Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Greasy Five: God, Strip Clubs, and Mud Ovens

I've always been a thinker, not a deep thinker but a thinker nonetheless. I spend an abnormal amount of time just living inside my own head, and since I've become a blogger, the minutes spent thinking have increased. To get outside of my head a bit, I thought I'd pose a few questions to visitors of this blog to establish a little dialogue.

  • I often think about abandoning the blog because sometimes becomes a burden and seems like a foolish waste of time. Do you ever think about abandoning your blog? What keeps you going?
  • This week I've been taking my daughter to vacation Bible school. I've been hoping that this would encourage a dialogue about God and faith, but it hasn't really played out that way. When I ask her about Bible school, she likes to talk about the snacks. I guess, this isn't surprising. She is my daughter after all. How do you talk to a five-year-old about God?
  • I've been thinking about doing a post about the Friday lunch buffet at The Flamingo Club, a strip club here in Lawrence. However, I don't want to offend anyone or really promote strip clubs. It's about the food. Should I proceed with this?
  • About a month ago, Tastespotting rejected my submission, which wasn't a surprise to me because I know that my photos aren't the most appealing. However, they also gave me the following feedback on the pictures: "Unflattering, dark composition." What secrets do you have for taking good photographs of food?
  • I've been reading Kiko Denzer's book Build Your Own Earth Oven, so I've been contemplating building an oven out of mud. Is this an eccentric pipedream, or should I pursue it?
Feel free to respond to any of the above questions. You can pick and choose. That's how we do things at the skillet.

keep on the greasy side,


Nella said...

Wow, what an assignment you have given us loyal readers. I'll do my best.

1. Go back to the first day you set up your blog. Remember how excited you were? Remember how good it felt to write/cook? Those reasons probably have not changed. I say, write when you can. Write what you love. Don't worry about deadlines and numbers of blogs.
That is what keeps me going.
2. I have found just pointing out the existance of God is quite enough for a five year old. Modeling a godly life goes a long way. Provide the information to her as she needs it. She will ask questions...eventually. Follow her lead.
3. Reviewing strip club food? Go the answer on #1.
4. Photos....avoid brown for me.
5. Earth Oven. Again, go back to #1. You MUST explore, try new things, and then move on to other new things. How would you know if you never tried????????

Thank you for your writings, musings, and recipes. We are the midwest. Thanks for keeping us grounded........and greasy! N

Jenni said...

I just started following your blog the other day. When I first saw you in my reader, I couldn't remember why. After reading the post, I still don't remember, but I think I made a good choice.

1) Yes, I think about abandoning the blog all the time. I go away for days or weeks at a time, but I always come back. For the foolish waste of time that it is, it does an awfully good job of keeping me sane.
2) I think conversations with children (or anyone) about God and faith are often most fruitful when they aren't planned. God is evident everywhere. If you train yourself to see Him and to *seek* Him, conversations will come about naturally. Young children are innately curious about the world around them. Follow your daughter's lead in conversation, and when she notices something special or asks a question, show her God's hand in the things around her and in her life. Remember, too, that you don't have to always talk about things to teach. Children learn by example and she will be curious about and want to copy the things she sees you do.
3) I don't care for strip clubs, but I do like food. I wouldn't be offended. It's good to be sensitive to other people's feelings, but you can't please everyone. Some people will take offense at the slightest thing, so don't spend too much time worrying who you might offend.
4) Ree did a post about taking photos of food this week in her photography section. She had great tips, and they were very simple.
5) I love eccentric pipedreams, especially of this type. I printed a three page article the other day called "Nature's Super Walmart" all about the uses of cattails. We've got a ton of cattails out here, and I think I'm going to try a few of these things. Please blog about this earth oven if you do make it, and if you like that sort of thing, you'll like

Amanda said...

I've never had the buffet at the bird, but I've heard that they have awesome food. If you get there early enough, I believe the dancing won't have started yet.

I got rejected by Tastespotting too. .. It irritated me at first, but I moved on. Some of us can not afford light studios to photograph our food. As it is, mine is starting to get cold by the time I actually get to eat any of it.

Marianne said...

I don't think about abandoning my blog but I have wondered if I'll be blogging for the rest of my life ~ What is next? Reporting on my trip to Spain or Grandchildren? Who knows!

Everything is God, even that snack. She is loved and supported by you and others who feed her and care for her.

Grant says the food is "so-so" at the Flamingo. Have you been there yet? When he was working construction, the Latino men dragged him there telling him the food was great. Grant wasn't impressed.

Photograph your food under natural light...take your mashed potato dish outside or next to a bright window. Using a flash don't work well for me.

I want Oz to build me a earth oven. Let me know how it goes. :)

muddywaters said...

Nella: I read your post today on family dinners. Wonderful. I'll leave a comment later today.

I didn't mean for you to respond to each question. I rewrote the post, so readers could pick and choose.

Thanks for the great advice. I appreciate the answer to number #2. I've felt guilty this week because the only thing my daughter talks about when it comes to Bible school is the food, recess, and crafts.

Sometimes little ones pick up more than they let on.

Jenni: Thanks for stopping by. I think, I've read some your posts through reading My Sister's Farmhouse.

You're right. Writing a blog preserves sanity. When I read smy old posts, I realize the blogging was worthwhile.

I appreciate your response to question number 2. It makes me feel more at ease. Being a parent is my favorite thing in the world, and I want to do a good job.

I appreciate your comments.

Ammanda: The buffet at the bird isn't bad. The Chef brings a lot of produce from his own garden. You're right; the entertainment doesn't happen until a little later. Most guys just come in to eat and they leave. It really is about the food.

I found direction for constructing a cheap portable photo studio. I might give it a shot. Food photography seems to be all about the lighting. Right now I just use a little lamp, but it isn't cutting it. I've had two posts published by Tastespotting, and they were both drinks. Since I don't want to be known as the drink guy, I'm shooting for other posts. Being on tastespotting does boost traffic, but traffic can be overrated. I'm fine being underground.

muddywaters said...

Marianne: I think a lot about blogging as a way to pass something on to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. I would love to have access to writing done by ancestors.

I do love the stuff the Chef at the Bird brings in from his garden, but the rest of the food is so-so.

I spoke to a lady at the farmers' market who just constructed a mud oven. I might try to schedule a field trip to check it out.

Jane said...

I don't have a lot to offer, other than PLEASE DON'T ABANDON YOUR BLOG! It's one of my favorites. :)

Debbie said...

Muddy, I live in NV...where brothels are legal. Do the review of the strip club!!
I have a brothel cookbook and I keep meaning to blog about that. It's food!! It's funny.

Sometimes I, too wonder, why I am doing this..? And ever since I was forced to take the 3 week break, when I was visiting my grandbabies, it's been hard to get motivated again. YIKES.

5 year olds and God...who knows, maybe she can teach "you" something by the end of the week.
The innocence of babes!

Most of my photos are horrible. I would like to change that, but I don't have time. (where does everybody find the time ? )

I love musings and "thoughts" so, go ahead and keep on musing and thinking and then sharing.

JoAnna said...

1. Keep the blog - you are very good at it.
2. No comment.
3. Yes. And ha ha ha ha ha!
4. Jenni beat me to it - go see The Pioneer Woman.
5. Um.... yes?

My question to you! I never received any recipes from you for the Family Cookbook. Will you send me some - or would you mind if I just take some from here?

muddywaters said...

Jane: I'll stick with the blog. It's the least I can do for you since you cared so well for my daughter. I could never pay you back.

Debbie: I would love to hear more about the brothel cookbook. Do the brothels serve meals to customers?

JoAnna: Thanks for your kind words. If you like to pull a few favorite recipes from this blog, that would be great. Have a great weekend.

PictureGirl said...

Wow! You certainly do have a lot on your mind!

I just found your blog so please don't stop writing.

When children are young I think just sharing your personal experiences and your love of God with your child is one of the best ways to teach them.

I think the photo people were a little harsh, don't ya think?

Hey I've seen earth ovens in Mother Earth. Go for it!

You have a great blog.

Anonymous said...

1. Don't pigeon-hole yourself into a binary equation. It's not "blog every day" or "never blog again." Do it when you want to. You might lose a reader or two, but unless you're in it for the money, it's about the quality of your readership, not the quantity.

2. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. She'll let you know when she's ready.

3. You can review the food and not mention the surrounds.

4. Your photos kick butt compared to mine, and I actually taught photography for a year. So I'll shut up on this one.

5. As long as you're doing it because you want to, and not just because you read about it in a book, then there's nothing eccentric about it.

6. 37

7. All of the above

8. The "S" stood for nothing; it was just an initial.

Jeanie said...

1. Yes I always think about abandoning my blog because it is an incredible time waster and I'm convinced no one reads it anyway...not even my own family. I loaded a blog counter just to prove my point. It's depressing but I enjoy reading my own blog, so I guess I will carry on.
2. The snacks are always the high point of any religious experience and I say that as an evangelistic Christian fully steeped in Sunday School, Bible Studies and all other manner of religious training. If there are bad snacks...depend on it being a cross and crabby afternoon. A good snack table can make all the difference in attendance at ANY event. Right now you just want your child to LIKE the experience and a good snack can ensure that.
3. Reviewing the strip club. Are you kidding? Of course! It's like the ultimate voyeuristic experience. I would love to read about good strip club food. I must say however, I can't imagine watching stripping (something I've not done) and eating at the same time. Seems kind of gross.
4. Food pictures. I don't have much trouble taking them so I have no advice here.
5. Most of my life is musing and thoughts and me waxing poetic on all things from dogs to laundry. My family is used to it, my friends (okay...I really just have 1 friend) expects it and I can't understand why more people don't take my musings seriously. Muse on!

Anonymous said...

Yes, give us the inside scoop at The Bird, since I will probably never have the nerve to go there myself for lunch.

Here's a photo tip I stumble upon
Hope it helps

Anonymous said...

OK, being an opinionated person, I can't help but chime in when I am invited to do so.

1. I think about it all the time. I'm lazy, but I'm busy. So I like being lazy when I'm not busy. Blog doesn't fit with that plan. Also, I am very competitive, and when I feel like I am not going to be "The Best" at something I tend to be fatalistic. Still, I enjoy the writing, and I love the people. That keeps me going.

2. I don't think you do. Send her to school, ask what she learned, read her stories from the Bible. It'll spark something eventually.

3. I absolutely think you should review the lunch buffet. It would be highly entertaining, and there is a difference between promoting the profession and talking about chicken wings and food.

4. Food photographs. Hmm. My blog shows a real progression from when I started. Use lots of natural light, but not too direct or you'll get blown-out highlights. I shoot during the day almost exclusively now. I also shoot on white porcelain and my more geometric and well-garnished shots get the most good feedback. I submitted dozens of photos to Tastespotting before getting one accepted...and now I'm only up to three or four.

5. Can't remember who, but another blogger built a mud oven. Took about a year for it to dry out, but it looks awesome and they love baking in it. Go for it.