Moments. July 2012.

So here’s the thing. Way back, before I had a blog, I had a blog. Well, an iWeb blog that was private that I shared with friends and family when I travelled. And I wrote and posted pictures every day. Of pretty much everything. Overload? Not really when it was my means of communicating what I was up to with people who were far away – much more efficient than emailing and so much prettier with pictures.

Since I have had a “real” blog, I have kind of felt compelled to take even more pictures. To capture moments, images I might need (you never know right?!). But just over three years down the blogging road, it gets tiring. Taking your camera everywhere. Worrying about light and angles and plate presentation and at the same time not bugging your travel companions or those around you with your big old camera. So sometimes, you know, I leave my camera at home. Or in a hotel room. And just go to enjoy the moment. And be. To be fair, I always have my iPhone with me, which helps with those surreptitious snaps to help you capture a moment you really want to remember. All the while, in a much more discrete fashion than were it with a proper camera.  And this summer I have come to realise something. Even though these quick snapshots might not be the best composed with the best lighting, some of these are my favourite pictures. Because they are memories of moments.

Paris Métro sign, Hôtel de Ville, Notre Dame from the back

This summer, I have been SO busy, every day, working with food at La Cuisine Paris making amazing dishes, watching wonderful things materialise often from just a few ingredients. Or wandering markets, looking at food. Looking at the people selling and buying the food. It’s been fascinating and a real education. One that I have wanted to document. I’ve struggled a lot with finding when to bring out the big camera this summer. Especially after my weekend with Tim Clinch and Kate Hill where the true lesson, aside from photography and cooking was to simply slow down. Behind the camera and “off camera” so to speak. Yet looking at my iPhone pictures from the past few weeks, I realise I have documented a LOT without my big camera. And that some of these, whilst not the “best” pictures, are some of my best memories…

One of my favourite memories from this summer so far has got to be after the night market in Vianne (see below) when Tim, Kate and Monica and I tumbled home and finished the apricot tart. And Monica took this picture. The moment. Unstyled. Totally not thought about. But captured.  So today I am sharing some of my own “moments” from the past month and a bit in Paris and Gascony with you. I hope you enjoy because these photos all make me smile. A lot.

At La Cuisine Paris: making chouquettes, quiche, tarte tatin and fougasses
Canada Day at WanderLust Brunch Bazar: Rosé and donuts. Enjoyed with Winy Bernard of Coco and Cowe.
Poutet Rôti shared with Jennifer Perillo and her girls
Lovely afternoon spent at Merci Merci with Lindsey (Lost in Cheeseland)
Many a quiet moment at Caféothèque. Excellent coffee.
Frenchie Wine Bar. A must. A meal I shared with a colleague on her first (but not last) trip to Paris.
At Frenchie Wine Bar: burrata, charcuterie plate, terrine campagnarde
At Frenchie Wine Bar: beet salad, pot au chocolat, meringues and berries
At Semilla (Paris 6ième) with Lindsey (Lost in Cheeseland) – blanquette de veau with fresh peas, Sablet Breton with apricots and hazelnut icecream.
At les Papilles they serve the gazpacho like this: pour your own soup. Enjoyed with Beth Hill (OMG Yummy Blog) and her family
Never thought osso bucco could look so beautiful. At Les Papilles it did!
Start and end of the evening at Mon Bistro. Those little cubes are “cake salé” (savory pound cake) as an apéro snack.
La Fermette on rue Montorgueil. Exquisite cheese. Also, my “local” fromagerie.
Discovering and enjoying Praluline at François Pralus. Brioche aux pralines roses.
Finally made it to Jacques Genin. This is an Ephémère. Enjoyed with Jill Colonna (Mad about Macarons)
Natural Food, Natural Light Food Photography. In Gascony it was light until after 10.30.
Monich Shaw, Kate Hill, Tim Clinch and me.
Worst food photos ever from the Marché Nocturne in Vianne.

It’s true that these are pretty terrible pictures of food. Oysters, calamari and charcuterie on a terribly messy table. But it you take a look at Tim’s video montage of the evening, you might get a glimpse of how much fun it was that night. Or perhaps you had to be there…

And finally….

My mum in the macaron class I taught last week at La Cuisine Paris. Smiling cos they’re so perfect.

Thanks for indulging me.  I’m leaving Paris with a bit of a heavy heart tomorrow morning.  Hopefully the next two weeks in Champagne and the Rhône will provide me with many more happy moments.

Follow my French travels on Flickr this summer with my Summer 2012 set of photos – updated regularly!

26 thoughts on “Moments. July 2012.”

  1. Beautiful, Mardi! I spent the most of my days traveling with a camera glued to my hand, and it’s such a treasure to look back at those moments. Finding those photos that mean something to you is always the best. Though, as you said, it can also be so fabulous to leave it at home and just let the day unfold. Have a marvelous time in Champagne and the Rhône!

  2. Well, this comes at an interesting moment. I spent an afternoon being jostled and pushed by extremely rude food photographers. People who butted in front of me while I tried to read signs and menus or who held up entire streams of people while they faffed about with big dslrs or who actually physically pushed me out of their way to get their shot. To take photos of a street food cart festival. As a photographer, I found it embarrassing. As a food blogger I found it embarrassing.

    Photography shouldn’t come at the expense of the human beings around you be they friends, family or strangers. I only shoot with my DSLR in restaurants when I’m being compensated to do so or I’m specifically asked to. I’d much rather enjoy my food and the company of the people I’m with. I realized several years ago when reviewing images of an event with friends that while I had been in attendance, I wasn’t present. I had recorded, not participated. And i didnt like it. It was a lightbulb moment. Photography is my passion but sometimes, I just want to be in the moment. And even my mobile…i love it for quick, fun snaps that are discreet. But sometimes that needs to be put away too. Savor the moment with the amazing, most high tech gadget you have… The one you were born with between your ears. It records images, sounds, smells, and feelings. it’s crazy awesome! 🙂

  3. I love your moments, Mardi! Thank you for sharing them. I only have a point and shoot camera and sometimes I get tired of even pulling THAT out, tiny though it is. I often tell myself that I’ll capture the moment in my memory, but then feel guilty that I’m being too lazy. Your thoughtful post is making me reconsider leaving the camera and the guilt behind.

    Bon voyage and here’s to many more moments!

  4. I know it’s a given, but this post gives me the warm and fuzzies. I love seeing your moments outside of Gascony, too. The truest food stories in the world.

  5. The only thing more beautiful than those glowing apricots is your mom. Not that she’s a “thing.” You know what I mean. Glad to hear you’re achieving a little life/blog balance. But I can’t tell you how often I cook or eat something lovely and, as I’m failing to capture it, think “Oh, Mardi wouldn’t have missed this.” Maybe I was just staying in the moment? Wishful…

  6. Aww, what a sweet post! I know exactly what you feel: I have to disconnect myself from the camera/computer world from time to time, and I haven’t been blogging even a year! 🙂 And just recently I learned not to feel sorry each time I missed a great shot. I “trained” myself just to enjoy that beautiful moment without being sorry I didn’t capture that.
    Your iPhone pictures are sentimental as they have those beautiful emotions of the moment…:)

  7. I feel so fortunate to have gotten to spend time with you again this year… my only regret is that you’re not here full time! Imagine the cell phone battles you could have!!

    As for the photos- I battle a similar demon. But the iPhone does capture those moments in which our cumbersome cameras would have only been a burden to the experience!

  8. Nice post, and so glad you included Linch’s video of the Vianne night market. Donna and I are just back from gascony (kate’s gascony!) and that was a market we didn’t get to. did you go to other night market’s? what was your favorite?


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