When all else fails

If anyone tells you that you can’t spend an entire weekend in half-prostrate on your bed with your laptop balanced on your stomach, surfing through food blogs for inspiration with your left hand stuck in large bag of Cheetos, then cut them out of your life. You don’t need that kind of negativity.

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Before anything else, let me warn you that I don’t have a recipe today. If you’re leaving then I’ll see you again in a few days!

Over the last couple of years, my habit of surfing through food blogs has largely dwindled. Sometimes when the load is light at work, I tilt the laptop screen at an angle that makes it difficult for my co-workers to notice what website I’m on. And then I go visit the food blogs that speak poetically about onions and bean soup, pieces on food tech start-ups, food movements in China and I especially pore over the ones by travelling gluttons. But gorgeous websites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting has remained largely untouched for the last two or three summers.

The last two days however, have been enlightening. I’ve learnt that I’m one of those unmarried, childless, single women who love reading mommy blogs.

Yes. It is creepy.

Why? What’s your point?

As much as the photography and creativity (and baby photos) of fellow food enthusiasts make me slobber on my keyboard, more often that not, I find myself intimidated and gawking in wonder. I stare at their perfectly laid out tables and the carefully curated cutlery pieces that are either inherited or from flea markets, and Anthropologie or the likes.

I stare at their children’s activity table made of beige-coloured wooden slats and colourful hand-painted motifs. Words like “paleo”, “gluten-free”, “raw”, “vegan” make their appearances at intervals. I burp out loud every time they appear, which is no mean feat. The backgrounds are muted shades of marble or slate or wood. I inhale their running routines, pilates moves and then immediately regret it, because I haven’t had a morning exercise routine in three long years. I did however, take a morning walk across Tower Bridge a month back, but that doesn’t count. Then comes the food — the cauliflower rice perfectly garnished, the chocolate mirror glaze glistening at all the right corners.

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Here’s an old picture for your benefit.

I scroll once and then twice and then my perverse addiction for all things that look decadent, I scroll a few more times. Every screen greets me food photography that will make your eyes pop and your tongue hang out. Recipes, recipes, recipes. And before I know it, I’ve been sucked into the world of dishes that are fantastic to have in your repertoire, like this pom-glazed chicken (look at those freakin’ drumsticks) or this raw coconut blueberry fudge, which I may never make, but they’re good to have on your bookmarks list — for showing-off purposes. And occasionally I’ll come across something completely mind-blowing and rule-defying like this charcoal bread. Yes, charcoal! In bread!

But it’s not all glossy. Some of them come with stories that I do dig. But most are explanations and recipes that seem dry and perfunctory. Maybe that’s the way it should be, we are the sovereigns of food blogs, after all. But every time there’s food on the table, in a picture, I wonder where it’s come from and who’s made it and why was it made in the first place. Maybe it has a boring past or an interesting past. Maybe the recipe was picked out of mum’s old cookbooks or clipped off the internet. Little bits of information which will not only feed me but feed my need to be a first-class snoop.

More often than not I end up disappointed and hungry, meting out empty burps. It’s a constant conundrum of drool-worthy photography and zero background. Don’t get me wrong, it takes work and a bucket-load of talent to set any table that beautifully, to make sure the lighting is near perfect and to handle the camera like a pro. Talents that makes me sharply aware of my own dismal capabilities. But it feels as if it’s always about the recipe or the elaborate table setting, or the lack of dairy, animal products or wheat flour.

Anywho, when all else fails, I have my Cheeto-stained fingers to lick. And these jewel finds:

This is what Anthony Bourdain thinks about air plane food. I can agree and disagree with him at the same time.

– Seriously, check out these pom-glazed chicken drumsticks.

– Do you love food? Does this look familiar?

– When it comes to being in your 20s, Catherine Mevs hits the nail right on the head with this New Yorker piece.

– I’m only but a wide-eyed spectator of Donald “Build a Wall” Trump’s hair and American politics in general, but you may enjoy this.

– Take some time to go through these profound photos from around the world.

Happy Monday y’all!

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Published by

Amrita

Thirty, recovering chocoholic, serial traveller, bookworm, pencil-addict, dance fiend, architect, born eater, allergic to rules, always at the wrong end of things, Doesn't really give a damn...

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