Out of habit, I photograph what I cook and what I eat. Though this is not a novel idea—many food writers and bloggers do such things—but I often forget how unusual a two minute food photography session may appear to be to all of my non-blogger friends.
Take for example Thanksgiving dinner. The oddity of my habit was illuminated (literally) after the first course was served. As guests lifted their first spoonful of cauliflower and almond soup to their mouths, I snatched my bowl off the table and placed it on the floor. As the room went silent, I stood small white bounce card along side of the white puree, pulled my Lowel Ego light from its permanent near-the-dining-room-table-spot, powered up my camera, turned it to the “flower” setting, and started snapping photographs.
You could have heard a pin drop as my ten dinner guests stopped eating and watched me snap photographs of the soup.
“For those of you who don’t know,” my husband explained “Brooke is writing about our meal tonight for her blog.” Guests nodded, still stunned by my lighting set up.
Hans continued with his gracious explanation of my handiwork. “And if for any reason you do not want to be photographed–for fear of being seen by some authorities somewhere…Now is the time to let us know.”
Luckily, our guests were happy to fully participate.
Other Post-Thanksgiving aftershocks:
If you’ve ever entertained the idea of opening your own restaurant and wondered what it would be like, take one Thanksgiving dinner for twelve, multiply that by 5 (if you imagine running a small restaurant) or twenty-five (if you dream of a big place), then erase all familial niceties (dishes can and will be sent back if not perfect), and a stop watch (rigged to give electric shocks or electronic withdrawals from your bank account) in order to regulate timely delivery of all courses. Then, sprinkle on top of this equation equipment failure, issues with employees, management struggles, purchasing costs, wasted product, food shortages, and abuse of legal (or illegal—your choice) substances, and you’ll have a sense of what it is to run a restaurant.
This time last year
One year ago today, I posted my first story that charted what was then, the beginning of my culinary journey from plate to page. On this one year anniversary, I would like to say thank you to my inspirations: every piece of fruit and vegetable, farmers markets, delectable cheeses, flavorful meats, aromatic wines, full plates, discovered ingredients, innovative and failed recipes, stirring restaurant experiences, chefs, mentors, bloggingfriends, inspirational food writers, food politicians, readers, my writing partner, my friends and my family.
With all my heart, I thank my wonderful husband for his fearless support and for recognizing the future for us over that revelatory meal in Umbria.
I raise my glass to all of it. Happy Anniversary, Food Woolf!