Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simply Divine

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Thiry Days Of Thanks Picture The Holidays - Day 13

No matter what holiday you celebrate, chances are there is something divine about it. There is a reverie this time of year for forces far grander than ourselves. We honor our family, friends, connection, love, light and a source that makes it all possible.

Find a way today to translate the truth for you. Share the divinity in your life, whether it be through an obvious symbol or an overall feeling you carry, work on bringing it to your photography today.



For today's prompt I decided to share a little something from d-vine as in fruit-o-d-vine - get it? This sweet little red sparkling wine has become somewhat of a tradition around our house at the holidays. I've heard it can be hard to find, but the wine store close to my house always keeps it in stock.

This wine comes from the northern Italian foothills which is one of my favorite parts of the country. It also happens to be the birth place of Parmigianno-Reggiano (parmesan) and procscuitto. Here's a little more about this wine if you are interested.

As far as I know, I never drank it while living over there, but I discovered it here back home when looking for a festive wine to serve at Christmas. It is sweet, bubbly and goes down easy so it was a big hit with everyone. I've been stocking up each year since I first served it and sometimes give it as gifts.

Several years ago, I decided to make a Christmas eve tradition with my boys with an Italian theme serving food items that I don't make or buy very often. Some authentic Italian ingredients can be quite expensive and prohibitive for day to day cooking. My sons were very young when we lived there, so they don't have many memories of that time and I wanted to preserve that little part of our family story for them.

My older son was about four years old when we left Italy for good and he has a few fuzzy memories, but as soon as he took a bite of the traditional Pandoro cake I'd ordered online, he remembered the unique flavor. When he was deployed to Iraq, I sent one to him and he built it up so much to his buddies they were ready to steal the cake and eat it before Christmas just to get him to shut up about it. They are good cakes and I like them, but I think his buddies may have been a bit let down. What made it special to him was the sensory memories that flooded back when he tasted it again after all those years.

Most of what I serve at our Italian themed Christmas eve I cook myself using traditional recipes such as, arancini (deep fried risotto balls), pignoli and amaretti cookies, strufoli (deep fried sweet dough balls), rosemary foccacia (which I use as bread for making panini with Italian cold cuts like mortadella and proscuitto). For the cooks out there, a good resource online for recipes is Italian Food Forever.

I also buy a few hard to find items online like the Pandoro (they seem fresher if you buy them online), Panetone and candies like Baci (kisses). I shipped a box of these to my son in Afghanistan this year, and he said it was all he could to save them for Christmas. I think he allowed himself a few at Thanksgiving.

My intention when beginning this tradition was to do something unique that my boys would not likely experience anywhere but at our home for the holidays and create memories they would hold dear. Judging by their reactions when I shipped little tastes to them when they were far from home, I think I succeeded. The other component of my "evil plan" is to draw them to my house for Christmas each year after they were grown. We'll see how that works. :)

I'm not doing my Italian-style Christmas this year. The season has been too busy to even decorate my home. Next year, with my son home we'll have lots to celebrate so I'm going all out then. Its going to be such a big party, I NEED to take a year off to rest up for it! :)

So, how did I get my Christmas light bokeh shot if I didn't decorate? Well, I've found that this portable clothes rack I have makes an excellent make-shift studio accessory. Here, I just hung some white lights over the bar to create the effect. When I did my self portrait a few days ago, I hung a frosted shower curtain on it and put a light behind it to provide soft diffused light.

I think I'll leave it up for awhile and set up a few more shots for possible greeting cards. It is probably too late to get anything through for approval to get more orders for Christmas Cards this year, but there's always next year. May as well take advantage of the setup to create some festive still life.

Kim Klassen is hostessing a daily texture giveaway she's calling "12 days of textures" and providing a linkup for us to display our work using the new textures. I'm linking up with her first one, "Lilly", with this image from my private bokeh party.

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Speaking of Bokeh parties, I think there's still time to link up with My3boybarians bokeh party, so I'm on my way there now!

Today's Linkups



kimklassencafe holiday bokeh party 2011 my3boybarians.com 52 Photos Project

4 comments:

  1. I love them both.. Makes me want to sit by my tree tonight and enjoy a glass.

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  2. Thanks for telling me how to create bokeh. I love your family tradition and I think it will work to get them home for the holidays. You're one smart cookie! Thanks for the story and Italian food resource.

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  3. great photographs and I love your "portable studio", such a great idea!

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