On a recent day off, I went to the grocery store and challenged myself to break out of the cooking rut I had gotten myself into. I grabbed a big yellow spaghetti squash to try after hearing raving reviews from a friend. The whole cooking process went seamlessly and my spaghetti squash topped with some pesto, grated parmesan and accompanied by lemon pepper tilapia was delicious.
I was curled up on the couch in my pj’s ready to watch a new Bourdain episode, set my food on my lap and attempted to take a snapshot for the blog. When I looked down at the meal I was just 2 minutes ago super pumped about, I realized I didn’t want to blog about it because the skin on the fish was not perfectly browned and the squash was not very photogenic.
The reason I wanted to write about the dish was not because of the revolutionary technique or recipe I used, but because I loved being adventurous to try a new dish. I was so proud of myself for cracking open the giant squash, spooning out the seeds, and after it was done roasting, scooping out the pasta-noodle like squash. But the picture was not good enough quality. It was not well-lit, styled or garnished. My neon pajama pants and blanket certainly did not help. This got me thinking…Are the perfect images of food I see everywhere steering me away from trying new foods and cooking more myself?
Our technology has allowed us to mass spread gorgeous photos of food. Our cameras have allowed us to make colors look brilliant and dishes look flawless. We all have collection of recipes on Pinterest that are waiting to be made, but is their perfection intimidating us away from actually making the dishes? I absolutely adore beautiful photography, but I also believe that the story behind preparing the food is almost just as beautiful as the presentation itself.
Artistic presentation and flawless food photography has a place, certainly, but the overconsumption of these images should not be the reason we don’t actually cook and experiment ourselves. We have to allow ourselves to make mistakes and be okay when it does not look exactly like a magazine image. If the kitchen smells amazing and the taste in your mouth is what you were craving, you should be proud!
All I am suggesting is some food for thought. Next time you are hesitating trying a new recipe because you don’t think you can “nail it” as seen on Pinterest, I encourage you to go for it and go out of your comfort zone. Next time I am worried my dish won’t turn out perfectly for the blog, I am going to challenge myself to enjoy it anyway. As long as it tastes close (or spot on) to what we were hoping, we have reason to toast. Cheers to new recipes that are not always going to be be as flawless as Beyonce.
Love food. Love self. Love life.