Monday, August 10, 2009

Feast of Saint Lawrence - Patron Saint of Grillmasters

Today is a big day in the life of Catholics, cooks and comedians.

Today is the day we celebrate the Feast of Saint Lawrence. Saint Lawrence has a wonderful story, complete with tragedy and comedy; spitting in the face of authority; and the ultimate desire for proper grilling techniques. While he is recognized as one of the patron saints of cooking (there are several, depending on what you are cooking), he has not been singled out as the soul Patron Saint of Grillers... YET. With all the power vested in me as the owner of a free blog website (and all the respect that generates), I hereby and forthwith formally nominate my dear friend and inspiration Larry (as I call him) as the formal Patron Saint of Grillers.

Larry was the treasurer for the was the Treasurer for the Church in Rome and when, during the third century reign of Valerian he was asked to collect together the treasure of the Church in Rome- he brought before the authorities a group of paupers and cripples and said ' here is the treasure of Rome'. He was, according to tradition, burnt on a gridiron, and is said to have said: 'I'm done on this side - turn me over'.

So, today, I will make a donation to my church's local food bank (serious note: while much of this post is tongue in cheek, I will honor the memory of this blessed Saint with a donation to a cause he would believe in...end of serious note). I will also grill up some Johnsonville Brats for dinner, being careful to grill each side evenly. Obviously Larry's tormentors were using a direct grilling method, as opposed to indirect grilling.

On this day of reflection, it is also a good time for me to reflect on my blog... Where it has been, and where it is headed.

OK, 35 posts is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I would guess that many of you have hundreds and hundreds of posts, hundreds of followers and hundreds of direct links to your blogs. I am new to this, and have no ideas on how to jump start that process (other than the make hundreds and hundreds of posts, i think I know how to do that). I do seem to have a dozen or so loyal lurkers, and a couple of very loyal commenters. I am working very hard to get better, and show more of my personality in my posts, and make them worth reading.

But I do want to hear from everyone today. Remember how you felt when you got your first few comments? I want some feedback. Is there something I am doing right, let me know. BUT, more importantly, is there something I am doing wrong? My photos are not the best, and I am looking at ways to improve them, but is the content helpful, has anyone made one of my recipes, is there a recipe that you saved intending to make at a different day? Do you like the posts about the Steven Raichlen recipes, or does it just frustrate you that I don't include the actual recipes (and what are the rules? Can I copy his recipes without permission as long as I give proper credit?). And speaking of not knowing the rules, is it kosher to take some one Else's recipe, alter a few things that I sincerely believe will change a perfect recipe for their tastes into a perfect recipe for my tastes and then boldly proclaiming that recipe as an original? Is anyone offended at that, or is it an honor to have a recipe dissected and altered with respect (and proper acknowledgement)?

I am new to the foodie blog community, and I do not want to break the rules. If I am, let me know. If I do in the future, please let me know. i would like to feel welcome.

I am very pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoy blogging. It does challenge me to get out of my comfort zone (curse you phyllo dough), and it does force me to envision recipes a different way.

And finally, I am going to ask you to help me with my goals...

Am I worthy of being included on your bloglist? If so, let me know if I am added, and I will certainly include your link in mine. I would love to start being linked places, and know where they are.

Has there been a particular post that you enjoyed (Chocolate Covered Bacon or Vermont Praline Cups comes to mind), put me out on your twitter list. I have been told you are nobody in the blogging world until you are twitter worthy... Am I twitter worthy?

Would anyone need a guest commentator on their blog? Would anyone like to guest blog on my site? If and when someone takes a recipe of mine and makes it, I would certainly turn my blog over for the day to provide practical feedback on what I do. If some of you fabulous kitchen cooks have an idea and would like to see if it can be adapted for outdoor cooking, drop me a note. Maybe we can collaborate. Is there someway that I can help you? Is there someway that you have seen that you can help me?

Contact me by leaving a comment, or you can email me at

OK, that's it for my day of reflection and atonement. Honor Saint Lawrence with a grilling session tonight. Remember the poor and less fortunate, and know that they are the treasures of the Church. Make a donation to a food bank, or even cook a little basket of muffins or whatever your specialty is and drop them off at an unemployed friends house. A little greet and a little food would lift someones spirit. Think of others.

And Larry, up there in heaven, when you are done smoking that heavenly rack of ribs, pray for us cooks that need the most help.

For my song of the day (do you all like that part of the blog), one of my favorite folk singers wrote a very appropriate ditty for this day...


  1. Wow. That's a lot of questions to address! It's early for me, but here are some thoughts.

    First of all, as long as you're polite and give credit where credit is due, there are no real "rules" in foodblogging. You can do whatever you want. As for posting recipes from books, it happens ALL THE TIME - trust me. Does Raichlen have a web site & are some of his recipes available on his site? If so, you can always provide a link to the recipe. If not, as long as you cite your source well, I would go for it. You might also find the recipe in Google Books; one foodblogger I know links to the cookbook page in Google Books and it's another good idea. Unless the publisher or author contacts you and asks you to take down the material, I think it's OK. People do it all the time. But see if you can find a link or a Google Books page first if you're not comfortable.

    Secondly, pictures. I'm not a great photographer and I don't try to be. I know that is not where my strengths are, so I don't spend a lot of time worrying about my pictures. Many foodbloggers ARE however, and that's OK. But I wouldn't worry about the quality of the pictures you post. As long as they're clear and look appetizing, I don't think people really care. If they do, they are missing the point of foodblogging. It's not about pictures, it's about sharing and community. I try to make my pix as nice as possible, but I want to put my energy elsewhere when it comes to ReTorte.

    As for taking another foodblogger's recipe, tweaking it, and posting it - again, not a problem as long as proper credit is given to the original source. People do this all the time, too, and, as you discovered with Girlichef, people are stoked & flattered when their recipes are used as inspiration.

    I will definitely add you to my blogroll! Of course you are worthy! You are obviously a very passionate foodblogger, very articulate, very generous with your time & experience, and you make rockin' stuff!

    Enough for now. Keep it up, man!

  2. Wow. Ditto everything Coyote just said. KIDDING!! I mean, not kidding, but holy cow that's a lot of questions all at once! Let me start by saying that I think a lot of personality shows through in your writing and I really enjoy it. You are on my blog list (little box in the sidebar). I do like pictures...but not necessarily "best quality"...I'm just visual and like to get some kind of look at what's going on. I don't think I've ever complained about a less than stellar photo...I'm easy. I use recipes from cookbooks...I'm just sure to site my source and include a link (I link it to the book on Amazon or a website for the author, if applicable). If you've "adapted" a recipe and want to give a shout-out & link to the original source, I think that makes everybody feel appreciated and super-cool. Okay, it makes me feel super-cool. If you change the recipe beyond any recognition and don't really feel like crediting it, then by all means, it's probably now "your" recipe anyway...that's how recipes are many "original" recipes even exist anymore? They're all evolved from the basics.

    I hit my 100 mark last month (started in Feb or March..I forget) and have just learned as I've gone along. You pick up more as you get more involved...I think you're doing a fabulous start so far!

    Did I forget anything you really wanted to know...I'm always open to questions/suggestions...whatever!! girlichef at yahoo dot com

  3. ...and p.s.- I have an award waiting for you over at my place (because you are definitely worthy) ! :D