Month: March 2010

Fame and fortune

To pick up a tangential thread from one of Matt’s recent (and most fantabulous) posts, last week, I received an email from a publisher congratulating me for having been shortlisted by them to contribute to a cookbook/guide to the best food blogs on the Web that they are producing. The email (rather amusingly) said that they spent 3 months researching the Web in order to best determine which blogs would be selected. (Please. I could get an intern to spend less than a week and produce a list of the world’s best food blogs–especially since all these great resources already exist). The letter essentially suggested that I should feel honoured to be included in this project and that while the publisher could not afford to pay any of its contributors, fame and fortune would be ours. Or in their words, “We believe the benefits you receive in terms of exposure and satisfaction will make involvement worthwhile.”

The publisher further outlined 3 reasons why a blogger like me should feel special about being part of this project.

“The ‘why’ for you is three-fold:
1. To be a part of the printed world. There aren’t many things better than seeing your words and photos in ink on a page, and on the shelf in bookstores.
2. To let the world know about your blog, and drive traffic to your site. The inclusions in <TITLE OF BOOK> will be deemed by us to be the best blogs on the internet. Make sure your blog is one of them.
3. You have nothing to lose. No risk, no cost, not even much effort. You have already created the content, and we want to maximise its exposure for you, without any risk to you.”

Charsiu quail with Mandarin pancakes and a lime and cucumber salad

When I was in the 5th grade, each student in my science class was given a small quail’s egg and asked to look after it. The eggs were housed in a large incubator. We were to ensure that our assigned egg would develop properly and were asked to study the hatching process. When the teeny tiny baby quails were finally hatched, we were given a few weeks to play with the super cute baby birds (and study them) before the little suckers were brought to “the wild” and set free. Of course, as I think back, I really don’t know if what our teachers told us was the truth. Where in the world in or even around New York City would you take 50 or 60 baby quail to set them free? Were they brought to a pretty little farm in upstate New York? Or let loose in a lovely patch of forest? Or (heaven forbid but potentially more probable) sold to some very happy butcher, who turned our little friends into delectable goodies waiting to be picked up by some greedy gourmand?

Of course, when I was 9 years old, I could never have fathomed eating those cute little critters. Now though, older, cynical, and much more omnivorous, I’m a big fan of eating quail. I really like the slight gameyness of quail as well as the tenderness of the meat when cooked just right.