Success does not depend upon the food. The food is the centerpiece. Does it matter. No. it is the people. It is family. It is gathering together after three long years of covid separation. We survived. Some had it. Twice. We were fortunate to have missed Covid. Safe? No. There is a positive number for new cases and deaths. But the risk? is at acceptable levels. All the old recipes were pulled. My turkey was made in our new oven which overcooked the bird in less time than we expected. No one complained. It was as though we were seeing long lost relatives. Mistakes were made. And everyone had an excellent time. No one went away hungry.
Photography? No, I think I was more photojournalist. I documented events – birthdays, holidays, food, family. Photography came later. I was parsimonious – cheap! So, I shot more than most people and way less than I do since digital is “free.” Boy, oh boy, was I bad (photographer) way back then. Hey, I knew how to focus and take a picture. Fine art, it wasn’t! Food photography? I shot dishes we prepared for big family dinners. The turkey was not styled for a good photo. It tasted far better? (It looks overdone.) And the holidays were a documentation of the litany of presents bought, given, and received. Funny, I still do that. I did it this past Xmas. It’s a record. Someone might find it nostalgic in a few decades from now. But photography? I do both. Now. History or art? I don’t try to overthink it. I am happy to say there are plenty of pictures. I do not look back too often. Like time, I am always in forward mode. (Shhh… Lisa took the pics of me.)
Once upon a time
Once upon a time Amelia, the dove, hatched a clutch of eggs in Jule”s window box. Several more generations of eggs followed and hatched. Imagine, it was 5 floor up in NYC, hardly the place to raise a family of doves. Several years later there was a reunion of the extended dove family on my 6th floor deck – one time only. It was poignant and priceless!
I have seen Gates, a one-time art installation in Central Park. I flew over the Verraznno Bridge during the NYC Marathon. I got to shoot at the US Open. I have been to Patriot Day in Boston. Why did the turkey(s) cross the road? Um, I don’t know either. Puffins??! Cute?! I got seasick three times unsuccessfully never seeing the birds, before I got this shot. The dragon – New Orleans – mardi gras, I was there to see the warehouse housing the trappings of the celebration. Walter Mitty had nothing on me.
It’s belated thanksgiving dinner (pictures). We spent two days cooking for two people. I’d have never done it for one. Turkey is the centerpiece. The stuffing never varies. Sides are up for grabs. They are never the same. Colleen cooks. And, she bakes. And, she could’ve made the turkey too. But…. No! It was a dinner that could not be beat. We took out Blue Willow plates and old silver and… had a ball. It is not too late to appreciate how precious time is together with someone dear in your life. Where have you been all my life?
Dance and chew gum
The very good news is that despite a very messy kitchen, we are very good cooks. And, we eat very well. Looking at the gallery: savory fruit salad (we had watermelon sitting around); stuffin’ en slow cooker; dry turkey (done too soon); roasty toasty peanuts (a non sequitur); butternut squash soup (a la Silver Palate cookbook); brown sugar and butter (what doesn’t go good with that?); and, an empty table waiting to be laden. When I opened the oven to baste the turkey, I discovered the done sensor had already popped. Darn? I guess it was the roasting pan that cooked the turkey faster. The breast was still moist despite the wings and drumsticks overly done and dry. (We don’t eat them, anyway.) The brown sugar and butter turned into candied sweet potatoes. There is always extra stuffing. The crock pot was brilliant. (Colleen’s idea!) We can not only clear space, but, we can cook! (Well!) The downside? No one else was there to enjoy the meal with us. Dinner alone with your wife, priceless! As I wrote elsewhere, she hummed the whole meal through. Mmmmmm!
A little bit different
We were having a solitary Thanksgiving. No travel, no family, no friends. I broke the rule and invited my brother. Then, with the dismal news, and the heightened risks, we felt compelled to follow good practice and refrain. So, no one will join our dinner but our seven cats. I wish a peaceful healthy Thanksgiving to all. On a lighter note, it appears that Jules once weighed less than our celebration turkey. Go figure! That is at least worth a smile.
Pardon me? These wild guys were wandering through the backyard and probably are not adorning anyone’s table today. By chance the other photo – I have been called a “turkey” – slipped into the post serendipitously. It’s appropriate too. To all the scattered family this year, I wish you all a “Happy.”
Okay! Now for something completely different. There was a magical Thanksgiving dinner when I was working in Maine. We had just sat down to dinner when a group of wild turkeys strolled past our window in plain view. Ummm, that would be a fitting argument to become vegetarian. However, I have only seen male turkeys rarely and never fanning their tails. Wow! Do you believe this? … in the back yard. … just for me!
Why’d the turkey cross the road? Ha! There be wild turkeys! Both sides of the road. I saw them coming over the hill in the car. Ha again! I was the one in the car…I slowed well before we got there. Then I let the car slowly roll down toward them. No good. They were skittish and nervous and started to run/hide. I got a few shots to document that I had actually seen them. Hey! There were turkeys. See?!
For the purists: Green tint – car glass/windshield. And focus – you can’t always get what you want through car glass. … too lazy to correct in digital processing.
Hanging rock. Till it’s not. Some of it once fell and crushed a mail truck – just the truck, the driver was not in it. Lucky! It’s rural W Va. Okay! It’s like Maine or anywhere quaint. It was a wet day. It seems all spring it’s been wet and cold and rainy. Oh! We made it past hanging rock without any falling rock – on our heads.
Wild turkeys – ain’t seen none since I lived in Maine. The mailbox reminds me of Haiti. The American flag? It’s W VA and patriotic. Republican? Hmmm… hard to say.
It’s not too hard to see wild turkey. It’s a bit of a trick to get a picture. I suppose there is a hunting season too. My best memory was when the kids visited on Thanksgiving. I cooked a turkey dinner – complete with trimmings. And then as we started to sit several wild turkeys crossed lawn right outside the window. We all saw them go by. That was a moment to remember. No, these guys were not those guys. I was too surprised to pull the camera. Besides I was serving up dinner.