Short Thoughts on Bloggers and Their Recipes

I recently read a post somewhere that incited quite a lot of comments from the readers. The author stated that the majority of bloggers' recipes out there are trash. I do not have the link handy to share but I am probably watering down his/her opinion a bit; I believe the actual claim was that all were worthless. Is this post of mine a retort to the claim? Not necessarily. I would have to agree that sometimes, there are bad eggs out there and not every single thing posted is perfect whether from a well-known or small-time blog. S/he also pointed out that the pictures are taken to draw the reader in but the recipe does not hold up a majority of the time. It's a pity, really, but I do have an example to share in today's post. Reference the picture above.

I think what infuriates people when it comes to cooking is when the food comes out wrong. Not only have you dedicated your time and effort to a dish but you are probably also hungry by the time it is done. When it's good, you feel 10x more wonderful knowing that you put work into it but when it's bad, you lament the minutes/hours wasted on trying to feed yourself with something better than cup noodles. So when it's bad, who do you have to blame? It could be your own ineptitude but it's easier to blame the source. After all, if you've followed the recipe to a T, a failed recipe is not your fault. I agree. Not all recipes are created equal, and like many of the comments pointed out, many are not tested nearly enough times to be good.

But keep in mind the source. As with anything, the source material matters. There are few blogs out there that have made it to the big leagues. Compare those numbers to the ocean of other recipe content out there and you'll see that it is barely a drop. When you search for a particular recipe and blogs pop up, know that they are usually written by enthusiasts, not cookbook authors or chefs. Their own integrity determines whether or not they have tested and tested their recipes prior to publishing. Sometimes they just want to push content out there. Sometimes they just did something they thought was amazing and ended up missing a step here or there when they try to recall their process. It happens. That being said, yes, there are quite a lot of recipes out there that just absolutely won't work.

But I'll also agree with the original comment that food photography often entices a person. If the dish looked that good, it must tasted good as well. Then the reader is fooled into cooking up a disaster. I recently decided to make something with phyllo dough since I had a box in the freezer. Considering the ingredients in my pantry, a mushroom spinach quiche seemed like a fabulous idea. Problem was that I didn't see very many recipes for the particular ingredients I had; when I did find one, I followed the ingredients and directions as said but was wary.

My fault for not listening to my gut instinct - the recipe did not turn out so well and the proportions were wildly off. There was enough egg mixture to cook three times the amount I made and the texture was off once it was all baked. Despite that, doesn't it look somewhat appealing in the first photo in this post? I could repost the recipe and someone might try it...and end up disappointed. I won't though. It isn't a tried and true recipe nor would I feel comfortable adjusting the recipe solely in text based on my guess as to what the right portions should have been. However, I do have to admit that I am guilty as well of posting some recipes up that haven't been done twenty times over but hey, consider the source. I never claimed I was an expert so cook our food at your own risk :)

Photography by Duc Duong.