If, for some reason, you’ve never stumbled upon Molly Yeh’s Instagram before, here’s what you need to know: Yeh (appropriately pronounced “yay”) is a food blogger and Instagrammer who lives on a farm in North Dakota and just so happens to also have a degree in percussion from Juilliard. Take one look at her feed and you’ll see dozens of photos of Yeh smiling while holding cucumber popsicles, slices of coconut cream pie, yogurt ranch salad pizza, and the like. She’s been running her blog since 2009, and this Sunday, you can see those very dishes come to life on the Food Network in her brand-new show, Girl Meets Farm.
Girl Meets Farm takes place in Yeh’s kitchen and throughout the show, she pulls on all her favorite inspirations: the farm, the upper midwest, and her Chinese and Jewish heritage. “And sprinkles!” she adds. “There are a lot of rainbow sprinkles.” Below, Yeh dishes (pun intended) on being a young woman in the food industry, what everyone should have in their kitchen, and where to get the perfect, aesthetically-pleasing apron:
What will your fans from the internet learn on the show?
A lot of the recipes are similar but might have a different twist or a technique that’s easier to show in a video. Showing people how to make recipes rather than telling them in writing has opened up new ways of demonstrating things like the proper consistency for a doughnut glaze or how you can tell if the eggs are done on your shakshuka, how to get that perfect little jiggle, things like that. [There are also] a lot of the scenes in the show where I’ll take food out to my husband who’s working in the field or I’ll go to town to pick up dishes for a party or meet up with friends, so it shows a bigger picture than what you would see on the blog.
The food industry has a lot of men leading the charge. How does it feel to be a young woman making an impression in this industry?
It feels like a great time to be kind of making my mark. I cook a lot for my husband in the show, so a lot of it is kind of this traditional thing that, especially on farms, was a woman’s job. We’re really careful about that it doesn’t come across like I am cooking for my husband because this is our role in our relationship. That’s not the case. We are a modern couple and I love to show that food is fun, it’s creatively fulfilling, it’s something to be passionate about. It’s not something to do because you feel obligated to.
If I can show a life where this is something that’s my creative passion, that I’m doing because I love to do it and not because anybody told me to do it, and if that inspired people to follow their own passions 1,000 percent, then I’ll feel really good about this work.
OK, so what are three things everyone should have in their kitchen?
Let’s start with plain yogurt, not because I just wrote a book about it, but because it really is the duct tape of dairy products. You can use it as a dressing, a sauce, to thicken soup. I put it on toast instead of cream cheese. You can bake with it. You can use it as the liquid in a powder sugar glaze. There are truly endless possibilities. Rainbow sprinkles because they’re fun and anything that you put rainbow sprinkles on will go from an everyday treat to a little celebration. The third ingredient, I’ll say lemon because, for me, lemons are right up there with salt as a flavor enhancer, as a way to balance out the flavors in a dish. I add lemon to everything.
I also saw you mention the apron wardrobe you wore on the show. I must know more.
OK so I love aprons, and I consider them part of my outfit. All of them in the show are from the same company called Enrich and Endure, and they’re a small company in northern Ireland. They’re just the prettiest colors that I think match the colors in my kitchen and the overall aesthetic that I’m going for. There’s a couple different styles—one of them’s a cross-back style that looks like a really beautiful buttless dress. They’re really flattering and kind of reflect the durable, handmade, homespun, usable objects that I like to keep around the farm.
You explore your own culture a lot on your blog. What kind of feedback do you get from people?
The type of people I’ve been able to connect with, who’ve reached out, are other people who are also in places where they might be the only Jewish person or the only Chinese-Jewish person that they know. To connect with them and have them say, “You’re like me and I’m seeing my people represented.” It makes my heart feel all warm. For me, it’s just being able to have those connections. Anything that people brings home or nostalgic vibes, that’s totally my jam.
Girl Meets Farm premieres on Sunday, June 24th, at 11 a.m. EST.