Pits and peels #1.

Pits and peels usually disappear down garbage disposals, decay in compost piles, and fester in the trash, but once in a while a few will have a use in the kitchen. Apricot pits can be split for the poisonous but heady kernel inside (it’s worth it). Oily citrus zest sprays more flavor onto your knuckles than the flesh squirts into your mouth. However, most pits and peels go straight into the waste bin, never to be seen again.

Frozen morning glory tendril

Food blogging isn’t that different. Photographs of dishes, various recipes, and half-written posts fill my folders, but most of them will never make it onto the blog. Sometimes it’s due to unacceptably bad photography. Other times it’s a copyright problem; the post screams out for a recipe, but until I truly expand or alter the original, merely rewriting it feels lame. Most of the time it’s blogger’s block—an inability to find an approach to a topic that’s novel, funny, or interesting.

Wine-braised garlicAll three problems struck me when I recently made Stracotto, an Italian wine-braised beef dish that took me three days to prepare and used an entire bottle of red wine. My photographs annoyed me, Molly Steven’s beautifully written and loooong recipe can’t be “adapted” (I’m not even trying), and I can’t think of anything to say about it except, “Oh yum! Meat and wine! Italians yay!” Not that those things aren’t true, just, well, I like to try harder.

Yet some of the odds and ends accumulating in my folders aren’t half bad. So to keep them from swirling down the drain, I’m starting a feature that will salvage random photographs or maybe share interesting tips, I’m not sure yet. I do know—in fact, I guarantee—that Pits & Peels will wander into non-food topics, lack a cohesive theme, and fail to make sense. But I can’t say for sure what the posts will be like because I’m making this up as I go along. Aren’t we all?

So for today’s edition, the first photograph is a morning glory tendril frozen from icy rainfall yesterday. No, it’s not edible, but then, most pits and peels aren’t. The second photograph is a head of garlic cut in half and braised in wine with the Stracotto. It was mashed into a paste and served atop the beef along with the reduced wine braising juices. Yum! Garlic and wine! Italians yay!

7 thoughts on “Pits and peels #1.

  1. You know that recipes can’t be copy written, right? You can publish a recipe exactly as it appears and be OK from the legal standpoint. Because the ingredients are just a list and the text (unless truly colorful) is just a set of instructions which can’t be copy written either. So you are generally OK with publishing a recipe as is. When I do this I just annotate the directions with my thoughts. Barbara at Tiger’s and Strawberries did an excellent piece on it.

  2. Kalyn: Right! Forgot. Sorry.

    Kitarra: As I understand it, you can publish the list of ingredients, but the directions are protected unless “substantially altered.” I follow the issues addressed in this article. But more than that, I just don’t feel right about it unless I change it quite a bit, regardless of the law.

  3. Is there a large dose of honesty in the air? I’ve just published a piece about ghost writing and the trials and tribulations of being a media cook and blogger. At the risk of being shot down I’ve tried to draw a moral line. Maybe I just need a couple of beers and a good rest.

  4. Here are the two articles I used for reference. This one is about as concise as it gets and very useful: link

    And this one is Barbara’s take on it: link

    Clear as mud, right?

    I feel like you do. I can’t copy a recipe without rewriting it in whole or part. Much as I can’t make a recipe without tweaking it.

  5. Trig: Funny, since we’re food bloggers, I bet it’s something in the food supply. Maybe the spinach, heh.

    Kitarra: Yep, I’ve read those, and I think Barbara’s second paragraph sums things up as nicely as possible, considering the state of things and all the shades of gray. Just as long as I’m not sued, heh.

Comments are closed.