Relaunching of The Rambling Epicure Website

By Tuesday, August 28, 2018 Permalink 0

I launched The Rambling Epicure e-zine, this website, nearly ten years ago as a literary culinary electronic magazine with a host of well-known food writers and photographers, all of whom are still active members of the related Facebook groups Culinary Travel and Mastering the Art of Food Writing. Editing and publishing this on my own required an incredible amount of gratifying work and because I was busy with my personal projects, I have left it semi-dormant for the last year or two. Today, I would like to relaunch it in a different form as part of an effort to encourage conversation about food, cooking, and writing.

My primary goal is for The Rambling Epicure to become a wellspring of enlightening epicurean essays and culinary fiction. We all have captivating personal and family tales about what we cooked and what we ate through many generations, during good times and bad. These memories are part of our food culture—and our food heritage—and should be an effective way to transmit our experiences and values beyond our front doors.

But my ambitions are greater than just memoir: I’m also interested in publishing articles and essays related to historical research in the field of gastronomy and in reviews of food books.

I would like to make this a cooperative effort that opens the door for us to share our potential as cooks, diners, and writers. Together, we will create a literary culinary site unlike any other, with information and stories that can be passed down to future generations.

To begin, there are two tasks:

  1. We need to create a team of vetters and active partners who are familiar with the TRE philosophy and approach. If you have experience in editing, food, or writing and have a few hours a month to help us read submissions on a volunteer basis (we have no budget, only enthusiasm and goodwill) and would like to be part of our team, please PM me.
  2. We are calling for submissions of expository essays and fiction and other food-related topics. If you’re interested, please PM me for guidelines.

I am looking forward to this new project and hope we can work together to harness our community’s knowledge and talents as well as to contribute to an intelligent conversation about a central part of our lives.

Issue No. 1, Women Who Cook, September-November 2018

Issue No. 2, Women Who Cooked, November 2018-January 2019

Issue No. 3, Food in Wartime, especially France and Italy’s Relationship through Time, Wine & Food

To take part in the relaunching of this e-zine, click here.

To see other events organized by The Rambling Epicure, click here.

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Slow Life in Chartres, the Breadbasket of France

By Sunday, February 14, 2016 Permalink 0

Eating and Drinking in Chartres, the Breadbasket of France

by Jonell Galloway

Kentucky is far from Chartres, but not so far as one might think. Biscuits and cornbread were the bond that held us together in Kentucky; wheatfields and bread do the same in Chartres. We like white gravy; the Chartrains, as they’re called, like sauce. Isn’t white gravy a sauce, after all?

Growing up in Kentucky, I embraced the Slow Food concepts without ever knowing it. Wendell Berry was my breakfast, lunch and supper, after all. The French have never fully embraced the official Slow Food concept of Good, Clean and Fair, since they consider that French cuisine and agriculture already embrace these values and do not need an organization – especially an Italian association with an English name – to teach them about their own time-honored traditions. One might say that the French are arrogant and chauvinist, which I would never totally deny, but it is this very pride that has maintained a high level of quality in the world of artisanal food and agriculture.

I have lived in the Beauce region, the bread basket of France, for over 15 years. The hill of Chartres is surrounded by wheat and grain fields and when you go to the bakers, they actually mark the name of the millers who provided the grain for particular breads. It’s all rather magical for those who have a holistic view of the world. The Beauce is all about farming, in particular, wheat, grain and sugar beets, but also goat cheese, pork products, rabbits, beer, apples and apple cider products, pears, chickens, rapeseed, etc. My goal has been to find all the best producers and growers and support them in every way possible.

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Biscuit Therapy and Modern Salt

By Saturday, January 2, 2016 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

In Loss There is Nourishment: A Southern Biscuit Story

One has to be able to work the dough intimately; it is like making love and following every move of your lover. Timing is of the utmost importance. The symphony of movements is different with every batch, and one has to be in step with every beat. A bit more flour, a bit more lard, just enough air pockets, stop, stop. It’s about perfect harmony, ending on a perfect note, at the perfect moment; it’s fast-moving and playful like a scherzo, and, like a live piano concert, once you’ve hit a wrong note, there’s no going back.

Every Southerner has a biscuit story. Biscuits are what bind us and make us Southern, whether they are slathered with sticky blackstrap molasses or sausage gravy. When we say we miss the South, we are missing a wooden swing on a front porch, beads of sweat running down our foreheads, and a welcome breeze bringing a waft of biscuits cooking; we are missing the sound of the oven door opening and of hearing the biscuits coming hot out of our mothers’ ovens, calling us to supper, calling us home.

This is the introduction to my first article for the British publication Modern Salt, published by Penny Averill.

Click here to read the rest: Biscuit Therapy.

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14 Food Books You Must Read

By Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Permalink 0

“From blogs to many popular books, food writing is now among America’s favorite forms of leisure reading. Gaining usage as a term in the early 1990s, food writing is now composed of a range of genres—non-fiction, literature, recipes, journalism, memoir, and travelogues among them—that explore the fundamental relationship between people, culture and food. In the past decade alone, the number of books that touch on food in some form have rapidly proliferated, not only in quantity and but also in quality, as many of our nation’s most skilled writers are now taking food as their topic of choice.” Read more here.

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Food Blogging 101: More Computer Info for Food Writers

By Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Permalink 0

Food Blogging 101: Tips for Computer Software and Hardware for Food Bloggers and Writers

by Jonell Galloway

Most writers want and need to concentrate on the words, not the computer. Computers, by definition, require technical acumen, and many of us have neither the skills nor the desire to learn. The fact is, in today’s world, we must; it will make our lives easier if we do.

Food writers and bloggers do not need extremely powerful computer hardware if they are posting mainly text files. Working with images, however, requires more powerful equipment. Each publisher will require different software and applications.

Software and Applications

If you’re preparing a book in manuscript format, you don’t need a huge desktop publishing package, though that’s what most people seem to end up using. Many authors use Microsoft Word, others swear by a variety of less-common options.

For those writing for print, if at all affordable, I suggest buying Microsoft Word Professional or its equivalent. It offers stricter spelling and grammar checkers and has more complete dictionaries and thesauri for a long list of languages, if you indeed need the language option. Even if you’re doing content writing for online publications, this version of Word will give you a maximum of tools.

If you’re using Windows or another Microsoft operating system, I’d suggest taking a class in how to maneuver it and problem-solve. Whether you’re using Microsoft or Apple, a class in Word is a time-saver in the long run, and it will save you hours of frustration. Learn to use the Format, Insert, View and Tools options, and how to create and use a style sheet. I’ll be giving a summer class in Word for Writers. Fill in the form below to sign up for the class.

FILE FORMAT

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Writing Doctor

By Tuesday, May 26, 2015 Permalink 0

Writing Doctor: This Pen is for Hire

How’s your prose?

Let me find what ails you, and set you to “writes”. Whether through modest adjustments or major overhauls, let’s get your prose in good health!

You are a food blogger, but your dream is to become a food writer. Writing is a craft, and like all crafts, it takes time and patience to learn. Think of it as a house. You start with a solid foundation, with a frame and a floor, but you have to finish the building so you can house your family.

Working with a writing coach is like adding a roof, insulation and siding to suit the climate you live in. The climate can be compared to the market or the type of writing you aim to do. You have to hone your writing to that market and meet the expectations of publishers and of your audience. Writing free of spelling and grammatical errors is not enough.

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Food Writing Competition

By Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Permalink 0

Food Writing Contest

We are seeking food-related fiction and non-fiction entries for our First Annual Food Writing Competition. We want to highlight what can be vividly done in very few words. You have wanted to try your hand at the greatest possible concision, have you not? This is your chance to be rewarded for that. Winners will be published on Mastering the Art of Food Writing, and qualify to compete for inclusion in the first annual Food Writers to Keep an Eye On 2015 eBook we plan to publish in 2016.

Entries should be a maximum of 500 words, and may treat any food-related subject. This covers the full spectrum of food and travel writing: memoirs; short stories; reviews; poems; travelogues; essays;  guidebooks entries; lifestyle; adventure; destination features; history; and, anthropology. Not sure that’s you? Write us to ask.

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“The primary requisite for writing well about food,” mused the great AJ Liebling, “is a good appetite. Without this, it is impossible to accumulate… enough experience of eating to have anything worth setting down. Each day brings only two opportunities for field work, and they are not to be wasted minimising the intake of cholesterol. They are indispensable, like a prizefighter’s hours upon the road.”–A.J. Liebling

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WHY START A FOOD OR AUTHOR BLOG?

By Tuesday, May 5, 2015 Permalink 3

BLOGGING 101: WHY START A FOOD OR AUTHOR BLOG?

by Jonell Galloway

This is the second article in a series about How to Start a Food or Author Blog

There are thousands of reasons to start a blog. For authors, they serve as a complement to their main activity of writing. For recipe developers, they can be a way of sharing their recipes and of forming a community with people, and eventually leading to a book or career change. A food blogger is merely someone with a food blog, no matter the motivation.

Making money should not be a main priority, as direct revenue is rarely a viable strategy given the millions of blogs and websites out there. We shouldn’t have any illusions about that. But blogs can lead to other activities that will make you money. Your blog also allows you to establish yourself in your field of expertise. You may get consulting work, offers to write for websites, or book deals. You may be asked to develop or test recipes, or get invited to talk at conferences or workshops about your specialty or about writing.

Blogging is a format to communicate your expertise, or your story (and often a blend of both). It can start from purely a hobbyist intention, or from a professional one.

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Food Blogging 101: How to Start a Food Blog

By Friday, May 1, 2015 Permalink 2

Food Blogging 101: How to Start a Food or an Author Blog

by Jonell Galloway

In today’s Internet world, all writers need an online presence in order to connect with other writers and build up a readership. Blogs are one way of doing this, but writers are often intimidated and overwhelmed by the technical skills required. I still am after all these years, but I’ve learned from my traumatic experiences, so stay calm. I’m going to walk you through some basics to familiarize you with the process, and you’ll walk away feeling more confident.

Blogging requires many skills other than writing. Publishers expect food writers, like other writers, to have a writing platform these days. That is the way of the world, whether we like it or not. In this series of articles, you will discover the power of blogging, and I’ll guide you through the process of starting your blog, step-by-step. We’ll then look at how to develop your content and manage the multitude of technical and scheduling aspects involved. We’ll cover the following steps:

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