November 7, 2009
An hour or so later (once the butter had softened and the eggs had reached room temperature) I pulled out of bed again and got to work. I had a to-do list as long as my arm and very few hours to do it. At 1pm that afternoon, I was expecting a photographer who was being sent over by the New York Daily News to photograph me cooking and styling my food for a story in the paper about New Yorkers who chose their homes because of their hobbies. The main selling points in my case were the relatively large kitchen (that's NY apartment big, mind you) and the dishwasher (::cue choir of angels::).
The aforementioned butter was pulled out of the fridge because the reporter had asked me to prep a few things for the shoot and I figured I might as well bake a cake! I actually was filling an order for one of my regular customers who had bought one of my Italian Rainbow Cookie Cakes for her daughter's 13th birthday, which I thought would look lovely in a photo, and I also prepared a batch of espresso cocoa truffles (which I'll post tomorrow).
The big surprise came a little later after I'd finished cleaning the apartment, baking the cake layers, and had laid out my props to shoot the truffles. I hopped in and out of the shower and as I stood in my room with wet hair dripping all over my shoulders, the phone rang. It was the photographer saying that she would be over in 5 minutes--a full 45 minutes earlier than expected. I told Eugene to answer the door as I rushed to tie up my wet hair and throw on a dress. I was a bit flustered since I'd timed everything down to the minute, but she was nice about waiting for me to finish applying makeup.
Ultimately, I think the shoot went well. She took some photos of me spreading the cake filling and making ganache for the frosting. Then some photos of me styling and shooting the truffles. And finally a couple portraits of me holding a basin of truffles and smiling at the camera. She left about an hour and a half later, at which point I collapsed on the couch in pure exhaustion.
All week long, I waited for the article to come out with a mix of excitement and nervousness. The latter mostly because I was terrified of the photo being awful. It was scheduled to be printed in the real estate section of the Friday paper, so yesterday morning I had another pre-dawn wake-up as I rushed to get ready and run down to the bodega to buy the newspaper. I didn't open it until I was on the train, and it was there, squooshed between two other commuters, that my heart was a little bit broken.
They didn't run my photo.
The article was there; a full three pages with four large photos of the other people in the story, but not a single picture of me. I kept turning the pages and re-reading it to see if I was missing something, but there was nothing. I did appear in the words of the article; one sentence in the beginning and a nice little paragraph in the middle (although they got my occupation wrong; I'm a magazine editor, not a web editor), but the part that I'd been most excited about...actually having a photo of me cooking in the newspaper, was missing.
I told the girls at work about it when I got in (they'd heard all about the shoot and had also been looking forward to seeing the photo) and Eugene via IM. Like me, he was bummed. "After all that work and preparation you did! You barely slept!" We both commiserated for a while, he assuring me that it probably had to do with space issues and not, as I'd conjectured, because "I came out ugly."
"That's ridiculous!" he told me. "And impossible."
He assured me that this just wasn't my turn, but that I'll get another (bigger! better!) chance someday soon. With that assurance, I went about the rest of my day happily, only occasionally glancing out of the corner of my eye at the paper with a tiny sneer.
The article, if you'd like to read it, is here. It's actually a very cute story, even if it is missing my photo. ;)