A New Challenge
Everyone needs a new challenge once in awhile. I decided it is time for that new challenge in my photography so my 14 year old son, Adam, and I decided to begin a 52 week photography challenge. We jumped on Flickr.com, set up a new group, named it Phototastic 52, and invited any of our friends who want to improve their photography to join us.
Our first week produced some fun and inspiring photos from those who are venturing out on this journey. It has the promise of being a great group of people both new and seasoned in photography. For our first week, Adam chose the theme “Musical Instruments”. It was a great way to launch the group and we had some fantastic photo’s uploaded. Climbing back into the creative saddle again felt a bit stiff and out of shape for me as it’s been a year since I completed my 365 project. After 365 days of photography, I was ready for a break but that break has stretched long enough that, for me, I felt as if my creativity was beginning to wane. Creativity has always been the area I felt was my greatest struggle so it’s time to get back out there and work at it again.
I’ve had one of my Flickr friends suggest that I delve back into film photography as an added challenge. I think I may just have to take him up on the challenge for some of the upcoming weeks. With film there are no second chances. You either get the shot or you don’t. You can’t cheat by looking at an LCD screen to make sure you framed it correctly or had the correct exposure settings. You just have to use what you know and trust that you did it right. It’s always a “hold your breath” moment when you open the envelope that hold the developed photo’s; did they turn out as I envisioned, were my camera setting right, will I be pleased with them or will they hit the garbage?
So, as I move into this 52 week challenge, I plan to update my blog with tidbits I’m learning along the way, my thoughts about the varied aspects of the photography I encounter, and likely throw in a few “what we had for dinner” recipes as well. I may even twist Adam’s arm and get him to “guest post” his perspective about this 52 week project as well.
Speaking of “what we had for dinner”, I thought I’d share a fantastic recipe from tonight’s dinner of Dolmades, grape leaves wrapped around meat and rice “bundles” that are delectable and almost worth the amount of work it takes to make them. If you decide to give them a try, allow a couple of hours for the process of putting them together and baking them.
Makes 24-30 (12 appetizer servings, 6 dinner servings)
1 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, minced
Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill
2/3 cup rice, uncooked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (16 ounce jar) grape leaves
4 eggs, beaten
3 lemons, juiced
1 cup water
In a bowl, mix the raw ground beef, onion, oregano, parsley, dill, rice, salt and pepper together.
Carefully separate the grape leaves. Place each leaf on a cutting board, shiny side down, with its stem toward you. Put a teaspoon of the stuffing near the bottom of the leave, fold the bottom and 2 sides to cover the filling, and roll tightly toward the tip of the leaf.
and cover with several of the remaining grape leaves. Squeeze juice from the lemons and combine it with 2 cups chicken broth. Pour over to cover completely, adding water if needed, and place in a preheated 350 degree oven to bake for 1 hour, or until the rice and leaves are tender and the juice absorbed.
Once the dolmades are done, uncover them. They can be served warm or allowed to cool and served as an appetizer.
(recipe adapted from Cat Cora’s “Dolmades: Stuffed Vine Leaves” recipe on the foodnetwork.com website.)