On starting this blog my girlfriend has referred to me, not for the first time and probably not for the last, as Mr. Toad. I always took this to be a double-edged compliment as I remember him as a whimsical (albeit bloated) creature of fancy, hence the inclusion of the word in the name of this blog. However, having delved more into the Wiki link above, I perhaps should try to distance myself from the ‘narcissistic, self-centred almost to the point of sociopathy, and completely lacking in even the most basic common sense’ reference. Although I suppose all bloggers/writers have a slight tendency towards narcissism whether they admit it or not, but from my very limited experience this also comes with a hefty, offsetting dose of wracking self-doubt as to whether anyone cares about what you have to say or, even worse, does enough to criticise.
Which brings me to my reason for writing this. I’ve started three novels, two short stories and the briefest of screenplays (if you count three pieces of dialogue and a setting). I finished none of these, which of course fuels the increasingly accurate Mr.Toad caricature. However, what I hope this has taught me is that I’d be much better suited to two things; the first is blogging in short bursts may suit my nature as I’m clearly not cut out to write full blown Tolkein-esque epics and secondly, that I need to write about something that I’m passionate about. If you’ve carried on reading this far I hope you can guess at this stage that this is food, drink and anything in between.
At the moment my current whim is baking. Specifically bread but also the odd cake. I’ve baked five loaves in the last few weeks and I’m completely addicted. I fully blame Michael Pollan’s Cooked, not just for the bread-baking obsession but also for this blog. If you care a jot about cooking in any form (Fire/Water/Air/Earth as Mr. Pollan argues) then you need to read this book. Its up there with my top three books of all time. He’s also over in the UK at the end of the May in London for lectures. GO! He’s the man!
Finally, I’ve been asked what I hope to achieve by writing this food blog. As many people like to point out, everyone in London seems to write a food blog these days. Well, the truth is I have no idea. I just wanted to put my thoughts down somewhere and this seemed like the best place.
Now where to begin…maybe with some pics of recent baked goods. Seems sensible. And a picture of Mr. Toad (as I remember him) to toast this new venture!