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I Live to Bake

Food Sharing Network contributor Rose Ellen Lorber-Termaat of Mahwah, New Jersey writes about baking, writing and photographing food.

Self-Portrait. Rose Ellen Lorber-Termaat in her kitchen.

Self-Portrait. Rose Ellen Lorber-Termaat in her kitchen.

I cook to live, but I live to bake.

Baking has been a hobby since I was a teenager, probably because I have a ferocious sweet tooth. I eat, sleep and dream about sweets. I started seriously baking after I had my kids, when I had two eager eaters in the house who didn’t need to watch their weight. (Before that I curtailed the baking because my husband and I did not need the extra calories.)

I never thought about photographing food until a friend of mine showed me pictures of one of her baking projects in progress. The photos were like art, and I was fascinated. I have been taking pictures mostly of my homemade cookies, cakes and pies for several years, on and off as the mood strikes me. I like coming in for the close, tight shot because I like the look of the texture of the food—creamy, crumbly, crunchy…

Now, when you photograph weird things like your own food, you never think anyone else is doing the same thing. I was totally shocked when I ran across a Dining section of the NY Times (the old-fashioned paper edition) a few years back which featured people who are obsessed with photographing the foods they eat as well as the foods they create. They even blog about it! I guess there are no completely new ideas, just new converts.

My idol is Julie Powell, who cooked her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogged about it. She had no other incentive than to do something totally original and completely under her own control (sort of). What a concept!

I think baking, writing and photographing are a beautiful combination. They are all hands-on, creative and turn out slightly different each time. You can attempt to replicate them, but no two attempts are ever quite the same. That’s the beauty and the fun of it.

Photos/Rose Ellen Lorber-Termaat

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