If you haven’t mingled through Carrie Minn’s tantalizing food blog La Pomme de Portland, you must. Her mouthwatering photos and tantalizing recipes are woven together deliciously with poignant and sometimes humorous, stories of life.
Courtney: How did food, writing, and photography all intersect for you, creating La Pomme de Portland?
Carrie: Long before I published my first post on La Pomme de Portland, I had spent about a year reading blogs and researching tips for starting a blog. One of the bits of advice I stumbled upon was to make 100 % sure that whatever “theme” you eventually chose for your blog that it was one you would never grow tired of writing about.
Writing is my first love. The blog came about as a way to force myself to write regularly. Food is my second love. One of the greatest joys in my life is to cook for my family. To put a meal on the table that not only nourishes them but also makes them feel safe. Makes them feel loved. Like everyone else, my life is busy and hectic. I don’t always have the time to cook like I would want to but I do make it a priority. Friends and acquaintances got wind of this and would often ask me what I had been cooking lately. What I was making for dinner. What I put in my kids’ school lunches. So I decided that writing about food would be the perfect “theme” for my blog. And I suppose I should say, that I don’t write “directly” about the food but indirectly through stories from my life that relate to the food I feature in that week’s post.
During my year of “research” I came to discover that the food blogs I was drawn to over and over again, were not only well written with tantalizing recipes but also featured beautiful photographs. I decided from the beginning that I would need to brush up on my photography skills and try my best to feature beautiful photographs as well. While I still have much to learn about photography, it has been a rewarding experience to learn this new skill and have people who read my blog react so positively to the photos.
Over the past year and a half that I have been publishing posts on my blog, I have come to find that people read my blog for different reasons. Some for the stories. Some for the recipes. Some to look at the photographs. And some for a little of all three.
Courtney: What comes first when you’re writing your weekly posts: Does the life situation inspire the food or does the food provoke the conversation?
Carrie: You know, honestly, it varies from week to week. Sometimes I’ll have a recipe I really want to share but no current life experience to pair it with. That’s when I’ll reach into the past and pull out a story that could partner up with that recipe. Other times I’ll actually cook a recipe I want to share during a time or an event that I’m anticipating may provide an intriguing story. Sometimes that works out, sometimes not. And then there are the times that it all happens naturally. An unexpected story evolves on a day I happen to be cooking something worth sharing.
And then, of course, like any good writer, I may choose to take the artistic license to combine the cooking and experiences that occurred over 2 or 3 days down into one packageable story. Purely due to space limitations, of course.
Courtney: Do your children read your blog? What do they think seeing stories about themselves?
Carrie: I believe that there is definitely a fine line when you set out to write about your family. What I may intend to be funny yet poignant can easily be taken by the “subject” as teasing and hurtful. I try to respect my family’s feelings. How I might feel if someone wrote about me at that particular age. It’s easier for me to write about my 5-year old as opposed to my teenager, not because I have a lack of subject matter on 13-year olds, but because teenagers are in that incredibly insecure and self-conscious phase. I try to respect that. I remember being that age. And besides, many of my 13-year old’s friends read my writing and I wouldn’t want to embarrass her as opposed to the 5-year old, his friends are still sounding out “Hop on Pop.” Overall though, my kids like when I write about them especially when it’s clear that they have done something funny or profound and their actions translated into a meaningful story. A story from which we can all learn something. Those are the blog posts they love to read. The ones that are specific to each of them.
Courtney: Where did the name “La Pomme de Portland” come from?
Carrie: I knew I wanted the subject matter of my blog to be about food, I thought I should have a “food” title. At the time I was launching my blog, it was fall and my favorite Honeycrisp apples were in-season. I started playing around with ideas involving the word apple, including “The Big Apple” but that seemed a bit presumptuous. Of course, that lead to “The Apple of Portland” but it didn’t have the right “ring”. Once translated into my second favorite language, french, however, the title sound just right. And since my family has been in this here fine city for over 5 generations on both sides, I figured that ought to count for something. And so, La Pomme de Portland it is and La Pomme de Portland I am.
Courtney: Carrie, thanks for stopping by and sharing your story with us. Carrie Minn’s can also be seen on AM Northwest, where she is a regular guest chef.