Remember the Day in the Life books from the ‘80s? The other day I received an email from a photography center in Seattle announcing a similar project. Any photographer can sign up to take photos during a single 24-hour period in June. Selected images will be exhibited the following month.
This idea, a visual experience of simultaneous action, came back to me when I saw the remains of one of our rhododendron bushes, a victim of severe pruning, on my way home from a walk. I’d never seen that shelf lichen before. The white rings were glowing in the mid-morning light, the same light I try to catch on the back deck when I’m photographing food.
Funny that that was going on all winter, growing without me noticing, growing while I’ve been at the computer or the school or the vet. Funny how things make an exit.
So much goes on in a 100-foot radius. After I snapped some photos, I left the lichen to grow some more and went inside to make crackers.
I was inspired by these raw, Oregon-grown pumpkin seeds. And by the fact that everyone says making your own crackers is easy.
Easy is what I need. Because if you photographed everything that happened in my 100-foot radius last week, there might be enough images to fill a glossy coffee table book. New pup. Organized utility closet. Gymnastics birthday party. Crazy big backyard shrub. Pruners. Hummus. Stacking deadlines. Stacked up cookbooks. Mice in the engine. Stolen credit card number. Doggy ear infections.
Here’s some therapy: Pull up a recipe for pumpkin seed crackers. Visualize substitutions. Grind up three kinds of seeds. Mix them with baking powder, flour, sea salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. Drizzle in olive oil. Drizzle in buttermilk. Add whole seeds. Mix. Make balls of the dough and flatten them out onto parchment with the heel of your hand. Bake for 19 minutes.
It’s all going to be okay.
I substituted sesame seeds for flax and used a mixture of buckwheat flour and millet flour in place of the barley. I used only a few grindings of black pepper, omitted the garlic and went light on the rosemary. They’re buttery and perfect with a bunch of almond butter when you need to eat lunch at your desk.