Feast or famine: So many ideas, so little time

·3 min read

May 23—Sometimes I have so many ideas for this column that I can pre-load three weeks' worth ahead of time.

There are timely issues (for example, a pre-Easter chat about how I don't like Peeps but consider them to be adorable little craft project ingredients), stories to tell (an exploding baking pan — it was accidentally placed onto a hot stove burner — that inspired a warning about kitchen safety), political statements to make (i.e.: discussions of farm workers' rights), educational opportunities I've participated in and report back on (Pie Camp, Bake with a Legend classes), events to promote, and rants to spew (godforsaken rainbow bagels ... ack!).

And then ... well, then there are weeks like this one, where a deadline is looming and I've been staring at a blank screen for days trying to figure out what to write about.

There are lots of ideas floating around in my head, but which ones will fit the purpose and the allotted space?

Some are just notions that would inevitably devolve into babbling just to create copy. (And yes, I do know there are those who might say I already babble enough without deliberately just tossing out word after word to beat a topic to death because we can't have a blank column here.)

Other topics are too substantial, though. They would require a greater investment of time and far more than 17 or so inches of printed paper to cover properly. These sometimes turn into full recipe features, as one about culinary appropriation and who owns the rights to a recipe did.

Then there are other possibilities that I'm still contemplating and mulling over. I'm not yet ready to commit to a statement or an opinion, or I need to do more research or have some discussions to gauge others' thoughts about the subjects before sitting with them awhile longer.


I talk a lot about my beloved boyfriend Craig, Toledo's most famous picky eater, and his even-pickier daughter who lives with us while attending school. They both try everything (well, Jennifer tries most things) and both have expanded their palates, thankfully.

I also talk a lot about the Great British Bake-Off, with which I'm completely obsessed. I've watched the original in all its incarnations (new hosts, new judges, new channel across the pond), its special Stand Up 2 Cancer fund-raising episodes, its holiday shows, its Masterclass instructional series, and many of its international versions (Australian, Canadian, Kiwi, American, and Irish — listed in order of preference, rather than my usual m.o. of alphabetical — as well as trying the Italian and Argentine ones, as well).

Both of these topics have been covered so extensively that I don't have much more to add, just now. Dinnertimes have gotten easier at my house, and I've just finished watching the latest rounds of the GBBO and the Great Canadian Baking Show. (The latter is absolutely lovely, with much of the charm of the original, but was at its best in its first two seasons when Julia Chan and pre-Schitt's Creek Dan Levy were the hosts.)

So, what to write about? What questions to pose or thoughts to ponder or topics to address?

This was just one of those weeks where nothing really came together until the guillotine came close to nicking my neck.

But there you have it — 17.5 inches of food-related copy, ready for you to read.