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Verses from my Kitchen: November 2011

November 29, 2011

The Morning After: Creamy Eggs with Sage & Parmesan, Smoked Salmon and Capers on Toast

This was it. The precise moment. The calm before the storm before the calm. When the sound rang out from the alarm clock the sky was still lost somewhere in the hours of the night before. Caught in the struggle between late evening and early morning. Black slate. We struggled with our morning of a shoot routine. Eyes still locked in a dream. Hot shower, quick dress, bag check and warm up the car. These were the last couple of hours before the madness set in. Took over.

A last chance. To let it all out. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale...

We pulled away from the safe confines of home some time after seven a.m. The roads were all but empty that morning, save for the early morning commuters and people lost in the shuffle of life. The two of us locked in our thoughts and running through the day's checklists. The order of the day was already playing out, scripted countless times before. Albeit different names and faces. They all went off the same script.
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November 24, 2011

Black Plum & Ginger Crumble

At last. The tidal wave of work related commitments and photo shoots is ending. Abruptly. It should perfectly coincide with the onset of winter's predictable symptoms, the bone-aching low temperatures, snow drifts and the occasional day trapped inside. Mostly by our own doing. This Saturday is our last wedding of the year and if timing has it right, it should usher in all the promise and hope that comes with snow and winter.

We started off photographing friends and family but that quickly escalated with the trust and belief others had in us. Mostly in my wife. And her creative process. After a few of those less-stress shoots, we decided to go full throttle into photography. My wife took a massive leap of faith, quit her job and does this full-time now. I put my work to bed on weekends and join her in the process. The only way we've ever known.

It's amazing how quickly the ball of life can escalate and gain momentum and carry you along with it. And if you're smart and believe in yourself, you won't get steamrolled. That's what we do every single day. Strive, push forward and have faith in the process and do our best not to get run over. And we did it as one.
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November 20, 2011

Sunday Soup Series: Hot & Sour Noodle Soup with Shrimp

Sunday. With her relaxed personality and character, she can disarm you and uncover you. Your weaknesses and insecurities fall away and, for one day, you take refuge in her presence. The last day of the week plays out unlike the rest, choosing a different path, less strained and complicated. Now, after a lifetime resenting all she had to offer, I succumb to her charm. Each week. Every time.

Things have changed. Forever different. It took me that long to give in.

As a young boy growing up I looked at the less glamorous of the weekend days as the one that stood between me and a new school week. And the moment we finished dinner it was just a matter of time. When. I could hear my internal clock striking one second hand after another, ticking away and getting louder and louder. The routine continued until my parents ushered me upstairs, effectively closing the chapter on the weekend. It was there that I lay awake, refusing to shut my eyes on freedom.
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November 16, 2011

Back in the Day and a Pear & Walnut Loaf

For the first years of my life my family lived on the first floor of one of those generic high-rise buildings that looked like all the rest. During my first grades of school my world was a three block radius on the fat side of the city, just outside the borders of status and circumstance. My parents worked hard but they were young and hadn't made their mark. Yet. These were my beginnings.

The day my parents put down money on their first house I was a bit anxious. Excited but fearful of the world that existed outside of long hallways and sky high balconies. I knew a handful of kids, a few parents and one teacher at one school. Things were about to change. Fast.

A little while later a moving truck backed up to the building and started loading all of our cherished possessions. It wasn't all that much really, enough boxes to fill a large storage unit at best. I said bye to the few friends I had met and known and my best friend in the world. And we were off. Never turning back.
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November 12, 2011

Sunday Soup Series: Pear and Gorgonzola Soup

It arrived as delicately and quietly as it escaped a year ago. For a brief moment it littered the ground and then, lacking fanfare and much notice, it was gone. It left a whisper of what's in store, a dress rehearsal for the months ahead.

As the soft and wet snow came down a smile crept across my face. Snow connects me to some of my most vivid memories. As I drove through a few cities there was proof that snow had come and gone, leaving behind a sheet of white on the farmer's dirt fields. And then, however briefly, I drove through an unexpected area of heavy snow. It lasted a few minutes and melted on impact. No sign it arrived at all.

W and I love snow. It's romantic and beautiful and a reminder of the winters of our youth. It ushers in the weeks preceeding the holidays and brings about a change of spirit amongst the people you cross paths with. It's also the signal of the season and time to start decorating our house. Something we looked forward to long before we bought our house.
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November 8, 2011

Soup Series: Market Vegetable and Quinoa Soup with Celery Pesto

It finally caught up to us. It was bound to happen. The pace of the week vanishing into the weekend and the weekend disappearing. Each and every week. Like that. Gone. It seemed like it was just July. And we blinked. And missed it. Everything. No personal imprints on life and no time for it either. Or for us. It was bound to weaken. And it finally has.

The weekends have been congested. No time to breathe or sink into life or come up for air. Friday nights through Sunday have been filled up with X's on our calendar. It looks like a countdown to something important, like a milestone or event. But it isn't. It's the recognition of another shoot complete, finished.
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November 4, 2011

Cocktail Recipe: Cider Rum Punch

When I was younger I knew the seasons by the aroma of the house each time I walked through the front door. Or snuck in the back. It would lift clear off the stove and spread through the rooms of the house like wildfire. That first step inside and I could describe the changing of the guard outside. The scent would infiltrate my pores and stay with me forever.

Each new season brought with it a new but familiar bouquet of love. When it started getting cold out, there would be a pot of apple cider warming on the stove with cinnamon, cloves and spices. It was the canvas of our autumns and it warmed my bones, year after year. That cider was a fixture from late fall through Christmas and I never tired of walking in and seeing my mom stirring the pot of cider with promise of a hot cup for me.
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