Yeah, so the title is pretty self-explanatory on this one.
I’m in trouble and I need help. The kind of help that needs NOTHING LESS than the cumulative power of the ENTIRE INTERNET to solve.
I managed to convince some very intelligent people that I would be a really great choice of blogger to help publicise the new “Oliving by Hans” range of smallgoods. Quick brief for context: Oliving by Hans is a new healthier choice range of smallgoods, because it replaces some of the saturated fat with olive oil but without losing the taste.
This is not a sponsored post, by the way. This is the post before the sponsored post where I flip out and panic because I realise that I have no idea how to tackle the sponsored post. Just so we’re clear.
So anyway, that was great. My awesome powers of persuasion landed me the opportunity to represent the brand and we all met at an event in the CBD to kick things off. I even wore high heels, so you know this was serious. I’m the only person in the known-universe who has yet to upgrade to a smartphone, so I don’t have any photos of the actual event (one of the bloggers called my 2011 Nokia E71 “cute”), but let me paint a picture for you…
I am in a room full of bloggers who have been invited to work with this new brand called “Oliving with Hans” (more on that later). We were in an industrial-styled CBD bar that also – inexplicably – sold a wide range of business shirts. The appropriately-aloof bartender had purple rinse hair and a wildly impressive hipster beard.
I swear I am not making this up.
I was at a deadset hipster-beard bar. (I thought that was just some Tumblr in-joke, but apparently beards really are du jour). Anyhoo. There was a bench set up where a wildly successful food vlogger (that’s video blogger) was preparing to make us dinner while we all milled around, necking green cocktails and dropping sparking repartee and being fabulous writers and whatnot.
There I was, cocktail in one hand, artfully poised twiggy stick in the other, holding court like Dorothy Parker at the Algonquin round table; full of wit and vinegar and oozing with all the sass and spice that only a handful of free drinks can bestow.
Until the tail-end of a sentence from the presenter at the front of the room slapped me in the face like an ice-cold stick of hot salami.
“…when you come up with your own recipe”
WHEN I do WHAT now?!
I couldn’t see my face but I’m pretty sure it looked like this.
An ice cold chill ran down my spine as I cast a glance around the rest of the room, but all I could see were the relaxed smiles of food bloggers and lifestyle bloggers, the confident smiles of people who were clearly in their element. These are people who know their souvlaki from their moussaka. These are people so immersed in the art and culture of food that their six year old son shows more aptitude in the kitchen than I do. These are people who bake cakes without exploding them. These are people who know food.
And then there was me.
The satirical parenting blogger feted for her kitchen disasters.
The one who heard the words “free cocktails” and “chorizo” over the phone and swooned, before immediately accepting the invitation to participate without actually having the chutzpah to back it up.
I felt like an imposter.
I don’t belong here.
I don’t make recipes, I mangle recipes.
I. CAN’T. COOK.
Seriously. This is not some sort of sickly domestic-goddess pseudo-modesty. I can’t even follow a recipe, let alone come up with my own. I’m the person who never has the right ingredients in the pantry and needs to come up with desperate ad hoc substitutions because I am already half-way through cooking when I finally realise that I am missing several key components. The person who thinks it’s OK to use coconut milk instead of cream in a carbonara because white. The person who thinks it’s OK to use half a jar of leftover salsa instead of passata in bolognaise because tomato.
The only recipe I’ve ever come up with on my own was for a novelty cake made from meat which, granted, is still the only one of its kind in existence and is ranked at number one on Google for the search term “chicken schnitzel cake”.
That’s no mean feat for a non-food blogger. Particularly one who can’t actually cook.
One of them looked like this, and the other one was a completely inedible statement cake held together by illegal levels of food colouring and a multitude of stray horse bristles from a very cheap pastry brush.
So maybe – just maybe – I CAN do this, but not on my own.
These are my ingredients. I have kransky, chorizo, bacon, polish salami, twiggy sticks, cocktail franks.
I have all these things but I have no clue.
So please, combined intellectual gravitas of the internet, I beg you…
I need your help. I not only need to not embarrass myself, I actually need to impress.
How do I create a recipe? What can I do? Where do I start?!?
Please stop me from embarrassing myself!