Did I ever tell you that my father was a photographer? If not by profession then definitely by heart. Long before the arrival of digital cameras, he lugged his (what seemed to me then) huge camera everywhere. I had to pose for so many photos. “Look up…look left…look down…chin up…” I obeyed like the dutiful daughter that I was (still am actually). And then there were the photos that weren’t posed…which where much worse. Did I ever tell you that I am an ugly sleeper? Well, we have the photos that prove it. As we do the “just about to take a bite of food” photos and the “in the middle of disagreeing with someone” photos.
I remember thousands (or what seemed to me then like thousands) of flower photos, many of which looked exactly the same to me. I remember the old school slideshow viewer that he was so excited to get. The meeting of the slideshow viewer and the (thousands!) flower photos was a purgatorial day for my brother and me. Click-shuck, click-shuck…flower # 784. My father pointing out minuscule details for my brother and my untrained eyes.
I remember our first European holiday as a family, with my brother winning the dubious honor of being my dad’s photographer’s assistant. He carried heavy bags and tripod without too much complaining. Difficult to complain when you are in Europe. Even with my dad lying on his back beneath the Eiffel Tower so he could get a photo from under her “skirt”. Our whole trip was soundtracked with his shutter release button.
I remember when I whined to him how my little digicam couldn’t produce the same kinds of photos on other food blogs…and pretty soon a D-SLR appeared on my doorstep. And this blog got a facelift in the photo department.
That very same DSLR suddenly decided to go on strike last week. Something or other jammed and a part now needs to be replaced. I don’t really understand what this entails except for the part where the replacement could take a couple of months to arrive. I looked at the guy at the Nikon service center, lips pursed, trying not to let the overly dramatic words out of my mouth – “But my blog!!!”
Well…did I ever tell you that my father was a photographer? His cameras and other photography paraphernalia have been sitting at my brother’s flat, waiting for a good moment for us to go over them. Had I been putting it off? I’ll never know. But this was as good a time as any, I thought, I do need a camera. So we gathered over five and some bags filled with cameras (some still film!), and lenses, flashes, and other odds and ends of which I don’t even know the use. Then there are the tripods and lighting equipment. At the end of it all there were around a dozen lenses standing like soldiers on my mother’s bar, and I had a new/old camera on my lap. But not just any camera. My dad’s camera. As I put my fingers on the worn rubber pads, I think to myself, I hope I can do this justice…not just in skill, but also in passion. Because my father was passionate about the things he believed in, about the things he loved.
He also made jam. Did I ever mention that?
Quick Blueberry and Chia Seed Jam
- 150 grams blueberries
- 100-120 grams sugar
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 4 tablespoons water
– Place all the ingredients in a small pot. Place over low heat and let simmer, stirring now and again, until it thickens. This won’t take long, about 20-25 minutes. You want it to be thick but still pourable. It will gel further as it sits.
– Place in a clean jar and, when cool, store in the fridge.
This is one of the easiest jam recipes ever. You just dump everything in a small pot and let it bubble away until it turns into jam. For me, this was just a little over the time it took me to make my morning coffee and yogurt bowl, and wrestle with my littlest one a bit. It makes one small jar, which you then store in the fridge. Easy to make, easy to enjoy. This jam is perfect in a cream cheese sandwich or dolloped atop some yogurt, as pictured here.
The chia seeds not only add its super health powers, but also help the jam jellify. I’ve used our local blueberries here (from Benguet), which are not as sweet as the blueberries of the West, so if you are using regular blueberries you may want to adjust the sugar.
My dad never made blueberry jam. His specialty was mango, one of my favorite jams of all time. He could wax poetic about his mango jam, and the making of it. I think he would like this too though. He loved all sweet things.
So here I am, with my father’s old toys. I still need to go through the lenses, figure out where each one’s talents lie…and which lie in food. I still have to fix up his camera that I will be trying my hand at. I still have to go through the tripods. And goodness knows if I’ll have the wherewithal to manage the lighting equipment. Meanwhile my regular camera is in the hands of the Nikon service center. So it may take a little longer to get a new post up. Rest assured I intend that to be sooner rather than later. As the trepidation and sentimental melancholy fade, it is replaced by an excitement in the knowledge that I’ll have something of my father’s with me, working with me on this thing that I am passionate about, that I love, which is this little space in cyberspace.
See you all soon!