Sunday, November 19, 2006

musings from the beach

A few days away and I was itching to get at the keyboard. I had blog withdrawals. But by Friday the edginess had faded and on return a computer was the last place I wanted to park myself.

I did however have some time out to think about food blogging and get clearer about what I want from this.

Things that the food I make is not:

Just like in a restaurant
What I make is home food. It’s not finished with sauces laden with butter to make them glossy. Salt is used with restraint. Often vegetables are left undressed (gasp!). Meals have been known to be served on unmatched plates and bowls with not a garnish in sight...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Full of food styled pictures
After a while I started to covert those arty, beautifully styled photos that appear in many high traffic blogs. But the trade off is – do I want to eat this food now, while it’s hot and I am eagerly anticipating the taste, or do I want to fiddle around with the lighting and the camera until it’s cold on the plate? For me the answer is rather obviously – eat it now! Sometimes the break in continuity, the disruption of the flow in conversation or even the Zen-like process of solo eating can’t be broken for the quickest of snaps, let alone the time it takes to fashion a great looking shot.

What it is about is the food, the process, the joy of putting a meal together at home - which doesn’t necessarily have to look like something out of a glossy magazine but is about combining flavour and textures, trying new things, eating food that makes your body sing rather than sink.

So, I’m more comfortable with being a bit rough around the edges. I am sharing the journey. One that I hope inspires you to try something different (some yuba or eel perhaps, those soaked oats for breakfast rather than the sugared, packaged cereal, some crispy tempeh on a spring salad). The recipes are a blue print, not set in concrete. The way you make it will be better.

My favourite cookbooks have always been ones that inspire and give confidence in the kitchen, rather than make you slavishly follow a recipe. Stephanie Alexander’s “Cook’s Companion” is a classic, not just because its packed full of hundreds of food ideas, but rather you can see she wants you to also have the gift of playing with flavours, to make your own connections about how to put ingredients together.

But perhaps the main reason that this site has evolved is purely selfish. I make a meal, enjoy it and want to be able to make it again. I might make gyozas for months, then not think of them for a year. Then I’m scratching my head going – what was in that dipping sauce? In the end, this is just my online cookbook full of my doodles and musings. But even better, it’s interactive so when you try it I can hear about the twists and turns from your kitchen.

Happy cooking.



Blogger Ange said...

I fully agree with your sentiments! Onthe photo front as well as not wanting my food to go cold I dont have the camera or the $$$ for one that would take perfect pics & I'm way too impatient. Also my blog is a bit of history for too, to document what I have tried & how good/bad it all was for future ref - keep up the good work!

10:05 am  

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