Wednesday 24 September 2014

What busylittlefoodie is all about: Interview with Westmeath Examiner

I was delighted to come back from holidays to find that a recent interview I did with Olga Aughey, the Entertainment Editor from the Westmeath Examiner, was published.

Olga and I used to work together in another paper years ago. She's a fantastic journalist and follows my blog. In August, she asked me to do an interview about the blog and my motivation behind it. I was amazed since it still hasn't dawned on me that my little food blog interests people. I am beyond thankful for the support from friends and family in writing this food blog and for my new followers.

Here's hoping those who read the article are encouraged to have a look at BusyLittleFoodie now.
I wasn't able to get the interview link so here is the interview in full, with a photo to prove (to myself more than anyone else, that I had something written about my blog in an actual newspaper). Incredibly happy!

Thanks for reading. Never fear. Now that I'm back from my sojourn, I'm working on new recipes for those toasty cold autumn and winter days. Recipe up very soon!

- What age are you, where are you living, and what do you do in your day job?
I'm 28, living in Terenure in a little cottage since the beginning of the summer. By day, I teach English as a foreign language to adults from all over the world; Spain, South Korea, Brazil, Japan, Russia and so many more places I'm probably forgetting.

- What (and when?) made you decide to start your blog in the first place?
I'm obsessed with food. I always have been. I love the colors, textures, tastes and creativity that is inherent in growing and cooking good food. My family are all great cooks and it was always important growing up to know how to cook good food. About four years ago when I first moved to New Zealand, friends started telling me about this great food blog run by Emma Galloway from the town I lived in who had recently relocated to Perth, Australia. Her blog, with its love for food, photography, no nonsense passion for the kitchen and the garden and honest writing really inspired me.
For years after, I toyed with the idea of writing my own but was far too self-conscious and doubting in my abilities as a cook, photographer and writer. A year and a half ago, I was at the peak of my struggle with depression and anxiety disorder, which I had suffered from since I was a young teenager, and was fed up with a lack of lust for life. I realized that growing and cooking colorful food and writing about my experiences had a profoundly positive effect on my depressive state and so decided in the Spring of 2013 to combine them all together and set up busylittlefoodie, my little blog.

- Tell us a little bit about its contents, photos, recipes, etc. 
My blog is focused on three concepts: easy recipes, colorful and uplifting photographs I am proud of and writings about what is going on in my life at the time of the particular blog post. I studied philosophy in college because I was always pondering our day to day. I think my writing reflects that. At times it can be serious, others can be very giddy but generally it is always related to wondering about where I am in life and what that all means. 
As for the food, I take my inspiration from what is in season and what is fresh, healthy and colorful. I'm a huge fan of farmer's markets, particularly Dennis Healy's stall and Mc Nally's family farm stall in Temple Bar. I grow my own food in containers in the back and forage when I can. My inspiration also comes from my food needs at the time or as a result of friends asking me how to make something or cook a particular ingredient. My friends, especially at work, really inspire me to cook.

- You also talk quite a bit about your own personal life in your blog - is it hard to do this or do you find it liberating? 
It is incredibly difficult to write about myself and there are many times I question myself about why I am writing something so personal to share online when I could be focusing solely on recipes. Each time I feel that way though, I have to remember why I started the blog and how beneficial it has been for me to write about personal aspects of my life. 
I find writing incredibly liberating. There is a great freedom associated with getting the thoughts out there and making sense of them in a creative way. Sometimes I think of no longer writing about the personal side but my blog is part of who I am. I really am not a yoga guru, super positive vegan who sees positivity in every bowl of raw salad. I would be lying if I pretended to be someone that I think fits the mold of a healthy food blogger. I would be lying if I didn't connect the food I write about with the feelings I had when I came up with the idea for the recipe in the first place. 

- Do you have much interaction with your readers?
That has been the most remarkable aspect of starting this blog. When I decided to write it, I made the decision based on the idea that it would make me happy to complete a post and send it out there. If people read it or even followed the blog, that would be a bonus and if it helped someone to read my writing or make my recipes, that would be the cherry on the icing on the cake.
In the last few months, more people have shared my posts and commented on them. The interaction has been nothing but positive. Even better, I've had equally positive and considerate comments on my writing, recipes and photography. It's been fantastically humbling and uplifting.

- And where do you get your inspiration from?
There are some incredible food blogs out there. For certain, MyDarlingLemonThyme has been the most inspiring blog. MyNewRoots is a close second. Cookbooks from the seventies when there was a craze for Grow Your Own make me smile. Restaurants that use local, seasonal ingredients like Cornucopia in Dublin, Ard Bia in Galway and Denis Cotter's Cafe Paradiso in Cork are my heroes. My Mam and Dad for their love of cooking all through the years and as cheesy as it sounds, nature and gardening and seeing a dormant seed grow into a beautiful herb/plant/fruit/vegetable really inspires me.

- You've also been nominated for the blog awards - congratulations! What does that entail and what would it mean to you if you won?
Thanks so much! A friend of mine has a brilliant music blog called Soundblob. We agreed to nominate each other for the blog awards to support each other. Some friends heard about it and showed their support by voting and then lots of other friends voted too. I was lucky enough to be nominated for Best Food Blog and recently found out that I am in the running for the Best Blog Post award too. The Food Blog award will be judged by a panel of judges in a few weeks and the Best Blog Post is currently open to a public vote for the next few weeks. If people want to vote, they can go online here:

It would meant the world to me if I won since it was amazing and humbling just to be nominated. To be awarded Best Food Blog would be incredible since there is stiff competition. Having my blog post win the Best Blog Post would be a dream come true. Out of all the posts I've written, it's the one I am most proud of. It's a post from when I was in New Zealand earlier in the year and is very sentimental to me.

- Is there any chance you would bring out a book based on your blog?
MyDarlingLemonThyme blog recently got turned into a stunningly beautiful book. MyNewRoots's book is also on the brink of being placed on the shelves. There is a chance for all bloggers to get a book deal out of their blog but it is also the dream because it is so rare to get that amazing opportunity. If I'm honest with myself, I would be over the moon if it happened in the future. In the meantime, I plan on focusing on the next post.

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