Member Spotlight: Rachel Matthews

By August 22, 2013Member Spotlight

Rachel Matthews writes and then make soup and is a member of Slow Food Austin.  Let’s see what Rachel’s been up to lately!


Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? Why do you blog? What is your focus? 

I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I lived in Massachusetts, D.C., Colorado, California and a few other places before landing in Austin. I came to visit friends for a weekend and never left! My blog is pretty much whatever is going on in my kitchen or garden or head that week, and as such I have a lot of leeway. I like not having a specific focus. A friend once told me, “You don’t even ask what it is—you just put it in your mouth!” Guess I blog like I eat!

How did you start blogging?

I started and then make soup in February of 2010 for two reasons. First, my thought was to have a resume piece since most of the “commercial” writing I had done was proprietary and, as such, I couldn’t show it to prospective clients. Second, I am lazy, so I thought blogging would keep me writing more or less weekly. Occasionally more, usually less, but yes, I’m still at it!

What items are always in your fridge or pantry?

I have lots of bits of “bulk” herbs and spices (whole when available as they keep better and I like to grind my own) in tiny bags from Central Market. I hang them on the side of my fridge (out of direct sunlight) with magnets so they are always close at hand. In the fridge, good vanilla extract, rendered goose fat, baker’s yeast. Lots of different vinegars (fig is a current favorite), brown sugar (which I use a lot of, actually), Thai sweet soy sauce. Eclectic enough? Mmmm … I’m hungry now!

If you could share dinner with anyone, who would you host and what would you eat? 

M. F. K. Fisher, Calvin Trillin, and my 7th grade, home economics teacher come to mind, but I think I’d rather just share a meal with my sister. We don’t get to cook together very often as we live several thousand miles apart, but it is sure fun when we do. I have no idea what we’d eat but it would be great making it! She’s pretty adventurous and I’m easy to feed, so … it could be anything from French toast to some complicated three-day thingy I can’t even imagine and it would be swell.

What is your favorite AFBA memory? 

No specific aha memories although I’ve blogged about a few of our events that I have really enjoyed. I mostly just love that Austin works this way—such an open and sharing food community. When I talk with bloggers from elsewhere they are amazed but in Austin we know that there is plenty to go around, so to speak. Makes me very happy to live here and be part of this group.

What is your most popular post?

WordPress tells me that my “About” page has received the most visits. I don’t think of it as a post, but I guess it counts. I love when friends read and comment, and I am honestly amazed and truly delighted that people I don’t know and will probably never meet read it as well!

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