Can’t try this at home – the joys of virtual cooking – and food art experiments

Most food blogs show wonderful food – tastefully decorated cakes presented on old  blue and white china plates,  lovingly surrounded by nasturtiums or a Biedermeier flower arrangement.  Bowls of hearty soup, exciting exotic recipes, all bursting with mouthwatering goodness and perfection. These are the blogs you go to, you copy the recipes from and you recreate at home, changing the recipes as one does as you go along! However, there are two instances when you cannot copy down the recipe

1) the virtual recipe equivalent of a Nobel prize (IE you dream it up it would be great, but you cannot make it real):  – any scientist in basic research who dreamed of publishing in Nature, Science or Cell in vain, will be able to relate to this)

2) the food-art experiments that turned out interesting (recipes generally don’t get shared for these so much)

The virtual recipe equivalent of a Nobel prize: I admit to lying awake at night wondering how to make erythrocyte shaped pistachio cookies, with a thin sponge dough, and a creamy maccha green-tea filling. The challenges (only some of them) – 1 the sponge needs to stay soft, 2 if you bake it will lose its texture and colour, 3 I don’t have erythrocyte shaped baking molds (I do however have idli pans, but they are too big for purpose) and even if I did have the right mold the  cake layer in the mold would bake differently to the upper layer, which would then not give me the perfect, perfect green cake-lets of my dreams. Maybe they need steaming in the idli pan after all!  I know I could draw what this is meant to look like, I can see it in my minds eye, it is so near and yet so far,  I can even imagine the taste – maccha tea might be too strong, a lighter vanilla pistachio filling instead? The virtual permutations are endless.

“Food-art” experiments that turned out “interesting”: Nobody ever writes about these so I assume that all food bloggers out there are domestic Gods and Goddesses with restraint, self control and the ability to harness their creative energy and to avoid creative blitz moments. For me I do have regular Jackson Pollock food moments – these usually happen when I am meant to be doing something else, like really, really meant to be doing something else (think preparing for an interview, preparing slides for a deadline, tax returns, getting all the paper piles off you desk…)  but suddenly  I think,ah food would be good, and repair to the kitchen.   If you are like me you know what I am talking about – that moment where you whirl through the kitchen like Mary Poppins taking a little bit of this and little bit of that. You dig through your herbs and spices and come up with whole new fusion cooking experiments – being led on by the scent and the colours and the textures of the ingredients and BECAUSE YOU CAN!  Giddy with excitement – you pursue that elusive new taste, colour texture sensation. Unfortunately you end up with a culinary version of  a Jackson Pollock – I am currently awaiting the results of my culinary experiment………it could be great, it could be interesting. I’ll keep you posted!


4 thoughts on “Can’t try this at home – the joys of virtual cooking – and food art experiments

  1. Oh, I know what you mean. Some of my experiments have proven disastrous. I really should do a post on failed stuff. But then, who wants to know? That’s why I always tweak recipes. Some that I follow religiously, from famous chefs or websites mind you, just wouldn’t work. And I’m forced to make adjustments mid way. That’s why I find it hard to write recipes. I started with certain ingredients & measurements, then halfway thru I change course, then I can’t remember exactly what I had done, and I want to be precise, so I ended up not posting the recipe. Oh, well, c’est la vie. 🙂

    • for clinical trials the problem used to be the same, only the positive data was reported and the other stuff wasnt so much, which led to other people experiencing the same disasters again. This was patients not just food, so much bigger issue. Nowadays all data must be published regardless of whether it was a success or a failure. I report back from my kitchen that using enormous big vegetable onions and sauteing in olive oil + salt + black pepper + my favourite turkish hot pepper blend with rice added in and then cooked risotto style + dried mint leaves and then shredded fresh mint leaves – was at best interesting. I have been told though that if we add parmesan on top it will be great, but then if we are honest, what isn’t?

    • thank you for sharing – I thought I couldn’t be the only one! Mental tasting, I like the expression – calorie free and often sheer unachievable perfection :)!

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