Behind The Butter

you know you’re a food blogger when…

  • you wake up thinking about mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy (truth: it happened to me this morning).
  • your food is always eaten cold.
  • your shoebox-sized kitchen is transformed into a photo kitchen studio, complete with tripods, cameras, props and chairs.
  • you go to the grocery store approximately 55 times a week

  • you break camera lenses in your oatmeal.
  • you never leave the house without your camera, lenses, snacks and wallet
  • the words vps, dedicated server, permalink, backlink and meta are all part of your every day language.
  • you spend thirty minutes after cooking just “searching for the light”.
  • you stop trying to explain to strangers what it is exactly that you do, and start just saying that you’re a writer.
  • your conversations with family members sound like the following:

me: I write a blog. It’s my job. I…I cook a lot.

estranged random uncle: a blog?? you mean like a MYSPACE page? I had one of those once.

me: (sigh) No, Uncle Jimmy…a blog. Like, I bake things and then write about them on the internet? 

estranged random uncle: Oooh, you mean like a website on the INTERNET! You’re on the internet??? Will you take my photo and put it on your BLOG?

Honey (calls to wife), I’m gonna be famous all over the internet!

….(sigh) cue to vacate the premises

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  • grocery goddess jen
    November 17, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Love the conversation snippet! I suppose it’s really happening to you?

  • Liza
    November 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Ha! This is super cute! I wish I could cook as well as you do. I will say though, you inspired me to start baking….and I LOVE it! I recently went gluten free so I can’t eat anything I bake, but the act of baking is so calming to me now. Thank you for inspiration!!!

    • Jen
      November 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm

      You can’t eat what you bake? People who are gluten free do eat baked goods! There are easy ways to bake GF.

      • Liza
        November 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm

        I have baked a few things GF and they have been delicious. I need to experiment more with GF baking for sure! Any favorites?!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    November 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    don’t know if this could be more true…all the way down to the conversations!

  • Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes
    November 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I can certainly relate with a few of these…namely the “searching for the perfect light” part… 🙂 I could also add, explaining to someone that light DOES make that much of a difference in a food photo!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  • erin
    November 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Haha…random estranged uncle must be so happy you are mentioning him right now…he’s famous.
    Kind of like being a blog goes like this…
    Husband: erin tell your mom what you have been up to every nite and day on the internet…
    Me: what are you talking mean reading my “friends” blogs?
    Husband: ya..your “friends” who you don’t even know….you need help…
    Ha…… some people just don’t get it…ha…

    • Sana
      November 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      Bahahaha. Story of my life.

  • Cassie @ Back to Her Roots
    November 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    OOOH! You have a Mac! I don’t know many other bloggers that have Macs, everyone swears by the PC for Windows Live Writer. What do you use for blogging software? I’ve been using Ecto and it’s just okay.

    And I will never get over people asking me to take their picture (or a picture of their food) to end up on the blog. Simmer down people. It’s just the internet!

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      I’ve NEVER had a pc…always been a mac girl. And, blog straight from WordPress..every time. No ecto.

      • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks
        November 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

        So glad I read the comments!

        I saw your computer and iPhone and said, “I have those!” and I was just about to ask the same question!

        You really blog directly from WordPress every time? That’s what I’ve been doing and I thought I was the only one. I tried Ecto and it was AWFUL. I’ve used Live Writer from my work computer (not that I blog at work…eh heh heh…) and thought it was great….but I’m not so sure it’s great enough to give up my Mac way of life. I’ve been using a Mac since I was 5!

        • Cassie @ Back to Her Roots
          November 18, 2010 at 5:10 am

          I am SO glad I’m not the only one that suffers from Mac WordPress pain. I’ve been a Mac for at least 10 years and don’t even really know how to use a PC anymore (I even have a Mac at work), but I’ve contemplated running Boot Camp just so I can test out Windows Live Writer.

          I tried writing directly in WP and lost so many entries. I am terrible about hitting “save draft”. Maybe someday someone will release an awesome piece of blogging software for Macs. For now, it is just nice to know I’m not alone. 😛

  • Krystina (Basil & Wine)
    November 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I can relate. I’m at the grocery store now, eating a croissant and sipping tea while buying ingredients for vichyssoise. Send help.

  • Gina @ Skinnytaste
    November 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Ha Ha, I love this and totally can relate!!
    Especially to my dining room turned photo studio and my family always waiting for me to take the picture before we eat! And now that it get’s dark early, I’m always cooking to beat the sunset!

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun
    November 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I had to laugh at the part on trying to explain what you do. People just don’t get it and I don’t even do it for a living!

  • Camille
    November 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hahaha, I love that conversation. Luckily my family is very tech savvy… minus my stepdad who doesn’t even know how to use a computer. And he works with technology for a living. I kid you not.

  • Kath
    November 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Bhahahah – MySpace

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking
    November 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    love it. and can definitely relate to the food being cold part. I’ve been trying to utilize diane and todd’s advice (white on rice couple) about getting everything set up ahead of time. it helps me visualize the shot better and eat quicker 🙂 Not that I’m amazing photographer, but I’m starting to actually like it!

  • Kelly
    November 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I hate having those conversations with family. At least you can say you make $ from it, mine have no idea why I do it. They think it’s just a strange hobby. 🙂

  • Jenny
    November 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    This is cute, and so true!

  • Caroline
    November 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    You read my mind.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    November 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    So funny!!! And true..

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    November 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    haha – I am glad that blogging is my part time hobby so I don’t always have to explain to family and friends. That’s one of the perks – I can just tell them it’s for fun and well, they still look at me funny.

  • Alli
    November 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I’m seconding your crazy amount of grocery store trips…bonus points for buying all the “weird” produce and having to help the cashiers ring you up!

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie
    November 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    It makes me feel better knowing that you have a studio set up in your kitchen. I can now blame photos that don’t turn out on the lack of a studio.

    I am not going to think about other reasons why my photos may not turn out.

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    November 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I love these all because I think they all relate to me… except today was twice baked sweet potatoes, not mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy.

    Oh, and I get scolded at dinners when I don’t take pictures of everyone’s food. “Bad blogger!!” they all say!

  • kate
    November 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I should go google all of those computer terms then!

  • Lauren @ KeepItSweet
    November 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    lol this is so true and definitely takes some getting used to

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    November 17, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    SO true about food being eaten cold! I once had a grilled chicken salad that had nice warm chicken on top, but by the time I was done taking photos it was totally cold. Note to self: Microwaved lettuce is NOT tasty – you’re better off just eating the chicken cold!

  • Lisa
    November 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Hahaha! I can relate…especially the “Grocery store visits 55 times a week” for the love of god I am sick of the grocery store! My boyfriend teases me because I know where EVERYTHING is in a grocery store and I know much it will be. LOL

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    November 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    haha love it! When I first told my mom I was blogging she thought I was spending all my time in chat rooms, you know, those things that blew up in the media as totally creepy? Yea… try explaining that one to someone who hasn’t learned yet how to turn on the computer 😉

  • Chicago Cuisine Critique
    November 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Cute conversation snippet. I definitely can relate. People who don’t understand the blog world are too funny.

  • Liana @ femme fraiche
    November 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    haha It’s sad when the teenage staff at the supermarket recognize how often you frequent…and point it out to you:S

  • Jasmine
    November 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I’m impressed you even try to explain a blog. My parents, for example, can barely turn ON a computer. If I want them to read a post, I have to send the link directly to them in email and write, “click here —->” They read it once and NEVER EVER AGAIN can figure out how to get back to my blog. I don’t even try anymore. :p

  • Lauren @ louisianagrown
    November 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I definitely know about eating my food cold, and so does the rest of my family. It’s hilarious to see them all wait (im)patiently at a restaurant for me to snap away before they start eating.

  • Sarah@sarahnotsoplainandtall
    November 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Haha that is too funny! Sometimes it is just easier to walk away!

  • Jil @ Big City, Lil' Kitchen
    November 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    So true – as simple and as self-explanatory as “food blogging” is…it’s amazing the blank stares people give you when you say it.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    November 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I was feeling embarrassed about how much time I’ve spent grocery shopping in the past few days. Thanks for making me feel more normal! 😉

  • Amy at thescenefromme
    November 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Ha, clever post! So true though about being a food blogger. I am pretty new at this and have to remember to take pictures of every step. I am sure it will become second nature to me soon though. I enjoy reading your blog!

  • Kristie
    November 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Umm, am I the only one who is completely distracted by the divine looking pasta? GET IN MY BELLY!!

    • jenna
      November 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      hahah it’s linguine and clams…and it IS very delicious!!

  • erin @ small things
    November 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    love it.
    But I am now resigned to the truth that I am NOT a food blogger. which I already pretty much knew b/c I rarely blog about food (:-) but STILL, your points have not proven this fact.
    I think I need to figure out what kind of blogger I am…

    • erin@ small things
      November 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      “your points have NOW proven thsi fact.” is what I meant to say.

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
    November 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Haha! This is hilarious. I think one of the worst is looking like a total weirdo in restaurants taking pictures of food. Since no one asks me for an explanation (just gives weird looks), I can’t give them my fake story about being a “food critic”

    One of the worst for me though is that food is cold, which I hate! I always have to reheat in the microwave, sadly. 😉

  • Kasey
    November 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Cute post! I too was totally distracted by the delicious looking pasta 🙂

  • Ann
    November 17, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Oh, Jenna! I just love you!!!!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    November 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Haha so true about visiting the grocery store 55 times a week! And not just one grocery store, but multiple ones! Plus the farmer’s market! It’s a wonder I get anything else done in life. 😛

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    November 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    That conversation sounds EXACTLY like the ones I have with my family. And friends. And everyone else on Earth.

  • stacey-healthylife
    November 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Hehehe, that is all SOOO TRUE. 🙂

  • Kelsey
    November 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    The mashed potato part made me laugh.. the other day my roommate woke up and made mashed potatoes at 9am!!

  • Cara Craves...
    November 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    The things we do for the things we love

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss
    November 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Lmho, I can only imagine my relatives would say the same thing about blogs!! Luckily my parents are computer savvy so they weren’t too confused on the issue. 😛

  • Dee
    November 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Hah! I love this… It’s all so true!

  • Lola
    November 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    And you, Miss Jenna, are MY favorite foodie!!! Your blog gives me hope that one day I’ll be able to actually ENJOY food. No counting cals., no low-fat, low-sugar, ANYTHING. I’m getting there 🙂

  • Sisters running the kitchen
    November 18, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Hahah def true about the food store… I am always there!!

  • Amber K
    November 18, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I totally seem to grocery shop about 100 times a week! I’m always needing just one more thing. Apparently I’m bad at anticipating what ideas and cravings I will get.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life
    November 19, 2010 at 3:06 am

    Love that you posted this! I hate when people ask me why I’m taking pictures of my food because there’s usually a condescending tone mixed in with the question. I think I need to make some business cards that I can hand out for explanation.

  • Betsy Gluten Freedom
    November 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I totally know how you feel! Thanks for this post.

  • Trish
    November 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    This post made me laugh at loud. Very cute and clever.