Food-spiration (inspiration from food)

"How do you come up with all these things?" "What's your inspiration for all this?" Both great questions and ones I get asked all the time. I never seem to sum it up properly when put on the spot so I thought I'd take a minute to explain it here.

A small sampling of just some of our favorite food publications.

A small sampling of just some of our favorite food publications.

Searching for an idea is like grocery shopping on an empty stomach - when you're hungry you're going to reach for whatever is easy, convenient, and probably not good for you. No thanks. I like to keep my belly AND creative tank continuously full instead of scrambling for the closest Twix bar or cheap idea in a state of panic. However I should clarify a Twix bar always tastes good, a cheap idea never does.

Keeping my tank full (not my belly) is all about reading and it started a long time ago, before Nourishing Notes was even born. I was collecting vintage Gourmet magazines in addition to having a subscription to the current ones because, well, why not? Instead of reading Harry Potter in college I read Kitchen Confidential and The Art of Eating (MFK Fisher). I just LOVE reading about food. I love looking at pictures of food (I'd rather be eating it, but for the purposes of staying on topic I won't stray any further). I love flipping through every cook book in a thrift store–of course I need a 1930's recipe booklet from JELL-O. Doesn't everyone? 

My brain is a food-word bank and I love to replenish it. I'm giddy with excitement over the new food publications that are hitting the shelves. When Andy and I travel one of our favorite things to search for are new zines / magazines we haven't read yet. Years ago on a trip to New York we were at Marlow & Sons when we first laid eyes on Diner Journal. [Cue angels singing] Saying it was life changing isn't that far from the truth. Before then I had only known the glossy food magazines you can find at any supermarket–this one was different. We bought up all the back issues they had in the store then signed up for an annual subscription as soon as we got home.

From there we quickly found The Art of Eating, Gastronomica, Meat Paper and so many more. It seems like everywhere you turn there's a new one coming out, and I welcome them all into our home and my brain. I recently bought a hand bound chapbook about sardines. SARDINES! I know. I freaked out too.

I haven't done any scientific studies on this, but I have a hunch that by keeping my food-word bank full my chances for coming up with a "Happy New Home" greeting card that relates to food AND includes a pun are pretty good. (No I don't have that card yet; I said the chances are pretty good, not great!) And in the meantime I get to read about things I love, find new recipes, or new stories to share. If you want to hear about the "fish pepper" of Maryland let me know!

Julie Morelli