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This post was going to be an exciting one for me as I finally got a real camera and intended to take some great pictures of my food. However, there was an interesting synchronicity — when I was finally equipped to take a good picture, I couldn’t make a good recipe.
When I uploaded the image that you see below to Reverse Google images, Google’s best guess was that it was an auto part… It’s not an auto part, nor is a mudflat, which others have speculated. This congealed mercury-coloured mass was supposed to be Black Coffee Jello, to be accompanied with a White Chocolate Brown Butter Sauce.
You see what looks like underwater black sludge? (It’s pretty easy to see but I added a pointer to highlight it just in case.) Yeah, that actually is black sludge – activated charcoal sludge to be exact, cause I didn’t just want dark jello, I wanted jet black jello. A transparent jet black dessert – how cool would that be?
I’m not sure if this less than stellar result is just a coincidence or if I should consider it a life lesson about making shockingly bad creative decisions based on unscientific food chemistry theorizing, but I figure the answer is the same anyway.
Somedays my “learning to blog” curve is not curved at all — in fact, some days the line is pretty much hugging the x-axis like a down on the ground and flailing toddler.
Actually, that’s not totally true. Let me clarify.
Mostly, making up recipes is easy, writing is not too bad, and photographing is painful, but fun. But, a food blogger does not just have know those things, she also has to know a lot of other things. When I started, I thought it was cooking and some writing, done. I completely did not think about pictures. (No, I am not blind. Yes, I am blond.) So now, it’s cooking, and writing, and taking photos. Not just “throw the bowl on the counter and click” photos, but “set the scene, make it look tempting” photos. Which then require you to have the wherewithal to buy/borrow/steal a camera, which then you must learn to use and so on until now it’s cooking, writing, taking photographs, selecting props, plating neatly (this requires excellent fine motor skills), and artful styling. But we are not yet done, no, our blogger must learn how to run her own website or blog, use image editing software to optimize the pictures that she just learned how to take, and last but not least – she has to know how to market herself using no less than Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. (And surely there’s another big obvious platform that I don’t even know about.) So there’s not just one learning curve, but multiple curves.
One Christmas when I was a kid, Santa (aka, my mom) put a placard in my stocking that said: “I am eagerly awaiting my next disappointment.” This was the 70’s – it was not meant to be ironic. Whatever it meant, I didn’t get it, but everyone who read it laughed and said it was “perfect.”
Now, maybe I finally get it. A life lived without curiosity seems deadly boring to me. With curiosity comes learning, and its inevitable byproducts are failure and disappointment.
So, people, I am going to keep on learning, and failing, and one day there will be a delightful recipe, imaginatively styled and tastefully lit, which will be pinned, liked, Instagrammed, and re-chirped (or whatever the social media verb of the day is) by many.
In the meantime, thanks for bearing with me.
I’ll leave you with my imperfect attempt to tart up imperfection.