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Eel trap in black and white.

Low tide on the Saint Lawrence River

I went out for a photo walk along the Saint Lawrence River at low tide in front of the cottage in Saint Denis sur Mer. Autumn is always a great time to shoot the waters edge with the yellowing sea grasses that are exposed at low tide. Nice colour contrasts. I shot a series of black and white as well as colour shots. I always like the images from this area in black and white.

There is still one of the few remaining eel nets setup near the cottage. The eel run has not started yet, the fisherman I was talking with said the water is still too warm, the wind and cold of autumn have not arrived yet.

Black and White at Low Tide.

Early morning on the Ausable River West Branch

Fly Fishing the West Branch of the Ausable River

I spent 3 days fishing the West Branch of the Ausable River this September with my cousin Scott. We stayed at the Hungry Trout Resort in Wilmington in the Adirondacks. Fishing wasn’t easy as we struggled to match the hatch. One nice little brown trout was all I got. The leaves were starting to colour up and the views while wading up and down the river made up for the lack of fishing action. I fished the same area the last week of April this year. Matt, one of the guides recommended early June as the best time to be on the river. I’ll have to book for next year at that time.

Bone Broth

Recipe: How to Make Bone Broth

How To Make Bone Broth

Makes about 4 litres

Ingredients
3 to 4 pounds mixed beef and chicken bones (I use beef rib and leg bones and chicken backs or wings)
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic, cut in half across the bulbs
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Roast the bones and veg: Preheat the oven to 420°F. Spread the bones, celery, carrot, onion, and garlic in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes.
  2. While the bones are roasting: Add about 6 litres of water into a large pot and start to heat.  Add the vinegar, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and pepper to the water.
  3. Add the bones and veg: Once the bones and veg are ready add them to the pot along with any oil and scrapings.  All that good stuff adds more flavour.  Adjust the amount of water to cover the bones by an inch or two.
  4. Bring to a boil then simmer: Bring the water to a boil over high heat then turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible.  You just want a very gentle simmer now.  Keep the lid on almost closed so some vapour escapes.  Keep this going for about 24 hours or so (you can go longer, up to you, the longer it goes the more the flavour develops but the less broth you end up with).  Check the pot from time to time and skim off any foam.  If the water level goes down too far you can top up a bit but you should lose about 1 litre over the 24 hours.
  5. Strain the broth: Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer to remove all the bones and vegetables.
  6. Jar it up.  I store the broth in Mason jars in the fridge.  You want to chill the jars down quickly and store them in the fridge for about 5 days.  Alternatively you can freeze the broth for longer storage.

 

Bone Broth in Jar

Checking the laundry in Riomaggiore

Black and White Portraits of Italy

Black and White Portraits of Italy

This summer while travelling through the north of Italy I shot a series of street portraits of ordinary people doing every day things which I called “Portraits of Italy”. #portraitsofitaly Photos were taken as I travelled through the following areas: Milan and Lago Maggiore, Aosta, Genoa, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Florence, Modena and Venice.  I converted all of these to black and white as I find it focuses you in on the person instead of the colours and the surroundings.

Lago Maggiore area

A drive up the east side of Lago Maggiore with stops in Arona, Stresa and Canobia.

Portraits of Italy: aperitivo in Arona

Aperitivo in Arona

Portraits of Italy: reading paper in Arona

Catching up on the news in Arona

Portraits of Italy: snoozing on bench in Arona

Snoozing on bench in Arona

 

Our first aperitivo in Italy was in Arona.  (Note to self, you don’t like Campari!)

Portraits of Italy: waitress in Arona

Waitress in Arona

Portraits of Italy: walking the mannequins in Stresa

Taking the the mannequins for a walk in Stresa

Portraits of Italy: blond girl in Canobia

Blond girl on the lakeshore in Canobia

 

Aosta

We drove from Castelletto sopra Ticino where we were staying to the Italian side of Mont Blanc.  We stopped in several places along the way and spent some time walking in the town of Aosta.

Portraits of Italy: the boys having a beer in Aosta

The boys having a beer in Aosta

Portraits of Italy: watching the pigeons in Aosta

Watching the pigeons in Aosta

Portraits of Italy: commuting on a bicycle in Aosta

Commuting on a bicycle in Aosta

 

Genoa

A quick visit to the boardwalk in Genoa while we were driving through.  Only stopped for one night.

Portraits of Italy: discussion on the boardwalk in Genoa

Discussion on the boardwalk in Genoa

Cinque Terre

Once I saw photos of Riomaggiore while planning this trip I knew that this was a place I had to visit.  It’s a fascinating area to photograph.

Portraits of Italy: fruit stand in Riomaggiore

Fruit stand in Riomaggiore

Portraits of Italy: barista in Riomaggiore

Barista in Riomaggiore

Portraits of Italy: checking the laundry in Riomaggiore

Checking the laundry in Riomaggiore

Portraits of Italy: train workers end of shift in Monterossa al Mare

Train workers end of shift in Monterossa al Mare

Portraits of Italy: waiting for the train in Monterossa al Mare

Waiting for the train in Monterossa al Mare

Portraits of Italy: watching the world go by in Monterossa al Mare

Watching the world go by in Monterossa al Mare

 

Tuscany

Tuscany was another stop we had to make.  We stayed in Tignano and visited the areas around by car.

San Quirico d’Orcia

Portraits of Italy: barber in San Quirico d'Orcia

Barber in San Quirico d’Orcia

Portraits of Italy: taking a break, San Quirico d'Orcia

Taking a break from making Pecorino cheese, San Quirico d’Orcia

Portraits of Italy: market day San Quirico d'Orsia

Market day San Quirico d’Orsia

Siena

Portraits of Italy: chef and mini client in Siena

Chef and mini client in Siena

Portraits of Italy: street musician in Siena

Street musician in Siena

Barberino Val D’elsa

This was right across the valley from where we were staying at the Castello Di Tignano.

Portraits of Italy: window gardening in Barberino Val D'elsa

Window gardening in Barberino Val D’elsa

Portraits of Italy: fixing the car in Barberino Val D'elsa

Fixing the car in Barberino Val D’elsa

San Gimignano

Portraits of Italy: artist in San Gimignano

Artist in San Gimignano

Portraits of Italy: Young lovers in San Gimignano

Young lovers in San Gimignano

Portraits of Italy: gelato in San Gimignano

Enjoying a gelato in San Gimignano

Portraits of Italy: seamstress in San Gimignano

Seamstress in San Gimignano

Montepulciano

Portraits of Italy: washing day in Montepulciano

Hanging the clean clothes out to dry in Montepulciano

Florence

Portraits of Italy: street musicians in Florence

Street musicians in Florence

Portraits of Italy: bicycle commute in Florence

Bicycle commute in Florence

Portraits of Italy: caleche in Florence

Caleche in Florence

 

Modena

I think this was our favourite place, very few tourists and a really nice walkable town.  Loved the market and the Balsamic Vinegar!

Portraits of Italy: early morning bicycle ride to the market in Modena

Early morning bicycle ride to the market in Modena

Portraits of Italy: butcher shop in the Modena market

Butcher shop in the Modena market

Portraits of Italy: fruit and vegetables at the market

Fruit and vegetables at the market in Modena

Portraits of Italy: behind the counter in Modena

Consulting behind the counter in Modena’s market

 

Venice

It was a bit harder to find the locals in Venice with the 73.8 gazillion tourists but I did find a market that had some local colour if you got there early in the day.

Portraits of Italy: butcher shop client in Venice

Butcher shop client in Venice

Portraits of Italy: gondoliers in the Grand Canal, Venice

Gondoliers in the Grand Canal, Venice

Portraits of Italy: breakfast pastries in Venice

Breakfast pastries in Venice

Portraits of Italy: fruit market in Venice

Early morning fruit market in Venice

Portraits of Italy: enjoying a glass of wine in Venice

Relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine in Venice

Portraits of Italy: vaporeto worker in Venice

Vaporeto worker in Venice

Chorizo and Scallops

Chorizo and Scallops in a White Port Reduction

This is an easy one pan recipe that can be made at home or while camping.  This recipe is something that I regularly have while I am on camping trips, easy to prep, easy to cook and especially easy to eat!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin or cold pressed

2-3 dry shallots

1 package of mushrooms

1 tablespoon Garlic flowers ( or garlic)

3/4 cup white port

3-4 chorizo sausages -not the dry hard kind, regular BBQ type sausages

15-20 scallops

Technique:

Slice the chorizo sausage into 1/2 inch thick slices.  In a deep frying pan heat the olive oil. Once heated add the sliced chorizo sausage and flip the slices every few minutes.  Peel and thinly slice the dry shallots and add them to the pan after 3 – 4 minutes. Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add them to the pan.  Continue cooking until he mushrooms begin to soften. Add the garlic flowers  to the pan and stir thoroughly.   Add the white port and let simmer until the liquid has been reduced to a thick sauce. At this point add the scallops and cook until they are done – about 5 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

 

Chorizo and Scallops Cooking

Chorizo and Onions Cooking

 

Chorizo and Scallops - Mushrooms added.

Chorizo and Scallops: Mushrooms added.

Chorizo and Scallops: Scallops added in.

Chorizo and Scallops: Scallops added in.

Chorizo and Scallops: White Port added.

Chorizo and Scallops: White Port added.

A mix of hot pepper varieties straight out of the garden.

Hot Sauce Recipe

Selection of Peppers for Hot Sauce:

You can use this hot sauce recipe with any type of hot pepper. I tend to use multiple varieties and adjust to suite my taste.  Below you can see the Scoville Scale and judge the relative heat of different varieties of pepper.  In this recipe I used a Habenaro type of pepper as the hottest variety with Super Chile, Cayenne, Tabasco and Yellow Wax.

Scoville Scale

Scoville Scale

Ingredients:

30 – 40 hot peppers, stemmed and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices (about 20 ounces) *if the peppers have a lot of seeds you can remove them as well.
4 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cup thinly sliced onions
1.5 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon olive oil
4 cups water
2 cup distilled white vinegar

Directions:

In a large saucepan add the peppers, garlic, onions, salt and oil and heat over high heat. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until peppers are very soft and almost all of the liquid has evaporated. You might want to have the stove fan on for this! Take off the stove and let the mix sit until it comes to room temperature. In a food processor, blend the peppers for 15 seconds, or until smooth. With the food processor running, add the vinegar through the feed tube in a steady stream.

Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. (This will depend on the heat level of the peppers you use as well as the brand of vinegar used.) You can strain the mixture or not. I don’t. Pour the mixture into sterilized mason jars and secure with an airtight lid. Refrigerate. Let age at least 2 weeks before using. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

 

A mix of hot pepper varieties straight out of the garden.

A mix of hot pepper varieties straight out of the garden.

Sliced hot peppers

Sliced hot peppers

Garlic and oil

Step 1: Add the olive oil and garlic.

Onions

Step 2: Add the onions and salt.

Hot peppers

Step 3: Add the hot peppers

Cooked hot peppers

This is what the mix looks like once it has cooked enough.

Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce Recipe

Deer Hunting 2015

This year on my annual deer hunting week we had unusually warm weather.  Normally we would be below zero every morning but this year we only had one morning below zero with many afternoons getting above 10 C.  Although we saw a few deer they were either females or spikes that were too small to shoot.  Not a great year at all.  It was supposed to be the worst deer season in the last 20 years.

 

Ray bow hunting

Moose Hunting 2015

We spent 3 weekends moose hunting this year in Saint-Michel des Saints, two with bow and arrow and one with rifle.  We did not have any luck.  There were at least 3 or 4 different bears that were feeding on the grassy hills on our territory.  It was a poor year for bears in terms of available food so they were spending a lot of time eating grass.  Although he had moose tracks at our salt licks all summer they stopped coming around just before hunting season.

I took a bunch of photos with my iPhone while I was there.

Fields of Gold. Shot in Central Washington State.State.

Washington State Photography Road Trip

Washington State Road Trip

A quick 30 hour, 800 mile photographic Washington State road trip while attending the Mozcon 2015 conference.  It’s amazing the variety in landscapes and terrain you can see in such a short time.  I was very impressed by the terrain in the Palouse and the amazing coulees.  You go from mountain to scrubland to almost desert like conditions in no time at all.   The area around Diablo Lake was really nice, the colour of the glacier fed lakes is astounding.  I did make it up to Mount Rainier but didn’t get any clear shots as the head of the mountain was in the clouds all day.

Road Trip Map

I mapped out my route on google maps.  You can see the map here:  Road Trip Map. I basically picked up a rental car on Saturday around 3:30 pm and got back to drop it off around 9 pm on Sunday.

Washington State Road Trip Map

Washington State Road Trip Map