Wednesday, October 7, 2009


About Peas Love Carrots Author Mathea Tanner

Culinary pursuits were ever-present in the house that Mathea grew up in.  Born to a Greek-American mother and French-Irish father with roots in the American South, there was always an assortment of dishes from Apple pie to Tsaziki being made.

She is a Chicago-based freelance writer/photographer balancing her passions with her 9-to-5 as an assistant and studies at DePaul University.

Here is the very first introductory post to Peas Love Carrots from October 2009...

I've put this off long enough.  The "introduction" post.  I have recipes and pictures and a whole head full of what I hope are super cool things to fill a blog with...and it's all piling up behind the task of this very necessary first post.  For so long I've wanted to show you how incredibly freeing and fun the kitchen can be.  Thru my eyes.  Share the fretted-over recipes I've squirreled away into an obese file (ok, it's a Mac desktop file, but it can still be fat).  The neat restaurant and odd food fact articles.  Kitchen know-how I picked up from a truly quirky Greek-American cooking heritage. Kitchen disasters and proud fearless moments...and yet I still couldn't seem to get this started and had begun to come up with all kinds of excuses: 
  1. My head hurts.
  2. I'm not in a "writing" mood.
  3. I was attacked by man in a Subway sandwich costume and am now temporarily food-traumatized.  
Ok, so that last one wasn't something that has actually happened to me, but I imagine it could have once as I stood waiting for an express bus in the South Loop and had a man so fed up with people not taking his coupon leaflets that he lost it and started screaming in people's faces "WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO LOOK AT ME???  I'M GIVING AWAY FREE FOOD FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!!!"  I could sort of see his point but still...I have never stopped imagining what would've happened had he started flailing those oversized Mickey Mouse-style mitts at everyone.

With all these excuses popping up day after day, I had to start to ask myself why I was so incredibly hesitant to write this first little piece.  It can't be shyness, can it?  There have been more times than I can count that people have come up to me and said "Mathea!  I remember the first time I met you - you were asking homeless people on the street to join us for breakfast/stealing restaurant silverware to give as gifts to the people you were dining with/wearing a bikini over your clothes at a bar and trying to get people to dance with you (no one would, oddly).  Though I'm often surprised at myself when I hear these things mentioned out of context, the theme is clear: I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself if it means keeping people entertained.  And if I can do it in person, doing it here on the faceless internet should not be an issue.

The answer came to me this morning as so many things occur to a person - as I was washing my hair in the shower.  I'm not sure what it is about the shower, but I get a lot of my best thinking done there or at some other point during my morning ablutions.  I don't think I'm alone in that because I've seen plenty of movies where a person stops mid-tooth brushing and stares in the mirror with that light bulb-over-the-head look and then runs off to rescue their kidnapped child or whatever armed with this brand new bathroom delivered epiphany.  Anybody else want to back me up on this?

Anyway, so there I was washing my hair...and I realized that this all had to do with me hating small talk at parties. The part where you say what you do for a living.  How long you've lived where you live.  Whether or not you've seen any good movies lately.  If this is something you are good at, or even enjoy, I admire you.  To me this is agonizingly painful.  A necessary evil, maybe, but I find myself wishing there was a fast forward button on the conversation so we can get to the part where we've been friends for 5 years and are laughing over "Remember whens".  Or in this case, the part where I'm cooking in my kitchen and sharing tips while I wear a bikini over my apron.  I'll bet 10 to 1 you'd remember the cooking tips way better this way, too!

So then I thought, why not do that?  Why not jump into the blog as if I've been writing it for 5 years?  After all, it's my blog and I can do whatever I want. Truth be told, some would say I'm late to the trend anyway, so it'll be my little way of playing catch up with the other food bloggers. As soon as this occurred to me, my anxiety miraculously disappeared, and I headed over to the computer to type.

So I'll start this post with "Hello", and end it with "Do you remember when you and I made those amazing peas and carrots together and then we practiced our Muppet Swedish Chef impersonations?  No?  Well, let me share the recipe to refresh your memory..."

- Mae


  1. Oh my goodness that made me laugh!

    I'm just staring out with this blog thing too. Your photography is beautiful; you'll have to excuse mine. Is the secret to take the shots while wearing a bikini over your clothes? I'm game, but not sure how that will look... :)

  2. bwahaha, you're hilarious. you're doing a fabulous job with food blogging! my favorite characters were the 2 old guys who mocked everyone else. i also still have a Boober doll from Fraggle Rock. "down at fraggle rock!" ::clap, clap::

  3. YES!!! Fraggle Rock!!!... OK, I got a little too excited, but that's what The Henson Creature Workshop does to me, it's almost Pavlovian: Mention of Fraggles/Yip Yips/Statler & Waldorf causes spontaneous explosive giddiness. :) :)

  4. hmmm, i still don't understand the term "edible chemist" ... can you please explain that? :) i'm a biochemist (in grad school), is that similar?

  5. Ah, no you have me trumped in qualifications there, Jenn. :) I use the term loosely to basically mean "cooking".

    I would say I coined the term, but a Google search yields several uses of the phrase, including a letter to the Herald Tribune you might enjoy from a retired chemical engineer musing about his findings as he began cooking for his wife.

    As a grad student in biochemistry, I'm very interested in following your unique eye in the cooking world!

    Thanks for your question, I hoped I answered it! :)

  6. and ... im hooked.

    i dont follow food blogs but OH MY ...



    i look forward to following

  7. Mae, your thought processes seem to mirror mine... I get so much thinking done in the shower so I totally back you up on that. I too hate small talk and wish to press fast forward buttons. Something about small talk feels a little forged to me :| obviously, it could never be anything more than two people talking about where they are and what they're doing in life. I wish sometimes that I could instantly get to know someone in a split second then we carry on as buds forever. Lol. Perhaps someday when the time travel machine is invented 8-)

    I truly love to read your work (it's very inspirational and most importantly... REAL and down to earth). Your photography leaves me speechless at the best of times. Thanks for truly portraying yourself on your blog. After all, if you didn't I wouldn't love to come here so often and see what you've been up to! Stealing silverware? You villain! Mwahahaha :)

    Love x

  8. I can't resist a blog that references Swedish Chef impersonations! (My dad and I are notorious for those). Looking forward to future posts!

  9. I'm inspired and starving! checking in.

  10. I had the same problem. I stared at a blank screen for a what seemed like hours, not certain which way to start my blog. I believe you did a better intro job than I but hey, I'm just trying to get a feel for it! Way to go on the blog and your light story made me laugh!

  11. Love your blog.. I came across it yesterday and found the recipe for the "easy blueberry lemon bundt cake". I went to the store and got all the ingredients and went to pull the recipe up again to make it and it says it is no longer available :( I would love to be able to make it if you could maybe repost it.. It looks delicious! Thanks :)


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