September and an anniversary - wineries, pies and a basketball buff
When one takes a vacation, it is supposed to be a time of relaxation, of letting go everyday routines and doing different things, enjoying different activities. Most times I can plug off and forget about the blog during those three weeks that are meant to be spent with my male counterparts, just beachin' and taking walks, sightseeing and getting a lot of rest. Refreshing the mind, cleaning it up of old stuff, old ideas, and making room for new things, new inspirations, new work.
This year was different. Not on purpose, it was purely accidental. I found myself getting these creative bursts all of a sudden and having to act on them. Styling ideas, ideas for new photos, different shoots, different angles, different lights and settings. I embraced these bursts and went along with them, happily, if I do say so myself. I took advantage of being in a different location, with different props, and let my creativity run free. Worked on things I had been kind of wanting to work on for a while, with ideas that had been bubbling away in my head for ages. Like photographing wines. Don't know why, I had always wanted to photograph a few bottles of wine, style them in certain ways, play with them.
It happens that when we go away on holiday, we always end up stocking our wine cellar. We tend to buy wines, while on vacation, be it local wines, be it foreign wines we come across and know that will be the only chance to stock up on that particular vintage, be it on special editions that we know won't be as affordable once the Summer is over. We always do this, and we return with a few bottles that will be perfect for September and October's celebrations. See, we have our anniversary early in September, and then both our birthdays in October. And seeing that the kid has his birthday in August, there's always one bottle that will be opened on that day, as he really is such a big love in both our hearts!
Our wedding anniversary has come and gone and was celebrated in our usual, quiet manner. A good wine was popped and drank, toasts were made, a risotto cooked to perfection and eaten, a table set as beautifully as last year's and though there was no dessert, there was fun and that's mostly what one wants to celebrate fifteen years together and thirteen years of a happy marriage. It's not that we don't have our bad moments, it's not like we never argue between the two of us, or get mad at one another, it's not as if any of us is without faults, we are not perfect in anyway, but we love each other, we accept each other's flaws - mostly! - and the good times are far more in number than the bad ones. If there's someone who has always supported and stood beside my choices and my dreams and my goals and desires, it has been my husband. And he kills all the cockroaches, so that makes him priceless.
He also shares my love for good food, for homecooking, for staying in, and for wine. It's like perfection, to be able to converse on subjects that move us both, to be able to try new things, new flavours, new ingredients. It's like perfection that he - and our son, as well - endure my endless photographing and disarranging of the house, my props, my camera and tripod all over the place, my styling, my occupying tables and chairs and spots trying to find the perfect light, my endless hours at the computer editing photos, my delaying dinner or lunch because I am taking pictures of certain dishes, my forbidding them of cutting a slice of cake because I haven't photographed it yet and am still styling the shoot... it's perfection that they share this with me and have the patience for it, and it is also so much fun!
So maybe these holidays did not go unscathed from my constant shooting and styling, so maybe my head did not get all the rest it maybe should have, so maybe I did not plug off nearly enough, but truth is I came back with new ideas, and a more adventurous streak where it comes to my photographing. I came back with new ideas for recipes that will need testing, and new ideas for shoots and for styling, I came back wanting to play more with light and texture, and I have immediately noticed a slight turn on the way I photograph, with the first shoot I did back home. Even if I did not manage to keep my mind off of this blog during the holidays, I can say I came back rearing to go and try new things.
September has that kind of effect on me, anyway. Because Fall is just around the corner, and produce starts to change, and it's nearing pumpkin time, and root veggies that I love so much. It's also the start of game season, and do I love cooking with game, and as the temps start to plummet down, there's a return to roasts, and stews, and one pot dishes that are my fave - you can pack a pan full of really good things, between fish and meat and veggies and carbs, letting them simmer away slowly for hours, freeze the plentyful leftovers and have a very healthy meal at hand's reach! - and pies!
I guess I live for pies, and this year I am dreaming of experimenting more, of going back to certain old favourites that I haven't made in years. I used to bake a mean vegetable pie that I dubbed my All Star American Pie (in honour of a certain olympic basketball team back in the 90's that starred names as Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, Clive Drexler and Charles Barkley, bet you didn't know I used to be a basketball fan and am still a huge Chicago Bulls maniac!) and that I haven't cooked in ages, so I am looking forward to that one, maybe getting in new flavours and different vegetables than the ones I used to pack in. I'm thinking squash, mushrooms, leeks...
So here's to September, and to Fall coming my way, and to new ventures and new goals and new things to try and play with, here's to one more year of doing things I love and cooking real, good, honest food that satisfies me and mine, here's to living slowly, without rushing through things and moments and days, no hurries to get somewhere, just enjoying each moment as it comes, even if that moment is just me sitting in front of my laptop editing photos or writing a post on the blog - I really do get a rush of happiness in those moments, I couldn't even describe how it feels!! Here's to a September that I enjoy fully, and that is full of creativity. And good wine.