on becoming Ken Dodd….and other recipes…


On taking stock of things, I never seem to have enough. More precisely, I never seem to have enough of the things of which I would like an excess. Money, hair and teeth would come high on the list although, on reflection, an excess of hair and teeth would open up the undesirable prospect of resembling a reincarnation of Ken Dodd or suffering an untimely death at the hands of one of the myopic and trigger happy local chasseurs. There is a continual deficit;  an insufficiency; of patience, jam, words, pistachios, concentration, caviar and application. Application has always been in short supply. If there was one reiterated shortcoming mentioned in my school reports, lack of application would have been it. Happily, my belief that the designation of dilettante was a compliment provided me with the shield that served to inure me to tutorial criticism and which has enabled me to amble carelessly through life whilst still arriving on the sunny side of the street. On saying that, it should be mentioned that the humble lane on which we live would be as happy to be called a street as I was to be called a dilettante. This and others were among the miscellany of thoughts that passed through my mind as the whisks spun their sorcery of amalgamating the eggs and cream that would fill a shell of Ottolenghi’s sour cream pastry in company with some roasted cherry tomatoes and the remnants of a quite ordinary log of goat cheese. My sense of lack became apparent as photography of the cooked tart began. The experience culled from the years of working in studios where stylists would arrive with van loads of “props” has left me with unrequited expectations. I expect to open a cupboard and to be spoiled for choice by the array of possibilities laid out before me. As usual, I picked up the one knife that I like at the moment. What I really like is what is written on it.



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 2014, Baking, Childhood, Cooking, Cream, Cutlery, Digital photography, Eggs, Expectation, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, goat cheese, Humour, Illusion, Jam, Memory, Photographic Prints, Photography, photography course, Prints, Still life, tart, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to on becoming Ken Dodd….and other recipes…

  1. Mad Dog says:

    I haven’t eaten enough food – does that count? Eating yours might make a dent in the deficit 😉

  2. Angeline M says:

    One who owns such a handsome knife could not possibly suffer from lack of application.

  3. That knife is all you need and as to the deficit can I add sleep deprivation due to jet lag😳

  4. As far as teeth,,perhaps this may be one example where the phrase “less is more” actually does make sense! I thought of you and your readers as I posted my pumpkin pie this week. 🙂

  5. Francesca says:

    Great reflection and exceedingly photogenic knife.

  6. Eha says:

    Wonderful post from which I would just remove two words : Ken Dodd 🙂 !!

  7. I’ve never seen your pictures to lack suitable props, Roger. What I like most about your pictures is their minimalism. Oh, and the light. And the fact that they generally make me hungry.

  8. Jen says:

    gorgeous poetry, this line: “There is a continual deficit; an insufficiency; of patience, jam, words, pistachios, concentration, caviar and application. “

  9. Julia says:

    Great reflection! What restaurant have you had the best pizza? Remember to add it to your Besty List! http://www.thebesty.com/foodphotographyfrance

  10. That made me smile, Roger. I also always have that “one knife I like at the moment” (could I borrow yours?).

  11. That top picture is stunning.

  12. At least you can be happy that you have plenty of eggs at your command with which to whip up delightful recipes. If the tart in the picture is an example of what dilettantes are achieving these days, please tell me where I sign up to be one as well?

  13. EllaDee says:

    Like props, over abundance of application detracts attention from the good stuff 🙂

  14. Great photograph! way to capture the moment.

  15. As ever, I enjoyed your words, but that first image is really something – food photography needs more movement and this picture certainly has it and sets a new standard to aim for!

  16. Karen says:

    Love the first shot, Roger!

  17. Two things I learned…who Ken Dodd was/is and that you do not want his hair, teeth, etc..you are no doubt just fine as is! And that I too love objects such as knives and forks and plates often times for their provenance..an old chipped plate with Limoges on the back….knives from Green River Works pre-civil war…forks randomly marked “Mexico Silver” or “Alaska” on the backs…random initialed silver flatware that has the initials of someone from another time and place. I have my favorites and these I use often.
    I love your knife markings and your whirling betters as well. Happy Thanksgiving week abroad.

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