My 1st Struggle Plate

Struggle plate definition

What is a struggle plate? Well it is a term used to describe plates that are less than appealing in appearance. Most of the time it is used to describe meals posted online so in theory the food may taste good but looks bad. Everyone doesn’t have a canon rebel Zydw-123LMNOP series to photograph snack time. Hey, I am an optimist.

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Here are some examples I found on Facebook Viewer discretion advised.

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I have NO IDEA what these creations are. Sorry to subject you to this but you needed to understand how bad it can get and trust me it gets worse. I believe in learning curves and expanding your skills in the kitchen but posting them online might be where it gets disgusting tricky.

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This brings me to my very 1st struggle plate.  Although, I was very proud of my meal I thank God the following didn’t exist: Instagram, Twitter, or the Internet for that matter.  I was anywhere between 5-7 years old and wanted surprise my mother with a meal.  How thoughtful, ha! Two weeks before this disaster I prepared a lavish dessert that consisted strawberry yogurt in a toy tea cup with a mint ball candy on top.  Fancy. My mother the eternal cheerleader told me it was good and my budding ego agreed with her.  My confidence is sky high and now I’m certain I can create more complex meals without supervision or skills. During our naptime I woke up and headed to the kitchen.  I got my favorite wooden bowl and started prepping for what I coin as “The worst meal of the 90s.”

What You Need:

  • 4 Whole Eggs (including the shells for protein and texture)
  • 2 slices of cheese
  • A bunch of ketchup
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Anything else a 5 year old could reach (barbie shoes, feathers, glitter, etc)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, haphazardly stir, serve immediately and pray they don’t die.  I should of wrote this recipe down.

Obviously, I needed to put on a nice dress if I am going to present this to my mother cue in brand new Easter Dress.  Much to my future peril, as I’m whipping up this egg flambe sundae concoction in my new dress someone knocks at the door, startling me.  My mother answers the door and there goes me standing behind her covered from head to toe in egg flambe sundae concoction mess. If this were a movie imagine the point of view from the door with yours truly in the background looking like a contestant from Double Dare. Needless to say many tears were had after that.

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Since then I have had several kitchen high jinks including attempting then successfully setting the microwave on fire, but that is another day. Those days are loooong behind me and mom genuinely enjoys my food now. Moral of the story is practice makes perfect and while in practice mode opt out of social media but if you insist here are some food photography tips. Bobby Flay didn’t become Bobby Flay overnight, right?

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– A.V.

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