My Return to a Homemade Life

Week of August 11Sides---web

I spent last Saturday morning cooking up a storm in my tiny kitchen, crafting items for yet another still life composition for the family cookbook. The biggest recurring challenge of my summer crash course on painting food has been accurately capturing the perspective of serving dishes. Although I have yet to master it, the white buttermilk carton is spot on and I love the apricot jam jar.

Reading about the Iowans’ freshly baked bread enjoyed with jam and milk during the Great Depression prompted this menu choice. My own bread was equally delicious eaten with apricot jam, and fortunately the puddle of soup which almost resembles a form from a Van Gogh painting is far more appetizing than it looks.

Saturday afternoon flew by and childhood memories swirled through my head as I tried to capture the comforts of a welcoming household. Last week I bought a November plane ticket to South Africa which will be my first visit in seven years. Buttermilk is a common ingredient in the sliced Irish brown bread and zucchini and potato soup, as well as a traditional South African soup recipe which will be included in the book.  Saturday evening my arrangement looked like it was floating on the bare lemon yellow canvas, so I introduced a background piece of furniture to help anchor the scene.

Regular visits to 101 Cookbooks, La Tartine Gourmande and Orangette have inspired me to plug away at  capturing the many emotions associated with food. I enjoy these food still lifes and plan to keep at them long after the cookbook is published.

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