Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Six Years Into A Completely Unreasonable Hobby: Why I Still Write About Food And Eating
Food is only what you make of it.
I fear, of course, that I have made way too much. HowChow started because I couldn't find food when I started coming to Ellicott City. As I have said before, I came for a woman. Mrs. HowChow works some weekends, so I had entire days hanging alone and driving around to find something to cook for dinner.
HowChow started irregularly. I found cool places, both markets and restaurants. We had fun checking out new options, and I wrote some test posts before I even made the blog public. That seems to have been in early 2008. I had no idea what I was doing. I had just stumbled on stuff like Produce Galore's corned beef sandwich and figured that was worth telling people.
I went public in June 2008. Barely anyone knew for months. Most of the comments on those early posts were from people writing in 2009. JessieX was running a HocoLoco Girl site then with restaurant listings, and I linked a whole bunch of my posts from HocoLoco. The crop of existing bloggers -- including Columbia Talk and others who stopped regular posts years ago -- taught me how the new medium could be full of links and compliments and letting people know when someone else started to write.
I'm indebted to them because the best part about HowChow has been how much I learned about Howard County. Mrs. HowChow and I have wandered from one end to the other following comments about everything from pick-your-own fruit to new Chinese, from taco trucks to Korean soups.
When I started, there were regularly newspaper articles with punk ledes on the theme of "The suburbs are just full of chain restaurants, and you'd never expect to find the [fill in the blank] that I discovered for you." I feel like that has disappeared.
Maybe that's because so much of the papers has vanished over the same years. But I think perceptions changed, in part, because people have talked on HowChow, Yelp, Chowhound and other sites about the great options out here. I certainly appreciate all the suggestions. I have years of "Best Of Howard County" posts, but I still have an entire list of places that I haven't checked out yet. Milita's Tacos on U.S. 1 needs to be my next stop, thanks to raves from Kevlar51.
Thanks, in fact, to everyone who leaves comments or sends me emails. I love tips and suggestions. Thanks especially to Dan, Nikki, Adam, Min and the other folks who have written guest posts with their own views. The Trolling posts make me happy every time. It's those connections -- and their suggestions to find great oysters, tasty egusi, or the beauty of fried chicken and house-made black-bean noodles -- that make me grateful that I have had six years to blog.
Food has helped me explore the place that I live, and it has connected me to all kinds of new people. That has made much more from this completely unreasonable hobby than I ever expected.
Scribbled by HowChow at 6:20 AM