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  • Writer's pictureAnnemarie Bolduc

Seasons upside down

Updated: Aug 8

How life in the opposite hemisphere brought the inspiration to create "Snowy Foodie".

Confused plant blooming spring flowers out of season, in autumn © Bottle and Brush Studio 2020

Living seasons upside down, when moving from the other side of the world, can be interesting to say the least! It doesn’t always make sense, especially when comes Christmas, Halloween, Easter... Adapting to a different lifestyle, culture and climate can be very challenging but enriching as well. From the province of Québec (Canada) to the Snowy Valleys of New South Wales (Australia), I still get the four seasons cycle but at the opposite time of year. Winters are milder but that does not mean more comfortable... In fact my body has never had to fight the cold temperatures as much I do now (but that’s inside the house of course)! Due to extreme heat waves and droughts, Australian bushlands each year are at risk of fires, and with global warming records have been increasing. In summer 2020, renamed the “black summer”, was an unimaginable event and the scariest experience I’ve ever lived before... Snake and big spider encounters were nothing compared to this. So, I much prefer spring and autumn (fall) as these seasons are just so gorgeous and pleasant (at the exception of my new grass pollen allergies)! I will elaborate more about each season in the southern hemisphere in time, but in Australia, season transitions are defined differently than in the northern hemisphere. In the tropical north, there are only two seasons, the dry and the wet (not including the notorious “build-up” I was told about). But across most of the country, including and the zone that we live in, spring is officially starting on September 1st, summer on December 1st, autumn on March 1st and winter on June 1st.

My eight seasons in pictures • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio (*Sugarbush by Gaetan Bolduc)

Seasons are the direction for my food photography and recipe development. This is a slow process and it usually takes me a year or two to complete a recipe, including the photos. For many reasons like budget, availability and nutrition, I often have to wait a while before doing a new test. If I mess it up, which sometimes happens, the recipe goes in the “next time” pile and that often means the following year. Harvest photos are made as the produce comes up and once I get the recipe finalized (or close to be), I can start propping, shopping, styling and cooking the real thing to make the final shots. I have to time the sessions with weather forecast as I am mostly using natural light. All the fresh produce pictures presented here are from my backyard, the family farm, friends gardens or bought from a local grower. I still buy some from the grocery shops of course for our everyday meals as we can't always find everything locally or in the garden. Our backyard food forest is in good progress but not yet fully productive. There are many benefits to grown food and eating seasonal: such as encouraging the reduction of ones carbon footprint, supporting local growers, eating food that is richer in vitamins and taste, saving money and so much more.

My eight seasons in food pictures • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio

I love the idea of consuming food in harmony what is in season and in the garden as a choice of menu. In my previous life in the city, for many reasons, this did not count as much. Now I never really eat zucchinis and salad vegetables in winter. It’s too cold for cold food and after eating those veggies everyday for most of the summer, I really don’t mind a break (especially zucchinis!). Same with pumpkins, I’m only cooking those in cold seasons and there is no way I’ll want any until the next round. A warm soup or an oven baked dish in summer, not very interested… However, most Australians families celebrate Christmas with a hot roast meal, at lunch (which means right in the heat of a summer day at around 35C) so I have to respect the traditions! In our own holiday time, I'm exploring some versions of Québec holiday dishes with a summer twist to beat homesickness but also for the fun of it. It's like living eight seasons a year! Change of season brings new beginnings, many memories, different ways to dress-up, activity switches and variations of the food we eat. Growing food is one of the best ways to connect with each season and one thing’s for sure, by learning and practicing most of it in this Australian climate, this is one thing that does not feel strange to me here at all. In my garden and by writing this blog, I’m feeling at home all year long!

Snowy Foodie recipes are published and categorized by seasons.

#autumn #winter #spring #summer

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