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Old 02-14-2010, 05:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by jet View Post
A second story kitchen...how odd.
Split foyer house. SO cannot climb stairs and lives on the gound floor so I cook and bring the food downstairs and we eat there in the "dining area"

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:19 PM   #22
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I think it makes a difference. We have both a formal dining room and an eat-in kitchen (the kitchen actually seats 6 and the dining room seats 12). Only for meals served in the dining room do I ever compose plates. Usually it's just the 4 of us and we serve ourselves from the stove... I don't even put the food into pretty dishes. That's the weeknight routine, as we eat at home almost every single night. A couple times a month we eat in the dining room on the china and yes, I do try to compose a pretty plate because my table service is also very pretty, imo. Mostly, though, no, I don't worry too much about plating and let the family serve themselves.

However, a couple years ago I started making a Bento lunch for my daughter (she's 8 now). She has never been a picky eater, but she is a talker and she wasn't finishing her lunch at school and coming home starving because she talked instead of eating. Once I started packing Bento boxes, she is IN LOVE with her lunch enough to shut up and eat. I'm not serving any different food, just presenting it differently, so obviously there is something about presentation that does something... at least for young kids.

Life is too short to eat processed, artificially-colored, chemically-preserved, genetically-modified food. Or maybe that IS why life's too short.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:32 PM   #23
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I think presentation is very important. I make my first judgment when I look at my plate. A beautiful arrangement tells me that the cook really cares about the food.

I cook for two most nights. I don't get home from work until 6 or 7, but I still make a nice supper. Most nights we don't eat at the dining room table, we sit at the counter/island in the kitchen. And during the week we have quick, simple meals. But I plate our food as prettily as I can. No, I don't carve vegetables into flowers or make 12 inch mountains of piled up food, but I arrange, sauce, and garnish enough to make my plate an invitation to taste. I know a lot of people garnish for guests, but not for family. But I think it's more important to pay attention to the details for those you love as it is for guests.

Here's a simple example. Make a sandwich wrap. Put if flat on a plate. All you see is the bread. Cut it in half and put both halves on the plate, you still see bread. But cut it o the diagonal, and stack one end on the other, and you expose the filling in an attractive way that says "taste me". It takes no extra effort, but it makes a world of difference on the plate.

Another one - put a white (cauliflower) soup in a white bowl with a spoon doesn't look inviting. Put the same soup in a colorful bowl with a few chopped scallions and some crackers on the side, and it looks like something special.

they're the same food either way, but one is so much more inviting than the other. One says "I care."
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:28 AM   #24
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Like many have previously said, I think presentation depends on the situation. My SO and I have discussed this a little since I mention this thread and since she often takes pictures of the food she prepares for her blog. In her case, she wants the food to be presented very attractively and look very appetizing so that viewers are intrigued enough to try the recipes she posts. Though her food has some down-hominess to it, she still likes to bring out how well-crafted the food is.
On the other hand, I rarely think to take pictures of my creations, but when I do, I try mainly to get the food onto a nice place without the items touching one another as one might if they had just freshly filled their own plate. The message I am typically trying to send to the viewer is, "So simple, you can do this tonight in your own home -- Yes, even you."

In my everyday life, I mostly just try to make sure my food is more likely to bring about my own anticipation and does not look gross in any way. I try to avoid certain things like left-over refrigerated and rewarmed gravy which gets people turning up their nose as the cornstarchy gelatinous substance on my plate. Other than that, beans with rice and green chile may not be pretty, but it's not ugly and pretty darn appetizing.

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