I have become only an occasional blogger, but I still avidly read blogs. I don’t click around to read them, but instead I get them via RSS, which is quick and efficient. I used Google Reader, but it was shut down. Luckily, I switched my RSS subscriptions over to Feedly. I highly recommend their RSS reader.
What makes a good blog? It starts with a story. I’m a sucker for a good one. Here’s who you should go visit right now:
1) The Slow Cook
Back in the thick of school lunch reform, I met a fellow reformer in Washington DC, Ed Bruske. Ed is a serious journalist and spent several turns in school kitchens getting the real scoop from lunch ladies. Ultimately, he changed focus from school food reform and instead taught cooking to kids in DC. Like me, we found that entrenched interests in school food made large scale change challenging — and exhausting work for private citizens trying to live life and raise a family.
I kept following his blog as it went into semi-hibernation as he shared occasional posts and recipes related to his work teaching kids to cook.
About a year ago, Ed bought a farm and moved his family to upstate New York. Over the past year he has detailed his progress as a farmer. I should say he’s no spring chicken (Sorry Ed!) — he’s part retired, part career changer. Reading what he has gone through has disabused me of my “farming fantasies.” I think many of us think going into farming is some kind of pastoral heaven. Not so!
I have loved reading along with his misadventures and I expect there will be more interesting stuff as he blogs his life as a farmer!
Penny de Los Santos is one of those people you meet who draws you in. I met her at a blogging conference. She’s caring and gregarious — and has an amazing perspective as a food photographer that she shares on her blog. She works for Saveur and National Geographic, among other national publications.
There’s an immediacy in her photos that makes me feel like I’m there with her. I like how many of them have a dark feeling, too. One of the best parts of her blog is the large quantity of thoughtful images paired with few words. Her photography speaks for itself.
Again, her blog went through a fallow period where she didn’t share very much at all. And then all of a sudden she started sharing lots of images all the time.
She just went to Italy, a place I’ve never been. Then she flew to Kentucky. For me, her blog is pure escapism.
3) Hey What’s For Dinner Mom
I met Laura at a food blogging conference and she’s a force to be reckoned with. I love her big laugh. Coming from Alaska, I imagine you would have to be pretty strong and sure of yourself to manage. She’s also the mother of three boys. Seeing that I’m struggling with just two boys, I can’t even imagine what I would do with three!
I love her creative recipes. She’s so thoughtful. Laura also went through a paleo phase, which was interesting to watch being that I’m gluten free. I think she’s back on wheat, but I love that she plays with food.
Additionally, she blogs about living frugally and their kitchen remodeling, which I think is pretty much finished now. You know, I just like how she thinks.
4) 5 Second Rule
I shared a cab with Cheryl Sternman Rule back in 2010 when I went to a food blogging conference. I doubt she remembers it, but that was the moment that I heard about her blog and began following along. She has written a book since then entitled Ripe (I don’t own it, but I gave it as a gift to a close friend).
Her blog shares recipes with stories. Stories that make you think. Stories where she shares something humble about living life. It’s obvious she’s insanely talented, but she would never brag. She’s an observer of life. She took a trip to Israel and I thought it was interesting how she described it through food and stories.
5) 100 Days of Real Food
I met Lisa at a blogging conference before her blog blew up. She came up to me and introduced herself and now I consider her a personal friend. I guess that makes me biased, but I really love what she does. Her blog has just exploded over the past few years. I mean, it has gone viral several times over. I think it’s because of her Facebook page, which I find to be so real and honest. She’s herself, which is why so many people respond to her.
Lisa has a book coming out and it’s going to be huge. The book is going to launch her into the stratosphere and I’m so happy I get to watch it!