Sunday, January 3, 2010

No Pioneer Woman, I


I'm going to let you in on a little secret - I used to want to be a food blogger. If you have been reading over the past year, you have probably figured out that this did not happen. The reason for this was multi threaded:





Problem 1 - Food bloggers need to be excellent photographers. You can make the most magnificent meal, but if you do not style it, light it and photograph it appealingly, it might as well be a pile of crap. I baked and photographed a number of dishes and uploaded them to some food p0rn rating sites. They never made the cut, mostly due to photography and food styling issues.






Problem 2 - Food blogging is time and labor intensive. In order to post three times a week, I would have to cook and photograph late into the evening on work nights. With a full time job, an hour and a half of commuting each day along with my basic need to cook regular meals and spend some time with my family, there were just not enough hours in a day to accomplish this.






Problem 3 - I'm verbose. Not content to just write a recipe and post a picture, I want to write about it, what it makes me feel, what was happening in my life, the story behind the dish. Again, time consuming and this would have made for really long posts that could be daunting for the reader.




I can honestly say that my inability to make this happen took a little of the wind out of my sails. I lost some of my culinary mojo and confidence for a while. I really felt defeated. However, that was short lived as I am too stupidly optomistic to let it hold me back and I am happy to report that I am starting to get my foodie groove back. But the real bright spot in all of this was, like a gift that I wasn't expecting to get, I ended up with the Diary of a Mad Bathroom.




I am thinking about all of this because January 11 marks my one year anniversary (blogiversary in bloggy parlance) and at this marker in my blogging history, it is clear to me that what began as failure and disappointment became a positive force in my life. It is a clear example of the lemons/lemonade metaphor. It is what I would call a happy failure.




And as if to prove that my culinary mojo is back, this weekend I had a stunningly delicious Caprese salad with pesto and oven roasted tomatoes at a great NY city restaurant and I replicated the taste of that dish the very next day, including every last subtle note of tomato sweetness and pesto richness. So who cares if I can't take its picture? I can still eat the damn thing, and I can write about the experience, and there is so much more joy in that for me than any picture could ever give.






52 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

One year!! Congrats and I love the direction you went in.

hokgardner said...

i wish i liked to cook, but i just don't. my husband loves to be set loose in the kitchen, but only when there's an appreciative audience, which the kids and i usually aren't.

but i'm glad you've stuck with the blogging, even if it isn't a foodie blog. i like reading your posts.

blueviolet said...

It's definitely a blessing in disguise! I never would have met you if you'd gone foodie!


PS. I had no idea how much photography played a role in it!

MiMi said...

I'm jealous that you ate something great and were able to replicate it! I can NEVER do that! And yes, the pictures are 95 percent of the battle. I made chili once and took a picture and literally, it looked like a pile of doggie doo.

peewee said...

I'm glad you didn't do a food blog either...but....you COULD do like, one a month!? Cuz I inda wanna know that caprese recipe :)

linlah said...

I love the word parlance bcause it is parley and that makes me feel like a pirate and congratulations on getting your foodie mojo back.

Noelle said...

hmmmmmm...diary of a mad kitchen. nope, just doesn't have the same ring.

glad you chose this path...

Jen Chandler said...

Congrats on the one year. I've been up almost a year myself. I should go look at the exact date :)

I would LOVE to be a food writer. My husband has actually ventured into the realm of food photography and let me tell you how tough it is. But to eat the food and write about it? Ahhh, what a wonderful job. To get paid to travel, eat and write. Heaven.

Happy Monday,
Jen

Bathwater said...

You are better suited to writing post suited for the mad bathroom. Food is boring!

singedwingangel said...

Nope God knew what he was doing when he gave you this direction.. I love ya just like ya are.. happy blogiversary

Sara said...

I just want to say, perhaps in the style of Bridget Jones, I like your blog just as it is.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Lee - Thanks. I am happy with my fate.

Hokgardener - Thanks. This feels right and un-forced.


Blue Violet - It's 80% photography.


MiMi - I am ok reproducing stuff, but I am terrible at writing down my own recipes. I am all over the place when I am cooking without a recipe.

PeeWee - It was the Caprese salad at OTTO (in your old NY hood). E-mail me with your e-mail address and I'll put a recipe together for you.

Linlah - Parlance is an excellent word. Almost as good as libation.

Noelle - You're right, not the same.

Jen - Thanks. Congrats to you on your year as well. YOU are perfectly positioned to be a food writer as you have your pro photog in house. How cool is that?

Bathwater - Yeah, I guess I am more mad bath than mad kitchen (like Noelle said)

Angel - I am thankful for whatever got me here!


Sara - Thanks. I love a good movie tie-in.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Happiest blogaversary.
I'm happy you're here, whatever you choose to write about.
Perhaps your cooking is better suited to a podcast: "Diary of a Mad Bathroom Chef"
(It's a work-in-progress.)

3LittleMonkeys said...

Happy blogoversary!
I have also tried to post a few recipes and the pictures I post look like sh** on a plate! Oh well, read the ingredients and if you like it, make it. If not, go sh** on your own plate!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

LPR - Nobody wants to see me in the bathroom. No less with a turkey.
File that under "not pretty".

3 little Monkeys - Yeah. It's tough to make it look appealing.

Michele said...

Congrats on your 1 year!!!
I'm glad you went in the direction you did. I would not have met you otherwise!!

You rock!

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

We don't care what your food pictures look like!! I think you need to dedicate at least one food/recipe/picture post to this blog at least once a month!

Lin said...

Gees, what was with last January?? All my pallies are celebrating their one year mark this January! What was I doing for a year before then? And who was I doing it with/for? I'm glad you are here--food photos or no food photos.

Hey, you could be like all those Pinoy blogs and just take pictures of food everywhere you go--no matter how disgusting. What is with that??

Stereos and Souffles said...

I hear ya. I seriously need a photography class. I see all these amazing pics on people's blogs and I wonder why my own decent slightly expensive camera cannot seem to capture anything that looks appetizing. Operator error is always to blame...

Susan Fobes said...

I enjoy your posts especially because you did not go the food route. I follow a few blogs that deal nothing but food, so of course I get extremely hungry after reading them-not good late at night!
BTW: After seeing Julie Julia I had a tremendous desire to check out her cookbook, but I saved myself the disapointment and bought it for my sister instead. (She's a better cook!)

Insanitykim said...

Blogs are such amazing little evolve-ers...I want to see pix...I vote you do it once a month, with bad pix and all...and get to writing that book...and oh, can you pick up my dry cleaning? Wait. I don't have any dry cleaning...

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Michele - I am glad too. Thanks.

Monique - here, you want to see a sample? Go here. This one was rejected for being too blurry and/or badly framed- http://diaryofamadbathroom.blogspot.com/2009/03/forgive-me-father-for-i-have-sinned.html

Lin - I can see where that would be interesting for about thirty seconds. I've got too much nuthin to say to be a photo only blog.

Stereos and Souffles - totally operator error in my case.

Susan - I totally came out of that movie wanting to cook my way through Mastering the Art of French cooking. Thank god I'm too lazy for that.

Insanity Kim - I think I am ultimately where I want to be. And your shirts and blazer are hanging on the chair. You're welcome.

Arizona Mamma said...

I would have to say I am pretty pleased you are the Mad Bathroom instead...I love reading your posts. Congrats on nearing the year mark.

Maven said...

Too funny! I did a short stint as a food blogger, and though I still have a food blog, I realized my inability to take good pictures was causing problems ;)

I'm glad you found your niche as I am loving following and reading!

Allyson said...

And even better?? If you shared that little recipe with the rest of us. I totally get that caprese is basically basil, tomato and mozzarella, but for the life of me I can't get it to taste like what we had in Italy. AGH! I would welcome some recipe luvin' (complete with verbose description of who, what, when, where, why, how, of course) interspersed between all of the other fun! Glad you have your mojo back. Time to celebrate with a mojito!

Marla said...

I'd rather read about your caprese than see it so, thank you!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

AZ Mommy - Thanks. I think it was totally for the best.

Maven - I didn't know you were a food blogger. Do you have another blog? Now I have to scour your site for a link.

Allyson - I will publish the recipe soon (I am working on writing it down). This was not the traditional stack of tomato slices, basil leaves and cheese. It was an oven dried/roasted tomato with basil pesto and of course, really good, fresh mozzerella. Different and delicious.

Marla - That much I can deliver!

kys said...

Photography is one thing on the endless list of What I'm Not Good At But Wish I Was.

Congrats on one year! I thought you'd been around even longer than that.

You could do one food feature per month or week......,

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Kys - I am going to keep it simple, since it's all I am capable of. A recipe may creep in now and then, though.

Kiera said...

i second everything you just said- with one more reason not to: EVERYONE'S DOING IT. i feel defeated about it too, but your blog is great how it is!!!!

Amy said...

I fantasize about being a lottery winner only so I can hone my kitchen prowess. Work just gets in the way of my culinary creative genious Dammit!!

Whatever you write about I will loyally read! Glad to have found your refreshing and humerous blog DG!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Kiera - That's a good point. There are a lot of fish in the sea. Besides, I think it was just an excuse to write.

Amy - Thanks! You are so close to the most intimidating food town in the world. I have (almost) never had a bad meal in New Orleans. It would either inspire me 24X7 or scare the hell out of me.

Erin said...

DG--
I love to cook, too, but can't photograph for shit. Regardless, I still blog about culinary things from time to time. Who cares if the pics suck? I, for one, do not. I'm such a foodie that if the recipe looks good, I will forgive your poor photos. LOL! I think if you want to do that sometimes, you should let loose and indulge yourself. Still, I love your blog just how it is. Happy New Year and Happy Blogoversary!

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

Well happy almst anniversary to you!!! When I started my blog I thought it would be about my shopping addiction. It turned into a "me" addiction!

Joy said...

I agree with Noelle..."...mad kitchen" just doesn't have the same ring!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Erin - I am very happy blogging about the pointless minutae of my life. I may throw in a cookie recipe now and again, but mainly, I'm keeping it simple! Thanks for all the good wishes!


Nancy - Thanks. It is definitely a me-fest. Sometimes I feel weird about it... and then I get over it.

Joy - Totally agree. I'm good like I am.

KK said...

I love your blog just the way it is! I'm not into cooking or eating for that matter, so I would never be able to do a food/cooking blog!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

KK - Wish I could say that I am not into eating.

Aunt Juicebox said...

Sigh. I love food blogs.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Aunt Juicebox - Me too. But I am going to have to love them from afar.

The Local Cook said...

Congrats on your bloggaversary! Visiting from SITS. I'm a food blogger but I do find myself venturing into local food issues. Still working on the pics, you're right, that's the hardest part!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

The Local Cook - Thanks. I will have to check out your blog. I love food blogs.

Marie said...

Wonderful blog! I like it fine even without the food :)

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Marie - Thanks!

Aunt Becky said...

Well, I am a food blogger. I made cupcakes. WITH DEXTER. SO THERE. HA.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Aunt Becky - You also made some sort of Thai Ramen Noodles if I remember correctly. Mmmm. Mmmm. Asian-y tasting!

Janean said...

i drool over the food blogs...walk into my kitchen...eat whatever spills out of a box and call it good. i'm with you knowing my limitations -- most of the time. lol.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Janean - Isn't that the key to a happy life? Knowing your limitations?

Rachel said...

This is so me! I love PW but I will never be her.

miss jo said...

Wow, the Caprese salad sounds amazing...I find good food writing far superior to magazine and food blog fotos where baked chickens get hair sprayed to look real...If I go a bit without cooking I feel aimless and want to eat only chocolate.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Rachel - She is amazing.

Miss Jo - Chocolate is an excellent substitute for many things in life - cooking, love, contentment. Works for me.

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