Many food blogs exist to show their readers the wonders of Spanish cooking for example, how to cook a meal on a budget of $5, or to just get a meal that all the kids will eat, but wait…there’s the kicker: I am one.
My name is Claire Crane, I live in New York (with my mom, dad, younger brother, and dogs Lily and Blue) and I am a senior in high school. I may be younger than most in the food blogging community, but my age does not change anything about my passion or my beliefs about food. When not at sports practices (I play volleyball and lacrosse), play rehearsal, or doing schoolwork, my favorite thing to do is cook.
When asked the question of ‘baker or cook’, I definitely consider myself more of a cook due to my love of improvisation and experimentation, but I love the process (and the finished product) of baking as well. My becoming an avid foodie came largely from growing up watching the Food Network, reading countless food blogs and magazines, and helping my mom, cousins, aunts, and uncles in the kitchen; however, especially in recent years, I have become somewhat of a more ‘picky eater’.
While I do not classify myself as a strict vegetarian or vegan, the food I prepare does tend to flirt with those ideologies more often than not. I don’t commit fully to any specific diet purely because I don’t want to, and at the moment, I don’t believe I have to. I’m not looking for a rigid set of rules to live by and limit myself, I just want food that I can feel good about eating and preparing.
For me, that means ingredients that I can pronounce and actually know where they come from. No preservatives, additives, colors, flavorings, genetically modified ingredients, or other icky stuff snuck into processed food nowadays. If and when I do buy something processed, you can be sure I’ve scoured the label for an ingredients list I approve of. I prefer organic and seasonal produce, local when possible, so I am a huge fan of farmers’ markets. Although this fresh produce usually takes the lead role in what I eat, I do also eat meat. I enjoy eating it (with a bias towards lean chicken and fish) in moderation and sharing in a meal with my omnivorous family, so instead of eliminating it all together, I choose to eat only organic or reliably sourced meat.
I am often asked if eating the way I do is hard, or if I miss the foods that I have given up, but I don’t feel like my diet is one of elimination. I do not feel limited by the principles I choose to live by; I have more than enough options provided to me by nature alone, and I love the challenge of trying to make every meal delicious and worthwhile. Plus it’s more fun to make it yourself rather than buy it processed, right?
Some of my favorites include anything avocado, dark chocolate, peanut butter, and of course, beets. If there is a beet salad on the menu, you can be sure that I will order it and don’t bother trying to get me to share. I am perpetually on the hunt for the best beet salad I can find in a restaurant or make myself, so you can expect regular beet-related updates on this blog.
Although I am passionate in my beliefs and how I choose to eat, I still remain realistic. I am aware that my lifestyle requires both time and money where as a student I am limited. I do admire those who commit to a specific diet or nutritional path; however, this flexibility is what works best for me. I do not try to push my lifestyle on anyone, only encourage those not already committed to find the diet and principles that work best for you! So please read, explore, learn, of course eat, and enjoy all you can about the good food out there!
Sincerely, the beet reporter.