I recently wrote some shorts for my writing class (I know, I know, I’m talking a lot about that lately). Shorts are those small blurbs you find in the beginnings of newspaper sections and magazines, which give you a little bit of information on a topic and are often accompanied by pictures. They’re very important in food writing these days, as they tend to be catchy and interesting and focus on unique little food items, shops, ingredients, and so on. In the New York Times only one writer, fellow Smith alum Florence Fabricant, writes the shorts (called “Food Stuff“). The Boston Globe refers to them as “Short Orders” and asks freelancers for their stories.
This post came out of a reading assignment for my food writing class. The topic was memoirs, and one article we had to read told the story of a boy’s experience making egg creams on Wall Street one summer. Many things about the article made me want to throw it across the room, but one aspect in particular disturbed me: he never explained what an egg cream was.
In class during the discussion, I critiqued, “He never says where the eggs or cream come into this recipe.” Many students looked at me surprised and several all at once said “It doesn’t have eggs or cream.”
Needless to say, my Pacific-Northwest/European upbringing had successfully flown over the Northeast, specifically New York, and landed gracefully in ignorant egg-cream-free country.
As I’ve hinted at, I’ve decided to start a new column on my blog. It’s based on the food writing course that I am taking as part of my master’s in gastronomy at Boston University. The instructor is Sheryl Julian, editor of the food section of the Boston Globe. Each week we write a different type of journalistic food writing, and I will be publishing what I write on my blog. Any feedback and comments are greatly appreciated!
An unseasoned cast iron pan
The Cast Iron Come-Back
Once coddled by housewives in the 19th century, and even taken by Lewis and Clark on their expedition in 1804, cast iron pans have become the neglected stepdaughter of modern cookware. These skillets are now more likely to be found rusting in tag sales than in kitchen cupboards. Their versatility in the kitchen and their natural nonstick characteristics are bringing them back into fashion.