Who needs another food blog? There are tons of great ones out there. Some of them are written by well-established, published cooks and bakers. Others have stunning, professional-level photography. I can’t claim either of these things. Here’s why I decided to start this project anyway, and why you should consider using your hard-earned web surfing hours here.
I bake a lot. Often multiple recipes a day. Frequently, this has the side effect of producing delicious baked goods, which I then need to share with other people (because, for some reason, eating ten scones a day just feels like something I shouldn’t do). Up until a few months ago, it was enough to share them with my husband and whoever crossed my path at the right moment when I was looking to give some away. My average batch of scones would then have an audience of three or four people. Recently, though, I’ve become dissatisfied with this approach. I want to share the food I make in a different way, with pictures and recipes and stories. Fortunately, the internet makes that kind of thing easy.
Who Am I?
I’m a fifth-year PhD student in Classical Philology at Princeton. I’m currently in the middle of writing my dissertation on Greek tragedy and comedy. The first time I heard the word ‘philologist’ was my sophomore year of college, in a class on Tolkien (who was, you guessed it, a philologist). The professor told our class, “If you want to make your parents cry, tell them you want to be a philologist.” Considering that she was a specialist on medieval warfare, that’s pretty harsh. It sounds more fun if I say that I’m paid to think about Greek myths all day. As of January 2012, I’m now based out of the Bay Area (although I’m still technically a Princeton student).
I started cooking and baking in the summer of 2006 (as outlined in this post). The baking really took off for me in my first year of graduate school, when a friend and I were roped into hosting a weekly coffee hour. Baking for thirty hungry classicists every week really has a way of sharpening your skills, although I also had to listen to their literary analyses of whatever we made. There’s nothing quite like having your professor expound at length on the effect of the distance between expectation and reality when you expect an apple crisp to be spiced with cinnamon and taste nutmeg instead.
What is Sugar Mountain Treats?
Sugar Mountain Treats is a way for me to share the food I make with the world, organize my recipes, and silence the people who have been asking me for years when I’m planning on starting a food blog. It’s named Sugar Mountain Treats because my last name, Zuckerberg, means ‘sugar mountain’ in German, and I’ve been looking for a good excuse to take advantage of that pun for decades.
All of the pictures are taken by me (unless otherwise noted) with my Canon EOS Rebel T3 or with my iPhone 4. I first started trying to take good pictures in October 2011, so I’m still very new at it. I’m hoping to buy a macro lens and a speedlite soon. And a Lytro, just because it looks awesome. All of the writing is also done by me (again, unless otherwise noted). You may notice that my style is a little bit on the sarcastic side. I like writing that way because otherwise my dissertation starts to come out in impenetrable academicese. Also, that’s pretty much what I sound like in real life. Every time I listen to a recording of my voice, I’m surprised by the fact that everything I say comes out sounding slightly sarcastic. Hence the ‘sassy commentary’ thing.
For the moment, my format includes a weekly theme. I find that working inside that kind of parameter is not restrictive, but actually frees my creativity to a larger extent. When faced with the idea of baking anything in the world, my brain tends to freeze up, but tell me to post a set of recipes that all involve reimagining classic soups in scone form and I’m there. As that example suggests, my themes may sometimes be slightly unusual. That’s just how I roll.
The main purpose of Sugar Mountain Treats is to share my recipes, writing, and photos with whomever wants to see them. To a lesser extent, it’s meant as a repository, so that when someone wants me to make them something they can look through my archives and select something appropriate. If you’re interested in having me bake for you, send me a message and we can discuss it.
If you make a recipe from the blog, take pictures and send them to me through the Sugar Mountain Treats Facebook page!