By Leah Vanden Bosch
Images courtesy of On My Plate
Fran Hill is a food blogger who, ironically, lives in the middle of a food desert. With a population of less than 300 people, there is no grocery store in Colome. Hill’s original idea of writing a family cook book eventually evolved into her food blog, On My Plate, where she shares countless recipes that will leave you feeling hungry, with a little bit of her life sprinkled in between.
What gave you the idea to start a blog?
Fran Hill: My original plan was to put together a cookbook for friends and family as a Christmas gift. I collected recipes throughout the year, taking pictures of each one, but some time went by and I still hadn’t been able to put together a cookbook, so I considered blogging as a platform to share the recipes I had set aside. I joined South Dakota Magazine in 2011 as an online contributor, where I post to their website twice a month, so that’s taken up a lot of the time I set aside for writing, but I’m getting back into my personal blog, On My Plate.
What gives you inspiration for a recipe?
FH: It’s all about moderation. I’m going to find recipes that have short cuts and use convenient foods, but I’ll include ingredients that are wholesome and fresh from the garden as well. I don’t believe there is anything “bad” – it’s all about balance. There’s usually an ingredient I want to use in the kitchen, so I’ll find a recipe for it. Very rarely are my creations completely my own. I’ll adapt something to what I have on hand and according to my family’s taste preferences. A lot of the recipes I share are seasonal to what fresh ingredients I have available to me throughout the year.
Do you grow your own ingredients?
FH: I have a garden, where I grow a lot of my ingredients. I typically grow tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, peas, beans, squash, and zucchini. I do a lot of canning as well, making my own pasta sauce and salsa. I’m not able to make quick trips to the grocery store, so I like to stock up. We have lambs on our farm, and every spring I have to feed a hungry shearing crew that works long hours. I’ve learned to start preparing for that season now, putting away canned goods throughout the fall.
To read the full interview, pick up the November issue of 605 Magazine or click here.