About Story and Flour-throwing
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” -Anaïs Nin ::::
My name is Lisa. I started this blog in 2011 in my kitchen in Mountain View, California by way of Chicago, having moved to Atlanta, Georgia in July 2014. We each have a story to tell and this is mine, in my kitchen. I learned to cook in my mother’s kitchen, summers in Maine in a four-star restaurant while in high school, and in my own kitchens. A few years before I started the blog, I started taking photos of food for fun: impressive displays of a set table, or of colorful, abundant vegetables at farmers’ markets, or simply the close-up texture of a fine crumb cake. Food is a many-sensoried experience. The taste and unusual flavor combinations of food make me happy, as well as the visual. The visual can be pure art, even without a fancy display. The dull shimmer of a smooth summer tomato, the deep green hem of a cut edge of basil, the topography of a crusty foccacia top, or a burnished, sienna skin of an oven-roasted chicken are all photo-worthy.
As I was photographing, I developed a nasty habit of collecting recipes. Many of them have been left untouched, folded up in cooking books or magazines, or my large binder of recipes, waiting to be explored. After compiling an embarrassing number of recipes and photos, I finally decided that one must share. This is my kitchen storybook, with words and with pictures exploring my passion for food and its creations. When I was on maternity leave from working full-time as a physician, creative energies were sparking and crackling inside. Thus, the blog was started and became my creative outlet. And so here is my online adventure, tackling these new frontiers of recipes and techniques, and writing my story.
I first thought the photography would tell most of my stories, but I’ve found as I’ve progressed in this blog adventure that the writing has blossomed into something more than I expected. Food memories are a huge part of my writing and it is often a joyful challenge to pull the silvery strings of my sometimes cloudy memories into my recipes. And one realization is that many of my stories are fond memories of family and friends, sometimes the food a mere adjunct mention. This blog is a a memoir for my kids, love letters to their adult selves, of what we experience as a family, eating and otherwise.
My taste testers are my husband, Eat, and my children, Peach (very adventurous in trying new foods), Grub (a baby when I first started the blog in 2011), and Sky-Girl (as of 2013). Because of my obsessive cooking habits, friends and workmates are also often subjected to tastings, which they don’t seem to mind. Try some new foods and flavor combinations, give constructive criticism, and even say “What’s that?” Curl up with this Story and enjoy!
Photo credit above to Chris Conroy. More photos by Chris involving cupcake sprinkles and catapulting flour are below. Otherwise, all other photos on the website are credited to me.
So what happens when you turn 40 and want to do something fun? Something that you don’t have to photograph? You garner the support of an awesome photographer, someone who is game for just about anything. Including sticking sugary bits to one’s face as well as throwing flour inside his studio. (I fear he will forever be scraping flour from the cracks of his equipment and floor — sorry!)
We started with the cupcake sprinkles, realizing quickly that my excessive salivation caused them to melt into creepy clown-like makeup — into my teeth.
In addition to the fairly tame cupcake sprinkles stuck to various parts of my face with honey, I needed flour, my pantry staple, its gentle pouf, the soft grit, the lovely cloud-like bloom when sailing through the air — and hitting my face. I’m not sure what I was inspired by, but for the past year I have been dreaming of posting a photo on my blog of flour being thrown in my face. I’ve obsessed over it in various ways. Where would I do this? How? Who would agree to throwing the flour as well as photographing the process? Firstly, it was clear from the beginning after one measly failed attempt outside with poor lighting and a point-and-shoot camera: I needed a studio. Secondly, I needed someone open to a one-sided dry food fight and quick hands (one hand to throw the flour and one hand to snap the photo — two hands on two separate bodies, preferably).
After some searches in the locale for photographers, I found Chris Conroy Photography. Chris’s portfolio is diverse and full of fun. It was his “lollipop girl” who turned me. Lollipops stuck in her hair and a huge smile: I knew he was the one with the wherewithal to honor my strange requests.
So we had fun with it. Cupcake sprinkles in my teeth, coloring them all sorts of funky, so what! Flour all over the place (not just on me), oh well!
And who was my flour thrower? Lucky for me, my mom was visiting from out of town. With a little cajoling, she was all for it. After a few practice throws, her aim was pretty good in the real thing.
So what next? A pie in the face? (Too cliche.) Maybe streaking my hair with beet juice? (Wouldn’t fly in the work place.) Drowning in a tub of popcorn? (Um, not practical — I couldn’t possibly eat THAT much popcorn. Never, ever, ever waste that much popcorn. A travesty!)
What I learned from all of this is that never take yourself too seriously. Do silly things. Do absurd things. Make people wonder about you.
Flour in the face can be the start of something really great. Here’s to being 40 and loving it so far.