Chasing Delicious | “Dear Kitchen Loiterers”
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A Day in the Life of a Food Blogger. The man behind Chasing Delicious, @rvank, shares the secrets of food blogging.

“Dear Kitchen Loiterers”

A Day in the Life of a Food Blogger, Part One: 20 Things No One Tells You About Food Blogging

This is an open letter to all family, friends, and spouses of food bloggers.

Dear Kitchen Loiterers,

I love  you. I really do. But there is something you need to know, something you need to do for me. Stop coming into my kitchen while I’m working. Don’t hang around waiting to snatch a freshly baked cookie. Don’t try and sneak a little batter from the bowl. Don’t ask what is in this recipe I just made that has 20 ingredients you know you’ve never heard of. Don’t peak your head in and say, “What smells so good? Do I get some? When will it be ready?” Just go away.

Don’t decide to make a sandwich suddenly while I am in the middle of baking a twelve-layer cake with four fillings and two frostings. That counter space is mine. I need it. Go away.

There’s a reason I made four tarts. I need the four for photographing. No. You can’t have one. You can’t have one bite. You can’t even smell it. Go away.

Oh, you need a drink of water from the fridge? Nope. Go put your cup  under the god damn sink in the bathroom. Water is water. Now, go away.

You have a request for me? I don’t think so. I know we haven’t had chocolate pudding pie in a long time but i just made you spicy chocolate chip cookies, a triple chocolate cake, a chocolate and almond tart, chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, white chocolate mouse, and a chocolate-dipped fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, all in the last week. So no, I’m not going to make you a chocolate pudding pie. I’m working here. Go away.

And now is definitely not the time for you to want to learn a few kitchen tricks. You want to learn something new? Read my blog. Now, go away.

This is my kitchen. It is my office. It is my sanctuary. I love you. I really do. But I need you to do something for me. I need you step back. Nope. One more. Keep going. Are you out of the kitchen yet? Yes? Good. Stay there.

We’re food bloggers. Our kitchens are our laboratories. Conditions must be perfect. There must be silence. A rogue wandering hand looking for a snack can set off a carefully constructed equilibrium. There are soufflés to deflate, sponges to disrupt, rising dough to make fall, custards to clump, batters to overmix, and carefully composed flavors to ruin when you loiter. So don’t come into my kitchen while I’m working.

Love,
Your Food Blogging Friend, Spouse or Family Member

AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Born and raised in Texas, Russell van Kraayenburg may sit you down for a stern lecture if you confuse barbecue with grilling. Creator of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, his work has been featured in Southern Living magazine and on such sites as Lifehacker, Fast Co. Design, Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, The Daily What, Quipsologies, Neatorama,Explore, and Fine Cooking.

54 Comments

1
  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Omg that part about making a sandwich and needing water – so true. I am at the point I now tell my family: I am starting a photo shoot. Do you NEED anything from the fridge? If so, please get it, get what you need from the kitchen, it will be closed for business for awhile. And yes, my kitchen is my office. Keep out! I love that you wrote this post. I thought it was just me who felt this way. Thank you for this post :)

  • Kristi

    Being that I have a way small kitchen, and even though I am not a food blogger where I come up with recipes and make 12 layer cakes, but I still would like my space to be my space.

  • ThisBakerGirlBlogs

    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Rochelle

    I think I’m going to print this off, frame it and hang it on the door every time I’m working in the kitchen. Of course I’ll have to translate a second version to Portuguese for half of my kitchen loiterers :)

  • Irene @ {a swoonful of sugar}

    Hahahaha this is the best post. I can so relate to them invading my kitchen bench to make fruit salad or whatnot. And the worst part, since I’m in the middle of creating something myself, they think they have the RIGHT to sneak 100 bowls and plates and cutlery into the sink for me to wash (or at least put in the dishwasher) along with all MY stuff. Like I haven’t got enough to wash right?

    • Gerri Munson

      No don’t let them use the dishwasher- it will change the humidity of the room = possibly droopy pastry.
      I love this and I’m just a homemaker who when I bake it’s “out of my kitchen”

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  • Cookbook Queen

    Completely in love with this post. Reminds me of my husband — he always manages to stand RIGHT in front of whatever drawer I need to be in.

    Want to lean against a the counter and chat while I cook? You’re blocking the utensil drawer. Go away.

    • Raelene

      Same here! THANK you!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Baahahaha I am printing this and putting it up on the fridge. BRILLIANT! Yesterday I made a three layer cake and while I was icing it my boy put his finger right along the bottom….not kidding. I blew my lid!! haha

  • Christi @ Love From The Oven

    Best. Post. Ever. Thank you. :)

  • Toyota Smith

    I love this and then when people ask when you want a hand at the final moment when you have just juggled a sieve, a bowl, a spoon and a whisk all in one hand while you attempt to pour a batter very lightly into another bowl all by yourself, gaahhh!!

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    So funny but so true! Now we need one like this for photo shoots! My kids are always trying to snatch a cookie after it’s been carefully placed in the setting!

  • Candace @ The Wheatless Kitchen

    This. Is. Hilarious. And SO true! I’m printing this and giving it to my husband to read. I swear I’m going to stab him with a fork the next time he tries to sneak a cookie before I’ve photographed it.

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    LOL I love this. You’ve basically expressed everything I’ve ever wanted to say (but am always too afraid to utter). Thanks for the much needed laugh!

  • Chels R.

    Haha, so this is pretty funny! It doesn’t apply to me all the time, because my family and I tend to cook together, but it is when I’m making a recipe that my oldest comes in and wants to chat and it is so hard to tell her no because I need to concentrate. I’ll let her sit at the kitchen counter and if they are good, they can lick the frosting, lol!

  • Liz

    Marvelous post!!! It’s my youngest’s lgargantuan tub of protein powder with the purple label that needs to permanently disappear from the counter. I can so relate…LOL

  • Ruthy @ Omeletta

    Wait- am I the only food blogger here who likes it when I have a little chatty company in the kitchen? Blocking the light during a photo is one thing, but I *do* like hanging out with others in the kitchen … Always thought there was something I was doing wrong ;)

  • Ana

    At home, I always warn the family when I am going to work either in the kitchen or painting and do not need interruptions. I always emphasizes, “What ever you need, get it now because the kitchen or art room is closed while I am WORKING, not playing.”

  • Michelle @ My Gluten-free Kitchen

    Laughed all the way through! I can so relate to all of it, but especially the food requests! If they aren’t thrilled with what I’m making, my boys launch into a litany of favorite dishes that I haven’t made in a “long time”.

  • Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen

    UGH YES. My mom always decides to come make a tuna fish sandwhich or make whatever lunch while I’m making food for the blog, and then always has to try my batter or eat a handful of cookie dough while I’m developing a new recipe because well “someone needs to taste test!” and I’M being the unreasonable one to get upset. NO YOU ARE THROWING OFF THE SCIENCE AND THE YEILD STOP IT GO AWAY I NEED TO BE ALONE.

  • Sita

    The only time kitchen loiterers are allowed in is when it’s time to wash up – then all loiterers are my best friends!

  • Jackie

    Hysterical and absolutely and positively TRUE for my husband!!! We have a on-going joke in my house…..My daughter and I can work in the same kitchen space for 6 hours straight and not get in each other’s way (she bakes, I cook) but as soon as my husband shows up for whatever reason he needs a berth so wide we need to go to my next door neighbor’s house!

  • Arlene Jack

    My kitchen is small. It’s tiny. You live here, YOU KNOW THIS. Why then would you wait until I’m making sugarpaste flowers to want a glass of juice? That you’ll come to the counter I;m working on to pour out? And SPILL a few drops? EVERY time? And then look all wounded when I ask you calmly -from between clenched teeth- to get out of my kitchen ? I love you, really I do, but you need to stay out of my kitchen when I’m working.

  • Jenn @Not Starving Yet

    I laughed so hard at this (then sent it to all my kitchen loiterers) because it is so true!

  • Mary @ The Kitchen Paper

    Ha! My husband said “Tell him my sensibilities are offended.” And then I reminded him how most of your points directly apply to him.

    :) Well done.

  • foodnerd4life

    Haha so true. My housemate is a hoverer, get away from my elbow and stop breathing down my neck I know you want food!

    FoodNerd x

  • tracy

    I’m not a food blogger, but I decorate cakes. It is a finely tuned and sometimes frustrating process. I totally appreciate this, very funny. Thankyou!

  • Meg @ Peaches and Cake

    LOL this is hilarious!!! Story of my life! I hate it when people try to HELP me in the kitchen. Like, I GOT it, thank you very much! If you want to help, maybe do some dishes! hah!! love this post

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I’m really lucky that there are just two of us and he couldn’t be bothered. He’s happy to wait until I yell, “Photos are done, you can come down now.!” That’s the message that it’s taste testing time. He’s happy to do that.

    I do understand though. I had a friend who used to stop by just to “keep me company” while I cooked. I finally had to tell her I was working and it wasn’t a boring time for me.

  • Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife

    This post is AMAZING! Hahaha I am laughing so hard, it’s all so true!!

  • Kate

    1 – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    2 – thank you thank you so much thank you very much indeed thank you thank you thank you
    3 – thank you some more
    4 – eloquently put
    5 – thank you
    6 – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • cindy

    YES to this.

  • Gary

    Oh ……… hum………. someone is special. My grandmother was a real “food blogger” but without the blog ….. she loved interruptions, sneaks, and tastes…. so do I…… just saying……

  • Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective

    Lol! So true! :)

  • Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats

    OMG! Tell me about it.. My mom will constantly hassle me, like “Why are you messing up the counter top J?” “Gosh, is there nothing better to do than just bake?” I can so relate to this. Kitchen, oven, my baking & prop pantry is my sanctuary. Baking happens to be therapeutic to me and I want a lot of J space and quiet time. So mom, please stop moving my things around when I have organized them my way. As though she will be reading here huh? If she did, she’ll know it’s me. Have a great week Mr R. ♥ Jo

  • Kathy@playinwithmyfood

    You are hilarious !

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out

    This is my father. Especially the making a sandwich part (and then EATING IT OVER THE DAMNED SINK) and “when can I have some?” (NEVER, this is not even FOR YOU).

    Reasons baking at my parents’ house is a challenge.

  • Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

    Yes yes yes!! I hate it so much when I am photographing something (which I also do in my kitchen) and the family is just hanging around, watching me like vultures, waiting for the “all clear” so they can eat the cookies I’m photographing. I much prefer to work when I am alone in the house!

  • Katy @ Katy's Kitchen

    This is so true and so absolutely hilarious. Thank you for writing this!

  • Joan Nova

    Love!

  • Kristina

    sometimes it is not even something they NEED, but just want to… hover. watch. talk. watch. watch… when someone is standing directly behind me and my camera, I cannot concentrate.

    thank you for this – I laughed out loud.

  • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    It’s like you know me! I love this post and it is spot on and hilarious!!!

  • Kenton @ lemonandolives.com

    “Oh, you need a drink of water from the fridge? Nope. Go put your cup under the god damn sink in the bathroom. ” yes, I have felt like saying this many times while cooking with friends over…why is it that when I’m in the kitchen cooking, everyone is suddenly interested in that one room—on and when the lightbox comes out, forget about it–it’s like an alien that EVERYONE must see and discuss.

  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

    I’d add in, “I appreciate the offer but NO you cannot help with anything. You can help by getting out of the way! STOP ASKING I LOVE YOU BUT PLEASE JUST STOP!” ;)

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  • Row

    LOL! So true! :D

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  • Sandi

    And dear friends, when you’ve volunteered to taste test, please don’t ask me to write you out a recipe when a) Testing stage means still testing, b) We both know I rarely use one, and last but not least, c) We both know that you’ll never make it. I am flattered when people ask for my recipe, it means they liked something, hopefully a lot, but we’ve already discussed that I rarely use recipes except for things like baking which you don’t do except for the back of the Toll House bag, and are hard for me to write down because of that ‘not measuring, just adding until it tastes right’ thing.

  • Caroline

    I want to print this out and paste it on every wall of my kitchen…and possibly on my forehead! Thanks for shedding light on a subject that makes my hair stand on end!

  • Min

    I’m so bad I even kick the dog out of the kitchen. I’m completely serious. My family is already trained, and I’ve overheard them tell the dog to “come on out of there! Stay out of the kitchen!”

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