There are certain blogs we love for their candor. Tara Cooman’s blog WhatWeChow fits perfectly into this category. Tara has no shame in divulging her discovery of butter, her dislike of raw eggs and how sometimes she just does not get to take pictures of the finished product (something I can certainly relate to, I get so excited about yummy things, they just get eaten and I end up with a picture of an empty plate. I caught up with Tara and decided to delve into her brain, here’s what I discovered there:
FE: Where did you grow up?
TC: I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin <Goooooo Packers>, went to high school and college in Scottsdale, Arizona and now I live in Honolulu, Hawaii.
FE: What inspired you to start a food blog?
TC: Writing is a passion of mine, as is food. I realized that I was often inspired with thoughts about food and how I interact with it; I thought maybe other “foodies” might enjoy reading those thoughts.
FE: What field of food does your blog focus on and why?
TC: Sometimes my thoughts are inane, sometimes inspired, other times its just some ridiculous adventure in the kitchen. I have definite ideas about food, though I truly respect everyone’s own philosophy about food. My focus though is really about food-spiration. The way food makes us feel, the way we interact with it.
I post recipes regularly, usually focusing on fresh food. Occasionally you’ll see a recipe of mine, but I am really not a recipe writer. I have all kinds of respect for those people.
FE: What is a typical day in your life like?
TC: I typically do “paid” work in the mornings and early afternoon. By 2PM I start to think about dinner and what I need to get for it. I am a terrible meal-planner so I almost ALWAYS have to go to the market or store..but this allows for creativity, so I embrace my inherent disorganization.
I write at all hours of day and night, my inspiration is flighty and visits when its convenient for her, so when she comes calling, I drop what I am doing and write.
FE: What was your childhood kitchen like?
TC: The further away from my childhood kitchen I get the better. My father was a meat and potatoes utility eater, it would never occur to him that food would be an experience in itself. I miss my Dad desperately, but I don’t miss his dinner choices. His palate drove the tone in our kitchen, and it was dim and boring. My Mom was a cook of convenience, she often cooked meals for us kids that was separate from theirs. There was a lot of frozen food and boxed food, but now that I think about it, that was probably a feature of the fact that we lived in the Frozen Tundra and there was nothing ALIVE there in January.
On the other hand, our summer kitchen at our cottage was lush and fresh and filled with garden veggies and fresh fruits. Rhubarb, carrots, strawberries, it seemed never ending. Meals in the summer were basic, but good whole food. Fish was a special treat, but one that we enjoyed more frequently in the summer.