Carrying on a fine Tradition

gourd

On a recent arrival home from some time away, one of the first things I noticed was an arrangement of decorative seasonal gourds on the dining room table. Miss Z was following in my footsteps, discovering the joys of the local market and had brought home a colourful harvest for the family to share. Each one is unique and riotous in its markings, much like our tribe, and worthy of joining the painterly edits that I have been amassing over the last few years.

This particular edit brought to mind a post about the etiquette of food photography where the ongoing conversations in the comments had led to much reflection on how I wound up with so many shots of ordinary fruit and veg in my own archives.

Twenty odd years ago as my son and I were zooming up a street, I saw a kid outside of his garage selling large canvases of close-ups of the most magnificent mangoes and plums, odd veg and seafood in the most brilliant colours and rendered in an energetic impressionist style. It was just that flash of something extraordinary that made me pull up the car and go and have a look – I should have bought them right then and there, but could ill afford it and so I went to visit his other works in a few cafes and a gallery, later looked for his stuff online, googled them years after and always regretted not having deprived myself of something else to have been able to look upon that luscious fruit every day.

It marked me in much the same way that Wayne Thiebaud had an influence on how I see the ordinary. It is that driving need to tell the story of the very basic stuff of life, the things that go unnoticed, the colours and shapes we ignore in the busyness of it all – that is what keeps me taking food photos. Photography is all about the way we transform what we see so that we can give others a glimpse and get them thinking, remembering, wondering, engaging and even taking part in keeping the creative process dynamic.

So yes, I do take pictures of my food: I can revel in them at will, remember exactly what I was thinking or doing, ascribe circumstance or tradition, have them stand out as markers in that timeline of life. They are mine… and now they are yours.

Out of the Earth comes my Pleasure

turnips

An acquaintance has a keen eye for produce (among other things) and has been kind enough to encourage my painterly treatment of his photographs. What thrills me the most is that we seem to see the natural in much the same way. This bounty of turnips could not be any more glorious for their story of early mornings, simpler times, hands pulling the harvest from the dark fragrant soil to send to market. When the divine took a brush to this humble vegetable, it was for us to look upon such things with renewed wonder and breathe in with gratitude the overlooked beauty that surrounds us.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Comfort Food

jellomore please!

The Inscrutable Dr. Fu is taking full advantage of the freedom to experiment in my kitchen and likes to put her own twist on what she jokingly refers to as “white people” food. Who am I to complain when presented with these little treats?

This week’s culinary foray is NSFKids homemade Jello made from fresh strawberry-raspberry juice and a liberal splash of vodka topped with a lovely little strawberry mint garnish straight from the garden.

The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge just knows that there are tasty tidbits and go-to dishes that make you go aaaahhhh …

“Do you have a favourite childhood treat?”  Feel free to leave your two cents about the most delicious of your Comfort Foods in the comments…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Harvest

painterly mushrooms, lettuce and cabbage

An acquaintance’s photograph of some veg from their garden a few weeks back got the foodie in me salivating for a collaboration. He was kind enough to agree – just wish I had been able to get a taste of the resulting stew.

Share something tasty with someone you love – even better, share with a stranger.

Small Pleasures are awesome

awesome

There was a time when certain foods had their own undeniable flavour and were only eaten during season. Wild local strawberries at dusk bring back filtered memories of childhood, cicada song among the sweetgrass and that sleepy satisfaction at the end of a day that the world couldn’t get much better.

I would put forward that small unexpected pleasures, like the taste of a perfectly ripe summer berry bursting in your mouth, are the ones that make it all worthwhile. They are awesome because they are more than just the thing itself: they call out to the past, inform the present and remind us how things should be – one perfect moment at a time…

 

The Big 5 – “Where” do you eat? – Week 2

green apples

an apple a day

It’s been years since we had to pack a lunch for ourselves or, for that matter, walk further than a hundred feet to find something to snack on midday seeing we are “lucky” enough to live and work out of the same premises. We do, however, keep an eye on what the Ghost and Miss Z throw in their backpacks to sustain themselves through their busy schedules. Their food of choice these days tends towards the portable, bite-sized, not too smelly and unobtrusive.

The rigours of back-to-back seminars means that some days our monsters have to actually eat in their classrooms. Just as walking down the street with a coffee or bottle of water in hand wasn’t a common occurrence thirty years ago, neither was noshing down on a fragrant smoked-meat in a “State of the Media” symposium. Times change. Many of the unwritten rules of public comportment that we took for granted are long gone and we either go with the flow or run the risk of becoming stale-dated like that mystery meat sandwich from the vending machine.

Meal-time, under the best of circumstances, is no small effort and the Big 5 Challenge is curious about “Where do you eat?” – in bed or on the sofa, in front of the tv or in a cafeteria, on the road or in the air, alone or in a crowd, way too fast or without a care …

We would love to know where you chow down.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

The Big 5 – Where do you eat?

sushi

YUM

Now that the Ghost and Miss Z are out and about unsupervised and wander in when their days are done, the island in our kitchen has become the focal point for most food-related activities.  It sits plonked between the stove on one side of the room and the fridge on the other, a horrific example of how not to succeed in the concept of the “work triangle”. Get more than one person in the room trying to meal-prep or even just trying to grab a quick snack and the dance begins: the side-stepped, blocked path roundabout, the hot pan “watch out not to burn yourself” get that off there before we drop it tango of a too tight remodel not thought out long enough (our absolutely perfect kitchen has been in the concept stage for the last 20 years…). It looks great at first glance, it works marginally. Despite all that, we have become accustomed to such interaction. Like Pavlov’s dogs we know what to do when the timer on the microwave beeps and, depending on how many bodies are in play, we act accordingly.

Whoever did the redesign on our open-concept rental must have been contemplating a larger space. We do have a dining “area” with a table that seats eight comfortably but the chairs seem to attract stray coats and backpacks.  Whatever surface that could possibly be used for supper always seems to have an assortment of laptops, books and projects in progress strewn over it and only sees the light of day on special occasions. We hate it. It does not conform to our sense of orderliness.

The days of sitting down to a family meal every night seem long gone and the Big 5 Challenge suspects this is a trend.  Where do you eat?” – in bed or on the sofa, in front of the tv or in a cafeteria, on the road or in the air, alone or in a crowd, way too fast or without a care …

We would love to know where you chow down.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary such as the above on one of the five Ws (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN or WHY and sometimes HOW) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a reply in the comment box, in a new post with a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Challenge yourself to dig deep for an answer.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

SO – Create your Big 5 Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “The Big 5 Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Big 5” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on The Big 5 Challenge page.
  5. Remember to Follow to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs

signs

closed
nothing left
but  a few square feet
on the third floor of a museum
no more celebrities
no more labour disputes
no more long lines
waiting for a taste
of smoked meat and a coke
but perhaps
the straw that broke
the kravitz’ back
was just
that $5.50 super deluxe sundae

♨︎

Read all about it in the entries of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs.

C words

c words crepe

C is for Crêpes
Co-opted by Cheese
Coated with pesto
and walnuts to please
a Crisp little Cameo
of greens on the side
delectable vegetables
Cannot be denied
Cabernet Sauvignon
perhaps Chardonnay
strong Coffee to follow
Complete
for today

Chow down on the entries in Frizztext’s A-Z Challenge: C words.

B words

b words berries

B is for Berries
Beautiful treat
gorgeous to ogle
luscious to eat
Blackberry, Blueberry
raspberry red
Blended with mangoes
key lime for a Bed
Bring Bounteous seconds
so Baker may Boast
Blissful sweet tart
Beguiles us
the most

Browse the entries in Frizztext’s A-Z Challenge: B words.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

container

Before plastic and paper
stone and steel
there was a grand design
ubiquitous in its ingenuity
an elegant simplicity
in that which comes
from the earth
to the earth
returns

Unwrap the entries of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers.

The Big 5 – What do you crave?

crave

some days it’s bacon

Fellow blogger and roller derby queen Marie’s post about the unexpected repercussions of an alimentary lifestyle choice had Across the Bored snorting with sympathetic laughter. We also have been there, ate that and (groaningly) lived to tell some mortifying tales of caving to desire. To be honest they really did seem like good ideas at the time, ones that were not so far-fetched to be ridiculous but like the ingestion of just one wafer thin mint, ones that put us right over the top.

Everyone has had the experience of having a taste for something: everything from garlicky goodness and super spicy to divinely dessert-like. It’s our taste buds and indeed even some odd twist of metabolism that pipes up in a small voice and whispers “howzabout that raspberry sundae? You know you want it…” Sometimes it all ends in disaster with us saying that we will never succumb again and other days we pat ourselves on the back for having made a wise decision that takes us in a better, healthier direction.

The Big 5 Challenge gets overwhelmed by a variety of desires –  What do you crave?” – peace and quiet, a hearty party, a chocolate-covered donut, pastrami sandwich or kale smoothie, to be alone, to be away, a 48-hour long day…

We would love to know what has been poking you to go for it.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary such as the above on one of the five Ws (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN or WHY and sometimes HOW) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a reply in the comment box, in a new post with a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Challenge yourself to dig deep for an answer.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

SO – Create your Big 5 Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “The Big 5 Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Big 5” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on The Big 5 Challenge page.
  5. Remember to Follow to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Bliss

bliss

Bite me

There comes a time when one has to start regulating diets, actually climbing on that exercise bike instead of using it as a clothes hanger and get down to some serious lifestyle adjustment to ensure a healthy segue into the next stage of existence. Across the Bored has been a very, very good girl for a few seasons and is starting to enjoy the rewards of the aforesaid but every once in a while… 

It was exactly one of those days where just a bite of heaven was needed to tide things over when the idea sprang to mind that it had been a very long time indeed since we had had any kind of indulgence. Little prodding was needed to get Miss Z to explore a newish patisserie and with the only proviso that she come home with something nice, the mission was set.  A long half-hour later, the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge opened a red ribbon-tied, nondescript white box and discovered – Bliss – pure, unadulterated, non-processed just like the old days, ready to be devoured puff pastry delight. Truly a gastronomic manifestation of the divine, we both feel much better now.

“Describe your own form of bliss” – In a box or under the sun, in a soft smile or sweet song, in a bath full of bubbles or a night on the town…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

 

iPhoneography Monday: Macro

handful

dibs on the almond

Shot with the iPhone 5 native camera no edits, framed in Camera!
for iPhoneography Monday: Macro.

Have a look at Frames & FocusLens and Pens by Sally and Watching the Photo Reels to see the originators of this challenge and their interpretation of the theme.  You may also join the challenge by clicking here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

submarine

Ready to dive into a submarine
taken with the iphone 5 icamera no edits

Paper thin slices of steak, sautéed golden onions, fresh red pepper and Sunset Campari tomatoes, California Black Ripe olives, shredded lettuce, grated cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano, avocado mayonnaise, chipotle dressing on a warmed, toasty ciabatta loaf. The Ghost and the Inscrutable Dr. Fu get Sandwich 101 lessons – Culinary school Chez Nous.

Go and grab something delicious in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime.

iPhoneography Monday: Macro

macarons

each bite a delight

Shot with the iPhone 5 with the iSight camera, no edits for iPhoneography Monday: Macro.

Have a look at Frames & FocusLens and Pens by Sally and Watching Photo Reels to see the originators of this challenge and their interpretation of this week’s theme.  You may also join the challenge by clicking here.