Strawberries, raspberries and cherries lie scattered on the countertop in the kitchen. The fresh asparagus glistening vibrant green in the sink waiting to be turned into a pesto. I consult my recipe and style sheet to make sure I have everything ready. The temperatures are mild outside, in my flip flops I take a step out on the porch, inhaling the clean and fresh air - it smelled just like it does in early Spring.
A lone leaf, amber in color, slips away from the maple tree swaying in the gentle breeze to land at my feet. I pick it up and for the first time I notice the leaves are turning their color. I’ve been stuck in the wrong season you see. Truth is it’s October and my markets are proudly showing off pumpkins, figs, cranberries, quince and the sweetest dates. Truth is, I have not even wrapped my head around all of these favorites of mine. Truth is I am in Spring/Summer 2013!
With the temperatures in their 20s C and my recent photo shoot for a client’s Spring/Summer 2013 delicatessen catalogue I’ve been in the illusion of an extended Spring. For the past two weekends I’ve been getting deliveries of the ripest and sweetest Spring / Summer produce in my kitchen and spent the last weekend in Hamburg styling with the prettiest Spring/Summer props. It was dizzying!
It was confusing! As I packed away the last of the props and cleaned the up the raspberry and cherry spills I caught a glimpse of the golden maple tree glowing in the morning sunlight, I had to jerk my mind and body and mind back into reality.
The air cooled down and the blustery autumn winds swirled the leaves around my feet as I made my way to the market. I had pumpkins, cranberries, dates, plums, sweet potatoes and beets on my mind.
Back in my kitchen I began slathering the thick maple syrup over the vivid orange cubes of the butternut squash. As they gently roasted in the oven, the scent of spice mixed with the sweet perfume of maple syrup arose into the air wrapping the kitchen in a warming hug.
Just like that - the seasons changed in my kitchen from strawberry tarts to pumpkin cakes and outside from pastel colored Spring flowers to a carpet of golden leaves. And here I am - a little late but I am welcoming Autumn with pumpkin and spice.
On a cold Autumn day this would be the perfect cake to cosy up with. The roasted pumpkin adds a sweet intense flavor to the cake, keeping it moist while the warming allspice adds notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. The cinnamon icing is more than simply icing on the cake - it rounds off the aromas found in the cake so perfectly.
One of the other things I did while I was in Hamburg this weekend was attend a launch of a hot new print food magazine in Germany. Deli is the newest work from Gruner + Jahr (I worked with their publication Laviva last year) and it looks amazing. Meeting the team and having the cooks prepare several recipes from the first issue in the test kitchen was definitely a highlight this weekend. If you are in Germany make sure you pick up a copy - it's on sale as of this week.
Make sure you cut up a thick slice of this cake. The toasted crunchy pecans and the sweet, tangy cranberries add a divine flavor level to the cake. With such treats it becomes easy to let glorious Autumn step into the kitchen and take over. I hope you are enjoying it too.
If you need a little nudge then I’ve got just the thing for you. This month Dara of Cookin Canuck is my wonderful hostess and her theme fits perfectly into the season. Dara wants to see all your Squash creations so make sure you all join the party this month. The deadline is till October 31st!
Simone over at Junglefrog Cooking is also tempting us into the season with her latest photography and styling challenge. The theme is pumpkin and orange and this is my interpretation of the theme. Being one of the three judges of these challenges I cannot win but I do enjoy taking part as it gives me inspiration to try new ideas and keeps me practicing. Hope to see your submissions there too.
Dubai Food Photography and Styling Workshop Update
We have partnered with the incredibly gracious team from Atlantis,The Palm again, who have put together an amazing field trip at their stunning locations. There will be a grand tasting at Asia Republic where we will be treated to cuisines of South East Asia, China and Korea. Form there we will enter the Zen-style gardens of Nobu where we will have access to the location for a on-site photo shoot. We then will arrive at Ossiano, a world of mesmerizing tranquility created by the captivating ocean life of the Ambassador Lagoon where we will sip a few pre-dinners cocktails to unwind and finally dine at the exquisite Saffron, a contemporary interactive buffet featuring International and Asian inspired cuisines.
If I have tickled your fancy and you have always wanted to hone your food photography and styling skills I have some good news for you. Due to 2 cancellations we have free spots open up on this workshop. We have put together a fantastic programme filled with a lot of photography and styling theory and several practical lessons. Participants will be treated to a variety of events which will be part of various assignments over the 2 day course. You will find all the details including the updates on the announcement page.
You might like these Autumn sweet treats from WFLH:
|Banana Brioche Pudding with Baileys Caramel Cream||Honey Roasted Cardamom Apple and Brown Butter Streusel Crostata||Pumpkin and Carrot Spice Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting|
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