Black Truffle Risotto

For the first time in four years (i.e. the first time since I’ve been in Switzerland), we’ve actually had what this New Englander could call an Autumn. There has been some actual color on the leaves, Fall temperatures, and that invigorating brisk chill in the air while the sun lights up the color of the landscape. We’ve been enjoying it by taking long strolls down by the lake shore, because I’ll never get tired of seeing the rays of the sun shining through the clouds down onto Lake Geneva.

Lake Geneva

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Isla Cristina, Spain

by Jenn on October 22, 2013

in Photography

Isla Cristina is a bustling little shore town close to on the border of Portugal near Huelva in the Southwestern corner of Andalucía, Spain, and a popular holiday getaway among the locals.  In October though when we visited, most of the activity was from the active fish market and warehouses sorting and selling the day’s catch.  Walking around, it was great fun to try to capture the essence of the city, and oh yeah, try something at just about every tapas bar we walked past!

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finca diptych2

Wow, what a week. Last week we traveled to sunny Andalucía, Spain, to La Sierra de Aracena for a week-long getaway and food photography workshop (this Autumn has been the season of workshops for me – first Amsterdam, and now Spain!) with Tim Clinch. We stayed at Finca Buenvino, a gorgeous countryside B&B run by Sam and Jeannie Chesterton, who provided such great company, food, and hospitality. And spending five days learning from Tim was amazing – not only was he an excellent instructor but also a charismatic tour guide of some of the best that the area around Aracena has to offer. Suffice it to say, it was both an extremely relaxing and transformative week for me, and I think this experience will affect my entire outlook on how I approach photography from here on out.

But first, let’s talk about this amazing tortilla that Jeannie whipped up for lunch for us on the first day!

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Amsterdam

by Jenn on October 2, 2013

in Photography

Every once in a while… I like to take a little course to improve my food photography… and travel to a new place as well…

Amsterdam Canalway

Actually, it has been well over two years since I last took a course related to Food Photography – back in 2011 I joined Meeta, Ilva, Jamie, and Jeanne for the first Plate to Page (P2P) workshop in Weimar Germany. Since then I had also gotten to know Simone, a fellow participant at P2P, and so was thrilled to hear when she and Meeta, along with Sandy announced a Food Photography workshop in the countryside of Almere, Netherlands. As you likely know, I am totally in love with photographing food and place, and welcome any opportunity to improve my craft, especially if it is in the presence of friends new and old :)

Open Faced Sandwiches Figs

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Pesto Tomato Tart, Gluten free

When I was younger, I hated waiting (ok, I still do – I was born with a serious deficiency in patience).  Every event in life felt like one slow tedious step to the next – must pass this test to get this grade, must advance through this year to get to this college, must do these things to get this degree, must get this degree to go back to school… and before you know it, a significant chunk of life has passed you by while you were so busy impatiently preparing for the next step. Having a vision and a plan is great – and for the most part, even something to be encouraged. As society we view aimless wandering as a detriment, and taking too long to accomplish a goal is indirectly punished by loss of opportunities and time.  If we were all robots, this would be fine,  however I think the human mind – the soul – needs a little bit of freedom (and fun!) in order to thrive.

[Baby girl decided to add some thoughts of her own to my post:] sxc xssww1ZZMeursault

Sometimes I was lucky enough to recognize those precious carefree moments in action – the ones where life just felt so alive, so real, where I felt comfortable and confident enough to actually let go and just be my true self, free of any insecurities or second guessing. Sometimes they consisted of a fun weekend out on the lake with friends, a backpacking trip along an empty beach exploring the nothingness with a childlike wonder at the complexity and sheer amazement of our natural world, or that romantic meal where I first realized I was falling in love with my husband. But what I have noticed as I have gotten older, is that the planning and structure of life tries very hard to thwart such moments.  We worry about money, about jobs, about the future – we talk with friends and family who worry with us, and all of a sudden somehow it seems all of life is about waiting/hoping for something to occur again. We look back on those fun and free moments, and sadly just think fondly on them realizing that after all this worrying and planning we simply don’t have the energy to break out of our current paradigms on life.

Olivier Leflaive L'Auberge de Vieux Vigneron

But it is a tough balance, no?

How do you move yourself back into the present, embracing our time in this world as it comes, while still maintaining some sense of security for the future? How do you do one aspect of life without ending up regretting not doing enough of the other?

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Homemade Ginger Ale

I’m not much of a soda person (I am from the northeast, it’s called soda).  I personally haven’t purchased a cola type soda in well over a decade.  Typically, at home, if I want something soda-like, I’ll pour some juice in a glass and dilute it with sparkling water et voilà, “soda” – it doesn’t even need sugar.  However, I do have one weakness when it comes to bubbly beverages – ginger ale.

For me, ginger ale is the ultimate summer drink.  Spicy, sweet, and tangy, after long sun-shiney days out by the lake, it seems to be the perfect respite from the afternoon heat (yes, Switzerland does actually have heat in the Summer).  Ipod and (now) walking baby in hand, we take a trip to the lakeshore and look out across the way admiring the view (check out my profile on VSCO grid for more mobile switzerland pics!)

Ouchy

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