Saturday, April 22, 2006

Voyeur No More

Hello, I'm glad to be here. I've been a food blog voyeur for quite a while. But something happened this week that convinced me that it's time to stop spying and start sharing: this week, I participated in a bake sale.

The bake sale is strangely set up. It works like this: every day, I set a tray of baked goods in the lobby of the apartment building where I live, with a sign and a collecting jar. All the proceeds are donated to a charity for autism. All fine so far.

The first day, I put out a batch of coconut oatmeal cookies that I found on Nic's Bakingsheet blog (thank you, Nic – those are stellar), and a batch of my very best chocolate chip cookies. Sold all of them. "Great!" I thought, "They like it."

So the second day, I put out a batch of the buttermilk scones (also from Nic's blog), and a batch of the beautiful, delightful, delicious, wonderful-in-every-way coffee walnut scones that Heidi posted on her 101 Cookbooks blog last February. They weren't as beautiful as Heidi's, but they were lovely and delicious – surely the prettiest scones I've ever made.


Sold not a single one.

In disbelief, I carried my tray of unwanted, unloved, but still delectable scones back to my apartment. They just sat there, looking delicious, until I gave them all away.

"Maybe," I thought, "Everyone who was going to buy a cookie bought them the first day. I might have saturated the market."

Nevertheless, the third day, I put out a batch of my favorite oatmeal cookies. Sold them all.

Huh.

Yesterday, I put out a batch of my favorite almond biscotti. Sold none.

I think I see what's happening here. People buy cookies they know - chocolate chip, oatmeal, even oatmeal coconut – but not the novel new cookie they've never tried before, like a coffee walnut scone or almond biscotti. I've noticed the same phenomenon among my friends and family: raised eyebrows and startled "Huh"s when I bring an Indian-spiced turnip curry to a dinner.

As an amateur cook bent on trying everything at least once, this kind of conservative attitude toward food baffles me – and more: depresses me. I like a chocolate chip cookie as much as the next foodie – but I would rather try something new. Where have all the adventurers gone?

I love food. I love reading about it, planning it, fixing it, serving it, and eating it. But I want to share it too, and that's tough if everyone around me only wants chocolate chip and oatmeal. I'm not sure if that justifies yet another food blog, but, nonetheless, here it goes.

2 comments:

Alanna said...

What a great story! Welcome to food bloggging, it's lots of fun and the community is soooo welcoming!

Chloe said...

Very cool idea... I am in the weight loss catagory and love to bake. So 1/3 goes with my partner to work, I take a 1/3 to work and I save the rest for lunches. It takes a loooooong time for them to be eaten. I like the charity idea. I might just start doing that here!