Playing With Your Food

The movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", written and directed by Steven Spielberg. Seen here, Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary mesmerized by the shape of mashed potatoes. Initial theatrical release November 16, 1977. Screen capture from the Director's Cut version. © 1977 Columbia Pictures. Credit: © 1977 Coulmbia Pictures / Flickr / Courtesy Pikturz. Image intended only for use to help promote the film, in an editorial, non-commercial context.

As a child, playing with your food is verboten.  Why?  Because every savvy parent knows that a child playing with the food on his plate is merely trying to delay, or perhaps totally avoid, eating it.  Vegetables are thus a  prime food to be played with by a child at dinner time.

But when adults play with food, the connotation is totally different.  It is creative and thought-provoking when a grown up pushes food around his plate or effects a different take on how the food should be presented.  Consider Richard Dreyfuss’ character in “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.”  Mounding mashed potatoes on his dinner plate allowed him to figure out something very important.  Who knew that sculpting spuds could help unlock mysteries of the universe?

I don’t recall playing with my food as a child.  Of course, that was a few years ago, so my memory may be faulty.  Nevertheless, I have clear memories of the fun time I have had playing with food in as an adult.  In fact, I like to document my efforts to do something different with food items.  Take a peek at the pictures on my cell phone and you will see what I mean.

Summer is upon us.  As a resident of Florida’s Emerald Coast, I have a recent picture of a favorite outdoor activity in my area–boating.  But in my case, the picture was taken closer to my kitchen sink than to any local body of water.  I give you deviled egg boats which sailed their way into my heart and also into my stomach.

boat eggs

Vegetables and I have a good relationship.  Pictures of my plant friends can also be found on my phone.  I like veggies; they are fun to play with as well as good for me.  Perhaps children would like veggies more, and play with them less on their plate, if the veggies were shaped differently–in recognizable and fun forms.  How about a pumpkin carrot?

Pumpkin carrots

Or a cucumber whale?

Cucumber Whale

Now that I am an empty nester and a grandmother, I apparently feel the need to be creative with eggs.  I may not be producing more children, but I can produce some very cute egg dishes.  Pictures of them, in addition to pictures of my grands, are on my phone. My grandson Liam loved my chick deviled eggs.

Chck Deviled Eggs

How chic!

The male of our species may not go for cutesy though.  Perhaps he could relate better to something creepy.  Spider deviled eggs coming right up!

Spider deviled eggs

Had to photo document this Halloween treat made for my elderly father-in-law who gave them a thumbs up.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Something nutritious and uplifting can set the tone for a positive day.  You can’t help but smile at a breakfast plate of omelet bites and grits smiling up at you.  I asked my plate to say “Cheese” so I could capture my morning meal in a picture.

Breakfast smile

Fruit and cereal get a reprieve from a cereal bowl and go international with banana sushi.  This treat is  made from bananas covered with peanut butter, rolled in Rice Krispies and sliced in rounds.  You can whip this delight up in a SNAP; the air will CRACKLE with excitement and your family’s eyes will POP at this simple sushi. Best of all, the only thing raw in it is a banana.  What’s better than a good picture of this food I made?  A picture of my grandson Liam enjoying my creation.

Banana sushi

Want to make sure that your first meal of the day wakes you up?  It will be an eye-opener to spy some spider doughnuts on your breakfast plate.  Make sure that the spiders aren’t moving–unless it is into your mouth and down into your tummy. I think this picture shows my breakfast looking back at me!

Spider donut

And if you think your house is a zoo, why not whip up some animals for feeding time?  Hungry as a bear?  Now you can eat one!  I shot this bear with my cell phone before it got eaten by a hungry grandchild.

Bear toast

Why just decorate your house for the holidays?  Go all out and add some cheese reindeer to brighten up your Christmas plate.  But you didn’t know reindeer could say “Cheese” for a picture.  See?

Reindeer cheese wedges

It appears that I have become addicted to my food presentation.  I am constantly looking for cool new ways to serve what I eat.  After seeing mushrooms in my yard, I scoured Pinterest and found how to make “mushrooms” from hard boiled eggs, plum tomatoes and some mayo.  Can’t wait to try making these fake fungi and to capture the creation in a picture to savor after said creation has been eaten.

Will this obsession with playing with my food ever end?  Probably not.  And why should it?  It is a great way to satisfy my creative urges.  Unlike painters, those of us who play with our food can eat our art supplies.  And I can hone my photography skills in capturing the fruits (or vegetables) of my kitchen artistry.  Stay tuned for more cell phone pictures of fun with my food!













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