Or do. Because, in this case, that's exactly what it is.
Hi there. Long time no see. When we launched Drinking Woman more than a year ago we really hoped that it wouldn’t be one of those ambitious personal websites that start out with potential but quickly fizzle out. Drinking—and eating—are what we do daily. Women is who we are. We hoped that celebrating the women who share our love for drinking and eating and also make, distribute, and serve what it all would come easy. And it did! Almost too easy, in fact. At no time over the past year and a half have we ever thought, “We just don’t have enough ideas.” Quite the opposite, actually. We started with big ideas and we’ve still got them. The resources for executing the ideas well—particularly in the way of time and budget—have been a little bit harder to come by. Still, we know that a two-woman show is capable of a lot. We aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.
Last October we did some regrouping and decided to change our focus. We were inspired by the national conversation happening about feminism and the rise of women, particularly to the executive branch of U.S. government. We came up with ideas for celebratory cocktails for election night and planned our first comeback month of recipes. But then November 8 took a dark turn in the evening, and sharing some taco recipes by two white ladies felt at best irrelevant and at worst offensive.
In December, after weeks of mourning, we spent a therapeutic day of cooking together. We made the tacos we’d written recipes for and they were really fucking good. Yes, we’re two white ladies, but we’re not taking any credit for the brilliance of Mexican cuisine. We just like to make and eat it, and we really want to share some ideas we’ve come up with. So we shot some photos for fun and began contemplating our comeback again.
Here’s what we decided:
1. Interviews will take a backseat to the recipes we share instead of driving them like they did in our first few months. While you may be able to read 1200 words on your computer screen in about 10-15 minutes, the research, prep, setting up of the interview, the actual interview, transcribing, fact checking (yep we do that), and editing takes weeks. It’s not impossible, but both of us have a hell of a lot going on in our personal and professional lives (read: families and full-time jobs). Making an interview a month happen with as rigorous of an approach as we take means we just have to do fewer.
2. We live in Chicago, aka the best city for eating and drinking. It’s cold as shit here. It’s gray as shit here. More than a third of the whole fucking year. (The weather makes us start swearing out of nowhere, too.) So the food and drinks better be so damn delicious you can forget that you have to sit in front of a SAD lamp for 30 minutes every morning or layer your entire body with Smartwool and Thinsulate and Polartec before you even put on your $300+ North Face parka. So we’re going to celebrate all the badass ladies (and some dudes) who share this fine city with us and make it more tolerable in the winter and even finer in the summer. We will contribute our opinions on where to find the best store-bought guacamole in the city and just how far we’re willing to drive for rare booze. We might try to replicate some of our favorite dishes at home (we're coming for you fish tacos with smoked cabbage from Antique Taco).
3. And then there’s our name: Drinking Woman. We’d be lying if we didn’t consider changing it because of how much of our content is and will continue to be recipes for food. But this site was started in part because of a curiosity as much as a love for well-crafted beverages. We thought it would be a good opportunity for us to learn more about the creation of those drinks that make the food we love even better. For us, food and drink are one thing. We aren’t experts in pairing (though we’d happily accept scholarships for sommelier and cicerone programs, or even a few lessons in bartending). We just know that we don’t want to drink an Old Style out of a can unless we’ve got a chargrilled hotdog with mustard, relish, onions, tomato slices, sport peppers, and a pickle spear in a steamed poppy seed bun to go with it.
One of our biggest anxieties is that we’ll be just another food blog. Our recipes are written by a professional (Mollie) and tested by a long-time home cook (Meghan). Then our man partners, our friends, and Meghan’s 2-year-old taste the food we’ve made. We tweak our recipes until they give us very high marks. So many high marks. The best marks. We hope that alone bumps us out of the “just another” designation. But we want to give you more. We want to give high fives to the people who make life really good and fun and enjoyable and let others know who they should be high-fiving. We want to celebrate the things that deserve recognition, if even from just us two white ladies.