So it turns out that we have grapes in our backyard. Grapes. I knew we had lemons, oranges, and rosemary, but I had no idea we had grapes. It was a normal afternoon around here, and Chip was crawling all over things, falling down, standing up, falling down and then he had one too many falls and got real cranky. And, like a lot of us, he needs a bit of fresh air when this happens, so we take a nature walk out in the back yard.
So we are walking, and I’m telling Chip all about what we can cook with these things that are growing in the yard, and Chip is listening and swatting at the lemons, and grabbing the leaves, and I look up and that’s when I see them. Grapes. Real, legit, grapes. In our backyard!
And so I begin taking pictures, and as I’m inside contemplating what I’m going to do with all of these grapes, I see a recipe in Real Simple that seems easy enough, and so I get to work. The recipe is easy, and it’s delicious. It’s a win-win on all fronts. And although I altered it a bit because of the things I had on hand, my joy in doing this project was not in the recipes. It was in the photos.
You see, I’m a words girl. I love to write. And therefore, my default, I’m a pictures girl. Because sometimes, there are not words to capture exactly what you are looking at. Other times, words can only describe the way that you are feeling. And this, is what I am passionate about. This connection between words and photos, of beautiful food, people, and places.
The tagline for my blog has always been: “A reminder that unlikely things can come together and make something beautiful.” And it’s true. Baking is textures, colors, and flavors that seem to have nothing in common but when combined perfectly, they make something beautiful and delicious. I love the colors of food, the blessing we have that we live in a place and time that we can eat it, the occasions that people have to enjoy it, and the Biblical truths that food represents. But I love mostly that it’s a reminder that sometimes life throws you curve balls, and we wake up to something new each day, and things don’t always seem to fit together, but if just give it some time, things usually turn out to be something beautiful. And if it doesn’t? We must remember that there is hope that it will.
Recently, my husband has taken a new job as worship leader at a church and this has allowed me to stay at home with Chip. We couldn’t be more excited about this new season. And it’s in this new season that I hope my blog can be a place for these photos, to try new things in the realm of food photography and food styling, and a place for stories. Words and photos, with a proof of beauty and the hope for it when we can’t always seem to find it.
Oh, and did I mention that I’m not that good at making up recipes? I end up wasting too much food, and when I’m hungry, I’m hungry. And frankly, I don’t have the patience with myself to try out new combinations. I’d rather enjoy a well-seasoned recipe that has been tried and tested by someone whose gift is just that, and then I can indulge, cry over it (it’s happened), and then photograph it.
I know I have lots to learn, but I hope you’ll join me in this new adventure. Thank you in advance for letting me walk with you and you doing the same for me.
Recipe barely adapted from Real Simple Magazine
Grape, Sage, and Ricotta Toast
1 large bundle of Red Grapes, seedless (ours had seeds, but I just bit hard enough and pretended like I didn't notice)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
ricotta cheese for spreading (the amount will differ depending on one's presence)
baguette of choice
salt to taste
pepper to taste
4-5 sprigs of sage
Cut sage into small-ish pieces. Wash grapes, and then toss them in olive oil, sage, and salt and pepper. Pour all ingredients on to an un-greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes, or until the skin splits open. While baking, cut baguette into slices and toast them until golden brown. Remove grapes from oven and spread ricotta on to bread slices. Top with grapes, sage, and salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, and add a bit more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
These would go wonderfully with a glass of dry white wine for an at-home happy hour.