So I’m starting something new. And it’s unashamedly for people who are partial to a food blog or ten – that would definitely be me then. I thought I’d ask some prominent food bloggers to answer a few questions about why they do it, what’s most popular and amongst other things, any kitchen disasters. First up it’s Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes fame.
What’s your name? Jacqueline
Where do you come from? Scotland
How old are you? EEK! 43
What’s your educational background? Did you leave school at 16 or finish with a PhD? I did a diploma in Graphic Design in Edinburgh, then moved to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, where I did an honours degree in Printed Textiles.
What’s your blog called? Tinned Tomatoes
When was your blog born? April 2007
Sum your blog up in one sentence: Family friendly vegetarian and vegan recipes.
Why did you start your blog, where did you think it would lead? In May 2007 I went on a Web 2.0 course at Abertay University. Social media was just taking baby steps back then and one of the things we covered was blogs. I thought “I could do that!”.
I had a long think about what my blog could be about and as a vegetarian who liked cooking, a recipe blog seemed like the best idea. I hoped it would broaden my repertoire, which at the time consisted of recipes that mostly included a tin of tomatoes, hence the name. It certainly did and I can now boast nearly 500 recipes on my blog.
Name 3 blogs you like: Oh, so hard to narrow it down. It would be easier to give you my top 20. OK, if I have to choose I will go for 3 blogs that I love that do great veggie dishes.
Amuse your Bouche http://www.amuse-your-bouche.com/
Food to Glow http://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/
Green Gourmet Giraffe http://gggiraffe.blogspot.co.uk/
What’s your most popular blog post? My most popular post is my first post on the 5:2 Diet, which explains what it is all about. The 5:2 Diet really took off after the documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer, presented by Dr Michael Mosley. It’s had a staggering 188,425 views so far.
How often do you check your blog stats, truthfully?! Haha, every day. I’m stat obsessed!
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster? I was sent out a bread maker to try. The first loaf I made was from a cookbook. It came out like a brick. The second smelled great, but at the end of cooking, I just had a pan of hot flour, as I’d forgotten to put the dough hook in. The third turned out much better, but I’ve since given the breadmaker away to a young mum who will put it to much better use. I decided I prefer to make bread by hand. So much more satisfying!
Oh and once I made soup in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. I blended it in her food processor for a smooth finish, but I didn’t know she had a guard on her blade, so we had melted plastic lumps in our soup.
What’s your advice to fledgling food bloggers? Blog regularly. Start each post with an appetising photo. Only take photos in daylight and be a friendly blogger, by visiting lots of other blogs and linking to other blogs.
Is there anything you’d have done differently? I’d have thought more carefully about the name of my blog. I don’t really like it, but it has become too well known to change. It worked for my fledgling blog, but now I do a lot of baking and the name doesn’t tie in well.
Blogging high? When I hit number 1 in the UK rankings.
Blogging low? When life gets too hectic and it’s a struggle to blog because I have so little time and I’m so tired.
Who inspires you? Other bloggers, cookery programmes, magazines, produce at a market or just chatting about food with a friend.
Do you have a day job? Yes I work in a children’s library, which is great fun and I write for Baby Centre http://www.baby.co.uk/author/jmeldrum/ and Great British Chefs http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/community/bloggers/jacqueline-meldrum, I also run the Dundee branch of the Clandestine Cake Club and not forgetting the most important job, I’m also a mum.
What keeps you awake at night? Haha, this won’t go down well, but it has to be my husband snoring!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? I would like to be concentrating on my food writing full time, with a cookbook or two under my belt.
What would be your 3 desert island items? My three foodie items would be my vitamix, a microplane grater and silicone spatulas.
What advice would you give to your schoolgirl/boy self? Stop worrying about the little things!
Thanks to Jacqueline for being so honest. Next week a different blogger!