I have been very busy in the kitchen lately. This is not new. A food blogger is almost always caught with her arms full in the kitchen… stirring with one arm, chopping with another, and pushing a camera shutter with the third. Oh, wait…
It takes a lot of organization and I suppose some spur of the moment splatters and spills to get in-the-process-of-cooking photos for a food blog. It also takes an artistic eye and some confident, but careful plating to present a finished food blog project.
My culinary development has been greatly aided by the step-by-step how-to photos presented on the many food blogs I follow. And the pixels of polished food art tantalizing the taste buds that seem to have sprouted in my retina? They have done something important for my my kitchen competence, too. Food photography’s elegant dedication to presentation has cultivated in me a particular form of grace. The grace of giving.
This grace is actually a serious need to share, a regular compulsion to connect with others that is accomplished through food. Sharing food is a moment of compassion easily returned by a gift of warm thanks. Food connects us and brings us together… even if it is not present, as a conversation turns to reminiscing about food that once was, or a next meeting is set up around a special meal, or a new blog post makes its readers smile and salivate.
I don’t think it is inconsequential, this role that food plays in our relationships. The past weeks have been full of opportunities for me to share foods from my kitchen — barbequed ribs, apple crumb pie, homemade english muffins — with others, and it felt wonderful to have all those opportunities to connect.
Making authentic connections with others is key to your sense of self worth and well-being. That means cooking if you want, and maybe blogging about it, but also simply eating up whatever anyone willingly places in front of you!
I shared these chocolate covered strawberries with a couple that is commemorating the special relationship they share with one another today. And these strawberries are among the first ripe crop of the season from my local farm, where I have been spending some more time lately connecting with the people who grow my food. Truly, I couldn’t think of better way to continue the gift of giving!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Thoroughly rinse and dry a pint of fresh strawberries. Melt 1/2 cup of your favorite chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave until chocolate is jus smooth. Drizzle in 1/2 teaspoon sunflower oil to thin. Dip each strawberry in melted chocolate, then roll in favorite toppings. (I used sprinkles, dark chocolate crunch pieces, and crushed almonds.) Place dipped strawberries on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 20 minutes. Enjoy!