Name: Mary Gillespie
Blog name: Ketchup With That
Where were you born? Halifax, Nova Scotia
Where are you living now? Sackville, New Brunswick
Why did you start your blog?
I have always been interested in food and cooking, and also love to write, so this was a good way to combine the two.
How did you decide on your blog name?
My daughters and I were out for dinner one night, and my youngest was (as usual) covering the meal in ketchup. My middle daughter commented that the youngest liked “ketchup with everything”, and it seemed like a good name for a blog. Of course, it was taken, so my blog became ‘Ketchup With That’. I like the name, because I think it’s lighthearted, which is how I feel about food: it’s important not to take things too seriously. We all have different tastes and experiences, but I think there’s room for everyone at the table.
What do you blog about?
I share recipes that aren’t overly complicated or expensive, with a balance between reasonably healthy and indulgent. There’s quite a few vegetarian recipes in the mix. I try to keep things seasonal and make use of what is available in the garden and local markets, but I’m pretty relaxed about it.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
I think maybe the post ‘Seville Orange Marmalade’ encapsulates me. I dragged this recipe around with me for years, and I like the bitter sweetness of marmalade. The quote from Anatole France kind of sums things up for me. (I also love the feeling of satisfaction that comes from looking at a full canning shelf.)
When I was young, I didn’t like marmalade even though I desperately wanted after reading the Paddington Bear books (he loved his marmalade).
Things change, and people too.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
This recipe for Blueberry Shortbread Cheesecake is great with fresh or frozen blueberries or other fruit. The crust is versatile – you can use it for lemon or caramel bars. I wish it received more love because it’s really good and can be adapted so easily to a variety of fruits and flavors.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
I got quite a few emails from people on my post ‘Big Batch Multigrain Bread’. I was surprised that people emailed rather than commented directly on the blog, but it was nice because I felt like I was able to have a more personal conversation.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Confidence.There are some really great blogs out there – what am I even thinking doing this? (And photography – but that’s two!)
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them? (include URLs).
There are so many! My RSS feed is a mile long, but here are a couple:
Rock Recipes – there are so many great recipes on this site, and some nice creative twists on classic favorites from the Atlantic region.
Simply Recipes – Elise Bauer’s site is perennially popular. I love the clean layout and the ease of navigation, not to mention the range of recipes, which are always well-tested.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Knuckle’s Truffles is a little local bakery that always has something wonderful available.
And the not-too-far-away Dieppe Market showcases the growing availability and range of our local producers:
What are you working on next for your blog?
I have a lot of plans for the blog, but not as much time as I’d like (isn’t that always the way!) One thing I am working on for the fall is a ‘Cheap and Cheerful’ guide to cooking for university and college students.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I went to cooking school in Vancouver in 1992 (a 4-month culinary training program at the Dubrulle Culinary School). I taught English for many years, and I would to have the chance to do a full year of culinary training and be able to teach cooking.
What makes your blog unique?
I think it might be the preambles to the recipes, which may or may not have anything directly to do with a particular recipe. I try to find a relevant quote that connects to some aspect of either the recipe or the preamble. Sometimes the connections are clearer than others! Sometimes the preamble is an opportunity to comment on something bigger than recipes.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
It is honestly difficult to choose just one, but I would have to choose the blogger resource section. There are so many helpful resources available to members and non-members.
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