Mustard Roasted Potatoes

by Jenn on August 15, 2011

in Budget,Gluten Free,Vegetarian

Mustard Roasted Potatoes

Photography and food, as art forms, are a bit of opposites.  Food – grown, prepared, cooked, eaten, enjoyed – like all the good things in life, is fleeting; the moment is there, the bliss happens, and before you realize it is all gone, forever.  Food is the medium through which our senses become alive for an instant or two and we learn to touch the universe in new ways – through flavor, aromas, and friends. 

Photography however, much like our most wishful versions of ourselves, fights the ephemeral quality that is the very nature of such moments in time, doing its best to keep and hold on to every moment and treasure it forever, lest our memories become feeble and weak and forget those experiences that mark and define not just our lives, but our very identities.  Each precious instant of life builds upon the last, and we become the culmination of all of those experiences put together – and maybe, just maybe, if we can capture and preserve those moments in some way, we can slow down time, make it stop, and keep those moments alive in some form forever. 

Food and photography together seem a bit counter to each other because they live in such opposing interpretations of time – but I think that is one of the reasons why food photography is so beautiful – it can do the impossible and turn a mere instant into a lifetime, as well as the other way around, transforming an entire state of being into a mere morsel to be consumed.  It is the dichotomy between these paradigms for me that brings so much interest and fascination with the idea of one, photographing food to preserve its memory and two, creating photos with food in order to recreate those infinitesimal experiences in time.

Time is a funny yet heady thing.  As Americans, we have a peculiar fascination with all things old and ancient, simply because the idea that something from earlier than that famous day the Mayflower first landed on the shores of Cape Cod can actually be seen and touched is a bit abstract to us, especially those of us who grew up in “old” towns that would be considered “new” in other countries, and where risk of obsolescence incessantly plagues nearly everything in our society and culture.  I’ve seen my fair share of old buildings and châteaux living in Europe now, and yet stepping into a 600 year old candlelit cave while visiting La Bourgogne en France last week I still feel was a bit of an otherworldly experience.  How is it possible that time was literally able to stop for this place, all these hundreds of years and stay as it always was?  How many moments transpired between these walls below the ground?  What stories I am sure could be told…

The Caves of Marché Aux Vins, Beaune, France

We spent our vacation doing what we love best – a week away from our normal life, in a new land, with new friends, exploring old traditions and cultures and food.  We toured vineyards, explored castles, saw abbeys, had dinner at the auberge of our favorite lively & charismatic vigneron, spent the day with a wine producer and saw first hand how much care and heart goes into producing the grapes and vines of the region, enjoyed our first Michelin-starred dinner, practiced a lot of le français, ate stinky cheeses that melted like cream in your mouth, learned of local legends and charms, watched shooting stars fly over silent rows of vines, enjoyed macaron cakes, learned how a mere 200m in a plot of land can make all the difference in the flavor of a wine, and made new friends with whom to share so many moments.

Sunrise over the Vineyards of Meursault, France

La Bourgogne has captured my heart in a way few places ever have.  The food alone is worth writing books about – the coq au vin, beouf bourguignon, escargots, the many many dishes à la moutarde, the charolais beef, the oeufs en meurette, the jambon persillé, the epoisses, and black currants, cassis, and of course le vin.  And the setting and culture is almost enough to make one want to just pick up all their bags and stay in the region as long as possible.  It’s all quite romantic, really.

Meursault

Notre Dame, Dijon, France

Le Marché aux Vins, Beaune, France

Moon Setting in Bourgogne, France Star Trails over Bourgogne

Time stood still for a beautiful glorious week and then in the blink of an eye all flashed and was over.  Ended, finit.  Faster than I could even realize.  That seems to be the way of it in life as well.  If we don’t take time to treasure those moments as they are happening, all too soon we notice they have passed us by and are over.  I fight time by photographing the beauty I see, hoping to preserve it forever.  I think maybe if I can capture just the right scene, I can keep and remember forever all of the laughter and smiles and friendships and moments.  And the amazing world that I fell in love with in those short seven days.

Sunrise over Meursault, France

But we all know that all good things must come to and end, and sunrises don’t last forever.  But they do come again.  And next time, we’ll make new memories, more friends, and fall in love all over again.  With the area, the wine, the food, the people, and each other.  And sometimes, a moment is just best left unphotographed, to keep the mind stretching and yearning to experience once more, and draw us back to those familiar places.  And until that next time, we can remember how important it is to live life to the fullest, with each other, with love in our hearts and food in our bellies.  And we can cook dishes that become echoes of memories to remind us that we must return again and create new moments together.  Because in the end, celebrating and cherishing our lives together is the most romantic instant of all.

It’s been five years since I first met you honey, and every day has been better than the last.  Here is to hopefully many many more, exploring the world with each other – whether we recreate past memories with each meal we cook, or preserve future ones with our photographs.

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara | Creative Culinary August 15, 2011 at 1:12 am

The words and the photos…both deep, meaningful and beautiful. I might see a bit of the scientist in you…but the artist rules.

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 7:56 am

Thanks so much Barbara :)

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Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) August 15, 2011 at 2:38 am

What a lovely post. This is just my kind of dish. Simple but full of flavor. Thanks for sharing.

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 7:57 am

Thanks! Simple and flavorful is my favorite way of cooking :)

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Móna Wise August 15, 2011 at 9:13 am

Gorgeous gorgeous images Jenn. Like Barb, I too see the science of your style, but it is the artist that shines ;0)

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Thanks Móna :)

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InTolerantChef August 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

Oh how lovely! Here’s to many, many more memories together.

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Thanks! Yes indeed :)

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 15, 2011 at 10:02 am

Wow – so interesting to see our holiday from a different perspective! One thing I have learned from this trip is exactly what you write here – sometimes things are better left unphotographed. I have so many memories of this trip that only exist in my head and I thought I would be sad about the fact I don’t have them photographed. But sometimes living in the moment rules. A lesson to remember in everyday life. I am glad were both able to join Neil, Cathy and I on our little adventure en Bourgogne and that you had such a great time!

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Mardi so glad we could hang out last week, I had a great time!

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Rosa August 15, 2011 at 10:34 am

It looks like you had a great time there!

Lovely clicks, post and recipe!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Thanks Rosa!

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Winnie August 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Ah, Jenn. I am such a homebody but your words and photos make me desperately want to pack up and travel. Love your description of the region and looks like you had a magical time.

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Thanks so much Winnie! We had a great time :)

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Margaret August 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm

You have captured what I didn’t know I was thinking. It resonated with me right away. Thank you for putting into words my own unknown thoughts about food and photography. Your blog is so inspiring.

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Thank you so much!

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Heather August 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

These are all amazing. I love the candle lit cave!

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Thanks!

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Karen (tilden2) August 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Jenn, your photos make me miss Europe so much. Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you!

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Aww thanks Karen :)

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Kelly August 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm

These look fantastic, what a great dish! Lovely photos! :)

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Thanks !

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Erin August 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Your words are as lovely as your photos! And now I need to go eat lunch…I think I’ll try some potatoes! You always make me hungry!

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Thanks! Hope you enjoyed lunch :)

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Viviane Bauquet Farre August 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I quite enjoyed reading your post. You have quite a poetic voice! The photography from your vacation looks magical and I hope you enjoyed it to the fullest. Thank you for the great recipe and wonderful post.

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Thank you Viviane! It all still feels a bit surreal…

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cathy August 15, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Pictures came out well Jen!! Lovely to see them from reality to screen!

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Thanks Cathy! Was such a pleasure to meet you last week :)

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Katie August 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Such lovely photographs! I can absolutely feel the atmosphere of that wine cave just from looking at the picture.

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Thanks!!

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Kulsum at JourneyKitchen August 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Jenn what a beautiful post! I love the recipe and pictures but that second picture – SO LOVE IT!

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Thanks so much Kulsum!

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Mama J August 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

This recipe looks delicious and your photographs and writing are stunning. Happy to find you and I’m a new Facebook “liker”. :)

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Jenn August 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Oh thanks so much!! Hope you enjoy :)

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branny August 16, 2011 at 12:08 am

One of your most beautiful entries to date, Jenn

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:05 am

Thanks Branny :)

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Emma August 16, 2011 at 12:35 am

I’ve got to admit that I came across this post on Tastespotting because potatoes always catch my eye… but your photos are unbelievable! They make me want to pack my bags and head back to France this minute, and the potatoes still look really good too!

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:06 am

Oh thank you so much!!

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Miriam @ Overtime Cook August 16, 2011 at 2:55 am

I just found your blog through Taste Spotting and it looks amazing!

This recipe looks and sounds amazing- I can’t wait to try it.

-Miriam

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

Thank you !!

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Jessica August 16, 2011 at 6:10 am

Beautiful post!!

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

Thanks Jessica!

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Amber Ellen August 16, 2011 at 6:43 am

Wow, your photos look beautiful! I love them all. That recipe looks delicious.

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:21 am

Thank you :)

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Val August 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

Beautiful photography and I love this sophiticated potatoe recipe. Its ideal to serve as a side when you’re serving a meal to friends. Thanks!

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Thank you! Yes I think this would be great to share with friends :)

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Alyce August 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

congrats on your top 9!

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Thanks! Was excited to see it today :)

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Robyn August 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Looks like you had an awesome time! :) Those potatoes look amazing!

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Thanks Robyn!

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Nadia @ delightsodculinaria.blogspot.com August 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Awesome Photos. thanks for the recipe.

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Jenn August 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Thank you so much! :)

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Maggi August 17, 2011 at 12:58 am

I made this as an accompaniment to our dinner this evening. Since it was warm in the house and I didn’t want to fire up the oven, I roasted the potatoes in a foil pan on the grill. Delicious! The smoky flavor from the grill added a little something and really made these potatoes great. Thanks!

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Jenn August 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Love the idea of roasting them on the grill :)

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Ishay August 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Hey Jenn

Things that are old, hold history, secrets, a life we’ll never know of, hence the fascination for us.
Love that romantic pic- just perfect.

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Jenn August 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Thanks Ishay!

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Jennifer August 18, 2011 at 6:59 am

I love your pics, and I love how well you tie them together with your writing. The wine bottles with the candle and the stained glass were my 2 fav pics. The stars are cool too, I really want to learn how to take star pics. I tried (without any knowledge) while we were in Montana, and I really didn’t have much success. Next time I travel somewhere outside of the city, I want to know what I am doing and amaze myself :)

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Jenn August 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

Thanks so much Jennifer!

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Peggy August 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm

What a beautiful post! Your photos of your trip are absolutely stunning =)

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Jenn August 19, 2011 at 8:21 am

Thanks so much Peggy!

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Elena August 20, 2011 at 8:37 am

Every time I read one of your posts I smile. I’ve grown up as a TCK (third culture kid)…in other words, we’re constantly moving. Most days it’s exciting and beautiful and adventurous, but other days not so much. This morning I woke up feeling sad as I thought of all the goodbyes I’ve had to say in my life.
Your post reminded me of the beauty of life and change. Living life to it’s fullest and cherishing every moment. Thank you. What a wonderful reminder of why we live.

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Jenn August 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm

aww thanks so much – it’s a slow lesson for me to learn but I am learning that change is the only constant…

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Gen August 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

A nice dish! And beautiful photos!

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Jenn August 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Thanks !

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gretchen August 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm

your photos are lovely and should be postcards. thanks for sharing your adventures!

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Jenn August 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Aww thanks Gretchen!

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sara @ real fun food August 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I found your blog by searching for date bars, and your pictures were so beautiful – it was exactly what I was looking for! I don’t remember if I commented on the post, but I love it and thanks for posting. Your blog is beautiful and I can’t wait to try your recipes :)

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Jenn August 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Oh thank you so much!! I love those date bars, made them quite a few times since then :)

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Simone August 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm

What a beautiful beautiful post Jenn and you are right in so many ways… I just love love love that photo of the two wine bottles in the winecellar. That is just gorgeous. Well all your other photos are gorgeous as well but that one just jumped out at me! O I have a glutenfree question for you too. Friend of mine has recently been diagnosed with gluten intolerance and I promised I would search your blog for good bread recipes. Which I will do but if you have anyone in particular that comes to mind that would be worth trying… let me know!

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Jenn August 22, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Thanks so much Simone!! As for bread, I only have a few, I must admit I am not so well versed in gluten free bread making… something I definitely need to do more of!

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Simone August 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Well I need only one good one… :)

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Stacey September 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Love the photos! Is there any way to purchase a print of the photo of the french wine cave with the candles?? That is one of the most stunning photos I have ever seen and I would LOVE to have that on my wall!

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Jenn September 15, 2011 at 12:05 am

Wow thanks so much!! Though I’m sorry to tell you that currently I am just an amateur and so can not sell anything at this time…

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Kelsey September 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Jenn. I could never tire of your gorgeous photos. This post is perfection. I can’t wait to make these potatoes.

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Jenn September 17, 2011 at 9:02 am

Thanks Kelsey!

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