A ‘Pinning’ We Will Go

Posted: January 30, 2013

By The Book

There are countless blogs about food, often documenting recipes that have been successful for home cooks, as well as fabulous restaurant meals.
In fact, the “it’s not real until you put it online” movement has caused some backlash among chefs.
Many fine restaurants are prohibiting photographs, saying the meal (and that other diners can eat in peace) is more important than publicizing or remembering the dish.
It’s not only Facebook and food blogs that document the hungry adventures of gourmets who want to share: I’m now getting photos sent to my cellphone of successful home cooked dinners and over-the-top restaurant plates.
While I enjoy seeing the homemade culinary efforts of my children and other relatives, I understand chefs’ objections to flashbulbs popping throughout their dinner service. But I know that, whatever the reasons and whatever our opinions about food, the Internet and self-promotion are here to stay.
There are many wonderful food bloggers out there, and I’ve learned a lot from them. Often, though, they get bogged down trying to fit in enough prose or clever descriptions to elevate their work above just a recipe and a photograph and, sometimes, it seems forced.
On the other hand, Twitter’s format is just too short to function as more than a gimmick for recipes. I believe that Pinterest is a platform ideally suited both to instruct and learn about cooking.
For those of you without Pinterest experience, it’s easy. First, join for free at pinterest.com. Then, pick topics you’re interested in (let’s say food and drink) and, suddenly, you’ll find yourself on a page filled with dozens of squares, each documenting one project, and each with a photograph.
Sometimes, the recipe is included on the first frame. Other times, you will have to follow a link to the recipe’s source. Good recipes, clever gimmicks, or those that are unusual in their simplicity may appear many times. That’s because people have “repinned,” bringing them forward over and over again from the archives. To collect, simply “repin” them to your collection, making a kind of scrapbook of recipes you want to try.
Today’s collection on “Food and Drink,” for example, lists photos and recipes (or links to recipes) for dirt cake, bacon and eggs baked in an avocado, a cake-batter frosted shake, and dozens of Super Bowl ideas. There were also a number of recipes for cocktails using a mixture of syrups, liqueurs and liquor; and some copies of famous restaurant meals.
One, a recipe for a Wendy’s frosty lookalike, called for a mix of cool whip, chocolate milk and canned condensed milk. Another — duplicating a Starbucks Frappucino — requires coffee, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla powdered creamer.
If you’re in search of healthier fare, go to the collection of “health and fitness” pins, where I found (among the instructions for tight abs) chickpea and sweet potato burgers, avocado-and-egg breakfast burritos, healthy soups, 84-calorie muffins, creamy kale dip and many more. It looks like there’s something for everyone, and all without annoying a chef to collect beautiful photos and tried-and-true recipes geared to your interests.

Theresa Curry blogs about food, health and gardens at www.gma85.com.

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