cheering on my fellow competitors as they enter the PFB stadium. Please join me in doing the same.




Torviewtoronto said...

have fun

Sandy said...

Good luck on the challenge! I'm rooting for you!

Kim (Liv Life) said...

Jason, I truly enjoyed reading this post and I love your attitude! I had a recent cancer scare myself, but thankfully all the tests returned negative and I'm moving on. Even though I did not go through even a fraction of what you did, this event did indeed make me look at things differently as well.
Congratulations on your entry into the contest and I'm eager to follow your progress. Good luck to you!!! =)

kathy gori said...

Good luck on the challenge. Those potatoes look awesome!I'm a cancer survivor myself. I was diagnosed 20 years ago and that's when I started cooking Indian food. It's interesting what that experience does to people.
Looking forward to seeing you in the arena!

Anonymous said...

A very inspiring post. You have a great attitude towards food and life. I wish you all the best with PFB.

Unknown said...

Jason, this is a lovely entry post and it's not hard to get a sense of your inspirational attitude! I also love your beautiful photos and recipes, hope you'll do very well in PFB!

Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet said...

Jason - best of luck on the challenge. I ejoyed your post. I think this will be a fun journey for all of us. Good luck to you!

Belinda @zomppa said...

You rock. I agree with you about learning about others through food. Love getting to know you more!

Whitney said...

YAY! I've been waiting for you to post your entry! It's great to learn more about you!

Unknown said...

"I am the single pot stew of food bloggers."

This is my favourite line of your post. No matter how you do in the competition, I feel that I now know who you are as a blogger, so erst assured, this is a successful post! All the best to you - and good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the challenge Jason. I like that your focus is on your attitude, and how positive you are.

Jeanne said...

I love the single pot stew analogy - it really gives a great concept of what your blog is about. This is a great post to kick off the first challenge, and I wish you luck on the rest of the challenges!

Alison said...

Great post. I look forward to how everyone does the competition.

Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

I really enjoyed this post and learning more about you! I love your outlook on life and wish you the best of luck with this challenge! :o)

Evan @swEEts said...

Wonderful post :) Attitude is absolutely a perfect reason for a win! Sounds like you know about winning though with 26 medals under your belt!!

The bf did peruse North Conway a bit.. we've still got a few years before we can make it happen but we're looking forward to the time when we can!

Evan @swEEts said...

Wonderful post :) Attitude is absolutely a perfect reason for a win! Sounds like you know about winning though with 26 medals under your belt!!

The bf did peruse North Conway a bit.. we've still got a few years before we can make it happen but we're looking forward to the time when we can!

The Southern Cookbook said...

Jason, Good luck to you my friend! Excellent post. I had a talk with a friend of mine via phone call this afternoon, she mentioned you and your blog. Then she sent me over your blog link, well here I am. I have to say, I really enjoyed reading this post!! Cheering for you my friend!! ;)

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

Jason, S
o glad to have gotten to know you better! Don't you love this contest! I love taking a fresh look at myself, and trying to figure out what I can do better!
Cheers to a long blogging friendship! Good Luck!

Jason Phelps said...

Thank you everyone!!

We've gotten more comments on this post that any prior one. I hope that is a sign of good things to come.


Winelady Cooks said...

Stay true to yourself! Good Luck! I'll be looking forward to your posts.


City Share said...

It's so much fun reading everyone's statements. Best of luck in the challenge.

Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris said...

Good luck to you too, Jason !!! If you win, please invite me to drink your sangria !!! ( and your gorgeous potatoes would be MORE than welcome!!!)

Isabel said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog, Jason. Great post. Saying "why not" to new experiences is a great way to live life. I really admire that.

Good luck!

Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) said...

Beautiful post! So well written, and I enjoyed learning more about you and your blog! I love your positive attitude - very inspiring!

Best of luck with PFB!

CrystalsCozyKitchen said...

I'm totally with you about being in the kitchen - except it wasn't pans with me it was cookbooks... Yeah I ruined one of my mom's cookbooks when I was younger.
Good luck with PFB! I voted for you.
If you'd like to check out my post it's here:

Anonymous said...

The stew analogy is perfect! Thanks so much for sharing your story! Hope to see us both in Round 2 ;)

Megan @ Foodalution said...

Hi Jason! Love the post! You had my vote the very first day we could vote! Those potatoes look amazing BTW.. and could you please bottle up some of that Sangria and send it my way? ! Foodie love from the North - Megan