One Year - I always wanted to be a gastronomer Blog at - 262256

I always wanted to be a gastronomer

One year 
Dec. 28, 2011 4:22 pm 
Updated: Jan. 5, 2012 7:15 pm
Well it's been a year since I first made a blog. I'd never previously had a blog but I was uber familiar with discussion forums so the format while different, was also easy to adapt to. My cooking hasn't actually improved over the last year, likely because I've spent too much time writing and reading blogs instead of mucking about in the kitchen! About the only place I think I made strides this year was in food photography, not that I've done a lot, just that I've discovered how bloody hard it is to take a really good food shot. I finally did one good one and I'm really proud of that one, for banana crumb muffins.

I know I know, what else you got? Nothing I tell ya that's it, gimme time. Still it's a good shot. I have another I took this year that I'm gonna put in here. I'm a cabinetmaker, which takes me afield quite often and I 'see' stuff. Over the last year, I've taken to packing the camera with me and when I see a great shot, I make myself pull over, back up and go get the darned thing. So this is my beauty from this year, it was an old church I spied from a house I was installing at. The next morning I drove in from the back way so I would go by it and this is the shot I got. I honestly think it's the best shot I've ever taken.
I'm not entirely sure how to make these pictures both larger and focused. When I try to drag them to size, this photo editing software on here seems to fall a wee bit short of useful. ( edited to add that left up to my own devices, I've discovered the way!!! and it's spelled Blogspot)
At any rate, it's been an interesting journey thus far and I confess to having grown quite fond of some of you. Petey writes of dogs and cows and somehow fills her stories with humanity. Duffy who I do believe, despite her admitted culinary shortcomings, simply must be my long lost sister or something. Mike shows a warmth and regard that astounds me and I confess that I read every single Tripp blog just to see the kind of family life I've always wanted. Same with Dougs clan. Gawd, the more I think about it, the more I realize it would be hopeless to name everyone who has touched me with their little life reveals in these blogs this past year. The community here is pretty darned good.
Unlike last Christmases festively frolic of a blog, this Christmas went off with a little more grace. Hmm except for Mom wetting herself over a period of about 5 hours while she parked her formidable bottom in my wifes favourite rocker/recliner. Yeah, except for that. Aging parents are a whole new life sensation aren't they? I made the same recipe I did last year but was unable to find another jumbo economy bird. Instead I had a medium jumbo not so much economy bird and you know what? It wasn't half as good as last years. Still, turkey is turkey and I've a boatload left over to do all those wonderful follow up dishes I've grown used to the luxury of making. I have a recipe that I suppose is original, but not really, I've been stealing it from dozens of places for years so its now a composite of a hundred turkey recipes I've made and I swear, its the reason why I still cook that darn bird every Christmas. I'll throw it in the ring for the next "Somebody Made my Recipe" go round.
I suppose that IS one area where I've actually made considerable strides this year, is in inventing stuff. Not just food stuffs but for my purposes here, I've managed to cobble together some goodies this year with just an idea for fuel. Like bacon and peanut butter. I just know that has to have been done before but not in my house and it begat the tastiest hamburgers. My new flavour combo to mess with is pistachio and avocado. I haven't quite figured out how I will blend those two into something but I'm certain the flavours will go well together. I haven't gotten any farther than concept yet but I'm thinking savory, perhaps a quiche. 
Cooking is just so much fun. I got a mandolin for Christmas, along with an attatchment set for my KitchenAid. I'm more excited about the mandolin although that sausage stuffing attatchment is making me think I'm gonna regret trading my smoker for a snowblower. Sigh. The worst part of this Christmas is that its the first Christmas since they were born, that I've not seen my kids. Adulthood and other obligations have overtaken them. One more sigh.
lol, hey thats a year, that's me.
Happy Holidays everyone

Photo Detail
Notch Hill Church, 6 AM, November 2011
Photo Detail
Dec. 28, 2011 6:17 pm
"their little life reveals"....well put. I have been searching for a way to express that and it is true. Thanks for crystalizing it for me. The church is magnificent.
Dec. 28, 2011 6:26 pm
I wonder how old the church is. I find this interesting.
Dec. 29, 2011 4:59 am
Thank you, Randy! ... I commented a short time ago, about food photography is not unlike photographs of a super model. To make it acceptable for publication, there nust be lots of makeup. Strip the makeup and you have reality. If you are not using makeup on your subjects, you are photographing real life. ... I see a pistachio and avocado mix on the table as a spread, dip or condiment for pork or poultry. Perhaps starting with a hollandise base such as this? (You have me shaking the rust out of my thinking parts.)
Dec. 29, 2011 5:16 am
Good morning Randy. Thanks for this blog...AR has become a good corner of my world. It helps me stretch out of my comfort zone, to understand and explore not only different foods but traditions & cultures as well. I love the pictures - yes, AR's blog system leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to inserting photos, but even through that I have learned a bit more about computers and different programs. The more I know, the more I understand that I don't know much at all. As my father aged I became increasingly aware of the turning of the pages through the chapters of my life. As my children spread their wings and took flight my aging father was a constant reminder of the circle of life. Blessings to you and your family. Keep that camera ready to capture the beauty that is awaiting you.
Dec. 29, 2011 5:50 am
Great observationing(is that a word, not enough coffee yet). AR has made a difference for me too! The great photographers on this site inspired me to try harder with piotures too. Two tips that I had heard over the years by 2 different professionals have come in handy also-1 Take the camera everywhere with you, even while taking out the garbage. 2 Take lots of shots, out of 50 you may get 1 or 2 excellent ones. May your family have a safe and happy New Year!
Dec. 29, 2011 8:15 am
Happy New Year Randy - great shot of the church. I know my food photographs will never match some of the shots I see on here but they still look good to me. Maybe I just need to finally invest in a better camera. And I don't know about you but I can't wait to watch the Winter Classic. I was at the Rangers/Flyers game in NYC last week and it was a playoff atmosphere. It's going to be crazy in Philly on Monday.
Dec. 29, 2011 4:53 pm
Randy Deer - you have the best turn of phrase."little life reveals" indeed. Can't speak for others, but I love that tumbledown church and those muffins look good enough to eat. Can I play your Mandoline? (sigh) I just couldn't resist! The joke wrote itself, I swear!
Dec. 29, 2011 4:58 pm
Hey, Doug? Here's a hokey, er, hockey quote for you from another lover of what I call "Full-Contact Ice Dancing" - Jack Kent Cooke once remarked when asked about poor Kings attendance, "There are about 50,000 Canadian ex-pats living in Los Angeles. The only thing they have in common is that they all hate hockey." I don't know if it's a real quote, but it's damned funny! Will the Lightning get their act together in time for the play-offs? Stay tuned!
Dec. 30, 2011 11:40 am
COVERGIRL.... I'm glad to be of service :) KINGSPARTA.... as near as I can tell from the little research I've done, the church isn't nearly as old as it looks. I expected something from the late 1800's. Turns out 1910 was the build date. I believe, could be remembering that wrong. MIKE.... I am determined to take pictures of food without aid of make-up. That picture of the muffins, man I took a half dozen sad grim shots and then I added the bananas which added a great deal to the shot but still, kinda grim they were. Just as I was giving up, the sun peeked out and lit the shot right up, zoweee what a difference!! Gotta scoot for now, I'll have replies ready for the rest of you good folk when I get back.
Dec. 30, 2011 2:07 pm
Randy - - you are a great photographer - I love both of these shots. I would buy the one of the church - how unique! I would love to see pics of what you make also. You may be a cabinetmaker but you have the heart of a writer - like Petey. So I will continue to encourage both of you to keep writing - and I will keep reading.
Dec. 30, 2011 3:29 pm
If you make cabinets as well as you write a blog then Wowza! I love the church and would love to learn how it came to be in that state. I have another friend who takes amazing pictures and she swears by Picasa for editing them.
Dec. 30, 2011 4:03 pm
BAKING NANA.... Aint that the truth! I played music semi pro for many many years and I used to say all the time, the more I learn about playing music, the more I learn just how little I know about...playing music. It goes for every diciplined thing don't it? CAT HILL.... As of right now, observationing is a word. Either that or really bad grammar like I used in my reference to last years blog, a festively frolic... I agree with you about packing the camera everywhere, there have been several occasions over the years when I have missed a fantastic opportunity for a great shot, simply because I didn't have a camera and no, a cel phone is not a camera lol.
Dec. 30, 2011 4:27 pm
Wishing you another great year of blogging, cooking, photography and anything else that makes you happy.
Dec. 30, 2011 5:26 pm
DOUG.... HNY bakatya and thank you about the shot. About that winter classic, enjoy it, the teams playing are likely more relevant for you. About the only time I will ever give a hoot about the Rangers or the Flyers is the next time my beloved Canucks face em for the Cup! I'm thinking we'll take it from Philly this year. DUFFY.... I said mandoline, not mandolin and as my official internet sister, nOOOO, keep yer paws off my mandoline, yick. But thanks for the comps! LUV2COOK.... holy cats what nice things to say, did my wife pay you to say them? Hmmm? Tell ya what, my email is, send me an email and I'll send you a copy of that shot if you want, it really is a much better shot than shows in the blog. and, thank you.
Dec. 30, 2011 5:32 pm
BIGSHOTSMOM.... Again, thank you so nice of you to say and truthfully, I am a much better cabinetmaker than a writer. I'll have to look up Picasa. I have Adobe Elements and its a great program but what I don't have is knowledge of how folks post large clear pictures in their blogs. 1STLADY... right back at you and just as a hint, keep posting them food stories about mexican cooking. Your blogs intrigue me as confessedly I know just enough about mexican cooking to sound like an idiot when I talk about it.
Dec. 31, 2011 8:36 am
You always have a way of making me think, then wind up snorting coffee through my nose! LOL I have visions of being 'mom' in a rocker someday...jeepers, I hope its my saddle instead! Love the church shot and....well....I could sure use some cabinets here! oh...and the kid doesn't get any least until you think YOU are one again! Thanks for the kind words also. Hope your next year is a fabulous one!
Dec. 31, 2011 11:35 am
Petey, that thing you said, about how it does't get any easier until you thing that YOU are a kid again. It made me think about something only partially related to that, an associative thought. I've long held that the way we think about times in our lives and time in general, is just kind of wrong. Our memories are quite incredible, you can conjure up images and sensations far far beyond what you might cognitively recognize. That said, the apparent memory that we possess would somehow lead us to believe that events that have happened in the past, and the people we were at the time of the event, are just memories, as in, in the past, gone, over. I disagree with this. I believe that every single thing that's ever happened to you is now. It's all current. You are, every person, you've ever been and at any given time, you might in fact be someone you once were, because it's still all you. I make a cutesy comment at times about how sometimes I stand up and marvel that I'm so big. It's kind of funny but the truth of that is, that sometimes when I get up, I'm 6 years old, just for a second, then I'm 51 again right quick but just for a second, it's 6 year old me peering through these failing eyes as I go up and and up and up, whoa, I'm big!! I will always be that incredulous 6 year old, and that fearful 9 year old and that cocky 14 year old, and that horny 18 year old etc... I never stop being every one I've ever been so I won't really have to wait until I'm a kid again, I already am. I know, I know, it should have been another blog...
Dec. 31, 2011 5:33 pm
Raedwulf that was two years before the Titanic sank. Still A Very Good Picture. I normally Have My Camera With Me. One day I just stopped to take pictures Of cows. I wish I would have had a Digital camera When I Was In Germany, Korea, Granada, UK, Japan And All the places i traveled in the USA. As Bob Hope Said "thanks for the memories" and a camera allows us to relive our lives, if only in our memories.
Jan. 2, 2012 8:07 pm
Bacon and peanut butter...what else is there???? I like to take pictures too, and there have been too many times that I didn't back the car up to snap a photo and regretted it later. Do it, whenever you can!
Jan. 5, 2012 7:15 pm
You like the bacon and peanut butter? Me too!!!
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About Me
Let's see, in keeping it to a subject, at age 22 I had a filet doused in Bernaise sauce aboard a train. That was it, I was hooked on fine food. Living in a small town necessitates learning to cook well to maintain that stellar menu.
My favorite things to cook
Oh man, only a thousand characters? My favorite things to cook are items that make YOU happy. I'll try anything and thus far it would be far easier to list those things I don't like than those I do. So far, I hate Cilantro and I'm allergic to green chiles. It's a short list.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas. I like everything about that meal and every single year I aim to improve.
My cooking triumphs
Every smile, every gasp of delight, every accolade, such sweet victory!
My cooking tragedies
A Cioppino recipe I found here. I served it as part of one of those Christmas dinners and the cod was a poor choice. It was terrible, ghastly fishy taste. I've since learned a thing or two about freshness in fish. Prior to that, hmm perhaps when I was 10, I made a spice cake that called for whole cloves....hey, that's what it said on the outside of the bottle, whole cloves....
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