A funny thing happened to me recently. I don’t recall when exactly, but let us say it was this past Spring because I really believe it was then. Anyway, I was perusing the Wednesday morning farmers’ market in the local square, strolling from the flower stall to the bread cart, when someone most pleasant with clear eyes and an overall lovely appearance, looked straight at me to exclaim, “Holly! You are from the blog decor8….”, and well taken a bit off guard (as you can imagine) I agreed that indeed I was and asked whom she might be and a conversation ensued. I learned that she reads decor8, runs a beautiful blog herself and that she goes by Milas Deli or Susanne Irmer.
From there, we exchanged emails and she shared a link to Milas Deli with me. Upon clicking, my jaw dropped. It was one of the most beautiful food blogs I’d come across in awhile…
In fact, Milas Deli left me with a very calm feeling, it made me FEEL something for food much like Nigella does – and unlike some cooks and food blogs out there which often make me overwhelmed because they’re so perfectly perfect (who really serves perfect food night after night) and overly propped, Milas Deli felt natural and light and the way I feel when I’m eating with friends… Completely in love with the wine, the food and the friendship – not the perfectly perfected recipes and the over-the-topness of the table decor – but of the beauty found in a more relaxed approach to eating that so many westerners are seeking to get back – pleasure, joy, simplicity. I need to connect emotion to food. It cannot be all about overly propped food shots and recipes that are so complicated that I feel discouraged and slightly unfeminine trying to cook them. When I cook, I want to feel like a woman – feeding my family and providing something with soul. Yes, that’s it – I need a soul connection or in this case, a head-to-heart-to-stomach connection. A blog like Milas Deli gives me good energy when it comes to food – from presentation to cooking to licking your fingers clean. I commend her for authoring such an inspiring space.
Truth is, Milas Deli has really had an influence on me ever since I first found Susanne in the farmers’ market here in Hannover, Germany where I live. I read her blog whenever I can, though I do cheat a bit and read in Google Chrome often after translating it into English because I don’t want to miss out on anything until my German is fluent. Plus, no matter how well I learn my new second language, English is my mother tongue and so there is comfort when reading it especially if a topic is somewhat emotional in the first place. And food is so super emotional. The way you prepare it, the love you put into it, the passion.
My husband is the male version of Nigella. When he cooks you see his passion in action. He prepares without following a single recipe yet the things he makes evokes feelings that only food from a dear husband or your grandmother can bring to the table – his food is comfort, soulful, made with love, nourishing. He made a simple chicken vegetable soup last week that felt like a bowl full of love. I imagined as I ate it (I can be very animated truth be told) that little hearts were floating around in the broth. I felt love with each bite. I often wish my husband would make a cookbook and write stories around his recipes but because he does his best work when he’s not in the spotlight, he most likely will save the kitchen for his family and I respect him for that. It’s sexy to watch someone cook like that though, isn’t it? (Nigella is so sexy when she cooks.)
But I digress. Back to Susanne and her blog. Her photography is stunning but she also takes a very journalistic approach to her work and the stories she tells, the shoots she produces, the locations she captures. Her story angles are great and so are her literal angles as she moves around her subjects from cafes to chefs to a plate of ravioli. I admire the work that goes into a blog like hers so very much. In fact, I was stunned and happy when she enrolled in my online course, Blogging Your Way, this past June. What an honor to have her. I felt like she could teach me a thing or two about taking photos!
I recently ran into Susanne with another friend of mine, Berit, in the local forest. I didn’t recognize her at first – she had her hair up (I first met her when it was down) and it was a bit wet out – but the moment she said her blog name I knew immediately who she was and felt so embarrassed that one of her biggest fans had a momentary lapse of memory, forgetting those very eyes and the warmth that greeted me on that day in Spring when I first met a talented new friend. I’m sorry Susanne but hopefully this post makes up for that and perhaps it will win me a spot near to her one day for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat. I’d like that.
(Photography: milas deli/Susanne Irmer)