E-Senses: Playing with our food by Alex Wood

The  Staff Canteen

A collection of successes, near misses and anything that pops into our heads.  Lively, colourful fun and occasionally just plain silly!  As long as its food, we play!

Never have been sure on how to start these things, quite similar to the birth of my blog, www.esenses.org/ really. About 2 years ago I had an idea; 6 months later I started that idea - what took the 6 months?  Well simply - wasn't sure how to start it, that's all.

I had been reading blogs such as ideasinfood, and playingwithfireandwater for some time, using them as idea platforms for just as long. One question that started me off was, "why are there no British bloggers", shortly I was to find out how stupid and uneducated that comment was, upon the discovery of the UKFBA. Anyway I still hadn't a name for the blog, nor any direction, nor any idea which blog client to use. Ideasinfood and the main ones I was reading seemed to prefer the typepad application, it seemed to have great support and flexibility, but at a price, i had heard of 2 others blogger and wordpress, both had free levels, but to get anything out of wordpress it seemed it was better that you took the paid option, so not prepare to fork out more than was necessary (ie. Nothing) I thought I would use blogger. Hmmmm. Still no name, slight issue. One day, without reason or any real thought I was thinking of a dish I had read in David Everitt Mathias' book (essence) and it dawned on me (so did a quick flit on copyrighting but was pretty sure my idea was safe), and thought of E-Senses. This seemed to me perfect as the medium to share my information and passion was electronic and food and cooking was about all our senses, e-senses, it just fit. That last bit wasn't designed to teach you how to suck eggs, my apologies if it came across that way. Ok, so now I looked into the (free) blogger account, waited happily to get my chosen account name..... And had to settle with www.esensesplayingwithourfood.blogspot.com hmm everyone is going to want to visit my site aren't they, pass that address to their friends in the pub...NOT!! Still with no idea on my opening post at least had the small epiphany of buying a more sensible domain name e-senses.co.uk and redirecting it, alls good I thought, now how the bloody hell to start it? Anyone who has bothered trawling that far back (and I thank you for it) knows I opened with the lyrics to Jim Morrisons 'the movie' seemed appropriate to me, as a big Doors fan, not only that but was important to state that I wasn't there to re-invent the wheel, this was the same you have seen before, but this was me. Oh sorry, should point out at this juncture that the blog has a co-author, I rarely credit him, cos basically he rarely contributes, not meaning to sound too mean, but his content is pure quality, I would simply like more 'quantity' he is my pastry chef Gareth Henry, very intuitive cook highly skilled and a great sounding board for any ideas on flavours and techniques I may have. Check out the dessert elements in the blog, you will see his thought processes into the simplest ideas, just great. One thing that has been a bit of a bane is regularity of posting, to date it's been shocking, as those who frequent will know. I promise this will change, with the advent of new technology, I now no longer have to wait to get home to put my canon EOS pics into my blog on my home laptop, if one of my kids ain't using it, the iPad changes all that, take pic, download straight to pad, alter exposure and effects, type post and ready to upload in 20 minutes, so subject matter depending, posting WILL be more frequent from now on, beginning with much Noma related items as both myself and Gareth are spending a week each there in January, expect many photos of cold chefs, picking random green leaves and hoping not to be sick from such. As I said earlier, I thought there would be no issues with the stupidly long name and the redirected sensible name, I was wrong, the one thing I wanted to keep an eye on were stats, and when you set up your URL as I had, it is almost bloody impossible, especially when linking to twitter and facebook, the original site name was being used, and through directly publicising my content on the above I was using the shortened one, didn't know what or where to look as it didn't seem like the shortened one was being recognised through everything I was using, so on average at the beginning my stats were 5 - 10 per month. Now I have the domain esenses.org simple, and finally can keep an eye on peeps ping in and out, and whilst my stats are still not fantastic, they are at least people who are interested in what I do, people who follow me and whom I follow on twitter, a number I would love to increase, but am not going to change from the more professional delivery I have now, it will never be a blog for the home cook, I don't work too much to recipes in my life, so you won't find many ever on my blog, just nice photography of subjects that interest me, presented my way. Having said that, if anyone really wants a recipe then an email will usually do the trick, unless it's for the anything fondant that is, technique is about down, just not quite there for the big reveal just yet. I hope that those of you who have followed the blog till now have been at least a little entertained, and those about to embark into seeing what the hell this is all about thank you, hope you find something of interest, just remember that 'what you are about to see is not new, you've seen this entertainment through and through.....' Cheers, alex, www.esenses.org/ Twitter.com/esenses
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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st January 2011

E-Senses: Playing with our food by Alex Wood