I really like finding inspiration for new recipes on social media. The beautiful pictures of perfectly prepared dishes on Pinterest and Instagram make my mouth water. I’m sure you’ve seen some picture of a gorgeous seven layer cake that made you just want to lick the screen. I spend a lot of time staging photos for blog posts. Picking the plates, arranging the the shots, trying to get that perfect screen licking photo.
What I (and others) don’t usually share are photos that look like this. The test items, the first attempts, the “oops” shots. Aside from the obvious comic value of these shots, I think they provide something else. Cooking requires practice, trial and error, and ongoing effort. By only showing the final result I fear that people may get the impression that some cooks are just better or more talented in the kitchen. That simply isn’t true. With a little practice anyone can make beautiful cookies, or cakes, or potato salad for that matter. Don’t be afraid to try things. Most recipes are pretty vague, and you may have to try it more than once to get things to turn out the way you want.
Be brave, be bold. Fail spectacularly. Don’t lose hope when your snowman cookie looks like a victim of a nuclear holocaust. I had to make several batches of cookie icing before I found the right consistency, and then I still had to play with techniques to get that icing on the cookies.
Don’t be fooled by selective editing and great photography, everybody has “fails” and false starts. Don’t let that stop you from trying.
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