First steps on my ascent of Mont Blanc..

I’ve always felt that Christmas pudding is a bridge too far, that same bridge on which mince pies also reside. The scent and the look of them is tempting but the eating of them is just plain hard work, especially as one’s going to be stuffed as a haggis, after a traditionally gluttonous Christmas dinner, when the jolly tones of “..who’s for Christmas pudding?” can induce a reversal of the  peristaltic wave in all but the maddest of trenchermen. It may be, that having photographed so many holly adorned, beribboned  flaming Xmas puddings together with platters piled high with sugar sprinkled mince pies, I have become victim to a Pavlovian reaction, triggered by the memory of these fruit and spice filled sweetmeats awaiting my attentions in a darkened studio where the flames of burning methylated spirits replace those of Christmas. The picture in this post was created and shot in my studio in London during a heat wave in July some 12 years ago. Each year food photographers throughout the Western world will pass through that Vale of Tears known as the Christmas issue. It will always entail a great deal of discussion about a new vision of Christmas or, what would be Torquemada’s ideal, Christmas with a twist, but there is an immutable law that makes every version of Christmas photography look exactly the same, like Thanksgiving. There’s no question that the Victorians and later, Norman Rockwell, got it right and all the hand wringing, brain storming and blue sky thinking will eventually lead to the same, cunningly disguised by props and layout, predictable destination. With this in mind I”m taking my first steps of the ascent to the peak of a modified Mont Blanc, which I believe will have all the credentials of a Christmas dessert without the magnum force knockdown of alcohol laden steamed fruit pudding. Nursery food, the mainstay of the British Empire, has always been anathema to me which could account for my contentment in living and eating here in France.


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in fireplace, Food and Photography, Photography holiday, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to First steps on my ascent of Mont Blanc..

  1. I can understand your sentiments – especially if you had to go through Christmas every year in July for work! I adore Mont Blanc and have some chestunuts set aside for just this purpose…

  2. spree says:

    Positively delighted that I “found” you! A new, and already ardent, follower!

  3. Oh wow, I was wondering if that was a shoot or your house. I’m impressed either way!

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    There was a major disconnect as I stared at the photo. That just didn’t look like the hearth I remembered seeing in one of your earlier posts. Even so, it is one beautiful photo — even if it is missing a platter of ravioli in the foreground. 🙂

  5. That is an absolutely gorgeous picture! I wish my house looked like that, in fact, I wish my turkey looked like that.

  6. Ok, House and Garden, or something like that, I could understand…but a Pharma company’s catalog?
    Pain-in-the-rear or not, it’s a photo I’d want to live in at the holidays…Mission accomplished?

  7. I suppose it’s because I grew up abroad, away from all the traditional British Christmas hype, that I’ve never really succumbed to it and certainly don’t now that there are so many alternative seasonal delights available to me. So I’m really looking forward to your Mont Blanc ascent – anything with chestnuts and cream and alcohol is very tempting!

  8. peasepudding says:

    I can see Christmas could be a little tiring if you have plan photos shoots like that in summer. I sometimes hanker for the UK Christmas traditions but when I read blogs telling of the bitter weather this month I am glad to know we will be sunning ourselves in the NZ sun over Christmas not wrapped up in woollies

  9. Mad Dog says:

    Brilliant! I’ve been there too! I hope you are sending that out as your Christmas card 😉

  10. I’ve just discovered your blog! Yay!! This photo is incredible.. such a richly laden table overflowing with scrumptiousness.. I can’t wait to look at more posts:)

  11. Wow. I’m always amazed at how Christmas photos, albums, etc. are prepared so far in advance when it’s so hot to even imagine Christmas.

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