Thursday, 4 September 2008

The Trouble with Food Blogging

When I started this blog back in January, I had no idea just how much it would become part of my life. Food for me has always been a source of inspiration – I’m always thinking up ideas for dinner, reading cookbooks and magazines, not to mention watching culinary television programmes. Although thoughts of food are seldom far from my mind, I hasten to add, I’m not constantly stuffing my face!

There are however certain drawbacks in maintaining a food blog. I had every intention of just doing it for myself as a hobby, but the public nature of it, leaves me feeling compelled to write about everything I create in the kitchen. I concede that I haven’t actually documented everything, and so, occasionally I have pangs of guilt when I fail to write a post. I shouldn’t feel guilty, it’s not as if I have an agent or publisher breathing down my neck because he or she is eager for me to deliver, in order for them to receive their commission. Blogging has given me a sense of duty, especially when I know there are people out there, reading it and leaving nice comments. A big ‘thank you’ to you all, by the way.

 One thing I’ve learnt, it’s actually very difficult to write recipes. I have been cooking for quite a long time now and the act of putting a meal together has become instinctive. I rarely consult cookery books unless I’m about to embark upon something new, or if I’m baking cakes etc, which is more of a science. There are probably many dishes in my repertoire that will never make their way here. It would take much analytical dissection to translate them into a workable recipe, and whilst I’m confident with the results from my kitchen, I worry that my written recipe may not work in someone else’s kitchen.

 Some things that are eaten in the Cheeky Spouse household are regular day-to-day fare. For example, one evening we had beans on toast with eggs – not quite a dish to be given a full report. This probably explains why my blog makes it appear that we eat like kings all the time! This simply is not the case. I confess that I don’t always cook every night and something pre-prepared may slip on to the week’s menu. I must stress that I do not condone the regular consumption of ‘pierce and ping’ dinners, but a certain supermarket does do very fine curries.

 I’m a firm believer in the art of visual communication – it is in fact my profession – and so, a recipe without pictures is next to useless. Chefs will always tell us how we eat with our eyes first, so a decent photograph is essential. Now, I’m not a food stylist, but I do like to take photos. Food photography is not easy when you are merely trying to grab a snapshot before the plate is transferred to the dining table.
In an ideal world, I’d like to have plenty of natural light to produce a stunning photograph, something we’re all familiar with from those beautiful cookbooks. This however is never going to happen. I don’t and I’m not about to start making dishes purely to be photographed. We eat our main meals in the evening, by which time all that wonderful light has passed. Trying to hastily photograph something under an energy-saving bulb is not going to produce the best results. I can’t be fussing around with different exposure settings either – we’re hungry and want to eat it while it’s still hot.
All this may explain why my cakes and bread etc always look better on the page – at least I can be a little choosier about when and where I shoot them. I suppose that’s where the wonders of Photoshop come in, but it all takes a lot of tweaking and time.

 I’m not sure why I did it, but this blog is listed on various social blogging websites. I should have kept it simple and stayed away, because now, there’s a certain amount of maintenance that has to be carried out. Maybe it’s not all that important, but although I wanted this to be a personal adventure, there’s still that neediness in me that wants to advertise my work. It’s my own fault. I feel that there is a certain lack of the travel element here too. That was my initial intention – to include travelogues with a food related element. The simple fact is I haven’t done much travelling lately. That said, as I write this, I will be going away for the weekend. I shall not divulge as to where just yet, that’s something you’ll have to come back for later. Let’s hope I find the time to relate my experiences!


Anne Lossing said...

wow! everything you say about food blogging is just SO TRUE!! I really couldn't have said it better myself. It was just a fun hobby to start with, only because I made a dish that looked good enough to photograph. And it is impossible to blog every day unless it is a full time job ... not only because it takes a lot of time and money to look for new recipes and the right ingredients every day, but because we eat a lot of things more than once ... and I can only blog about Sunday brunch of bacon and eggs just so many times ;>) Anyway, well written and thought out essay ... thanks.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

A Delicious Cloud

:: Cuisine: Asian :: Cuisine: British :: Cuisine: Chinese :: Cuisine: Danish :: Cuisine: European :: Cuisine: Finnish :: Cuisine: French :: Cuisine: Greek :: Cuisine: Hungarian :: Cuisine: Icelandic :: Cuisine: Indian :: Cuisine: Italian :: Cuisine: Mediterranean :: Cuisine: Mexican :: Cuisine: Middle Eastern :: Cuisine: Moroccan :: Cuisine: North African :: Cuisine: Norwegian :: Cuisine: Oriental :: Cuisine: Scandinavian :: Cuisine: Swedish :: Cuisine: Thai "Spouse Specials" A Slice of Cherry Pie A Taste of the Unexpected Absolute Press Accompaniments Aiden Byrne Alan Coxon Alcoholic Drinks Ale-Gar Almond Ancient Greek Vinaigre Anjum Anand Apples Aromettes Ashbourne Asparagus Bacon. Baileys Real Food Company Bakewell Baking Barbecue Basil BBC Beans Bed and Breakfast Beef Beetroot Bere Marsh Farm Beverages Bill Granger Bill McCarrick Bipin's Masala Birthday Biscuits and Cookies Bish Muir Blackberries Blackberry Blagger's Banquet Blakeney Bolludagur Book Reviews Books Bramley Apple Week Bramley Apples Bread Breakfast Breckland Orchard Breton Breton Cake Brett Cohen Bristol Britain British British Pie Week British Sausage Week Brittany Brunch Brussels Sprouts Bun Day Buns Bursting Day Butternut Squash. C.J. Jackson Cafe Cakes Carrots Casseroles • Stews Celebrations Cheeky Spouse Cheese Cherries Cherry Chestnuts Chicken Chives Chocolate chocolate cake Chocolate Unwrapped Chocri Christmas Chutney Cider Claire Martinsen Clarissa Dickson Wright Cley Cley Smoke House Cley-next-the-Sea Cloudberries Cloudberry Coast Coffee Cold Remedy Comfort Food Competition Condiments Confectionery Conversions Cookbooks Cool Cuisine Côtes d'Armor Cotswold Legbar Crackers Cream Cripbreads Culture Curries Dairy Damian Allsop Danish Danyel Couet David Oliver Fine Foods David Thompson Derbyshire Desserts Distillery Douwe Egberts Douwe Egberts Aromettes Dressings and Marinades Drinks Easter Eating Out Edible Flowers Eggs Elderberries Elderberry Elderflowers Europe Events Farm Farmhouse Breakfast Week Fennel Festivals and Shows Fettouma Benikrane Finland Fish Fish at the Fox Fish Market Fishmonger Flapjacks Flavoured Bread Flavours and Spices® Flax Flax Farm Flowers Food By Alan Coxon Food from Many Greek Kitchens foodbyalancoxon.com Foodies Festival France Frugal Fruit Fudge Fudge Kitchen Gadgets Gaia's Kitchen Game ganache Gardening Gin Gingerbread Gordon Ramsay Great Glen Game Greece Green Books Hafod Cheese Henry Dimbleby Herbs Hertfordshire Historic Food Historic Food Range History Hodder and Stoughton Holkham Holkham Beach Honey How To I Love Curry Iceland In Print In the Media Ingredients Jam Jamie at Home Jamie Oliver John Vincent Jon Birchall Josceline Dimbleby Julia Parsons Julia Ponsonby Karen Nethercott Kent King's Walden Kitchen Garden Kitchen Garden Companion Kitchen Helper Kitchen Tips KoL Lactofree Lactose Intolerance Lahloo Tea Lamb Lanvollon Lavender Leftovers lemon Lemon Balm Lent Leon Leon Book 2 Naturally Fast Food Letchworth Food Festival 2010 Letchworth Garden City Letchworth Living Light Meals Linseed Local Producers London Loquats Love Farm Made in Great Britain Madhur Jaffrey Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible Madsen Magazine Magog Muffins Main Course Mark Diacono Marsh Marsh Samphire MasterChef LIVE 2009 Matt Armendariz Meat Medieval Mediterranean Merchant Gourmet Mexico Milk Mint Moomins Cookbook Moroccan Cooking Muffins Murdoch Books MyBooks Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir National Chocolate Week National Curry Week Natoora New Holland Publishers News Nordic Norfolk Occasions Offley Hoo Oils On A Stick Open Farm Sunday Oregano Oysters Pancake Day Pancakes Paris Pasta Pastes Pastries Pastry Paul Wayne Gregory Peak District Peas Picnic Fayre Delicatessen Pie. Pies • Flans • Tarts Pilkington Farms Plums Pork Pies Pork. Potatoes Potty: Clarissa's One Pot Cookbook Poultry Pre-Prepared Foods Preserving and Pickling Press Product Reviews Products Puddings Quadrille Publishing Quickasteam Quince Quirk Books Rabbit Radio Radishes Radisson Blu Hotels Ramsay's Best Menus Ramsoms Rants Raspberries Raspberry Raw Food Raw Nibbles Read and Reviewed Ready Meals Real Food Festival 2008 Real Food Festival 2010 Recipes Every Man Should Know Relish Restaurants Reviews Reykjavik Rice • Grains • Pulses Risotto roasting Roman Vinaigre Rosemary Sage Salads Salmon Salt Marsh salted caramel Saltmarsh Sambocade Sami Malila Samphire Samphire Shop Sandwich Sauces Sausages Savoury Pancakes Scandinavian Scandinavian Cookbook Scandinavian Kitchen Sea Seafood Seeds SelfMadeHero Sereena; Alexa; Priya Kaul Serious Pig Shake Up Your Wake Up Shellfish Shopping Shrove Tuesday Simon and Schuster Sipsmith Skyr Sloe Wine Smoked Fish Smoked Haddock Snacking Salami Snacks Soup Special Offer Spices Spirits Sprengidagur Spring Taster Box Squash Squirrel St David's Day Stephanie Alexander Stocks Stories Strawberries Suffolk Summer Susan Russo Sweetmeats Tea teapigs Tesco Tessa Kiros Tests Thai Food The Artisan Food Trail The Artisan Smokehouse The Big Chocolate Tea Party The Big Yum The Billingsgate Market Cookbook The Chocolate Festival The Great Exhibition 2012 The Josceline Dimbleby Collection The Kitchen Trials The Pearl Fisher The Scandinavia Show The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook The Use-It-All Cookbook Thomasina Miers Three Counties Kitchen Three Counties Radio Thyme Tips Toastabags Tomatoes Total Greek Yogurt Tove Jansson Tracklements Traditions Travels Tried and Tasted Trina Hahnemann Twitter Two Fat Ladies Union Hand-Roasted Vegan Vegetables Vegetarian Vinegar Vodka Wahaca Wales Watercress Week Watercress. Weights and Measures West Whelks Whitstable Wild Food and Foraging Wild Garlic William Curley Willian Winter Warmers Wiveton Wiveton Hall Wiveton Hall Fruit Farm Writing Yogurt