Saturday thoughts: Donna Hay, Just Bento, food blogging events

The sister site to Just Hungry got discovered by several sites overnight (while I was not at the computer, as always happens in such cases) and the traffic went up about 100 x, mainly thanks to it being on the popular page for a while. I haven't even 'officially' launched it in my mind, since I am occasionally breaking it by fiddling with the engine (Drupal, for the technically inclined) in the background, but it's very gratifying to know that people are interested in the subject. I think it must be timely.

While Just Bento is still in its infancy, bento fans should be sure to check out two great English language bento sites, Cooking Cute, which is on hiatus right now but has lots of great information in the archives, and Lunch In A Box, which among other things has lots of great information on making kid-friendly bento lunches. Both are in my favorite food blogs list.

I had a bit of a headache this morning due to a late night, and so plonked myself in front of the TV to watch Saturday Kitchen on the BBC, a breezy weekly food programme hosted by James Martin. One of his guests was Donna Hay, a cookbook author and food stylist who has fans all over the world. There's even a food blogging event in her honor called Hay Hay It's Donna Day (the latest round news is here). I love her food styling as much as everyone, but her appearance in the Saturday Kitchen was a bit of a let down - mainly because she declared in the Omelette Challenge (where two guests square off with each other to make a 3-egg omelette) that she doesn't like eggs! In my slightly groggy state I was bowled over by this statement. How can you like food and not like eggs? (She was also wearing a sort of party outfit complete with cute and impractical shoes, and flirting quite a bit with the host James Martin, but that's sort of beside the point. Needless to say, she lost the omelette challenge by a wide margin to chef Atul Kochhar, who I really admire - his book Simple Indian is so great that it's surpassed my Madhur Jaffrey collection to become my favorite go-to Indian cookbook. I bet he doesn't make a lot of omelettes being an Indian chef but he didn't complain!) I felt a similar sort of disappointment when Tom Colicchio said earlier this year that he did not like okra, though he could be excused for that since okra is one of those love/hate kinds of foods. But...eggs!

Speaking of food blogging events - I feel rather bad about this but I am giving them a pass for the forseeable future. Even the one I started, Food Destinations, is on hiatus. What with starting another blog and other issues I just can't find the time for them. I really appreciate getting invites to various events but...something has to give, unless I can magically increase the number of hours in a day, or figure out how to get by on 2 hours of sleep per 24 hour cycle. (Sometimes I get it down to 3, but it makes me cranky.)

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