Monday, September 22, 2008

Pictureless Sunday Dinner, and An Award

I still haven't come out to my extended family yet as a completely obsessed and borderline psychotic food blogger. Oh, they know I have some little blog. They read it once in a while, I'm sure. But they don't yet realize the extent of my consuming devotion to my new little hobby. So they will be surprised, no, shocked, next time they are over for dinner and I say "step aside, folks. I need to photograph that roast."

David realizes what has happened, I believe, but he is still getting used to the idea. When he saw me taking pictures of my Chewy, Chunky Blondies, he said: "Wait, what's that for?" When I told him I was taking pictures of them just because I felt like it, he said "are you going to start doing this for everything?!?!" I just might, sweetheart. I just might.

Yesterday, we had my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and my two nieces over for dinner. We live in the same neighborhood, yet we don't see each other nearly often enough, so we decided that we are going to fix that by alternating houses and having dinner together every other Sunday. This was our week to host, and for dinner I made a pork tenderloin in a citrus marinade from Tables of Content, a Junior League of Birmingham, Alabama cookbook; Ina's garlic roasted potatoes; simple grilled vegetables from Cooking Light (I added zucchini and squash in addition to the veggies listed in the recipe); and Ina's apple turnovers for dessert. I thought it made for a beautiful presentation, with the potatoes and the colorful vegetables together on a platter. And I would love to show you a picture, but I must reluctantly confess that I chickened out at the last minute and could not quite bring myself to break out the camera and start snapping in front of the gang. I feel like you can't just spring this sort of thing on the people you love. You need to sit them down ahead of time, tell them what's happened to you, and explain that while you will always love them and continue to make meals for them, from now on you will first stage the food and take pictures of the meals before serving them, and quite possibly publish on the internet any remarks they make about the food.

I AM going to tell them, and soon -- I promise. I am just trying to find the right time. Meanwhile, I might just come back and post pictures of this dinner next time I make it, since it was MIGHTY pretty, if I say so myself.

Meanwhile, imagine my surprise and delight this morning, when I jumped onto my blogger account and saw that two of my favorite food bloggers, Laura of she's cookin' now, and Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs, left this fantastic award for my blog:

Laura and Nancy both have fun and informative blogs that I check daily. I know that I will never be without a dinner idea again with blogger friends like Laura and Nancy providing the "aha!" moments for me many times a week. The fact that talented bloggers like Laura and Nancy would think of my blog in passing out this award is truly an honor! Thank you, Laura and Nancy!

There are so many blogs out there that I love and enjoy regularly. So I will pass this award on to a few of my favorites.

1. Prudence Pennywise. Prudy has already been given this award, but honestly, I will never get an award that Prudy doesn't already have, as she is one of the hands-down best in the business. I adore her blog so much that I will share this with her anyway. Prudy's stated goal is to feed her family of four "scandalously good food" on a budget of around $100 a week. In pursuing her goal, she serves up the complete package -- mouthwatering recipes, gorgeous photography, and fun, witty posts. I read her blog daily and find myself feeling rather blue on the (rare) day that she doesn't post.

2. Lisa of Lisa is a Baker. Lisa is new at this blogging thing, but is clearly a natural. She can weave together baking tales and pop culture references with the best of them. We can all expect to enjoy a rollicking good time with Lisa on Tuesdays with Dorie!

3. Pamela of Cookies with Boys. Pamela deserves this award for this amazing zucchini squash casserole recipe alone. But she deserves it for many more reasons than just this rockin' casserole -- like for her consistently enjoyable posts and excellent recipes.

4. Marie of Proud Italian Cook. I feel head over heels for this blog from the moment I first laid eyes on it. I have my own Italian grandmother to thank for my love of the kitchen, and Marie's casual, conversational writing style makes me feel like I am back in the kitchen with my own grandmother as she chats with me about what she's doing. I have to be careful about when I read Proud Italian Cook, because I know that I am in danger of being distracted for the rest of the day by Marie's recipe choices and pictures. Marie is another highly decorated blogger who already has this award, but I am sharing it anyway as a little way of saying "I love your blog."

5. Maria & Josh of Two Peas and Their Pod. Every once in a while you find a blog that makes you say "bookmark!!" before you even finish scrolling past the first couple of posts. And for me, this is one of those blogs. From roasted pepper soup to lime sherbet, tell me you don't start making your grocery list from the recipes on this blog.

"Award rules" as I understand them include passing the award on to up to ten of your favorite blogs, letting your recipients know that you have given them an award, blogging about the award, and letting me know that you've passed it on. But as far as I can tell, this whole award thing is, at its core, really just a way for bloggers to let other bloggers know that we love what you do. And I promise you that I will still love you even if you do nothing more than add the cool "E" to your sidebar!

Thanks again, Laura and Nancy!


Pamela said...

Oh! Thank you so much, Cathy! I am very glad to see that you enjoyed that casserole. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to making it again. The award is very much appreciated, and you definitely deserved it! Thanks for sharing.

n.o.e said...

Oh, my! Do I ever relate to that obsession/photography thing. My husband has gone from thinking it was truly weird, to guarded tolerance, to total acceptance, as I hold dinner while I snap a picture. In public, however, I'm a bit of a closet photographer. I've been known to leave my plate in the kitchen then sneak out and snap.

I finally "confessed" to my book group (appropriately enough, it's a group of Catholics reading spiritual writers) and even had the courage to take pictures of the ginger shortbread and peaches. In someone else's house. On their china.

On another occasion I brought the chocolate banded ice cream torte to my brother- and sister-in-law's house and my brother-in-law even went out to their herb garden to snip some mint for the photo (HIS idea! A latent food blogging talent, surely).

Anyway, your dinner sounds great, and I'm glad it was pretty and tasty!

Bridgett said...

Your post made me laugh as I too have had a hard time snapping pics in front of the company! I always regret it after and think - they wouldn't have minded - but my self-consciousness gets in the way. Hubby says to forget that and be proud!
Congratulations on your award! Well deserved for sure.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Cathy, I laughed when I read your post! All I can say is come out to your family! They'll get use to it, believe me! Mine wait very patiently now while I snap away. Many times their eating and I'm still snapping pictures. Isn't it funny how our little hobby turned completly into an obsession!But in saying that it has opened up my world to be able to "meet" such nice bloggers like yourself. I want to thank you for the kind words you said about me, I really appreciate it, you made my day! Thanks so much for the award and congrats on yours. I'm looking forward to all your new and upcoming posts.
Hugs, Marie

Debbie said...

LOL On Saturday night I grabbed my camera and said, over my shoulder, I'm cooking dinner tonight!
My husband just laughed.

Flourchild said...

Your story is so cute...keep snapping those pictures!! My family is so used to it by now. They think Im a nerd!

Prudy said...

So much to say.... First of all, I have that Junior League cookbook and love it. Birmingham gave it as a gift at the National Chicken cook off last year. It's gorgeous and full of great recipese. Second, it does take a while to fully proclaim yourself as a stark raving lunatic blogger. Visiting relatives will wonder if you ever photograph your children anymore, or is it just food. Or do you occasionally snap a photo of the kids IF they are near the food and look particularly cute? It takes a while to step forward with these obsessive behaviors. Last time my mom invited me to dinner I started photographing her food OUT OF HABIT! Oh, the insanity. It's good to know we're not alone.
Moving on, Congratulations to you for your awards. You are racking them in and it's little wonder! I love your food but the commmentary alone would bring me back. You don't have to take photos for me, just keep a chatting away and I'll be here chuckling, miles away. And last of all, thank you ever ever so much for your kind description of my blog. I'm sure I don't deserve it but I've never turned down a compliment and I won't start now. Can't wait to see your cake tomorrow and to hear what you have to say about it.

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