Unless this is the first post of mine you’ve read — in which case, YAY! Hi! — you’ve probably seen me mention my cooking live stream on Twitch. Last November, I wrote about my very first gaming livestream. Sadly, I haven’t really done much more of those because my MacBook Air was having issues (and thankfully was still under warranty! barely!), and, well, it’s not the best computer for heavy gaming and streaming.
However, around Christmas time, I decided (with a lot of encouragement of my twitch friends) to start my own cooking livestreams. Now, before I get into that, I want to give a little primer on Twitch, since a few of you asked recently.
Twitch is a platform, not too unlike YouTube, which allows people to broadcast their gaming play via livestreaming. You can connect your gaming consoles to your computer through a capture card (like the elgato one I’ve been longing for*), or you can go straight from your computer using free software like OBS (which is what I use). Some people have really awesome setups: green screens, great lighting, good mics, awesome graphics… Others just show the gameplay and don’t even have their faces on camera. Both are completely acceptable. Most people on Twitch don’t actually livestream themselves. They’re there to watch and chat, and generally just be a part of the community. For the last 3½ years, that was me.
Up until very recently, Twitch has been only for gaming. Well, I take that back, in the last year or so, they opened it up to music so people could perform live music on stream. Even more recently, they added a “creative” category. Mostly people are using it to showcase their graphic design, programing, or illustration. However, you’ll also see crafters or people working on cosplay construction. The smallest sub-group, though, are the foodies and cooks. And I’m proud to be a part of that. There are a few cooking streams who have large followings. Mine is slowly, but steadily growing — and will do so more now that I have a consistent schedule: Sunday evenings, starting between 4:30-5pm EST.
I meant to keep my food-blog branding, Savvy Spork, for my livestreams. And I sort of did, kind of. But it fits but doesn’t really fit. The title I’ve been using was just what I randomly used for one of my first streams and it stuck: Awkward Cooking with Rini. It was basically me poking fun at the fact that I feel absolutely super awkward on stream. I think it lightens the mood a bit.
I’ve been bouncing back and forth between one cam and two cams… I have a legitimate second webcam that is professional grade (on loan from my dad), but I’m missing the USB 3.0 cable (which should be arriving this week). So I either just stick with the top left cam, which is my built-in webcam… or I use this weird setup with my cell phone and periscope… and it’s amazingly laggy.
See, it’s completely out of sync. It also provides a massive echo if I leave the volume on my laptop. So when I do it like this, I can’t have the sound on to hear my alerts for new followers or donations (which the former happens a few times a stream, the latter has yet to happen).
In this one, you can actually see my tripod and phone on the right hand side of the laptop Rini cam. You can also see the Buffy books (wrapped in plastic for protection) that I use as a stand during these streams. (Thanks again Natasha! I haven’t gotten to finish reading these, but they get so much use!) After a while, this setup was too much for my computer, so I just switched to having one cam.
The only thing I forgot about with the one cam setup was lighting. I actually have a spot light (aka a floor lamp that’s designed to look like a spot light), and normally I use it and it works really well. I just spaced it this time. You can also see a tiny bit of my spice basket. People are either impressed by it or amused by it. It’s sort of ridiculous. So I made it an emote for my channel. So when you type SpiceBasket this appears (only in my channel though, thanks to the chrome plugin, Better Twitch Tv, aka BTTV):
Overall, the streams are super fun. I tend to make this massive mess out of my kitchen, so it means having to clean my kitchen twice in one weekend. But it’s worth it. Right now the hard thing is that I don’t have all the kitchen tools I’d like (for real, I had to buy a whisk recently because I lost all of my old ones). I also really want to buy a cute apron, maybe one like this, but not for $65! I’m not crafty enough, sewing wise, to make my own. Maybe some day I’ll have a silly/cute one. Oh. The other thing that’s hard is making sure I don’t cook too much on stream because holy leftovers!
There are some logistical issues with cooking on stream. Since it’s live, doing things like using a slow cooker, or even baking, means that you need to have filler while it just sits in the oven or crockpot. And honestly, you can’t really do a crockpot dish on a stream other than just showing the prep for it or the very end. But you could use a program like OBS to record the process and you could edit it down for YouTube. It just doesn’t work live. Though, well, we joke about doing a 24 hour cooking livestream, so maybe it’ll happen then.
If you’re interested in gaming, or just creative things happening live, you should definitely check out Twitch. You can find me at twitch.tv/adorkableme. (And again, if you want to catch my cooking stream it’s on Sunday evenings typically around 4:30 or 5pm EST lasting only an hour and half mostly.) I love my twitch community, and am very excited to see it grow. Plus, it’s been really fun to share my recipes. The whole point of my cooking streams is to show that making amazing food is pretty easy. I mostly want to show basic skills. Eventually I’ll get better at posting recipes, etc with them — or actually recording them and editing for YouTube. But for now, just having them live has been a joy enough.