Claire is one half of Crumbs, a blog I have loved from both afar, and actually quite vocally for some time. I have this fantasy that one day when my kids are slightly older I might go to the pub with Claire and have a few too many glasses of wine. She’ll have loads of celeb gossip (not sure why I think she might but this is MY fantasy) and we’ll stay ’till closing time. Here are her answers from my virtual grilling:
What’s your name? Claire – I am one half of Crumbsfood, a family food blog which I do with my sis, Lucy.
Where do you come from? South West London
How old are you? Old enough to remember when Wagon Wheels were as big as your head.
What’s your educational background? I did an English and Philosophy degree.
When was your blog born? It was born in September 2010, a year after I had my second baby.
Sum your blog up in one sentence: Ooh, crikey. Actually, it’s quite easy. “We give a two bread-stick salute to long ingredient lists and say helloo to the culinary short cut.”
Why did you start your blog, where did you think it would lead? We were both slightly shocked at how our attitude to food and cooking changed when we had children. SO much cooking, so much food on the floor. We were surprised that there were so few cookbooks which faced the reality of cooking for a family, they didn’t seem to understand that we need to knock up meals from a few ingredients in minutes! So we set about doing it on the blog. We had NO idea where it would lead to. It just seemed like a fun thing to do. Also, we are both old school print journalists, so we thought it would be interesting to find out about some of this digital fandango.
Name 3 blogs you like: It’s tricky to narrow it down like that but, here goes, in no particular order: http://knackeredmotherswineclub.blogspot.co.uk/ http://relentlesslaundry.blogspot.co.uk/ and you Holly! http://www.recipesfromanormalmum.com/
What’s your most popular blog post? At the moment I think it’s our Blackberry Brandy post, which says a lot about our readers (and our flexible approach to family food!).
How often do you check your blog stats, truthfully?! I honestly haven’t checked them in over a year. I’m too scared to find out! They used to be quite good, but we’re not as regular posters and I’m sure that’s taken a big toll.
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster? So so many. My favourite one though, because it happened on camera, on our YouTube channel was the Fairy Castle birthday cake (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb6SGK_ufek&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLYxl9OpC5_4R-rwl1uXXNkj_S5kvWMYPc). My sister was baking it and when it came out of the oven, it was almost hollow! She did the most fantastic repair job on it though, with a bought Battenberg, and it looks incredible by the time she’s finished decorating it.
What’s your advice to fledgling food bloggers? It is a surprising amount of work, so don’t be upset if you don’t have many readers when you start off. But keep at it and you’ll end up a much better writer, with a huge blog-reading habit, and quite a few blogger friends!
Is there anything you’d have done differently? Um, probably not. Although I wish we still posted as regularly as we used to, but life does seem to get in the way.
Blogging high? Out of the blue India Knight tweeted that she loved us! That was amazing! And being asked to write the Mumsnet Recipe book was pretty cool too.
Blogging low? There hasn’t been one, thank goodness.
Who inspires you? Well, I never thought I’d say this. But working with my sister like this has been pretty inspirational. We’ve been much closer since having kids, but having this project on the side has been brilliant. She is an incredibly hard worker and her output is prodigious. At the moment she is working a 3 day week, doing an MA as well as lots of filming for the YouTube channel. I don’t know how she does it.
Do you have a day job? Yes, I’m a writer/editor for three days a week.
What keeps you awake at night? So much! The kids, mistakes I’ve made, just an underlying feeling of fear! It seems to get worse as I get older!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Relaxing on a beach. Ha ha ha! Not really. Pretty much where I am now, but with better hair. More time to put make up on in the morning. A tidier kitchen.
What would be your 3 desert island items? Hmm, my husband and my two kids? Is that allowed? If not, my computer – some time alone to finally sort out all those family photos! Some anchovies – they can make any food taste better. And maybe my knitting needles – the perfect opportunity to actually knit something with all that pretty wool I’ve bought over the years and never done anything with.
What advice would you give to your schoolgirl/boy self? Relax! Everything will work out BRILLIANTLY!