I took a course in Food and Travel Writing a couple of months ago. That course lead me to write this blog. It was an online course. I had never done one before, so every day was an adventure. I graduated from high school in 1981, and went to UBC for 2 years after that. I used to think I would do a degree in English Literature, but impatience got the best of me, and I did not finish. One of the habits that I used to think would last me a lifetime was reading. I was one of those kids who read everything I could get my hands on. When I opened my retail clothing store ( Cavern Clothing ) reading fell by the wayside. There always seemed to be something more important that needed to be done. When I closed my stores a couple of years ago, and started a little catering company, called Cathy's Lovely Lunches...Cookbooks became my book of choice. One of the things that stuck with me from my Food and Travel Writing course, was a comment by the instructor, Don Genova. He said that in order to be a good writer...you have to be a good reader, or read good stuff, or read, PERIOD!! I don't think I ever paid any attention to food writing before. I have started to get into it, and have developed a real respect for the genre. I remember reading an article in Vogue, many years ago, written by MFK Fisher. It was so beautifully descriptive and evocative of the time and place, I have always remembered how it made me feel. I have recently been reading a couple of mysteries that take place in the 1930's in Istanbul. The detective is a man named Yashim. I love how right in the middle of investigating a tricky case, he decides to whip up a meal and have a few people over to eat with him! The description is quite detailed, from the kind of fuel he uses in his stove, to the way the ingredients are chosen at the Bazaar. It is just another way the author describes the kind of person he is.
I did not read this edition of Edible Manhattan until I had been back from New York for a month or so. Reading the articles made me feel like I had missed an important part of the city. The P-Man and I had eaten in restaurants in every part of the city, but had not thought about the food culture in Manhattan. This publication made me want to return and explore the city in a completely different way. Until then, I will keep reading...
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