Tell Me a Story

“…TELL A STORY

Shitty pictures of your food are all over the internet. Sites like Instagram are loaded with photo after photo of lumpy goo. What you’re trying to share is the joy you feel when the waiter delivers that beautifully plated pork chop. But your photo doesn’t tell the story of that experience. Your photo rips away the delicious smell, the beautiful room, the anticipation of eating, and the presence of people you love.

Instead, think of your photo as a story. When people tell stories, they think about how to communicate the entirety of their experience to someone else. They set the stage, introduce characters, and give us a reason to care. Of course, that’s hard to do in a single photo, but if you think in terms of story, could you find a better way to communicate your experience? How about a picture of the menu, or of your smiling dinner companions? Anything’s better than the greasy puddles you have decided any human with access to the internet should be able to see…”

When I read this in a post by Your Monkey Called I had to laugh.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to push out “photos of lumpy goo”, just so that I could get a post up.  I know that professional bloggers spend an enormous amount of time planning the photos, taking and retaking as many shots as needed to make the food make you want to drool on yourself.  Not to mention how much of the food goes to waste because it literally sits there all day for the photo shoot.  Sadly, I don’t have that luxury. Not only am I working with my son’s point-and-shoot (which does remarkably well considering), but I am making actual meals and as much as I would like to do the food styling, I can’t.  I have actual people waiting to be fed.

So now that I have laid the groundwork for this sad photo (some dripping syrup would have gone a long way here!), I wanted to share another family recipe. This one is from my husband’s Aunt Bonnie.  Bonnie has been his surrogate mother since 2003, when his own mother passed away after her battle with breast cancer.  This recipe is one of many that I found tucked into the infamous green box.  If I remember correctly, I believe that I had started adding recipes from his family when we got married.  His mother sent me an envelope stuffed with family recipes that she remembered him liking when he was a kid.  Unfortunately, a lot of them are similar in style to the ones I have from my side of the family.  Meaning, they often start with a foundation of things like boxed cake mix or Velveeta cheese.  Fortunately, Bonnie is an excellent cook.  She also cooks from scratch and uses good ingredients.  Her and I are of one mind like that 🙂

At the top of this recipe there was a note that said: “To Tom, My Favorite Nephew” (this was in Tom’s writing, of course) – LOL!

Bonnie’s Banana Walnut Pancakes

1 ½ c. whole wheat flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground clove

1 egg

1 tsp. oil

½ T. honey

1/3 c. low-fat milk

½ tsp. vanilla

1 very ripe banana

½ c. finely chopped walnuts

Mix first 6 ingredients until well blended .  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, oil, honey, milk and vanilla.  Add this to the well and add in the banana and walnuts.  Mix until just blended.  Add a little more milk if not pourable.  Pour dollar-sized pancakes onto an oiled or non-stick pre-heated pan over medium heat.  Cook until the bubbles that have formed have popped and then flip.  Should only need about 2 minutes on the 2nd side.

Twice Cooked Half Baked

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