Boston has a strong community of bloggers, and when Caryn launched her blog, Something to Snack On, she became one of them. Blogging is the outlet for her creative thoughts beyond her HR career. Check out Caryn’s story and learn how running the Boston Marathon changed her perspective on life.
Tell us about your experience as a graduate student at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.
I attended the Professional Chef’s Program at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Porter Square. It was a year-long program focusing on basic techniques and principles of baking, as well as savory cooking. The program also included a heavy concentration on French and Italian cuisine. I loved having the opportunity to spend time with individuals so enamored with food, instructors and classmates alike. At the end of every class we would all crowd around the table and photograph our dishes. This was before digital cameras were so commonplace and students were continually running out of film. There was a camera shop nearby CSCA and we were always running down the street to buy canisters of Kodak Ultra Max 400. It was a great experience which I look back on very fondly. I recently took a CSCA recreational class on how to make French macarons.
How did ‘Something To Snack On‘ come into being? Tell us about your interest in blogging.
Despite my passion for cooking and entertaining, my career in HR doesn’t provide a creative outlet. I considered starting the blog for quite a while before I mustered enough courage to launch STSO. My husband Michael, friends and family were all very encouraging. My advice to anyone who is thinking about starting a blog be it food-centric, fashion, travel, fitness, etc., would be to take the leap and start sharing your passion. Boston has a very collaborative and supportive community of bloggers.
Tell us about an incident that changed your life or has motivated you in some way.
I attended my first Boston Marathon in the Spring of 1998, then began running around that time and soon began participating in 5K and 10K races. Never [once did I] imagine I’d develop the physical endurance to train for a 26.2 mile run, but after the events at the finish line at the 2013 marathon I knew immediately that I wanted to run Boston the following year. I joined the American Liver Foundation Run for Research team and raised money for the fight against liver disease. On April 14, 2014 I ran my first Boston Marathon. I was completely overwhelmed by the experience, which was more challenging and rewarding than I’d ever imagined. It was a far-greater emotional and physical test than I had anticipated, but it was a life-changing experience and I plan to run again in 2016.
How did the idea of sharing recipes for snacks and cocktails come into being? Give some examples of your favorite snacks and cocktails.
While STSO primarily focuses on food and cocktails, ‘snack’ was intended as a play on words meaning actual edible treats, but also something to ‘think’ about, giving me liberty to discuss food, drinks, travel, running, music, movies, television, books, fashion, etc. My favorite snack involves a good cheese plate and my go-to cocktail is a vodka tonic. (My guilty pleasure is Doritos.)
What are the best places that you have traveled to in and around Boston? What’s your opinion on traveling and why is it necessary for people to travel?
My favorite place to visit in New England is my hometown of Portland, Maine. Portland is an amazing coastal town filled with fantastic restaurants, microbreweries, art museums, galleries and minor league sports. Michael and I were married there and return to see family often. We also enjoy visiting Bar Harbor, ME, as well as Portsmouth, NH and Provincetown. Occasionally we’ll sneak away for a long weekend to NYC or head North to Montreal. We love traveling as it connects us to other cultures, expands our horizons and of course, provides us the opportunity to try new foods. [My husband and I] visited Paris a couple years ago and took a walking food tour of the Latin Quarter. We strolled through beautiful markets, cheese shops and chocolatiers and sampled fresh baguettes, charcuterie, and wine. It was an intimate group led by a very knowledgeable local guide and the company was fantastic. It was a highlight of the trip.