Friday, March 08, 2013

Lessons we learned at Woodstock: Don't eat the brown spinach

You should see the soup I just made.  No really, go ahead.  Take a look ...

Quite vivid, yes?  Tomatoes, red and white beans, a couple of different mushrooms, spinach and a ton of garlic (plus the usual basic stuff) in a chicken and tomato base.  The urge to toss in some of the habanero orzo I get from the farmers' market was almost overpowering, but enough is enough.

Anyway, the most important lesson is putting the spinach in at the very end.  I mean, you chop the spinach, throw it in the soup, then take it off the flame.  No more cooking.  If it were something other than soup I'd say run it under cold water.  But that would be crazy.

If you cook the spinach any further, dear reader, it turns ... well, it doesn't actually turn brown, but it turns a far less appetizing shade of green.

Honestly, it's like this is a cooking blog or something.  Do you ever read donuts4dinner, an actual food blog?  You should.  It's the very definition of good, clean fun.

I'd rephrase that to say it's a restaurant blog, not a food blog.
Fair, perhaps.  But what do they serve in restaurants?  Used cars?  Blenders and other electronic appliances?
No indeed.  They serve food.  Insert one of those three-word Latin phrases here.
Like ipso facto epsilon?
Exactly.  But not those exact words.

My question is this:  How does she get those guys at Per Se to let her shoot the food?  I mean, it's not like she's from the New York Times or something.  The photography is food-porn lovely, and it's clean enough to suggest that it's not done during an actual dinner.  By which I mean, I've always got a fork or something hanging around the table, or a big orange spot on the table cloth from where I've dropped a bit of my salmon tartar.  But really -- are they just serving the chow and she's just shooting it and then eating it?

I will say this.  The wait staff at Per Se are maniacs when it comes to maintaining a clean, Zen-like work area -- meaning the expanse of white cloth directly in front of you -- and it doesn't take long for a rogue fork to get tracked down and dispensed with.

Regardless, it's a puzzlement.

Those tomatoes are canned, aren't they?
Yes they are.  Where do you expect me to get fresh tomatoes in upstate New York in the middle of winter?
I'm just saying it might have been better to have disclosed it.  In the interest of transparency.
Like those noodles they make from mung beans?
Why do you have to ruin everything?
I don't, as you say, ruin everything.  But I have been thinking about how the donuts person shoots the food.
Really.  First off, no way are those iPhone photos.
So my theory is simple: she uses a digital Leica.  Smaller than a DSLR, outstanding low-light performance, very quiet, very stealthy.
Interesting theory.  
I thought so.
Speaks, perhaps, to the devious side of your brain.  
If it does, it does.
She must have a great day job, though, because those things cost about as much as a Volkswagon.


Anonymous donuts4dinner said...

I'll never cease to be amused/flattered by this post. I'm still going to be reading it ten years down the road, when we're taking photos with our eyes and Photoshopping them in our brains or whatever's to come.

The truth is that I do use a DSLR with a large-apertured lens that helps me deal with the low lighting. It also helps that I've dined at lunch the last two times, so the light is less of an issue. The pictures are taken during the actual meal, but I'm careful to whip the camera out from under the table as soon as the dish is set down and to get it back under there as soon as possible so no one's disturbed. Nothing special, nothing magical, and you're right about the waitstaff and those rogue forks.

Thanks for mentioning me! Gotta tweet this out in a braggy manner now.

6:50 AM  

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