chasing the light

The light’s changing. The brilliance of summer is fading to shorter days full of shadows.

Food blogging is such a funny thing to do. Not laughter funny but rather frustrating funny. I’m constantly chasing the light. If I don’t get the shot I want, before a cloud rolls by or the sun sets, I’m out of luck! The summer is more lenient because the sun is out longer but for many of those hours the light is harsh. With the darker months comes flash equipment or freezing to death in the backyard. In the winter, I blog in the morning to catch the best light which means I’m usually in my pajamas… In the city, my backyard consists of a tiny courtyard garden surrounded on three sides by buildings. I can only imagine the giggles my neighbours get watching me shoot a tray of cookies in my pink plaid flannels and mukluks!

I’m at the end of my ‘farm’ time for this summer. We’ll be back and forth from the city finishing up the barn and gardens but it’s time to pack up. Of course being the world’s finest procrastinator why pack when I could cook – a girl has to eat! I grew these beautiful yellow cherry tomatoes in my vegetable garden along with the peas and variegated oregano. I am soooo going to miss stepping out my back door and picking my lunch. The tiny tomatoes are called ‘Sun Gold”. The name alone is reason enough to want to grow them but they have the added bonus of tasting like candy. Ralph and I ate them like popcorn all summer. I planted my peas late so, happily we are just now, eating the last of them. I still had a little homemade ricotta leftover and my herb garden is going great guns. Add a little pasta and lunch is ready!

Tagliatelle with Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes and Homemade Ricotta
Serves 2

1 cup sun gold cherry tomatoes, washed and left whole
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 twigs of fresh oregano
½ teaspoon sea salt
1.3 cup fresh peas, shelled volume – par-boiled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 clove of garlic, slivered
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, leaves picked
¼ cup homemade ricotta

150g dry pasta

Preheat oven to 425*F
Place tomatoes in a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with oregano twigs and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Place in oven for 10 minutes

Prepare pasta according to manufacturer’s instructions.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add garlic and peas and sauté for two minutes.
Remove from heat then add cooked pasta and roasted tomatoes.
Toss well and plate.
Garnish with homemade ricotta and oregano leaves.

THE LOVE: If you don’t have homemade ricotta on hand make something else! I’m kidding… substitute the best commercial ricotta you can find.

printable recipe

one year ago: summer tomato jam

two years ago: milk-fed veal bolognese

Thanks for reading.

  • Wonderful images Michelle

  • Your photos are beautiful! You must be doing something right! ~ Sheila

  • my goodness that is a gorgeous foto!

  • should’ve said “fotoS” 🙂 i know what you mean too about the light. i’m moving soon and i look forward to more natural available light… but for the last 9 months or so i’ve been shooting with flash and it’s okay and all but… natural is always better! great post, gorgeous FOTOS!!! keep up the great work!

  • Great post! I also wonder what my neighbors think when they see me outside photographing food.

    • Take them a plate of sweets every now and then and you’ll be golden!

  • the frustrating-funny is right! when I don’t get the light I always start thinking about building a lightbox.. you’ve certainly succeeded with these photos though!

  • Your first photo in particular is spectacular – love it! An easy and inexpensive way to add more light against winter’s shadows is to use a white reflector card to bring back detail into the shadow areas.

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