2 months before I was due to have my baby, in the middle of last year, I was contacted by cook extraordinaire Caron Melamed to join the team she was putting together to style, design and photograph her recipe book.
I was flattered. She had seen my work in Savour, a friend recommended me and she got in touch. It sounded like a wonderful project to be involved in, the dates fitted in perfectly with my “maternity leave” (is there such a thing when you’re self employed?) as I anticipated starting work again in October, which at the time felt m-o-n-t-h-s away, and so without hesitation I committed to the project. In the blink of an eye my baba was here, I was a mommy, I loved being at home, and the start date of the book project was looming. Before I knew it the day arrived when I had to entrust my precious bundle to a friend, and “go back to work.” As I packed my car with my once familiar props and styling tools I reflected on how alien they looked to me next to all the baby paraphernalia that now occupied my boot (and heart) space.
Needless to say one afternoon with Caron, in her home, with her fabulous family, lovely producer Charmaine Marcus, photographer Jonathan Andrews, and designer Sivan Portal I felt right at home myself! I breathed a sigh of relief and set my mind to work mode, it was all going to be okay despite my trepidation and feelings of “being out of it.” I even managed to take baby along on some of the shoot days as Caron’s home is so relaxed and family-focused.
It wasn’t long before Food & Home Magazine got to hear about the project and asked if they could do a feature on the soon to be released book. I styled the decor, flowers, table-setting and lunch Caron hosted with family in celebration as we finished the 4 month long project.
I feel so privileged to have worked on my third recipe book project. I have loved each one and they have been as unique and individual as the particular authors. But, I think this one will have a very special sentimental place in my heart, Caron has written this book for her family I feel blessed to have spent time with them in their home. With my own little family expanding I hope that I too can one day give my children a legacy of love, food and family. I will miss my bi-weekly trips to Orchards.
April issue of Food & Home magazine is available at the moment. ( on a super market shelf near you ) Pictures are courtesy of Food & Home Magazine and Vanessa Lewis. LARGER pictures, recipes and article appear on page 103. Sneak a peak ….
Inspired by the profusion of orange berries growing mainly wild on thorny – shrubby type bushes ( name …anyone…? ) on the pavements around Johannesburg, the fabulously bright coloured chocolate eggs at Woolworths, and the lovely goodies at my favourite party shop*** In Good Company .Vanessa and I spent a warm autumn afternoon doing what we enjoy most, decorating, styling and taking pretty pictures… not to mention sampling the yummy goodies afterwards and tucking into the chocolate eggs along the way. I hope you’re as inspired by the seasonal change and the upcoming Easter holidays as we were!
To complement the autumn tablesetting I designed an easy autumn brunch menu, for quick fuss free entertaining, do give the recipes a try, you be surprised how effective and simple they all are.
Serve well chilled Champagne or good quality sparkling wine with a tot of peach puree, garnish with a mint sprig and peach slice.
For a delicious non alcoholic punch serve peach puree, strawberry juice and ginger ale in flute glasses with a mint sprig to garnish ( pictured below)
Simply grease ( well!) a 6 hole muffin tin and line with pieces of black forest ham or pancetta ( you can use bacon but try use a thinly sliced smoked bacon)
Whisk together 4 eggs with 500ml cream and 250ml milk, season with salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture into the tins, top with 200g crumbled goats cheese.
Bake at 180oC for 15-20 minutes until risen, puffed and golden.
To remove simply run a knife around the “muffins” to remove.
Serve on toasted english muffins.
Lemon & Rosemary Scented Scones with jam butter and mascapone
1 packet scone mix ( I use the one from Woolworths), 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped, 1 lemon, zested
For the jam butter, 1/2 cup good quality berry jam ( I use Bon Mamam) and 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
To serve, mascapone cream cheese, Preserved figs, Fresh Berries
Make scones according to the instructions on the packet and add the chopped rosemary and lemon zest.
Bake according to the instructions.
Whilst the scones are baking make the jam butter by whizzing the jam and softening butter together in a food processor until smooth.
Serve scones with jam butter and mascapone, garnish with berries and preserve
Orange syrup cake with creme fraiche and almond meringue fingers.
I can not take credit or give the recipe for this delicious cake as i bought both the cake and the meringue fingers at the divine home industry The Market Place in Parktown North. I am sure you can find something equally as good at a local home industry, serve the cake with a dollop of creme fraiche and bought or homemade meringues. yum!
***Decor and props.
A special thank you to In Good Company – Plates, side plates, single stem vases, pod vases, green milk glass cake stand, orange handle teaspoon, grey butter dish and ceramic knife, green and orange ceramic holders.
Vanessa has a dietician client in London, Wilma Kirsten Nutrition, who specialises in IBS and bowel related health.
We were asked to put something together for her end of year newsletter, in which she wished to remind clients of certain temptations and over indulgences during the festive season which could affect their health. Obviously she did not want to come across as a kiljoy but rather to remind folks to main a certain level of dietary awareness whilst also enjoying the festivities.
I love the shoot we put together, it has a fun element and gets the message across to0. Which was the point !
I think we filled the brief perfectly between balance and festivity. The point of this conceptual shoot was to combine an idea with a practicality. In this shoot we combined the idea of nutrition and balance, with the literal representation of festivities; such as Christmas crackers, baubles and sweetie wrappers.
PS. Thanks to Vanessa for the title of this post. Not only a fab photographer but my copy editor too!
PSS.I loved the food personality profile on Wilma Kirsten.com website, you can click on the link here.
What is your food personality? Mine was fascinating, I think the the old idiom rings true ; you are what you eat !