I adore natural light- the way it streams in through windows, casting shadows as it flickers and flits about. As someone who gets easily burnt, I don’t like direct light however; for me it’s as much about the shadows it casts as it is about the sunlight itself. Summer light is far too strong, but the light that’s cast through the trees and the windows in the spring is just right. Light tells an emotion; light tells a story.
Most of my life, I’ve been fascinated with faces and drawing and painting people. It wasn’t until I started really working with photography that I realized how beautiful light was. Still- life pieces were relatively boring until I started photographing food. I’ve realized that while I can stage a photo with a proper subject and nice lines of movement, most of my favorite photos have come from shots that happened after.
I try to anticipate that now- often times photographing before with the planned shot and then preparing to photograph while I’m eating the meal as things get messed up and moved around and I rearrange settings and objects. This probably means I’m not the best at actually doing set design, but I’m quite ok with that.
Whenever possible, I try to photograph in natural light so when I planned on shooting for this, I got everything ready so I could shoot at just the right time. I set everything up and got some nice shots. As I brought everything inside, and set things down on the table, I looked at it and realized I had, what I thought to be a much better shot.
What do you think?
Either way, I like both sets of photos each in their own way.
I’ve been working more to really eat as seasonally and locally as possible. In the fall and winter though, tubers and various root vegetables can eventually get tiresome. I didn’t realize how much I was itching for spring weather until I started seeing sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes) late last month. These crunchy, nutty tubers make for a nice transition into the warmer weather.
As you may have noticed in some of my posts over the last few months, I’ve really been carbing it up. I’ve been doing a lot of baking, a lot of sweets and lots and lots of flour and it’s really started taking a toll on my body and how I’ve been feeling. Late last month I decided it was time that I started working more on my physical health with working out regularly again and getting back to eating more whole foods and really upping my daily veggies.
So, here’s to spring!
Roasted Sunchoke Mash with Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms and Kale
12 oz Sunchokes (approximately 2 1/2 Cups Diced)
2 TBSP Butter, Separated
1/4 Cup Water
2 TBSP Milk
4 oz Oyster Mushrooms
1/2 Bunch of Kale
1 TBSP Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Salt, Pepper (to taste)
Aleppo Pepper, optional
Rinse, peel and finely chop the sunchokes (they should be about 1/2 inch cubes). Add 1 TBSP of butter to a large pan and heat on medium until melted. Add the sunchokes and toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Stirring frequently so that they don’t burn, cook them for about 10 minutes until the edges brown nicely, then add the water and reduce heat to medium/low and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary to keep them from sticking. Once the sunchokes are soft, remove from heat and drain any additional water. Add them to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend with milk until smooth.
If they’re fairly large, using your hands, tear the oyster mushrooms into smaller pieces and using a knife, cut the fibrous stalk from the kale and roughly chop it. Rinse kale in water to clean but just slightly shake off the water (you want some water on the leaves to help it steam in the pan). In a large pan, melt 1 TBSP of butter on medium, and toss in the mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are getting soft. Toss in the chopped kale, soy sauce and season with salt and aleppo pepper as desired and stir frequently.. Once kale has turned bright green and softened down, remove mushrooms and kale from heat.
Serve kale and mushrooms over top of pureed sunchokes.