We spoke to Molly Yeh of 'my name is yeh' to discuss life as a food blogger on the farm...
Meet Molly Yeh, a baker, writer, musician, photographer and blogger (yep, we were pretty impressed too). While studying for a degree in Percussion from Juilliard, Molly fell in love with food. After graduating, she moved from Brooklyn to a farm outside of Grand Forks, North Dakota, where her fiancé is a fifth-generation farmer. Here, Molly documents life on the farm, the incredible meals she makes (sometimes inspired by her Jewish and Asian roots) and snippets of her travels. We spoke to the humorous blogger about her relationship with food and her favourite picks from around the world...
Firstly, what made you decide to start your blog?
I’ve kept diaries since the day I could write, so starting a blog was simply a natural extension of that.
What’s your favourite aspect of blogging?
The eating, the documenting, the interacting with other bloggers… and the eating…
How do you balance blogging with other interests or jobs?
Oh, it all gets done when it’s things I love to do!
What is your personal food philosophy? Are there any food groups/types that you avoid?
I’m really influenced by my heritages, travel experiences, and surroundings, so a lot of what I make has a greater significance than simply flavour.
And as far as foods I avoid, I don’t do bananas. I wish I did.
When did you first start getting into baking?
I have memories of when I was a wee one, sitting in the kitchen and helping my mum make blue and pink cupcakes. Baking has always been a part of my life. And until very recently I thought that baking was something that everyone does on a regular basis.
How do you create new recipes? Is it a trial and error process?
I read a lot of different recipes and articles to get a sense of techniques and flavours involved in a certain dish, and then I’ll use techniques and flavours that I know and enjoy to put my own spin on them. And then, yes, lots of testing!
Have you had any baking disasters?
Yeah. But pretty much anything becomes edible if you top it with ice cream or pour sriracha on it, you know?
How do you decide which recipes to feature on your blog?
If I like it and it’s fun and it looks cute, it goes on the blog. Sometimes they’re recipes that get pitched to bigger publications and then get turned down, so a lot of these recipes are like my little pet projects and I like having my blog as an outlet for them.
What are your three favourite recipes?
The humble hole-in-the-middle , my family’s potsticker recipe , and then Food52’s challah recipe, which I’ve done so many variations on, like pretzel challah and scallion pancake challah .
If you kept a food diary, what would a typical day look like?
Coffee, whatever recipe I’m testing (today it’s gelato and fried pickles, but not together), eggs in various forms, maybe a toast of some sort, hopefully a salad or other vegetables, hopefully more vegetables, and often hummus.
Which ten ingredients do you use most often?
Kosher salt, tahini, marzipan, eggs, ginger, cumin, olive oil, butter, and sugar and wheat that’s grown on our farm!
What five things are always in your fridge?
Butter, eggs, sriracha, tabasco, cucumbers.
Where are your favourite places to buy ingredients?
I have very limited options on the farm, but we have a lovely local organic co-op and in season there’s a farmer’s market. Our garden is just about ready with a few things, so that’s preferable, although I need to have my fiance wash everything off because I am very afraid of bugs. When I’m in other towns, I love spending time at a good cheese counter. And when I go back to visit Brooklyn, my favourite stops are Brooklyn Larder, Brooklyn Kitchen, and Sahadi’s.
Which three kitchen appliances could you not live without?
The rubber spatula, my pistachio Kitchen-Aid, and my food processor.
Where are your favourite places to go when eating out?
Pizza places, hummus places, and anywhere with big booths that I can wear yoga pants to. When I lived in New York, I loved trying all the new hip restaurants and I’d rarely go to the same place twice, but now I’m more of a go-to-the-same-place-over-and-over-and-over person.
You've done a lot of travelling. Which place was your favourite to visit and why?
Israel and Hong Kong. It probably has to do with the fact that in both places, I was accompanied by really awesome people, but the food in both of those places is deeeeeelicious.
What was the best food you came across on your travels?
All the hummus in Israel, all the dumplings in Hong Kong. Ooh and then I once nearly missed a plane out of London because I was standing in line to get a hot salted beef bagel at the Beigel Bake on Brick Lane. It was completely worth it.
Who are your favourite bloggers?
I have approximately five thousand! Basically any blogger who makes crazy/beautiful/tasty-looking stuff and is original.
What does the future hold for your blog? Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline?
We’re about to acquire some Icelandic chickens, so my blog is about to become a food and chicken blog. Or something like that. I don’t know.