Like, Art, or Whatever

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Sometimes, I just can’t help taking pictures of beautiful ingredients.

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There is hardly a purpose in doing so, it’s almost as bad as taking pictures of something on TV or taking pictures of the stars. The only thing that saves this activity from being completely pointless is that I suppose one might possibly categorize it as art.

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cimg6931.jpgTake these radishes, for example. This picture is only one of about 15 that I took of these radishes. Yes, 15. I piled them all into a white plastic container and with their pretty colours and rough shapes , the little sprigs of green stem with the white light filtering in around them, I had to grab the camera. Then I arranged them on a plate to pose for a few shots, and then tossed them along the edge of the cutting board for the last few photos. I could’ve gone on, but had to stop myself from getting carried away and to carry on making supper.

Recently, I made us a big batch of moussaka. It was one of those long-winded recipes with lots of classical preparation details and which intimates that every bowl, pot and pan in the kitchen will be employed in its making. Indeed, this was the case: I started making this at 2:30 one afternoon and we didn’t eat until 8:30. It baked for over 2 hours, but still- 6 hours?! Part of that may have extended longer than necessary due to the still-life sessions in which I was obliged to partake. Just look at these shiny, glowing pieces of yellow pepper, practically golden, mirrored on the side of the stainless steel bowl and tell me they aren’t gorgeous.

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And the currants, dark and shadowed, they look like they taste sticky and sweet. I admit that perhaps the grain of the bamboo cutting board is part of what makes the image of the currants so appealing to me, but really, it was unusual in that I only took 4 or 5 photos of them.

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The dark, dark purple skin of the sliced eggplant with the pale inside was irresistible. Since I already had the camera in the kitchen, I thought I might as well snap off a few rounds in between slicing. This one was not posed, taken just as they slid off the knife and were piled up to be cut in half. No make-up, no lights, just naturally photogenic.

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And finally, the pi├Ęce de resistance, the result of 6 hours of kitchen labour, The Moussaka. Which, incidentally, was exceptionally good, with its savory-sweet, cheesy, starchy meatiness.

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