If I’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it’s that everything imperfect is perfect again. I feel like over the years there has been this sensationalized image of perfection sweeping over our daily lives. Perfect family photos, perfect relationships, perfect kids, perfectly done hair and makeup. And in my case, it’s always the perfect food photo.
I can not tell you how often I have struggled with getting the perfect blog post up with the perfect pictures. While I only share relatable food and recipes, I always find myself in this photo perfection conundrum because those are the posts and images that catch everyone’s eye. I mean who wants to see my, albeit best effort, poorly lit iphone photos from last night’s dinner, right? The pressure to produce high quality food photography is REAL and it has been the bane of my food blogging life until this moment right here….
So what in food photography am I talking about,lol? And what’s it got to do with my BUNDT?
All this time home has somehow got me motivated to start blogging again and even updating some old photos on the blog. Updating photos is a much needed project I definitely procrastinate on starting. I mean I know the recipes are good but in order to attract, you, the reader I need that perfect drool worthy, eye catching image and it’s a challenge. But one I really need to tackle, it’s really the only way to get visitors and followers to see my recipes. If you don’t know that’s how we foodies make a living. But when I started this blogging venture years ago, all I wanted to do was make a few extra bucks doing something I love, not win an IPA (International Photography Award) for the best bundt photo of the year. Which I still seem to struggle with.
Back to my Bundt..there’s a connection I promise! Stay with me…
A few days ago, right after Easter, I was excited to use up some extra ricotta cheese I had in the refrigerator. For quite some time I have been wanting to modify an old blog recipe for Lemon Ricotta Cake and bake it in a bundt pan. Since I had all the ingredients to give it a try, I whipped up my batter, baked it and patiently waited to see if it was going to be a go.
When it was done I carefully pulled it out of the oven, let it cool for a bit and then oh so carefully flipped it out onto the cooling rack. Then I lifted the pan and exposed the most PERFECT bundt cake you ever did see. It was golden in color and smelled amazing. I thanked the bundt cake gods and then set it on my counter to cool.
While the cake was cooling, I started the next steps in the food blogging process, staging the photo area. Some days the photo area is right outside my kitchen door and other days it is set up on a table or chair, close to a natural light source (a window) in my house. This particular day I took pictures from both inside and outside the house. I spent some time setting the stage for the first set of photos and just before I was finishing up a moving shadow appeared from the corner of my eye and it was heading towards the kitchen on my right. I quickly looked up and then, as if someone put me on the slo mo feature of my iPhone, I began to turn my head just in time to see my 10 year old daughter standing over my beautiful bundt. And before I could even get the words out, she reaches down and picks off a piece of cake. Off my perfect BUNDT! I won’t lie. I may have slightly overreacted when I screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO… I still need pictures of that!!” (but remember this is all in slow motion so it really couldn’t have been that loud,lol.)
Needless to say, I was too late and just like that, my perfect bundt wasn’t so perfect anymore. I was so upset and my poor daughter looked at me like this lady has gone mad and then proceeded to look at me with her big brown eyes to say: “sorry” ( not sorry) “it smelled too good”. So now here I was with a picked over bundt, no more ingredients for a new cake or the ability to run out to the store to grab some. Another no so stellar photo shoot was about to go down.
I stressed over it for awhile, not because it’s such a big deal but because I had already put so much time and effort into preparing this one little blog post. Then the more I looked at that little hole on the top, the more I realized, this is real life not everything is perfect, especially when it comes to cooking and baking. Ironically, that was the one message I wanted to share with people when I first started my blog. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise… bringing me full circle to why it all began. I told myself I really need to let. it. go. The perfect bundt, the perfect photo shoot, all of it.
After shifting my focus, I found a way to make my photo shoot work. But it was in that moment of letting my imperfect bundt go that I realized, right now is as real as it gets. This is what we are all going through right now. We can’t hide behind hyped up social posts and insta photo shoots. I mean even the most famous celebrities are sharing raw footage of daily life from their homes. I personally LOVE every minute of it. The realness of it all. If It wasn’t for all that is going on in the world right now, I might never have learned a lesson from my little mishap.
Don’t get me wrong, I miss the outside world like everyone else but I kind of hope this pandemic brings us back to basics in a good way. For the first time in a very long time (if ever), we all find ourselves in a similar boat, dealing with he same trials and tribulations of the quarantined life. What this time at home has really taught me is to accept things for what they are, be really real and to let go of the notion that things need to be perfect. We need to get back to real life. The good, the bad and yes, the sometimes, ugly food photo.
So remember, the next time you see one of those “less than perfect” pinterest pics there’s probably a small town, unknown, food loving, real life recipe blogger behind it like me! Geesh, food blogging should be as easy as this recipe.
Be well, make this Lemon Ricotta Bundt and please stay healthy!
IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE BLOG FAVORITES
- Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
- Ricotta Zeppole
- Simple San Marzano Tomato Sauce
- Homemade Manicotti
- Eggplant Rollatini