Why I’ll Never Be A Food Photographer

Over the years, I’ve had a number of different ideas about what I’ll be when I finally grow up. When I was 8, I wanted to be a seamstress. Hah. When I was 15 I wanted to be a graphic designer. Hah again. At 25 I had my sights set on becoming a sommelier. Well, at least I’m good at tasting wine.

I’ve also given a passing thought or two to cookbook writing and food photography. Tonight’s events are proof I ought to give up on the latter.

Inspired by a tweet from Expatria, Baby, I whipped up a batch of these carnitas. They were delicious. I served them with warm tortillas, sliced avocado, home made roasted tomato salsa, black beans, and my arroz mexicano, which The Better Half always likes because it reminds him of jollof rice. I even chopped up onion and cilantro and served it, half and half, yin and yang in a shallow dish, just like they do at every taco stand in Mexico. And what do I have to show for my efforts?

This lousy, unappetizing picture:

Carnitas, Stage I

I was too busy eating to take any other shots.

Better not quit my day job.


This is Where I’m From

I come from an island. A small island. The kind of island where all the kids go to the same school and nobody locks their cars. There’s actually a joke that’s been floating around for years saying that, on the Island (Yes, we call it THE island. Sometimes we even call it The Rock.) people only lock their cars during the zucchini harvest…’cause if you don’t, you’ll come back to a car full of squash.

My Korean friends from Portland came to visit me once. I look them to the lighthouse (a legitimate tourist attraction)

I took them to the Park&Ride.

I took them to see the Bicycle in the Tree.

We drove past an old railroad car overgrown with blackberries. They commented on how odd it was to have a railroad car on an Island. This had never occurred to me.

When they left, they said in typically polite, understated tones, “We understand you much better now.”

My Mexican friend from Cuernavaca came to visit me once. I took her to the lighthouse, to the Park&Ride, to the Bicycle in the Tree, and past the overgrown railroad car. I also pointed out the joys of Highway Haiku to her.

When we drove past the railroad car, she turned to me and said, “Ahora sí, amiga…ahora sí.”

A friend of mine organized a Welcome to the Island party for some mutual friends who moved here recently. I baked and adorned this Cider Tart from my own apple cider

…and organized a haiku contest in which teams wrote their compositions on blackboard strips.

A nod to the ferries we depend on to go anywhere significant:

A reference to ambiguity:

And, to sum it all up:

This is where I’m from.