Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ugly Food

I, like most people who blog about food, am constantly trying to make all of my dinner shots look appealing. I struggle to find interesting angles, decent lighting, and anything else I can do to make my meals look more like art than food.


And that limits me. There are plenty of food posts that never got written because none of the pictures turned out. They all looked flat, they didn’t glisten ‘just so’, or they looked like a wookiee threw up on a plate.


What I’m coming to terms with is that not all of my food shots NEED to look like Elise’s. I don’t think I will honestly ever have the knack for photographing food that she does. The reality of it is that I just don’t have the patience. When I cook, it is to eat, not to be pretty. I rarely bother with that ‘garnish’ stuff. If it doesn’t add to the flavor, why put it on there? It will all disappear down my gullet in under ten minutes generally, so why spend more time making it pretty and photographing than I spend eating?


So here is my first attempt to rebel against common sense. This is my first truly Ugly Food post that would have otherwise never seen the light of day!

When I imagine wookiee vomit, this is what pops into my mind:

Ugly Scrambled Eggs

FIRST of all, go watch this video. I never realized how crappy my scrambled eggs were until last night. I used a few of the ideas in Gordon’s video, though of course I bastardized the hell out of it, and this came out as the best bits of egg I have ever put in my mouth.


This meal was born of desperation. Home from the gym, didn’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. Super hungry and looking for something decently healthy. All of this stuff is what was on hand in the fridge so improvise as you please.



- 3 eggs

- 5 or 6 small white button mushrooms. cleaned and sliced

- 1 shallot. sliced

- 1 clove of fresh garlic. minced

- about 1/4-1/2 cup of spinach. cleaned, rinsed, and chopped

- a tablespoon of crème frescia (I only had sour cream)

- some olive oil or butter

- bread for toast

- salt, pepper, sugar, paprika to taste


How to make this ugly duckling:

- heat up a pan on medium, toss your shallots in with some olive oil or butter


- cook shallots until translucent, then add garlic and mushrooms, and more butter if necessary. I like a dash of sugar to help bring out the flavors, as well as a small bit of salt and pepper.


- once mushrooms are mostly cooked toss in the spinach and allow to wilt


- crack three eggs into the pan and stir constantly, removing from heat off and on (Yeah, go watch that video, I can’t even explain it)


- once the eggs are starting to set up taste and add salt/pepper as necessary. Continue stirring


- toast your bread to your liking (remembering that all toasters lie about how done your toast will really be)


- Once the eggs are cooked all the way through, toss in a tablespoon of sour cream/crème frescia, and stir your heart out.


- EAT.


Enjoy the heck out of it, but don’t put pictures of it on the internet because it aint going to win the beauty contest.


melissa said...

Actually, my first thought when I looked at was yum. Really. Eggs, spinach, mushroom - I recognized that stuff alone and loved it.

You're right though, not all food photographs well. Doesn't make it any less delicious.

TomboCheck said...

Melissa - You damned foodie! :-P

I just need to get over the block of posting ugly food pictures. I miss out on a lot of posting because of it.

Daly said...

Them some ugly lookin' eggs! ;) The recipe sounds delicious.

Elise's photos are heavenly...that's the different between real skills and someone who is obsessed with taking photos of food (me).

I took a digital photography class today (it's really about time) but I don't think anything can help me, lol.

TomboCheck said...

Daly - Indeed! :)

Did you enjoy the photo class? It seems like so many of the classes around here fall short of accurately gauging the skill level of the students that half the class leaves un-fulfilled.