Since I started cooking and baking with other bloggers at French Fridays with Dorie, I’ve steadily accumulated a pile of photos from our weekly recipes. I skipped a few weeks here and there but I have been an active member of the group since November 2010. As much as I like the portability of having my photos readily available from online and offline storage, I still long for that tangible feeling of holding a photo album in my hands.
About a year ago, I made an impulse purchase at Photobook when there was an irresistible sale for large format 11x11 hardcover filled with 40 pages. Obviously I conveniently forgot how much work it would require of me to put together not one, but two, albums. 80 blank pages to fill with photos that I style, shoot, curate, edit, and lay out…my head spins at the mere thought.
Selective memory in the last 12 months shielded me from the consequence of my impulse purchase. It was only a couple of weeks ago when I realized with panic that my vouchers were about to expire at end of April. Fortunately, most of the photos I took of the dishes from Around My French Table are already edited to some degree. Putting together photo albums of my French Fridays experience was the least labour-intensive subject I could think of. A few nights of hard work later, I’m ready to submit my books for print.
The first volume includes recipes I cooked between November 2010 until July 2011. I followed pretty closely to Greenspan’s original recipes at the beginning but you can see my progression to incorporate more of my own cooking style. Taking a simple dish and building a whole themed meal around it became my signature as you can tell from my French bento, reimagined airplane meal, and build-your-own dessert platter. I also played around with different plating and presentation. Here is a slide show of volume one:
Volume two spans from July 2011 to April 2012. I continued with more themed meals such as picnics (encore), cocktail parties, tapas, and even a TV dinner for giggles. My increased confidence in the kitchen also inspired me to take creative license for a number of recipes that veered far from the original. You can see for yourself here:
It was an interesting exercise for me to go through all these photos chronologically. I can visibly see the growth in my photography and culinary skills. Creativity ebbed and flowed at various points to match the demands I experienced in my personal life. I am proud of every dish I cooked and I cannot wait for the printed books to arrive at my doorstep!
When our cooking group completes all the recipes in Around My French Table, it will be so awesome to have my set of photo albums to match every single recipe! Over 300 of them!