I’m half tempted to half jokingly call this one “stick a fork in me, I’m done.” Except, like, I’m not anywhere done with creating a book—- I’m just busy, worried, hormonal, anxious, nervous, and excited all in one.
I know everyone and their mom is a food stylist on instagram these days— let’s be real here, your food doesn’t even have to taste good, it just has to look good!— I’ve found this is true for people’s personalities too— ha ha, okay, half kidding, snark aside—- styling can be fun, right? And I do believe it to be absolutely true that when you take the time to make a beautiful meal, you enjoy it more. But while I love ‘styling’ things, I don’t do it as well as I’d like like this, when it’s required in such large amounts and a quickly approaching deadline.
Our everyday meals do look nice and I know where my strong points are— they are in flavors and seasoning— in cooking, I’m good at that. And if I can just transcribe my recipes to paper and have someone taste my meals, I can show that. I build layers of flavor and it tastes good. Our plates stay simple— real to our house. But/and I stress, in creating pinterest-esque meals that are re-pinned over and over? I don’t know. I get it, those photos looks perfectly placed and very beautiful— but thats that style. And my own— well, it’s different. And I am good at what I do, the way I do things—- but it’s just hard to let it flow and come out when I put so much pressure on myself! With the exception of Hannah coming to help with a day or two of family shots, it’s just me here. No camera team. No styling team. No assistant— it’s just me pouring love, time, and sometimes unfortunately, actual tears into this thing. A labor of love.
I do love what I’m doing, what I’m making. The idea of it, and even though it’s much harder on myself than I would have imagined, I do enjoy most of the reality of it as well. The days that have been the most enjoyable are the days when I only have a few items to make— of recipes that I know, love and make often. I make the dish and have fun with photos. But the days of making, re-making, slip ups and failing— and especially on the days that I just can’t seem to figure out my camera, those days are hard. And when I have to drop what I’m doing to run to a toddlers needs and whatever else, even little mishaps happen. Food gets overcooked, something gets forgotten, or even a decimal gets skipped when writing it all down and I’m back at square one. In my everyday, I just make and create, photograph, enjoy, and share. With this, it’s real life, with all it’s delicious faults and glories, except that everything has to be transcribed perfectly, in faultless order.
When I was 6 or 7 years old or so, I remember painting a portrait of a couple for my mom. This image of a couple dancing in a big open field— a romantic portrait, something very beautiful— not a replica of anything else, but a new image created from many details I had loved from other art I had once seen and stories I had read. That image in my head and the painting I created, share no resemblance. I still, to this very day, struggle with this idea— the fact that I can dream up these beautiful visualizations in my head, and no matter how hard I try, I can not translate these musings into tangible images in front of me. At months away from 30 years old, I still do this now. I feel for the child I was who struggled with learning this reality. And I feel for myself now, who still yearns for this to some how, impossibly, change. I want the love that I feel for my food and home to show and the confidence in my meals to come through—- and I’m working hard to push through whatever I can to overcome my own fear, self doubt, and learning to bring this work to life while still being part of life. I put all my love and effort into that painting and I’m putting every last bit of love, time, and effort to create this now, in a real life kitchen.