written by Anna Smith, bitly Data Scientist by day, master of edible food creations by night.
bitly bundles are useful for many things- especially when it comes to brainstorming. Ever find great inspiration online for a project that you’d like to save in one place? Looking for an easy way to keep track of all the materials you’ll need? bundles let you easily save links related to the project, write comments and discuss with invited curators all on one page. bundling is a fun way to share links you discover and think will inspire.
I use bundles with my family to brainstorm and gather inspiration for holiday potlucks. To relieve the doldrums of bringing the usual cheese and crackers, vegetable platters, and dishes that look unappealing after a few hours sitting out, my family mixes it up with edible food art.
Years ago, my mom, sisters and I created a masterpiece of bananas, melon, marshmallows, and sliced fruit, which started it all. We named it Bun Bun.
This commanded MUCH attention from my many cousins and uncles. (And unfavorable attention from my party pooper aunts, who have since changed their tune!)
Since this fateful September day long, long ago, we have since rescinded all pretense of not playing with our food. This is where knowing a little physics and using bitly bundles comes in handy. We each bring our own special skills: inspiration, design, execution, error correcting, etc. Because we all live in different cities across the country (and all have strong opinions about the final result) we’ve used bitly bundles to brainstorm our ideas and share our edible masterpieces with others (people who we hope will also get the itch to spice up their dinner parties, office events, and family gatherings with food art). Want to check out all the fabulous creations we have catalogued through a bitly bundle? You can view them all here.
These projects have also expanded beyond my familial realm to my work at bitly. For example, bitly LOVES nyan cat. bitly’s Community Manager, Kristine, and I got super excited to make a work of edible nyan art. Fortunately, we followed through with our threat, and after a short 8 hours one Saturday we created our marzipyan cat. Here is the bundle that was used to brainstorm for the bitly nyan cake.
One of the drawbacks of such gorgeous food is that it is only eaten by the brave few. For some reason, people don’t trust brightly colored or animal shaped food. Don’t worry, all of these are 100% edible except for the handyman’s favorite infrastructure tool: toothpicks.
Intrigued? Here are some ideas for getting started. You too can become an edible food artist:
1. Brainstorm! Obvious, I know, but most of these creations take months of sharing ideas among family members (now something we do through bitly bundles). Drawing inspiration from other blogs about food is great. Make sure to keep your ideas tasteful and inoffensive. Create a bundle, and invite curators to help you brainstorm. You can make it private or public depending on the level of secrecy you need to preserve. All the curators will be able to add comments to all the links saved in the bundle, which is helpful in any brainstorm process.
2. Play with your food! Explore your grocery store, and look at food as a creative medium and not just a tasty way to get calories. What are the benefits of store bought frosting vs. making your own? How cold does cream cheese need to be to keep its form? Will milk add the right opaqueness to jello? You can even create a bundle of the recipes you know you’ll want handy.
3. Plan! Its a good idea to start your project a day before you need it in case there are incidents. Make sure all cooks are on the same page. Communication is vital! Drawing out your ideas is also a great way to express your vision.
And most of all: have fun!10 months ago