Golden Glen

Vic and Judythe farm store

Back in October I went out to interview the Jensen family at Golden Glen Creamery for the Nov/Dec issue of Grow Northwest magazine. You can read the original article here, but I thought it would be fun to post some of the other photos I took.

the cheese roomthe cheese room

The Jensens don’t actually own the creamery any more, but the family is still very much involved in running the place. All the folks I talked to were exceedingly proud of their milk, the quality of their cheese, and their rather snazzy cheese room. When Vic opened the door and let me peek in, a vast waft of garlic hit me in the face from the fresh wheels of dill-garlic cheese resting on the racks. If you’ve ever had that stuff as fresh cheese curds, you may agree with me that it’s one of the more addictive dairy products out there. I also got a glimpse of the aging room, which happened to be a trailer parked behind the farm store.

I did not get to meet any cows. I was informed that they were off being milked (something they spend quite a bit of their day at). No cheese samples, either. But  I got to have a large dog lean against my legs while I took notes, and the view from the farm was nice.

view from the farm

I used my trip out to the dairy as an excuse to drive around on the Skagit flats at dawn and take pictures of the autumn fields in the morning mist.

misty farm

misty barn

farm road

sunrise through fog


view from Persons Road

(There are, by the way, calendars of my photographs for sale over at Qoop. Just thought I’d mention it.)

food photography

beetartichoke #3

For the last two months I’ve been taking a course at PCNW in studio lighting. Except for the portrait assignment, we’ve been able to choose our own subjects, so I’ve mostly been going into the studio with a bag of produce. Vegetables sit still and don’t twitch while you’re moving lights around.


It’s been a lot of fun, and great to see how studio light can mimic daylight or look very different depending how you use it. I’ve come up with a few images that I really like while doing homework for this class.

squash in hard lightmoody citrus

Some of them, like the squash and citrus shots above, are framed and hanging up at Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham. They’ll be there through March 19th if you want to stop by and take a look, or you can meet me on Wednesday the 9th when I go in for “Art Night”. Let’s drink beer and talk about photography!

in the light



My parents often buy persimmons in the winter, which for some reason we never do. I took advantage of the opportunity to shoot a few images of this one. I love both the color of the fruit and the texture of the sepals, making it hard to decide whether I like it better in color or black and white. Which do you prefer?


final fruits


Since the weather has gotten cold I’ve pretty much given up on my remaining outdoor vegetables. The tomato vines have wilted, I pulled out the runner beans, and the last few zucchini are melting into the ground. The tomatillo plants continued to fruit despite everything, although I was feeling a bit burned out on actually eating them. I decided to pick all the remaining fruits a few weeks ago and keep them in a bowl on the counter, just for decor. I adore the texture of these tomatillos, and the mix of jewel tones as some turn purple and others remain brilliant green.

Yesterday I finally threw them into the compost, but took one last picture in the soft afternoon light. I had just finished weaving a teal wool scarf for the upcoming Rexville art show, so I used that as a color backdrop for the tomatillos. I like the resulting contrast.

Caturday on the couch


Today’s Caturday brought to you by Stella, who climbed out of the recycling bin (her favorite new hangout) long enough to be photographed on the kitchen couch. She’s so used to having a camera in her face that she doesn’t even blink any more.

tucked up on the couch

apple pie

apple pie

Last week I was asked by the editor of Grow Northwest magazine to shoot a cover photo for their November-December issue. The catch? I’d need to bake an apple pie. Oh, darn.

Although I like other apple desserts and baked goods, I’ve never actually been that fond of apple pie. This is probably because I’ve never put much effort into baking them – if I’m going to go to the trouble to make a pie I’d rather it be rhubarb or pear-custard or blackberry. But I had a big bag of apples left here by my parents, and I wanted the photo to look like an apple pie – tall and rounded and golden – so I put some back into it.

apple pie filling

ready for the oven

Continue reading

twin pears

Asian pears

A few nights ago some dinner guests arrived supplied with ice wine, goat cheese and four of the biggest Asian pears I’d ever seen. We managed to eat two pears between the six of us, but there were still two left. On Friday I was mucking around with the camera, fruit and various backdrops for an assignment, so I decided to do some fruit portraits.


Admittedly those apples are a bit small, but look at the size of that pear! And I adore the texture of its skin.


[Last year for NaBloPoMo I ran food-related comics on Sundays, but I haven’t been able to find many good new ones, so instead I thought I might show some of my food photography projects that don’t otherwise fit into food posts – JT]

The 2011 Food on the Brain Calendar!

For the past few years, I’ve put together a calendar of my photos  – sometimes food, sometimes flowers, or whatever struck my fancy at the time – and given them as gifts. This year, I’ve decided to make it more widely available for anyone who’s interested. I now have a store page on Qoop, and you can order any of the various items directly from them and they’ll print them to order. I’ve used calendars from Qoop myself and they’re very nice quality, wire-bound with heavy paper. One is all food photos, all from this blog in the last year. One is scenery from around Skagit Valley (no tulips, sorry, but there is a shot of daffodil fields) and the last is a self-indulgent selection of kitty cats. Check them out and let me know what you think, or if you’d like to see a different collection – I can put together other designs if there’s interest.

Also, in case you’re in an art shopping mood this Christmas, remember you can buy prints of many of my photos over at my main website, or order them framed directly from me. They make great kitchen art!

trying something new

I’m really, really excited, and equally terrified, to tell you that I’ve truly, officially as of today quit my day job. This may prove to be a ghastly mistake, but I’ve been ready for some time to devote more of my energy to photography (not to mention cooking, writing, gardening and weaving) and this turned out to be the year to go for it.

misty morning

What will I be doing? I’m not sure yet, but here’s what I’d love to do: photos of food (I know, you’re shocked). Photos of farms, and farmers, and chefs doing what they do best. Wine tastings, potlucks, farm dinners. Restaurants. I want to share all the wonderful things that are going on in the Northwest, and especially Skagit Valley, with food and cooking and farming.

she didn't always follow the recipe

This blog will continue, definitely. I have no idea whether I’ll spend more time here, or less, but I’m hoping more. I found out recently that a popular food blog roundup website rejected Food on the Brain for membership, presumably because I don’t include enough recipes. I felt miffed at first, but honestly, I’m not all about recipes. In fact, I’m frequently entirely not about recipes. And that’s OK. I hope, if you read this site, you also enjoy simply talking about food, and reading about food, and looking at pretty pictures of food, just because you like it. I see this blog as a way to share what I’ve been eating, what I’ve tried, and how it worked for me. If you’ve made the same sort of thing, I hope you’ll feel free to comment and tell me how it worked for you. We’re eating, not sitting for an exam.

So…here we go, wish me luck! And if you’re passing through the Wenatchee Valley any time during August, stop by my first solo photography show hanging at the Peshastin Creek Gallery. The opening reception’s on Sunday the 8th, I’d love to see you there!