I’ve been jonesin’ for Rosé since returning from Paris and I’m no wine expert, but I could be with the variety I’ve enjoyed over the years. I’m just not interested in being an expert, preferring to enjoy what I’m sipping when I’m sipping it. Often. I do know enough to get me in trouble, however, and so while we were on vacation, I spent the two weeks away from my usual Chardonnay, which when one is from California, is a staple.
The photos of ingredients I’ve purchased for recipes I’ve tried recently grow in my photo library seemingly overnight even though I delete nearly as many as I decide to edit, mentally processing the quality of the recipe as I process my shots of it. Recipes are sampled and the leftovers tucked away — or wedged considering the condition my fridge is currently suffering from — and the cycle repeats sans the writing that should factor in there somewhere. Fresh fruit and vegetables are positioned on the kitchen counter tops in a sort of line up lest I forget they’re ready to be used. At some point, inspiration has to inspire, doesn’t it? So that would be the problem.
And a lack of inspiration is not a small problem.
So while I prod, poke, and try to revive it, I’ve been cleaning up a few favorite old posts. There’s nothing quite like restoring broken links, uploading photos from an old server onto a new one, and reformatting posts to keep one busy enough to justify a lack of creativity and avoidance of housework.
I also moved my photography station from the dining room to my office upstairs a few days ago, surprising myself with something I hadn’t given much thought to before it happened. It’s not a bad idea, but I’d just gotten organized in the office and spruced things up a bit — including the purchase of fabric to make curtains. Nice curtains, too. At this point, if I’m going to use the light from the window, then why put curtains up? Not an Earth-shattering dilemma, but still.
As much as I will enjoy not having lights and props lined up on the dining room table, I’ll miss the convenience of everything being right next to the kitchen. I can still use the space when the light is perfect but won’t have to tolerate the things sitting around like a mess when I’m downstairs I’ve already figured out a tray is in order to carry food upstairs, and a tote to carry props back and forth from the garage. Perhaps one of those calorie counting gizmos is in order to make me feel even better about my decision since I’ll have to
Time will tell. It always does.
In the meantime, I was lulled by the beauty of two kinds of apricots in the market a few days ago, and so they became my first experiment shooting with the light from my office window. Leftover tart dough rescued from my freezer helped not only with the photography experiment, but a tart experiment as well.
This tart is perfect if you’ve got fresh apricots and want a tart that isn’t fussy to make. The filling is is quickly mixed and poured over the apricots before baking. A lovely recipe to end any meal.
Much has happened since I last posted and ironically, most of it has had nothing to do with food.
Shocking, isn’t it?
No, I haven’t stopped cooking and yes, our waistlines confirm we’ve continued to eat, but I’ve chosen not to: 1) take time to jot down notes about a recipe when I’m fiddling around with it; 2) shoot process steps and results, and 3) upload and edit photos. Do you have any idea how completely fabulous it is to eat dinner without having to do any of that?
But I digress. I haven’t lost interest — I’ve wanted to squeeze as much out of this last summer as possible having my youngest son at home before he ventures off to college, so have saved some time for family instead. Even the big guys have been around more than they normally are. It’s been great having a house full of menfolk again, if only for a few evenings, and sometimes, when no one’s looking, I’m a bit of a mess. You know, having trouble with the stiff upper lip and all.
I’m not quite back in the thinking-about-food-all-day-every-day mode, but I’ll get there — I’m busy processing how different my life will be from this point forward. I’m a bit drifty, a tad obsessed with organization, and taking yet another look at my diet and the amount of exercise I subject my body to. For those of you who know me, I understand you’re thinking, so what’s new?
Right. Shall we talk about food? And because I’m avoiding carbs, and anything baked in particular, let’s discuss pie.
Perfect little lingering wisp of summer fruit pies.
Day 6 of The 12 Days of Cookies brings a recipe featured in the September 1966 issue of Gourmet magazine. In 1966, I was in the 4th grade at John F. Farragut School in Rota, Spain where my father was stationed. It was our second year there of a four year assignment and the first that we lived on base. Days were full of playtime outside after school until we were called in for dinner, and weather very much like what we enjoy here in San Diego. I’d have another year with my best childhood friend who lived three houses up the street, and two to enjoy some of the most pleasantly memorable years of my life.
Apricots have always been something special to me, and although I prefer them ripe from the tree, I grew up loving them right from the can. This recipe calls for dried apricots simmered in a simple syrup spiked with a bit of liqueur. Regardless of the form they take, apricots will always be something I enjoy — especially baked between layers of a brown sugar crumble. Nothing compares to their perfectly sweet tartness.