Food isn’t just something you eat. It’s not just something you put in your mouth to survive or when you have a craving. It’s part of your culture, your traditions, your family history.
Certain smells, sights, tastes or recipes bring back memories and take you to another time. I know that when I was first separated, I felt nauseous and sick to my stomach for months. I couldn’t eat a thing, except, for some odd reason, chopped liver.
Maybe it felt comforting and reminded me of a time when I lived at home and my mom made it for us. Maybe my body craved it because it’s high in iron. Maybe the recipe was just easy to make at a time when I couldn’t focus on anything except simple tasks.
As I began to feel better, I started eating again, but different foods were more appealing at different times. I went from chopped liver and cocktails to smoothies, Paleo banana breads and even strawberry soufflé.
When I first made soufflé, I had no idea how quickly they would deflate, so I brought two ramekins of fluffy dessert to my boys’ school when I picked them up that afternoon. They ate them in the car and loved them.
I was so impressed with myself; I had made those delicious, fluffy little desserts. Me!
I began taking photos of my creations, but quickly realized that I wasn’t doing them justice with my iPhone. I decided to enroll in a food photography course with my sister. She had taken some photography lessons at a place in downtown Toronto called GTA Photography Classes and raved about it.
We decided to take their Food Photography class together to learn how to use our camera’s manual settings and natural lighting to make apples look delicious and lemons appealing.
I was frustrated when my series of blackberry photos looked flat and gross, but we were pretty proud of our pears. I couldn’t believe I’d taken them with my own camera. We laughed at our failed attempts and oohed and aahed when we took a good one. My sister even played around with her pear photos in Photoshop, printed and framed them.I’ve had luck photographing a blueberry poppyseed cake and even a chia crumble I made in the weeks after the workshop. I always think of my sister when I take food photos. Sometimes I’ll even call her to ask her if I should adjust my aperture or shutter speed. It felt good that the new feelings I’d developed around food and the love and energy I was using to feed my boys was being captured in this creative new way.
I enjoy blogging about my culinary adventures and photographing the results. Somehow these images have become part of my story and my evolution toward peace of mind… and a piece of my favourite Paleo banana bread!