07 September 2011

I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight

The thing about photos on the Internet, as everyone knows, is that they take on lives of their own.

I host most of my photos on Flickr, because, well, I like Flickr. It's a great service with a good community, the paid version is a great value for the money, and the people I want to share photos with also use it. What's not to love?

My Flickr photos (like this blog) are all tagged with a Creative Commons licence -- because it's the Internet, and things will take on lives of their own, but I'd appreciate it if you gave me credit for the things I create and don't go making money from them when I don't make money from them myself.

I am not a very good photographer, so mostly this is just window-dressing on Flickr. My pictures are family snapshots or photos of my garden, things I've cooked, and things I've crafted. One of these days I'll get around to making myself a softbox and learn some more things that will make me a better photographer, but even then, it's unlikely people will be flocking to my photostream or blog for the gorgeous pictures.

And that's OK -- for me photography has a value in continuing to do it, even if I'm not that good at it. But that's another essay.

There's a German proverb, 'auch ein blindes Huhn findet mal ein Korn,' that translates as 'even a blind hen sometimes finds a corn.' Even a terrible photographer occasionally gets a good shot. The 'Run for your lives' photo I posted just before Hurricane Irene was such a shot. I took it through the windshield of our car at 30 mph as the Viking and I left Delaware. Someone shared it on a social networking site (I do not book face, so I don't know who) and it scored an unprecedented (for me) 150 views in one day. For comparison, most of my photos get one view, ever, because my mother loves me.

(That's nice, 'nora, but it's Wednesday -- where's the food?  Patience, I'm getting to that.)

Sometimes, though, my photos turn up in places I didn't expect. A picture of a rhubarb tart I made for Easter several years ago turned up this spring on a French recipe site, illustrating a completely different rhubarb tart recipe.

Rhubarb Tart

And then this week, a really pretty terrible picture of some jam I made a few years ago turned up on the Russian version of Lifehacker, illustrating a completely different jam recipe.

Red Chile and Apple Jam

In both cases the photos were properly attributed with links back to my Flickr photostream, so I am not annoyed by their peculiar uses, only slightly baffled.

And intrigued by the Russian recipe. Russian is not a language I had to learn in graduate school, and the Viking's long-ago Army intensive Russian has dwindled down to На здоровье! (Na Zdorovie, commonly (mis)spelled nastrovia in English -- the Russian equivalent of 'Cheers!') and not much else so I had to rely on Google Translate.

The details are therefore fuzzy, but the basics seemed to be:

Take a quantity of sour, fragrant apples. Peel, core, and chop them. Weigh the apples and add half their weight in sugar. Let the apples sit overnight in the sugar (Google rendered this as 'the apples sleep with the sugar' which I find a charming bit of translationese).

The next morning, bring the apples to a boil and boil for two minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. At lunch, bring the apples to the boil again and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. In the evening, bring to a boil again, cook for 10 minutes, and then put into jars.

This cooking process is supposed to let the apples absorb the syrup without having them turn to mush. Vanilla, cinnamon, or orange peel are suggested additions.

As it happens, I was cooking with apples this weekend, too, making an applesauce that I think came out too sweet, though the Viking likes it. I infused the applesauce with a couple sprigs of rosemary and do like that a great deal (and so does the Viking). Next time I have a pile of sour apples, though, I may experiment with the Russian version.

Robert Frost

1 comment:

  1. That was me! I shared a link to it on Facebook, and a friend who's far more popular than I am picked up on it.

    In days gone by, we spent most of our vacations bayside, just west of the Rt. 54/Coastal Highway intersection, so I knew exactly where you were when you got that shot. And now I have a pointless and unholy craving for Fisher's Popcorn.


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