Life Isn’t Perfect: Bloopers from Chai & Home

Happy Secular New Year, everyone! During the break I was going through a lot of old photographs and I became amazed at how many pictures I take that never get published. You can easily get the impression from reading Chai & Home that I live some kind of perfect life and I even hear that myth from people I know.  So, I thought I’d show you that life is far from perfect here at Chai & Home. Some of the photos here are clearly in the category of bloopers – projects and recipes that didn’t turn out. Some of them I must have just plain blotted out, as looking at the photos now don’t even jog my memory on why they were taken.

The first photo is a Rosh Hashanah I clearly wanted to forget. This was the least offensive of all the pictures. Not only did I hate the way the table turned out decor-wise, but I also hated that potato kugel. You can get better hashbrowns at any dive restaurant and I just hate how old fashioned and cheap everything looks.

Life Isn't Perfect: Outakes from Chai & Home | Chai & Home

The early stage of this stew looks wonderful. Too bad I didn’t take pictures of it after it was done and now I can’t remember what the recipe even was!

Here I spread out all my blue and whites. Why? Not sure. I don’t have the faintest idea why I took this picture.

This cookie tray I made for a neighbor who just had a baby. Although the baby cookies are adorable, I hate the composition of the photo…and the composition of the twenty other photos I took.

Life Isn't Perfect: Outakes from Chai & Home | Chai & Home

The stew below is called ossovo or something like that. I can’t remember what cookbook it came out of but it’s a cross between fruited beef stew and mujadara. It cooks for days at a really low temperature. My boys hated it and although I initially thought I liked it, I did recognize eventually how sickening it was.

Life Isn't Perfect: Outakes from Chai & Home | Chai & Home

I also make mistakes with products. Years ago I wanted to come out with challah covers. I think I proudly shared this post on social media saying “stay tuned” for the challah covers, but if you saw it then you are still staying tuned. I wasn’t satisfied with the color fastness of the ink on the fabric, so I shelved the project.

Life Isn't Perfect: Outakes from Chai & Home | Chai & Home

This double chocolate bread pudding was made from a chocolate cake blooper. I remember the bread pudding being delicious, but the photos of it were never good enough to share on Chai & Home. The white of the baked egg custard looks gross.

Life Isn't Perfect: Outakes from Chai & Home | Chai & Home

These mince pies with the Star of David are picture perfect…before baking. After baking, not so much which is why you have never seen a picture of them here. The bubbling of the mince pie mixture on the pastry just made everything look sad. I could have just taken a shot of the one or two perfect ones, but I have too much integrity for that. I do love this project, so maybe I’ll try it again some time.

Life Isn't Perfect: Outakes from Chai & Home | Chai & Home

I must have felt very proud that this kielbasa kale dish looked like the picture because I shot at least a dozen photos of it side by side with the cookbook. Too bad none of the photos were in focus. If I had a dime for each out of focus photo I could retire.

Life Isn't Perfect: Outakes from Chai & Home | Chai & Home

These hamentashen are my favorite blooper. Even looking at them now makes me laugh. You can see it, right? For some reason, I decided to put an egg wash on the cookie before baking. I don’t know what I was thinking, but clearly I didn’t anticipate the shine that it would put on the baked cookie. I spent hours in Photoshop trying to rectify the error but to no avail – the cookie still looked obscene. A year later I tried again and published my Cherry Nutella Hamentashen with a scalloped edge instead. Finally, a blooper with a happy ending.

Life Isn't Perfect: Outakes from Chai & Home | Chai & Home

And trust me, this is just a fraction of the photos I could have chosen. I omitted the pebble centerpiece that looked like a rabbit shat on the table and the Hanukkah door wreath that looked like someone threw art supplies at the front door in anger. I mean, gee, I have to keep up some appearances.

So as you embark on this new year and may feel obligated to make some kind of resolution about being better this year than you were the last, just remember, sometimes perfection is just about good editing.

L’Chaim!

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