If I have had an amazing meal in the past few years, I probably have a picture of it somewhere.
My family believes in taking pictures of food — pretty food, good food, weird food.
It’s sort of mean — we often take a picture to show to somebody in the family who didn’t get to eat the food, or just because it’s so amazing that we want to remember it.
Not long ago, I was at a nice restaurant with my husband, father-in-law and his friends. The presentation of the food was so nice, I thought it was photo-worthy. Plus, a friend of mine had just had a bad experience with salmon. A woman at our table got a beautiful entree with salmon, so I took a picture of it.
I showed my friend — “Look, she said this salmon was wonderful.”
The desserts were wonderful, so I took a picture of my chocolate-filled phyllo dough whatever it was and the samplers of creme brulee, which included lavender.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, though, to be photoworthy. When my dad made one of my favorite, greasy Southern meals a few months ago — salmon croquettes, fried potatoes and cornbread — I took a picture to remember it. He also stuck a mutated potato on the table for me to shoot, and I did.
Should I ever write a deformed-potato story, I have a picture to go with it.
I have lots of pictures of Dad with his homemade bread, aka Paw Paw bread, and many, many Thanksgiving turkeys. We could do an entire album with nothing but pictures of my family seated around the table. At my first Thanksgiving with my sons and The Girlfriends last year, the food was getting cold because I insisted on getting so many photos of us around the table.
When my older son went to Austria when he was 16, the pictures of his trip included a huge wiener schnitzel.
On a trip my husband and I took with our boys to New York, we ate breakfast at a little restaurant my dad had seen on the Travel Channel.
I took a picture of my waffles, which were heavenly.
On my 50th birthday trip to Bentonville, before I took a bite of my amazing strawberry-chocolate crepe, I took a picture of it, plus the owner of the place. (Although, as I zoomed in later on the picture of the crepe, I saw a big ole fly sitting on a strawberry! The crepe still tasted amazing, and I’d eat it again, fly or no fly.)
Friends sent us a box of steaks, chicken, twice-baked potatoes and more, and the night my husband grilled a steak, I took a picture of my plate to show them.
They were impressed.
When I sent the photo to my mother, she countered with a picture of something wonderful Dad had cooked.
Food-photo wars — is there an app for that?
Disasters are captured for posterity, too. When the glass pan blew up and shards were in the spaghetti sauce, I got out my good camera to document the mess.
My pitiful attempt at making a Ninjabread man from a mix at Christmas is preserved on my phone. Still ugly.
As I looked through the pictures on my phone, I found food I’d forgotten I’d eaten: the humongous Mexican dessert I had when visiting my son when he lived in Dallas; the fried pie on an outing to Little Rock with my husband; and seafood from a trip to Florida.
I’m starving after looking at all these pictures — so it’s time to take my camera to lunch.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.