There hasn’t been much of substance on here in a while, and I’ve been going through the recurring introspection, guilt, and whining that comes with having a blog. I won’t apologize for not having posts, because it makes me want to puke when I read blogs that constantly do the “sorry I haven’t posted in forevers ya’ll!” thing. When I feel uninspired like as of late, I do feel pressure to put something up, and end up posting a bunch of camera phone shots of crap I’ve been eating and drinking and that’s of so little value to anyone, save for my ego. There are posts I’m proud of, where I feel like they have real value to someone, if not only me and the education I get from putting in the effort. But it is work and it takes time, which can be challenging with a busy work life. I have had two big posts in the hopper for almost six months, but trying to find the time to develop a real outline and a frigging point to these monstrosities is work – mad props to the real writers out there. Getting an invite for a free meal at a newly opening restaurant and simply describing the execution of a pan seared trout is easy. And boring and repetitive and non-differentiating. Telling a story about a restaurant, a person, or a meaningful topic is much, much harder. And vastly more interesting.
Not having a camera (stolen) has hurt, and I have realized one of my favorite aspects of blogging has become taking photos. Part of it is the photography itself, but the best is the ability to revisit memories and effectively portray the effort and aesthetic of the subject. A good picture can deceive the actual success of a dish, but in general it’s pretty easy to look at a well executed photo of something really good and just know that it would be damn delicious. Ulterior Epicure sets the bar in this department in my opinion. He is so “inside baseball” now that I could never expect to have the same experience he has anywhere, but the pictures are gorgeous and they become a visual catalog of restaurants and cities to visit one day.
Last week I purchased a new camera, and a couple nice lenses, so I’m hoping that will reinvigorate me. The camera gives me more purpose when it comes to meals and events. When I take a great photo, I’m creating some value for the restaurants and chefs that work hard, and I don’t see myself as a critic, really just a fan who likes food and wants to see it always be great. I’d like to get more involved in the community of it, so have been looking for ways to do so. If my blog and my camera can be involved in a positive way, even better.
Which is a round about way of leading up to another reason for this post – The Southern Foodways alliance is having one of their “Piggy Bank Dinners” at Taqueria del Sol on Sunday, November 11. Guest chefs are Amy Tornquist of Watts Grocery in Durham and Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner, two important Southern restaurants. $75 for six courses with beer pairings. I plan on attending.
Speaking of Ulterior Epicure and SFA – check out Bonjwing’s post on the recent symposium in Oxford. Sounds like a great time, and educational too. I’ve been dreaming that I could try the meal from Ashley Christensen.