The photo above is the view from my window this morning. Growing up, my family always had a paucity of pictures. We have one half-filled album of baby pictures for the whole family and not everyone is included. When the moment comes where one of us is required procure a photo collage for a yearbook, panic and frustration ensues. If we happen to remember to bring a camera on vacation, you can be sure that the subject matter will consist of birds in their natural environment and scenic views. Perhaps one or two of us will be captured in the periphery of the lens, but it will probably be more coincidental than intentional. We managed to take a family picture at Christmas this year, mostly because our persevering sister-in-law somehow convinced everyone that we’d be be grateful for it later on, but it was still a torturous experience. My sister Lizzy is also contributing to improvements in our situation with her love of photography and good eye for capturing candid moments.
I can’t say the same for myself. While living in Mexico and Lebanon I barely took pictures. In two of my visits to Europe I did not take any pictures at all. When I went to see a friend in Kenya, I was extremely determined to document my memories, but I still felt as though touting a camera everywhere made me less present to the moment and put a barrier between myself and my first-hand experience of the world. Do I regret not having visual mementos? Absolutely. Will that regret push me to remember my camera in the future? Probably not, unfortunately.
Enter the food blog. It seems that cooking (and, let’s be honest, instagram) is already ushering forth miraculous changes in my life. Suddenly I am not only remembering to snap pictures, but I am also doing the very best my amateur self can do to find good lighting and flattering angles. Unfortunately, last evening, I caved to my hunger and failed to record evidence of the mouth-watering meal that my dad prepared. Words will have to suffice. The smells crept through the house before I had the chance to peek into the oven and see what they were originating from. There were slabs of pink salmon served atop toasty kale in a pan alongside wedges of orange. On the stovetop were slices of zucchini that had been coaxed to perfection with the surprising addition of some buttery cinnamon concoction. The tastes presented themselves one after another until they united in a sensational medley. It was picture worthy, yes, but I couldn’t wait for the superfluous photographic set-up. Despite my new picture-snapping habit, there are still times when it will ruin the moment.
So, although I really appreciate the art of photography, I am still a bit wary of it for myself. My caution is not to let capturing the moment for the future take precedence over living in the moment itself. In any case, I do wish I had a picture of last night’s meal. And about that meal, eat salmon in the wintertime as well as the summer. Its B vitamins will boost the metabolism; its mineral content of selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium will regulate the thyroid and strengthen the bones and muscles, and its omega-3 fats will support healthy cardiac functions. Just be sure to buy wild-caught as opposed to farm-raised salmon. Salmon is simple and delicious, and I’ll certainly be posting a recipe along with photographic accompaniment in the near future.