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Photograph 12: Assembly

It looks fancy, but there really isn’t much to it.  Green lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, onions, and cheese with cracked black pepper on the outside.  It’s funny how so many people comment on my cooking.  Not the actual food taste, but the appearance.  I don’t know whether it’s my OCD or a whim from early, girlish childhood days that just makes me want everything pretty.  Then again, thinking back to my childhood brings memories of dirt and running with the boys, so I’m going to assume it’s the OCD.

Why can’t food that tastes good, look good too?  My theory has long been that no matter how good your food tastes, no one will want to eat it if it doesn’t look good.  Most of this is really down to assembly.  Meat draped over rice a certain way.  The circular center of marinara atop pasta with just the right sprinkle of parmesan flanked by two pieces of garlic bread.  Edges of a plate dusted in spices.  Don’t even get me started on large-scale salads.  That is an event in itself.  Cucumbers are sliced to exact specifications, halved, and line the rim of the bowl similar to that of a military lineup.  Tomatoes follow in the same fashion but must alternate between the cucumbers.  Additional toppings are applied in a circular design as they move closer into the center.  The center is filled with something not yet used, and then the entire thing is garnished.  Laugh if you will, but a tiny part of me cringes when it is dug into for serving and my masterpiece becomes a tossed mess.

Ah, the beauty of pictures.  I’ve been trying to take photographs as I cook to preserve the OCD memories.  Well, that, and cataloging what I make for days when I am at a loss of what to cook.  One thing’s for certain, I always have the pretty stuff stocked well and even if I don’t, I will still make a maniacal process of arranging a plate.

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