Our pal Slow Loris' Pizza Dip from a party at Meeps' many weekends ago. It's basically all your favourite pizza toppings - he used salami, roasted capsicums + eggplants, olives, herbs, tomato paste and I think it was three different cheeses and load of them - all carefully layered and baked in a casserole dish. Eaten warm with crusty sourdough and chips or crisps as spoons. Even thin pizza bases, if you like. And washed down with beers.
It's not the best-looking thing* but boy, oh, boy, does it taste good! So good that I broke my no-meat-off-the-backs-of-four-legged-animals rule many times that evening (I didn't eat the salami but I did ingest spicy salami grease which usually is a no-no for me). I'll be adding this dude food dish, a chicken chorizo version (it needs some flavoursome meat grease to work), to my Winter comfort food repertoire! Girly-fied a little, of course, in single-serve bowls or ramekins.
*When I was taking the above picture, a pal at the party said we should send it in to Cook Suck. Not for the bad picture quality but for the ugliness of the dish. That suggestion made me think of this post on a photography blog (read also the comments and the follow-up post) that I had read earlier on that week about honesty in food photos.
The author wrote: "I’m tired of taking photos of food, and I’m really tired of looking at photos of food online (perfect meals and those perfect table settings). It all looks the same. The faux-urban-rustic aesthetic, with mason jars for glasses and twine-wrapped napkins. The perfectly placed spoonful of brown sugar on the table (in a vintage/antique spoon, please), the sugar crystals artfully scattered around the spoon. You know what I’m talking about...". Tee hee hee. I sure do know what he's talking about!
He also said, "Food is about so much more than the actual food itself." Like a scent or a tune that can instantly transport me back to happy days that I've had, the food that I have eaten acts as markers of experiences too. I wanted a picture of that not-too-pretty but bloody delicious pizza dip to remember the lovely evening by - good pals at a cosy house party, not unlike those from our teenage years, except we are now old enough to not have to drink on the sly, to make better food and have less random boys/girls around to snog but more intelligent conversations. If that party was to have a mascot, the pizza dip would be it!
And I'm not taking this opportunity to make excuses for the no-frills no-skills food pictures that I put up on this blog. I have nothing against those artsy-fancy or heavily art-directed pictures but I like shooting close-ups and top-downs of the food that I make because I see my food photos as clear simple records or documents, almost instructional, like picture recipe cards that I can refer to the next time I want to cook the same dish because we all know that I make up a lot of recipe-less things. Telling a story is more important here than looking pretty. Besides, the food that I make are real meals, usually dinners to be eaten the moment the boyfriend gets home so we can fit in more internet TV-viewing before bedtime and as we say in Singlish, "Where got time to make everything look nice-nice?".