At a previous job working in a cemetery I was fortunate enough to have many conversations with the “lifer” of the graveyard. One day, after trimming around the tombstones, he leans over and tells me that a body is to be exhumed today. “Imagine the worst shit-ridden, rotten egg smell, multiply that by a thousand, and then you’ll get the smell of that fresh body which will burn its way into your mind and never leave.”
Strange, I know, to start off a food-blog review with a story of rotting corpses, but Trish Kelly’s blog isn’t any ordinary food blog. This Vancouver-based site unfolds the myriad of food secrets hiding in the east of the city. The beautifully written entries slowly draw out your food-envy as you read of amazing Ethiopian entrees or egg-and-baby-potato created Heuvos Reveultos. But what draws me in further to Trish’s blog are these excursions away from the typical “I ate this amazing thing” format of regular food blogs. Posts titled The Smell of a Dead Body certainly move you away from the waft of the kitchen — of course, unless there’s a cannibal fantasy hiding in there somewhere. In this entry, Trish tells the story of a reclusive old man, where the “edges of his door were batiqued with cigarette smoke,” who eventually passed away, only notifying his neighbours by the smell. You don’t find this in your typical food-blog.
The blog wanders from the personal to the culinary, though never shedding a poetic charm in the writing. As I read on, these blogs detail a vegetarian in peril, battling an inner desire to eat meat and defy a 13-year-old vegetarian lifestyle. Entering what one friend of mine calls a “food box” (those cube-restaurants like East Side Mario’s which spring up next to the local Costco), Trish attempts to order a steak and truly appreciate the cow-sacrifice she’s ordered. The wonderful smell of “earth, grass and dung” fills her nose tempting her to move away from the vegetarian diet–until she sees the blood. A vegetarian temptation to the ‘other side’ should never include a medium cooked steak. With Trish’s blog, the food moves well beyond simple nurture for the belly into something far more satisfying. (James King)