Monday, February 15, 2010

Ready for My Close Up

So you may notice that things look a little different on the blog. Most notably notice a brand new masthead - a collaboration between myself, Sam and my Dad.

Many food blog writers will tell you that once you throw your web address out there and start posting your own musings about cooking and eating and what have you (for me that would be the Torah portion tie-ins) a whole new experience begins of one door leading to another and to another of things that you previously didn’t have in your life. Someone at work asked me how I have time to write this blog and the truth is I’m not so sure but it doesn’t seem like a burden and I’m wondering what I had been doing before with all the time I now spend on my blog. The house cleaning is still getting done, I’m still going to work, still sleeping and I’m still having fun. Besides, it’s been a few years since I was on a solid schedule of reading the parsha all the way through each week, a rhythm rejuvenated by this blog that I’m enjoying having in my life again.

I’m also reading a lot of other food blogs and devouring food memoirs – that genre of writing that mixes recipes with food and life experiences. I started with Julia Child’s bio My Life in France mostly because after watching that movie I wanted more of her. And then I was hooked – I was wrapped up in other people’s world of cooking/eating and writing about it. I was often so inspired and transported that I tried to get myself to the setting of the books, or at least cook or eat the cuisine that they were eating. My reading list progressed to include MFK Fisher (given to me by my very special neighbor), Lori Colwin and all of Ruth Reichel’s memoires. I love finding new titles in the Home section of the new Cambridge library. Yesterday I just picked up two new titles- Clementine in the Kitchen and On Rue Tatin. I’m on a roll and look forward to the stage when I’ll be turning my posts into a cookbook that will cover a years worth of recipes and Torah portions.

The food blogs that I’m following gave me the inspiration for the new masthead. After a month or more of conversation with my father, brother and hubby the lovely image you see at the top of the page emerged. It took me a while to articulate what I wanted. Those seeds you see are whole coriander seeds, which I asked Whole Foods to special order for me. The Torah text says the manna looked just like these seeds – for a refresher on the tie-in to double portion go to this earlier post.

Sam and I did a photo shoot last Sunday in the Cambridge Common across from our apartment, catching the last of the afternoon light. In addition to our newly procured bottle of coriander seeds, we dragged two bags of various platters, bowls and dishes from our home to the “shoot.”

In the end this combo of my treasured tea scoop and white tea saucer (both gifts from Shifra, who seems to be having quit a bit of impact on this blog!) was what wowed us – when we saw this series of pictures I knew I had the new masthead.

My dad played around with the size of the picture, the shading and tested out different fonts. The fonts were all looking too cliché so I asked my dad if he would hand write the title and scan that in. I absolutely love my dad’s handwriting. My copies of the books that he has illustrated have personal inscriptions from him that are beautiful not only in sentiment but in appearance and makes me feel that the art starts on the inside jacket flap. The notes he has scattered around his office may serve as rote reminders to him, but to me they are beautiful graphics. I’m so glad that a piece of his handwriting is in the masthead.

A huge thank you to my wonderful Abba who spent so much time on this with me over the last few weeks. And to Sam for the beautiful picture. And to Ben for your ideas and encouragement. Go team!

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