Friday, November 2, 2007

Photography and food

A friend here asked why I took a camera with me so often...The obvious answer is that when I don't there are things I want to take pictures of....but the real answer goes further, and is also harder to pin down.

What do I like about taking photos...?

Part of it is definitely that I like sharing what I see around here with others...or gloating? I think not, sometimes it definitely feels like I am doing my own little show and tell. Sometimes that is certainly the point.

Sometimes there is an artistic element....I find beauty, and want to tease it out. Though I think my photography skills are such that I am definitely not creating Aaart, some of the images have turned out well enough that I am really happy with them, and I am gradually getting them blown up, printed and framed....

There is inevitably a certain amount of record keeping, though I tend to have to remember to do this, rather than want to...for instance at the Halloween party and at Birthdays...but it is not an urge like some photos I want to take.

Sometimes I take photos purely as note taking for possible paintings...effects of light, and the possibility for long study when I have time.

Sometimes I am simply so struck by the beauty of something that I feel compelled to try to - oh I hate the word capture, but it is what follows logically here - I feel compelled to grasp a glimmer of it. I am frequently disappointed with these pictures...

One of the other things I like about carrying the camera and using it often is that it does help to keep my eyes open to the beauty around me, even in unlikely places...painting does this too, but feeling the weight dangling off my shoulder keeps my head up and my eyes open a little bit more...and I like that.

So, in honour of this post, here's a bunch of photos I took today....

Youngest and I set out to make panallets...which are a tradition here at this time of year. Eldest helped as well a bit, but we were off, with youngest's remembered recipe from school as our guide.....

Here's the ingredients: pounded almonds, sugar a potato and cocoa...


First, boil the potato...


While that is going on, mix equal quantities of pounded almonds and sugar...some recipes call for 2 to 3, the three being the almonds....but this IS what they did with the kids in the school.


Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them...


Then stir, nay, knead them into the almond mixture....


Until it is all one mix....we used too much potato.


Make them into little balls and roll them in the cocoa, mix in peanut butter for a North American flavour, add coconut, jam, rolling them in pine nuts is very common here and very very good.


Now your supposed to put them into a 350 degree oven for five to ten minutes, but we don't have an oven...therein lies another post, so I put them in a cast iron pan on very low with a lid. As I mentioned, we had too much potato, so you can actually see them melting there. They shouldn't.


This is how some of the cocoa ones looked at the end. They firmed up when they cooled, and have a candy-ish texture that the kids love, but they are not panellets.


Now, in the midst of all this, youngest had decided to go out on the balcony and get some pine nuts out of some cones I had gathered, pound the nuts and make some panellets with pine nuts. Unfortunately something large, yellow and scorpion shaped scuttled out of one of the cones while she was working on them. Freaked her right out, so we don't have any pinyon panallets...I did have a mess to clean up as well as a scorpion search to conduct. I love it when my cooking is interrupted by searching for scorpions...it just adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the entire endeavour.......here I am starting to look.


No scorpion here...just a lot of fruit flies....


Ditto...


Well, I never did find that bug/insect/arachnid/whatever...so Chuck came out and did his I'm-a-Catalan-dog thing and started splitting pine cones for us to get the pine nuts out. That is until something else came out of one of the cones and he left too after a few panicked circles and some frantic sniffing. He retired to the living room to lick his wounds. Literally.




SO.

How about you?

Why do you enjoy taking photos?

Do you enjoy taking photos?...Esben, if you read this I'd love to hear your response....

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your photos are good records of your nomadic lifestyle?
Are you even going to have the time and leisure to enjoy looking at them?
But keep at it, I love them.

Our protest demonstartion in Riga went off very well IN SPITE OF THE SNOW AND COLD WEATHER.
About 10,000 LATVIANS AND RUSSIANS SHOWED UP!
WE all PEACEFULLY DEMONSTRATED AGAINST THE CORRUPTION IN OUR COUNTRY AND GOVERNMENT.

Jocelyn said...

I'm with you in appreciating that taking photos slows me down to a conscious framing of a moment. I appreciate it differently through that little square. It objectifies subjective moments.

Sirdar said...

Came from the NaBloPoMo Randomizer.

I like the idea of carrying a camera with me all the time. Trouble is, I don't have that opportunity at work to take pictures. Something about a confidentiality statement that I signed many moons ago.

Like your pictures.

I see you are Canadian. I'm from near Edmonton.

Keep on Bloggin'

dawn said...

Visiting via the randomizer. I do like to take photos, and would love to have a better camera but won't happen soon. I was really interested in your recipe that you did. Cute dog, too bad about he scorpions in the pine cones. It must be interesting living in a different country than that of your origin.

Helen said...

I take photos for memories. I love to look at old photos - mine and other peoples. I love the moment of a life captured so that you see your parents as children at a party, the random group on the beach with strangers behind them and all full of stories. They document a family/personal progress through life and - like music and smells - can take you straight back to that particular point in time, so that your memory isn't acting in a linear way at all. I don't have a great camera, and I'm not a good photographer so few of the "arty" ones come out (still try though and got a few good sunsets this year). And it is true that if you don't keep the camera with you you do miss some great shots.

oreneta said...

GM: I'm glad you got the turn out despite the snow....

Jocelyn: It is interesting, I suspect that many of us approach it for different reasons...

Sidar: Thanks for coming by...I've never been out to Edmonton, I hate to admit....one of these days...

Dawn: Thanks for coming by as well, there are moments that are fascinating living somewhere new....

Helen: You put that so eloquently...I remember going through a bunch of your Mom's old photos, and not knowing who so many of the people were. Fascinating.

Beth said...

Whatever the reasons may be for you to take photos and post them on your blog, keep doing it. They are a joy to see.

Scorpions in the pine nuts. Yuck.
Scorpion not found. Even worse.

oreneta said...

Beth: I got calm about scorpions the summer I lived in a trailer park in rural texas. I was pregnant, and the guy in the next trailer painted those black velvet paintings that you see in movies...it was an experience, and probably worth a post...a scorpion lived under the bath mat. Always.

Scorpions do keep the cooking lively.