This post is going to be a little different from the others. I’m taking you to another part of my life, one where food isn’t always a priority.
How many of you have a plan for an entire bunch of herbs once you’re done with snipping the five percent of the bunch needed for your recipe? Apart from lush thick leaves of basil that become pesto, I never know what to do with all that parsley and cilantro and am always struck with a pang of guilt when I learn that their deep green leaves have turned a pale yellow in the crisper yet. again.
Fortunately for social media, I’ve found a new vehicle for forgotten herbs, and turned a hypothetical recipe into a successful riff on the classic Green Goddess dressing, if I should say so myself.
In an interesting turn of events, my professional photography career has led me beyond the field of pretty pictures of food and down the path of events and conferences. I’m not complaining. It may be hard work, but it represents, to me, a chance to apply my photography skills to another field and to capture the dynamism of life in a conference setting.
On the surface, conference photography has a rather mundane and unglamorous quality about it. And, to a large extent, it is. There is a “shot list”, a formula of what kinds of shots the client would like, capturing the sponsors, the speakers, the venue, the food, and such. Yet I’ve found that, if I tune in to what’s going on around me, there are endless possibilities to exercise my creativity and make beautiful pictures. Pictures that tell a story.
Hello hello – welcome, September, with your dusky evenings and chilly mornings. Our summer was awash with work, culminating in a quick, much-needed trip to France at the end of August. Word to the wise: one week is never long enough for a trip to Europe. Not from the West Coast anyway. It takes two days to travel (back and forth), three days to try to get over jet-lag, and then, it’s time to come home. C’est la vie.
So, yes. Things have been busy around here, but it’s a new month, the start of a new season, and I feel charged with excitement about what the rest of the year will bring. Partly because I’m headed off to India for six weeks starting in November, but also because this time of the year always fills me with a sense of renewal and anticipation. I am excited about peppering this blog with more stories, photographs and recipes in the weeks to come. I realize (and apologize) that part of the silence in the past few months comes from a perfectionist streak that I needed to publish the “perfect” post every single time. Perfectly written, perfect photographs, perfect recipes, perfect stories – clearly, too much perfection can cripple you. That will change, and with your help too, if you like! If there’s a story or a recipe or a photography-related question that you have which you’d like to see on this blog, let me know in the comments or drop me a note using the contact form. I’d love to hear from you!
And now – updates and photos!
The Thomas, Napa
This is what happens when a noodle junkie needs a fix. She starts looking at recipes in a whole new way, vigilant for opportunities to incorporate slippery, chewy strands of noodles for a quick, one-bowl meal.
Since I started experimenting with whole grains, I’ve come to realize how easy it really is to switch out the carbs in most dishes to feature quinoa, farro or even lentils, in place of refined wheat. I’ve committed this principle of substitution to heart in my cooking that I’m expanding it into noodle territory, particularly soba – Japanese buckwheat noodles.
While I’m firm friends with egg noodles (of the Chinese and Italian varieties) and flat rice noodles, soba noodles and I are still getting to know each other. It’s deceived me so far with its unassuming presentation at Japanese restaurants, arriving as a mound of buckwheat strands accompanied by its dipping sauce. Instead of viewing its simplicity as a statement of quality, I deemed it too boring for consumption. It wasn’t until I read Sarka’s post and got myself a copy of Plenty that I began to see soba in a whole new light, mixed with other ingredients and dressings for a very different type of dish. A little unconventional, yes, but inspiring nonetheless.