Shooting the Wild

Sarah Mickey All Recipes, General 1 Comment

So being the resident food photographer, I have the chance to really explore all of the products we eat here in the office prior to it being torn to bits and passed around. Usually as an artist this is a sad moment, that perfect plate of food with just the right amount of color and placement, a feat that is so much harder with the requirement that it remain edible (the food would stay so much better with a little glue… but unlike most food photographers, I have a rule of being able to eat everything after I shoot it…not surprisingly, my co-workers love that rule). It gives me a lot more respect for sand artists who watch hours of work go in a split second. But this last week I was only too happy to see the products eaten, my sweet revenge for every time I got stung.

I was shooting a couple of our wild produce products now that they are in season. The first product I chose was stinging nettles, mostly because of the wow factor of this little plant. I have vivid memories of hiking through the woods around my grandparents house and coming back with the telltale itchy bumps. In a previous post we suggest using Ziploc bags if you don’t have gloves in your kitchen, a great idea unless you happen to be 6’3” with hands to match. Turns out that even when you are careful, they seem to find their way to any exposed skin. This might have been related to having my vision reduced to what I can squint out of the viewfinder, but I must suggest finding a pair of gloves before handling the wild nettles. At the very least, it will be better for your guest’s peace of mind if you aren’t constantly itching as you bring out the meal.

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On the other hand, I also got the chance to photograph a large bunch of miner’s lettuce of which more ended up as an early morning snack than in the bowl for the shoot. It was a nice change from the nettles as the texture was silky smooth and although still wild, it didn’t have all the little bugs crawling out of the bag. The miner’s lettuce had a spring freshness to it with a slight citrus flavor. A nice alternative to the typical greens you find in most supermarkets.

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Comments 1

  1. Whenever you pick nettles from the wild, look around for a fern. While you are picking those fiddle necks…pick some of their teen leaves also, to rub on those pesky prickles of the stinging nettles. The plant compounds counter act the nettles sting…isn’t mother nature nice!

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