cookbook grilled veg poloucookbook spring feverOh my goodness. Don’t EVER let anyone tell you that photographing food is easy. Here is the line-up for the last 48 hours: Sunny Pasta Salad, Everyday Grilled Burgers with Suzi’s Home Fries, Grilled Vegetable Polou, Hot Tomato-Basil Casserole, Ginger Fried Rice, Spring Fever, Phil’s Vegetable Roll-ups, Gluten-free Tortillas, and if everything goes well here in the next few hours, Coconut Caramel Corn.

That does not mean that the photographer has taken 10 photos. That means she has taken 99. Now comes the, in some ways, more grueling task of deciding which one is most nuanced, meaning, which one makes the viewer hungry. This has been complicated by the fact that viewing the photos is making the photographer’s children hungry, but they are not the least bit interested in eating anything with a vegetable involved, so the photographing is interrupted while she makes child-worthy concoctions involving peanut butter, grapes, and yogurt in tubes. These young ones are definitely not vegans, and so far I’m not converting them, with the exception, perhaps, of the Coconut Caramel Corn.

None of this takes into consideration the prep and cook time involved—rolling tortillas is aerobic!—or the expense. I’m actually recreating and tweaking the recipes at the photographer’s home (in some cases flat re-inventing—especially those that previously included dairy or gluten), since it was easier for me to travel to her than her to me. The time and physical effort involved in creating an array of dishes at one time was also more than either of us expected. Her dishwasher has run 3 full loads since yesterday. We did start with a good plan for cooking recipes with similar ingredients together, so the past 2 days have been all about rice and black beans, with a few exceptions, obviously. The other issue is that I simply am having a hard time sizing down the recipes to single or double portions, which means I’m having trouble staying in my budget, and her refrigerator is overflowing.

The good news is that we are all well fed, and her husband, who is my barometer, so to speak, since I know he has discerning taste, professes to being very happy—and says he has not yet missed the meat.

(Photography by Suzi Hathaway Photography. No use without permission.)