Friday, July 29, 2011

Time Well Spent

Sometimes you do things you don't expect to find yourself doing, and which virtually nothing in your life suggests you'll either be good at or even enjoy, just to spend time with your teenager. I'm not talking about skydiving here, just making a cooking video, but still.

Making the video was my son, Ted's, idea. He is a musician (and college student), who not only writes his own music, but performs it, records it, mixes many tracks of himself playing multiple instruments, films video, and puts the finished products up on his You Tube channel. Working with a bare bones set-up in our house, and sometimes with a band he put together this summer, he has created a body of steadily improving works. While he is a great guitarist, singing is only a relative strength (think Bob Dylan or Neil Young) of his. Yet, he continues to record, finding songs that he can cover in his range and writing others that play to his strengths. He's always improving and just doesn't let his singing hold him back.

His idea was to film me cooking and put it up on You Tube and then here, on my blog. He suggested that this would be a good tie-in with my recipes and blog and make me more marketable. Since I'm a little camera shy, I was hesitant about a video. I worried that I'd be nervous, speak too fast and look completely ridiculous. I finally went ahead with the idea not because I think my future is in tv cooking, but because it was a great opportunity to work on a creative project with my son as his peer, rather than as his parent.

Our first attempt was not quite a polished Food Network product, but not completely horrible either. My eyes darted frantically from side to side as I improvised the opening lines and then there was the nervous shoulder-shake and hair flip, which we have, thankfully, removed. On Ted's end, he found that filming a subject not anchored in front of a mike was somewhat more challenging than filming himself sitting on a stool in front of a strategically placed camera tripod. We've decided to make another video together before he goes back to school, to work out some of the kinks in the first, sort of practice video.

So, while he works on camera angles, moving with me, close-ups that don't make me look ten years older and ten pounds fatter, and smooth transitions, I'll be learning to keeping my eyes steady and not smack the cutting board with a knife while I'm talking, and not to care that I look my age and not 25. Most importantly, I'll be appreciating what I can learn something from my amazing, creative son.

So, here is the result of our collaboration. I hope you'll take it for what it is and know that we spent some quality time together filming it.

You can find the recipe on which I based this summery pasta with fresh tomatoes here. Just add the kernels of two ears of corn if you like.

Also, since the margins on blogspot seem to cut off the right side of the video, just double click on the video to watch it in full screen.


  1. You are a natural and your son is adorable!

  2. Love it! you guys are awesome.


  3. Congrats on your first video! I though you came across wonderfully. I love that your son did all this. Filmmaking looks deceptively easy but it takes a lot of hard work and practice.

  4. Thanks Maris! I think he's pretty terrific.

    Karoobian! Thanks for the comment! Hope you had a great vacation!

    Anna - I think he's learning how hard it is, but it's amazing what he can do with his basic set up. Thanks for the sweet comment!

  5. Hi Wendy,
    Made it to DC. Been here a few weeks and just about settled in. Thanks for the info on the Spanish Market. Will definitely check it out. Any other interesting markets/local food events you are aware of?
    Love the video.