A mishmish, a mashmash, a mishmash

Words are lovely. Some more than others. Images are lovely too.

Mishmash is a great word. It sounds great, it looks great, its meaning is one I can relate to. A confused, badly organized mixture. Is it about the contents of my brain they’re talking about? Shaken, also stirred.

Mishmash is also the name of a dish in Bulgaria! I just looked this one up. I’m blown away by this discovery. I’ve been eating it for so long in Macedonia and they don’t call it like that over there. As you might know, Macedonians and Bulgarians are neighbors and share a lot of stuff, including some culinary traditions.

Is it really called mishmash in Bulgaria? It’s certainly not a Bulgarian word. Or is it? I can understand why they called it like that, but now I’m curious how this dish got this name. Any Bulgarians reading this?

A stock photo to illustrate

I wanted to illustrate this article with a photo of a mishmash. I was about to resort to the stock vaults, but I guess I’ll cook one myself and shoot it. If you want to illustrate your articles, don’t go for stock photos. Avoid them like the plague, the experts say.

Don’t listen to me, actually. You’re free to use stock photos. We all know the clients love them. Just make sure you go beyond the first pages when looking for one. People usually stay in the first couple of pages and pick their photos from there. You should also visit TinEye to check how many times the image you’re considering has been used. There’s Google Images too, but you know about this one already.

A successful article for the web contains an average of 3.2 images. You should be using images, no question about it. You might as well use stock photos, why not? Just have some common sense. Add some context. Don’t throw a random image in your article just to reach the quota of 3.2. During this process, you never stopped thinking about your target audience, am I right? So you’ll know what images will fit.

Business as usual

Take this photo, for instance. The business meeting is an incredibly common theme. We all know that the business world, whatever it means, is one of the main culprits for stock photo overuse. They’re in a hurry, they’re on a budget, and they have more important things to worry about.

Business meetings should be taken very seriously

I checked with TinEye and this specific photo appears on the web just 130 times. I’d say you can comfortably use this one. It does look shabby, even phony, maybe not a good one to choose. But you’ll find a suitable, usable one, I know. Aim for a number below 150 and you’re good. Just make sure one of those 150 isn’t your close competitor, then you should look for another stock photo.

What’s 130 results in an ocean of billions?

You made sure less than 150 people in the world are using this photo, and none of them are your competitors. You also happen to know something about Photoshop. That’s heaven! Just tweak it a bit (or a lot, but not a loooot), maybe crop it, add some text and your own logo. You’re good to go with your stock photo!

But please remember: use stock photos sparingly!

Back to the main point

What I really wanted to talk about is focus. You see, I started this article with one goal in mind. I wanted to introduce myself, tell you how excited I am about starting a new blog and what I want to talk about here. I wanted to talk about focus and about discipline, qualities I don’t possess, and about procrastination, a flaw I excel at.

I wanted to talk about writing, mostly copywriting, which I’m learning. This blog’s idea is to be some sort of meditation hall. It’s the cookie I’ll feed the monkey in my mind. Also a classroom. I aim to come here and learn by doing, writing to find meaning. It’s also a place to exercise my English.

I ended up writing about Bulgarian dishes and stock photos. So much for the focus. And here’s the recipe for Mishmash:

Mishmash

serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 grams white cheese (feta, or the one and only Bulgarian sirene, if you can find it)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 red or green bell peppers, chopped (1 red and 1 green looks beautiful)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • parsley, finely chopped (as much as you want; parsley is never enough)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

The Method

  1. whisk the eggs in a bowl
  2. heat a frying pan and add oil (heat the pan first, then add the oil; I learned that from the masterchefs)
  3. add onions and peppers and cook until soft
  4. add tomatoes and cheese and stir well, the cheese will blend
  5. add the eggs, stir gently
  6. cook to your liking; I prefer it runny and moist

It’s a great meal for any time of the day. Goes along great with fresh bread just out of the oven. How about baking some bread too?

If you get to the kitchen and actually do this mishmash, please let me know. Send me pictures too!