As you might know, I am nigh on obsessed with reading food blogs. I inhale their content and often read into the wee small hours on my iPhone, under the covers. I am sure this is both bad for my eyes and also deeply unsexy, but there you go. I’m a glutton, what can I say.
Following on from the last food bloggers confidential with Tinned Tomatoes, this week it’s the lovely Jules from Butcher, Baker. And it seems food bloggers have a common issue of snoring husbands… *ponders if it’s to do with all the lovely food they get to eat*
What’s your name? Jules
Where do you come from? A short drive from Derby
How old are you? 32
What’s your educational background? Did you leave school at 16 or finish with a PhD? At university I did a BSc Biology which was very broad-based meaning I studied everything from tropical medicine to oceanography but funnily enough not much to do about food and nutrition. I hope to return to uni to do an MSc in nutrition and food but currently life is getting in the way.
What’s your blog called? Butcher Baker
When was your blog born? 2007
Sum your blog up in one sentence: A couple’s adventures in baking, making and growing food.
Why did you start your blog, where did you think it would lead? I started the blog back in 2007 as a way of categorising my recipes. At the time my husband & I had just bought our first house and we had a tiny kitchen with small fridge, no freezer and just two cupboards for ingredients. It was time to drop our student diet and learn how to cook from scratch. I’d seen a few blogs online like Eat Like a Girl (www.eatlikeagirl.com) and Cook Sister (www.cooksister.com) and liked what they did. In 2007 food blogging was very much in its infancy in the UK. Blogging was very different then. Very little brand interaction and it was mostly pure recipes. I certainly didn’t think it’d lead to a huge career change for me.
What’s your most popular blog post? My baked bean tin Christmas cake. http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2011/10/28/baked-bean-tin-christmas-cake-pt-1/ from mid-September onwards I see a big surge in hits for this. People clearly like to be prepared!
How often do you check your blog stats, truthfully?! Every couple of days. I’m always interested to see what is popular and where I may have been linked from.
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster? A few winters ago my oven stopped working half the way through cooking a roast dinner. We fired up the gas BBQ in the snow and finished the dinner off on there.
What’s your advice to fledgling food bloggers? 1) Write about what YOU want to write about not what you think someone else expects you to write about. If your writing and recipes are interesting, readers will follow. 2) Make sure each post has a photo towards the top of the post. You don’t have to use an expensive camera. Use sites like picmonkey.com to edit them. 3) Get yourself on Twitter, Pinterest & Facebook.
Is there anything you’d have done differently? Some of the photographs, especially in the blog’s early days.
Blogging high? Being invited to a party at Kensington Palace. It was quite a surreal experience being surrounded by celebrities including Mary Berry, Kirstie Allsopp & Eric Lanlard but I was too scared to introduce myself! I also got to meet some fabulous food bloggers that night who I’ve long admired.
Blogging low? Food blogging is bad for the waistline. I don’t bake things specifically for the blog, I just blog what we eat, hence why there can be a gap between sweet, treat bakes.
Who inspires you? Nigella as her How to be a Domestic Goddess was the first cookbook I bought, but there are also fabulous bloggers who inspire me for the way they write, their photographs and how their blogs have led to amazing things. These include: Kerstin Rogers (Ms Marmite Lover) http://marmitelover.blogspot.co.uk/, Mallika Basu (Miss Masala) http://www.quickindiancooking.com/ Claire Sutton (Things we Make) http://thingswemake.wordpress.com/ and Sally Prosser (My Custard Pie) http://mycustardpie.com/
Do you have a day job? Thanks to my blog I run a food education business teaching children and adults how to cook. I regularly appear on the BBC local radio network talking about food. I also work freelance for other local food companies teaching cookery alongside food writing & recipe development.
What keeps you awake at night? Husband’s snoring.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Hopefully still blogging and to be more confident with different cookery techniques. Who knows what the food trends will be in a decade?
What would be your 3 desert island items? Cheese, potato and garlic.
What advice would you give to your schoolgirl/boy self? Once you get to uni pay a bit more attention to the human nutrition modules, they may be more helpful than you think.