Incurably curious or downright nosy? It’s a question I ask myself regularly. I like to think I’m the former, but perhaps the latter is more accurate? Whichever of these is the real story, one thing that we can all agree on is that it’s interesting to find out more about the people around us – that’s why Five Thoughts From… exists, to find out about bloggers, producers and other people of note in the world of Food Blogging.
Today we’re talking to the wonderful Claire Jessiman – better known to most of us as the Foodie Quine. Here’s what she had to say…
1. You describe yourself as a ‘freelance foodie’ – what do you mean by that, when did you start freelancing and was it (or is it still) a little terrifying?
It’s a bit of a made up job title. I always find it quite difficult to describe exactly what it is that I do! Basically I’m a blogger, food writer, cookery demonstrator/tutor and I also run outdoors food and foraging events for adults and kids. Plus anything else that comes along! I officially went freelance 2 years ago now. It’s a bit terrifying being self employed (and I don’t just mean doing my tax return) but it also gives me lots of flexibility. However, in terms of workload it’s either a feast or a famine which can be scary.
2. What is the most exciting thing having a food blog has allowed you to do and why is that?
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to meet some amazing people and have some fantastic experiences all because of my blog. A couple of highlights would be cooking breakfast on the shovel of a steam train and visiting Caorunn Gin Distillery. Most recently I spent an amazing day at River Cottage HQ with a group of Foodies 100 bloggers. I had to pinch myself that it was real. I’ve also loved being a regular contributor on BBC Radio Scotland Kitchen Cafe and Garden.
3. If another food blogger asked for some advice, what would you say to them?
Do it for yourself. Don’t get into it for what you think you might get out of it. Be true to yourself and just keep doing more of what you’re doing. If you stop enjoying it, stop blogging.
4. Seasonal eating is something a lot of us do – what are you looking forward to in Autumn?
I love comfort food at any time of year but Autumn really lends itself to it. Humble cuts cooked low and slow in the oven or slow cooker alongside root vegetables. Plenty of buttery mash and lots of gravy to serve. Bramble & Apple Crumble with lashings of custard for pudding.
5. What’s your favourite cookbook?
That’s such a tricky question. Akin to asking which is my favourite child! Back in the 70’s Santa brought me The Brownie Cookbook which helped to kickstart my love of food. I wouldn’t like to count how many cookbooks, magazines and ripped out recipes I now have. I always go back to Delia for the basics but I also have a soft spot for Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater.
Finally, can you recommend one other food blogger that you think we should all be reading?
Marcus at http://countrywoodsmoke.com He’s an ex vegetarian who has a huge passion for meat and BBQ. I met him at a sausage making class in Aberdeen 3 years ago and have followed his “cooking outdoor whatever the weather” adventures ever since. I also really admire his photography and he helped me greatly with mine. When I was in Devon last month I got to meet him on his own turf as see his fantastic garden, thatched cottage and outdoor cooking set up. What he doesn’t know about BBQ isn’t worth knowing.
You can read more from Claire on Foodie Quine.co.uk, or follow her on Twitter or Instagram. If you have someone you would like to see featured on Five Thoughts From… drop me an email! All photos courtesy of FoodieQuine.co.uk.