A few months ago I started writing a disclaimer to apply to my recipes:
Looking at my readership statistics I see that many people find Spy Garden through searches of recipes: kale chips and garlic scape pizza are the top search terms for people that have randomly found Spy Garden. With that said, and the harvest season upon us (where I will undoubtedly post things I make with garden produce), I feel the need for a disclaimer on recipes.
I never published the disclaimer because, as it turns out, I didn’t really post many new recipes in said “harvest season”. Why the lack of “Things to do with Produce Posts”? Our garden produce is mostly for show. We take pictures, harvest it and then the kids take bites out things and then throw them around the yard.
This is not to say I don’t love fresh vegetables. We eat them often and we have certainly eaten lots of things from the garden, I just haven’t really taken many pictures of the things I’ve prepared from the garden veggies. Cooking is messy. My camera is safely out of reach when the whisks and knives are in action.
Though there is certainly a time and place for throwing tomatoes.
Also, I get MUCH better photos outdoors in natural light. I make some easy, cheap and delicious baked beans (starting with a cheap bag of dried mixed beans) using cardamom, paprika and about 15 other ingredients/spices, and though they taste amazing, baked beans don’t exactly make for an amazing photograph.
No matter how good the lighting is.
So back to my disclaimer:
I don’t really like recipes, I feel that they are too bossy. If a recipe calls for “two teaspoons of lemon zest” I think, “Hey! Don’t boss me around, I’ll use as much lemon zest as I have using these three lemons. Or maybe I’ll use lime zest!”
I do occasionally look at recipes/what people are cooking up in blog-world to get ideas. Cheeseless pizza, pickled nasturtium “capers”, basil jelly: people come up with some really great and unique ideas. Sometimes, when you have a fresh exciting ingredient the inspiration doesn’t immediately come to you for what you want to do with it. That is what google is for. Hence, my kale chips and garlic scape pizza posts being so popular. I try to only post a recipe if I have gotten some good photos and if the recipe was at least somewhat unique and very tasty.
Recipes are meant to be practical and, therefore, economical with words. If every recipe wrote in every possible substitution for every ingredient, they would be, uh…really long. But I want it to implied that I’m encouraging people to substitute, omit, and change ingredients when I write a recipe. So you know I’m not bossing you around! But, I don’t want a recipe for a spinach salad to be 30 pages. Hence this disclaimer.
When I do post a recipe I’m never going to be really exact, because I’m never really exact while cooking. Maybe I will just list the ingredients only. Especially for things like spices and salad dressing ingredients writing fractions of a teaspoon over and over is too tedious for me. But, if you post a comment with a question about how much of something I used, I could probably answer accurately. Probably.
So that’s the disclaimer. Fogging, or food blogging (hello, neologism of the day!), is a thing. A thing that can be beautiful, interesting, contemplative and educational or really dull and kind of gross (but still good for a laugh of course!). Spy Garden is always searching for a unique and creative perspective in the fog! Would love to hear your thoughts on fogging!