First you shoot your food…then you eat it.

I suppose you think I’m talking about shooting rabbits, right?  Making booyah (as they call rabbit stew around here, even though Wikipedia says it’s made with beef, chicken or pork).  Or maybe you think we’ve shot a deer and we’re dining on venison?

Oh how wrong you would be!  We are talking about photographing our food tonight.  And then eating it.

(Which tonight happens to be Orzo Stew and Spinach Salad.)

Spinach salad. Add a little poppyseed dressing. You'll like it.

Here’s why.  Scott–over there at Views Infinitum–posted his Photographic Assignment a few weeks ago.  You can guess what is was.  Food Photography.  I–hesitantly–agreed.  Thinking:  well, if I fail, it will be a fun story about failing.  I can write a good story.  I can’t always get the camera to focus, but I can usually write a good yarn.

Grape tomato

Fast-forward to yesterday.  I was still hemming and hawing.  Told Robin–over at Life in the Bogs to forget it.  The light in our kitchen was awful.  There is never any sun.  How can you show off food without light?  C’mon, it’s impossible.  Let’s forget our promise to attempt the photography challenge.

I whined to Barry about it. 

“We don’t have any light!  No sun!  It’s impossible to do a food photography challenge,” I said.

He just looked at me.

“That’s what a flash is for, Kathy,” he said patiently.  “Just give it a try!”

OK, OK. 

Meet Orzo. Orzo, meet any unaquainted Blog Readers.

Here goes.  Here’s our dinner tonight.  Orzo stew and Spinach Salad.  What, you ask, is Orzo?  It’s a tiny multi-colored pasta.  It looks like rice, but plumps up and tastes like pasta.  The secret to this recipe–(OK, dear reader, I do not follow a recipe–I make it up) is the stock.

Save these scraps for your next Vegetarian Broth. Please.

Whenever I buy celery, I  shear off the leaves and ends and toss them in a pot with water.  Then add whatever other vegetables are hangin’ around the frig.  Carrots and onions and parsley and mushrooms are good choices. Simmer for maybe ten minutes and then whir in the blender.  Freeze in quart containers.  When needed for soup or other recipes, thaw.  An excellent base for anything culinary!  Vegetable stock can make ordinary recipes shine.  I guarantee it.

In tonight’s stock I tossed carrots and celery and green onions and orzo.  That may have been it.  I can’t fully remember.  Oh, yes, Italian seasoning.  Then miso-vegetarian broth.  That’s it, readers!  That’s our dinner.

Our orzo stew. After we eat our spinach salad.

No need to get your gun and find dinner.  Simply get your camera, photograph your dinner, and post it on your blog tonight.  Before midnight tonight. Then head over to Scott Thomas’ blog and announce “I DID IT!”  You can do it.  Ready, set, shoot!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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48 Responses to First you shoot your food…then you eat it.

  1. holessence says:

    Ok, now my stomach’s growling! It looks DELICIOUS.

  2. Dawn says:

    Yummy! Good idea about the vegetable stock…I will do that next time. I love the taste of celery leaves in soup…

    I had the same issues trying to photograph food. It’s harder than it looks! And light seems to be the whole secret… loved your spinich salad with the bright red tomatoes!

    • Kathy says:

      Vegetable stock is the best. I was quite satisfied with these photos. (You should have seen the quinoa and veggies I tried a few weeks ago. YIKES!) Glad you know the challenges and successes of this.

  3. Carol says:

    One of these days I’ll have to try Orzo because your stew looks wonderful. But it has to wait for awhile – Hub has issued a request that we eat “plain” food for awhile and stop the “fancy” low-fat cooking. He’s lost a couple of pounds and is not happy about it.I think he has no sense of adventure.

    • Dawn says:

      He’s not happy about losing a couple of pounds??? I’d be thrilled! 🙂

      • Kathy says:

        Oh my goodness, I think he should be thrilled, too! Isn’t it wonderful when we start eating healthy we often naturally lose weight? Hopefully his sense of adventure will increase. If not–you can eat Orzo and he can make his own food! lol…don’t tell him I said that.

  4. Gerry says:

    Aw-RIGHT! I was surprised to see orzo in many colors and then equally surprised to see it all turn to ivory in the end. Changeling orzo! I should make vegetable broth more often. I don’t think of making it and freezing it–I just think about making it when I need it, and then good luck finding eligible scraps in the refrigerator. I’m going to try it your way. An excellent treat.

  5. Susan D says:

    Simply YUM! Beautiful “shot” food 🙂

  6. flandrumhill says:

    Plain un-colored orzo is eaten regularly here in my version of Libyan soup which some family members say is addictive. There is something about soup that is more soulful than other foods.

  7. barb says:

    I had no idea orzo came in such appealing colors. Nothing like a hearty stew/soup to fend off winter’s chill. I’m usually so hungry, there is no time to photograph the food! (Also, I’m a very messy cook – you are an immaculate one, judging from the pics.)

    • Kathy says:

      no no no no, Barb, I am NOT an immaculate cook. Laughing! Really had to clean up major league in order to present these photographs. You and I are the same on that score. Barry is the clean cook. He is always wiping up as he goes. I wait til the end for that.

  8. photobyholly says:

    Looks wonderful – perfect for a cold day!! Take a look at your celery photo – when I first scrolled down to it, the stalk standing up in the left side of the bowl looks like a figure with 2 arms and no head!!

  9. gigi says:

    No way am I admitting to what I had for dinner tonight!

    Your meal was much healthier than mine!

  10. Karma says:

    I had no idea on the colored orzo either! My orzo is off-white like all my other pasta. I use it in a very yummy rice pilaf recipe.
    I’m glad you slipped in to finish up Scott’s challenge, but I’ll have to say (and please don’t shoot the messenger here, LOL!)I think the flash does unfortunately take away from your beautiful food. And believe me I understand your lament about no good light, especially at dinner time! Your writing TOTALLY makes up for it though! 🙂
    (If you have any plans to buy your Ms. Rebel any new toys in the future, a 50mm f1.8 lens can give you the ability to shoot in lower light than you would have believed with no flash!)

    • Kathy says:

      You must try colored orzo, Karma. (Even though it really tastes the same, probably.) You think the flash takes away from the food??? Ohmygoodness you should have seen the flash-less photos! They made the food unrecognizable! You couldn’t even tell what it was. As for new camera toys…that is a distant dream. A distant, distant, distant dream…

  11. Reggie says:

    “I can’t always get the camera to focus, but I can usually write a good yarn.” I laughed out loud when I read that line. I’m so pleased you showed us last night’s meal – it looks delicious. I’ve never seen orzo on the shelves here… I definitely have to check out the pasta section of the next couple of shops I go to around town!

    • Kathy says:

      I still love writing more than photography, Ms. Reggie. It delights me. Photography is fun…but there are nothing like wonderful crazy delightful bouncing sentences and ideas to warm the heart. Just as good as orzo stew!

  12. This looks like a very tasty, healthy and colourful dinner, Kathy ! One that makes me hungry as I prepare breakfast 🙂 What beautiful pictures too ! Congratulations for all of it.

  13. I’m very pleased to meet you, Orzo. Now I’ll have to look for you in my supermarket. I’d like to get to know you better. 🙂
    Thanks so much for the introduction, Kathy. Isn’t orzo a pretty colour? Is it man made? Grown in fields? Your soup looks delicious! Great shoot. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Good luck finding Ms. Orzo in your store, Joanne. I am thinking that pasta is usually man-made…but I don’t know for sure. It was very good soup, thank you!

      • I’ll let you know if I find it, Kathy. I’m really curious to taste it and find out exactly what it is! Can you imagine any man making those tiny little rice grain looking segments? Perhaps there’s a machine designed specifically for making it…who knows!

  14. sonali says:

    ummmmm… the grape tomato made me ‘tchhssss’, so tempting. I wonder the taste of orzo stew! It looks delicious. hungry me..time fr dinner now, but I shall definitely, post some pictures of delicious indian cuisine, sometime! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t it interesting how something so simple as a grape tomato can tempt us? Let me know when you post those pictures of Indian cuisine, please! I would love some so much.

  15. Robin says:

    lol! Love your title for this post.

    You did great!! Your food looks delicious. I am addicted to orzo. Addicted. I want to reach into your photo and try that stew. It looks and sounds wonderful, and I can almost taste it.

  16. Yes, flash is great for filling in for the light that is missing. Kudos to Barry for nudging you along. Flash is fun to learn and you did great. I know you wouldn’t but I certainly would like some nice sausage thrown into your stew. Or, maybe, some rabbit. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Shooting without a flash is like eating orzo stew without seasoning! It’s like streusel without the cinnamon. It’s like pumpkin pie without the cloves! lol…yep, I’ll bet you meat-eaters would love some sausage (or rabbit) tossed in. 🙂

  17. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Yummy! I’ve never seen colored orzo before… I bet your kitchen smells good!

    • Kathy says:

      It is usually a good-smelling kitchen, Barbara. Last night we had a colorful stir-fy with at least six different vegetables, plus shoyu and sesame oil. Over rice. Magnificent!

  18. Kiwidutch says:

    If you have the luxury of a large freezer then all you have to do to achieve brilliant veggie stock is freeze the veggies bits you would normally throw away (the thickest part of the broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower stems) , celery bits, the root part of onions.(washed) DO add leftover fresh herbs bits that would otherwise be found in a very sorry state in the back of your fridge next week.
    When your have a mass of stuff big enough to fill your crockpot, add water and freshly ground pepper (NO salt!!!) and cook all night whilst you sleep. Next morning you will have great veggie stock (pour into kids plastic beakers and freeze) and your leftover veggie residue can be tossed into the compost knowing that you wasted nothing.
    … and add me to the list of people who’s never seen coloured orzo either.

    • Robin says:

      Kiwidutch — I saw your comment about veggie stock (I subscribe to Kathy’s blog and comments) and had to come by and say thank you! That’s a wonderful idea. I’m going to start doing that. Thanks again. 🙂

      • Kathy says:

        Great idea, Kiwidutch! Thank you for sharing it. I haven’t done it that way, but it sounds very handy. Love these ideas!

        • kiwidutch says:

          No problem Kathy,
          Good ideas are made to be shared don’t you think?
          You are vegetarian yes? so the chicken stock version won’t be for you, but if you know people who eat meat and buy chicken stock then at least you can tell them how to save a lot of money by making their own.

      • kiwidutch says:

        Thanks Robin, very glad to be of help!
        Here’s a link to a post I made about taking short-cuts in your cooking (good ones LOL) and it shows the plastic beakers of (chicken stock in this case)ready for the freezer. For chicken stock, shove all bones in a bag from a roast chicken carcase, freeze and when you have a crock-pot full of bones, add water and fresh pepper and let it do it’s stuff all night. Next morning, great chicken stock! (How easy is that?!!!!)I know.. stunningly lazy, that’s me LOL!

        • Kathy says:

          kiwidutch, yes, we are mostly vegetarian. Sometimes I eat some chicken or turkey when out, but not usually at home. We do eat fish! Thank you for sharing your shortcuts and your blog link.

  19. Pingback: Assignment 11: Recap | Views Infinitum

  20. Nye says:

    I was skeptical about flash also, but sometimes it does its magic. 🙂 Love the look of your orzo stew, looks very healthy. I feel guilty of how I have been eating.

  21. Great photos! And, I see eating dinner before reading Scott’s recap of the assignment didn’t help at all! Everything looks delicious!

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