Having been very comfortable in the kitchen since I was about 11, I actually learned to cook on a wood and coal stove that was also the only heat source for our home on the Canadian Prairie. Yes, that dates me!!!
That was when I learned that you made Christmas Cake on a mild day in November as the ideal baking temperature was a low one, and thus we wouldn’t need the extra heat to heat the home.
My early interest in food stemmed from a self-protective need . .. my Mom was very ill and was training me up to look after the kitchen.
Thankfully, that situation was resolved and Mom lived to be nearly 90 years of age. When I was about 15, we moved into our new home on the farm and had a brand new electric stove with a window in the door . . I made a cake and literally sat and watched it rise.
Mom taught me how to roast a cut of meat, make stew in the pressure cooker, buns and pies all at a very early age. I always said I must have had beginner’s luck as her teaching only fueled my desire to learn more. When my uncle suddenly passed away, I was left in charge of feeding the men we had helping with the haying. That would be called “trial by fire”. Later on in my teens when I was practicing my new found skills on my father . . . . canned pears covered in cream cheese with halved grapes all over the top of that . . . he was not impressed and wondered why I just couldn’t make meat and potatoes instead of this fancy stuff. The next meal I made was a stew . . . he was happy.
My Mother was an amazing cook and everything was so very tasty. She was very artistic and a gifted cake decorator, all self taught. When I was a teenager we spent time in the kitchen together and I would do quite a bit of the baking. When I came home from college with all sorts of new found recipes, I made each of them and that was a huge part of the Christmas Baking that year.
As a new bride I had a whole new audience to try out my repertroire on. My mother in law was also an amazing cook and we spent many days making pies, buns and various tea dainties together.
Later after moving to Wainwright, I taught Adult Education in all areas of the culinary field, and thus my quest for new material began in earnest. Hence my research library of cookbooks became quite sinful, but it has given me a great deal of joy throughout my entire life. I have told my children that if they destroy my collection of books and recipes I will haunt them . . . . forever. There is amazing history on those book shelves.
For the last 28 years we have lived in Edmonton and we will soon be celebrating our 47th wedding anniversary. We have been blessed with twins, a boy and a girl, four granchildren, a Brazilian segment of our family, extended family, friends and good health.
Some randomness . . . . .
This journey started with delving into Digital Scrapbooking and teaching myself Photoshop. It wasn’t until after this that I bought a DSLR camera, thus the post processing was never daunting to me.
I like to stay current with technology and software.
I quickly came to love photography and decided quite early on that my focus would be more architecturally centered.
At the same time as I bought my first DSLR, we started to travel, so documenting the journeys became a huge priority. At the end of each adventure I would create a hard covered coffee table travel book rather than have loose pictures printed or just gathering dust on a hard drive. These can all be visited at my website Photography with Passion.
In an effort to reduce some of the chaos in my life and to take the pace down a bit, and to pursue photography in a more personal and reflective manner, I decided to explore the world of Still Life Photography and further hone my skills in the area of food photography. Kim Klassen’s BeStill 52 still had a spot open, so I leaped in with both feet. I am totally inspired by Barb Brookbank, a fellow Albertan, who has combined her love of photography and food in a very gifted and artistic manner. Check her out Keeping with the Times.
Having always spent time in the kitchen, food photography has quite interested me ever since acquiring the camera and began photographing the food during our many journeys. I published a cook book 19 years ago and am thinking of re-publishing it with updated material and of course my own photos.
I love to write, so starting a blog mostly about food seems like a natural progression, having two other websites and having written a cookbook as mentioned above.
The journey through the Photography World has brought me much pleasure over the last 8 years and through this adventure, many bonds that were formed online have become personal relationships. I consider myself so blessed to have had this richness added to my life as a byproduct of one of my passions.
My Photo Gear (it’s sinful actually)
Nikkor f/1.4 50 mm
Nikkor f/1.4 35 mm
Nikkor f/2.8 Nikkor 105 mm Macro
Nikkor f/1.8 85mm
Nikkor f/2.8 14-24 mm
Nikkor f/2.8 24-70 mm
Nikkor f/2.8 70-200 mm
Nikkor f/3.5 to 5.6 28-300 mm
Nikkor 24mm Tilt Shift Lens
Nikkor 85mm Tilt Shift Lens
My Editing Software
CC 2015 and Lightroom 5
Pursuit of the Passion (There is always more to learn and it keeps me invigorated!)
Several online courses through Bryan Peterson’s Photography School
Workshops in Oregon, Cape Cod and Edmonton with Bryan Peterson
Workshop with Eddie Tapp and Judy Host
Workshop with Bobbi Goodrich and Susan Lei Burns
Many, many photography courses . . . too numerous to mention at Creative Live
Be Still 52
Start to Finish
Air Canada Travel Magazine
Digital Photography, Canadian Publication