Debbie Moose is author of Buttermilk: a SAVOR THE SOUTH® cookbook. Replete with helpful tips and advice for finding the best quality buttermilk available, Buttermilk explores the rich possibilities of this beloved ingredient and offers remarkably wide-ranging recipes. Debbie Moose provides readers fifty recipes—most of which are uniquely southern, with some decidedly cosmopolitan additions—from Fiery Fried Chicken to Lavender Ice Cream to Mango-Spice Lassi. For each recipe, Moose includes background information, snappy anecdotes, and preparation tips.
Today we welcome a guest post from Moose, who explains how being a food writer affects friendships whenever food is involved.
One holiday season, a good friend brought over some homemade Christmas cookies. She carried them into the house with an ashy face of trepidation, as if she were awaiting her Olympic gymnastics scores. “I hope these are good enough,” she said. “I’m not sure I should be bringing cookies to The Food Writer.”
Maybe it was the five cookbooks. Perhaps it was my vocal disdain for Cool Whip. But somewhere along the way, to friends and acquaintances I became The Food Writer, the dread creature who is feared and seldom fed.
People rarely invite my husband and me to their homes for dinner, and many who do become quivering blancmanges of nerves. One of my husband’s friends invited us, then emailed me five or six times during the week before to be sure that the menu met with the approval of The Food Writer.
I’m not alone. In talking with food writing colleagues, I’ve found that they, too, receive few dinner invitations from uneasy friends. And worse. One told me that a friend once invited her for dinner, and she discovered when she arrived that she was expected to cook the meal as the friend and the other guests stood around and watched. The audience begged her to flip the pans to toss the food up in the air. People love that flipping business. I guess it makes them feel like they’re in a Japanese steak house.
Chefs inspire even greater apprehension. And there’s really no need for it. I have met enough chefs to tell you that they would just be happy that another person is serving them for once. You could give them macaroni and cheese out of the blue box, for goodness sake, and they’d be grateful that someone else was taking care of them.
The Food Writer feels the same way. So, people, for the record: I am not all that picky.
You can toss delivered pizzas and bottles of beer on the table, and I’ll be happy, because the point is the company. Good conversation is the best seasoning for any meal—especially one that someone else took care of.