foodies hate my food pictures

I like to cook but can never be a foodie. For the very simple reason that I don’t like/refuse to eat: seafood, fish, mushrooms, olives, blue cheese, terrines & pates, game and animals that are cute (exception: pigs. mmm). The list I just named coincidentally comprises ingredients for almost every dish on the menu at a fancy restaurant. Which makes me more of a cook in the vein of Rachael Ray- less the EVOO and annoying personality (debatable I guess), but in sync on the fresh vegetables and comfort food.

The NY Times just published an article that I began to read with breathless anticipation, sure that its contents would confirm that my kitchen is headed in the right direction. I was disappointed. Mostly at the article, and a little bit at myself. For starters, the author abandons his promise to help us “cook quickly”. I see the virtue of fresh spices and when practical or important, I use them too. I know there is a difference between a fresh-squeezed lemon + zest vs. lemon juice in a bottle. And I haven’t used anything other than good olive oil or butter for the bottom of a pan in years (unless I am making popcorn). But making my own breadcrumbs? Seriously? And banning canned beans altogether. I am not sure Bryan’s delicious chili would know the difference. I was actually shocked the author will let me use frozen peas rather than growing and shelling my own.

You can’t say you’re going to help people create a realistic set of basic ingredients in their kitchens while essentially describing the feat as one only accomplished by (a) going to the grocery store daily, (b) spending a lot of money, and worst of all (c) wasting a lot of food. How many dishes can I make with a pound of fresh bay leaves before they expire? Let’s get real, Mark Bittman.

This is why nervous but hopeful cooks get turned off by foodie snobs. It’s like Tim Gunn telling me all I need for my basic wardrobe is a pair of designer jeans, a pristine white oxford shirt and one fabulous wrap dress. He and I both know he means DVF wrap dress, not Target. And so I have no choice but to fail.

So far the beneficiary of all my efforts is not complaining that the dozens of homemade cookies I bake contain vanilla extract rather than vanilla from fresh pods (where do you even buy fresh pods?? Puh-lease). He just eats. And he indulges my habit of taking pictures of food. Everyone deserves a hobby, right.

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Filed under food, photos

12 responses to “foodies hate my food pictures

  1. snosh

    wow. and to think in h.s. you would only make me pasta with no sauce but just butter and parmesan cheese …

  2. yael

    Actually, you were lucky. Even Mark Bittman writes in his article:
    “IN Real Parmigiano-Reggiano. Wrapped well, it keeps for a year (scrape mold off if necessary). Grated over anything, there is no more magical ingredient. Think about pasta with butter and Parmesan (does your mouth water?).”


  3. listgirl

    I like to think of myself as a “locavore” who eschews processed foods when possible in favor of fresh, local ingredients. But I agree that this article was over the top. Get real, Mark Bittman, indeed. My only takeaway is that I should buy tomato paste in a tube (of course, I’m not sure where I will find tomato paste in a tube). I suppose that your refusal to eat cute animals means that you will not be eating squirrel any time soon:

  4. That article is a joke (although I like the tube tomatoe paste) – who seriously has time to make their own breadcrumbs during the week. Or boil their own beans during the week. Sure, on weekends either Jenny or I (or sometimes both) will make some luxurious meal with all fresh, homemade ingredients. During the week – not so much.
    Not mentioned in the article though and what’s really handy are two non-related things – panko breadcrumbs if you do any frying (the texture is infinitelty better than breadcrumbs) and frozen pearl onions (ever use fresh – it’s a nightmare).

  5. yael

    Oh I am glad you posted the squirrel article listgirl. Daniel emailed it to me too. I need to blog about squirrels one day. Apparently continental Europe has none as we always see tourists taking pictures of them.

    Oh and interestingly (I mean, interesting might be a strong word here) they only sell tomato paste by the tube here. Viva l’Angleterre!

  6. mira

    YUM!!! Your quiche looks delicious! And the apple pie. And the muffins. And the cranberry sauce!! But not the fleshy red thing with string tied around it!!!

  7. You’re obviously through the nauseous phase then…

  8. Rebecca

    Did you actually make all these???

    I just made the mistake of looking at these pictures when I am STARVING. Do you think they have quiche in vending machines?

  9. Virg

    I second…did you really make all these..or just walk around taking pictures at various bakeries…? I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture of anything I’ve made! Too funny. Though of course everything looks quite yummy. As long as what you make tastes good and is enjoyed–who cares if the food snobs of the world thing your ingredients aren’t good enough? BTW, I read something more recently (on some reputable Hollywood gossip site I’m sure…) about your Locanda Locatelli restaurant and all of the celebrities that go often and live nearby…including of course your boy Chris Martin and pretty Gwynneth.

  10. yael

    I did make all the food- in the 24 hour period surrounding Christmas in fact. Fun times.

    And yes, through the nauseous phase. Although what do you call the phase where all you ever want to eat is Pringles or peanut butter?

    True on that restaurant. This was the article I had posted: Come visit us and we’ll all case the joint for stars.

    Omg this is my third comment on this post. I need (a) a life and (b) well I guess pretty much a life.

  11. mdouris25

    I call the phase where all I want to eat is pringles – (a) drunk or (b) hungover. But I’m guessing those aren’t part of pregnancy phases. I need to start photographing the food I make … well, when I resume cooking and stop billing 120 hours a week. Your food looks amazing – can you start doing a favorite recipe of the week section of the blog?

  12. i lived off of quiche during my college days, but it didn’t look as good as yours…. ignore the “food photo critics”!
    the jeans guru,
    my Designer Jeans
    ( at good prices too. )

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