Blackberry Magic {and one delicious casualty}

In the making of a beautiful food photo are dozens of details that have to line up just right. Props have to be picked so not to steal the show from the food. Linens need pressed. Light needs evaluated. The food needs to be created and cooked and placed just so. And on top of all that, there has to be a little magic ~ that little something that makes the food pop off the plate and into your soul so that you are compelled, if not utterly convicted that you too must have a plate of magic.

Twice this summer, I spent an entire week with a team of six talented ladies who are each bringing their expertise and eye together to make sure my very first cookbook is beautiful. We gathered props from our own collections and begged and borrowed linens, plates and platters. We scoured grocery stores and garden stores and farmer's market for the freshest most locally grown ingredients. And then we began.

During these weeks of method and madness, there were moments when all six of us screamed "it's gorgeous!" and gathered round to stare and stare and stare at a plate of uneaten food.

One such moment happened midweek just before lunch time. I stacked up a plate of my fat oatmeal-yogurt pancakes and piled them high with Greek yogurt and blackberry crush. The sun came in and fell softly upon every swirl and curl, bouncing off the berries in a luscious glow. And then, after Sara Remington {the very talented photographer I'm lucky to have on my team} got the very last photo, six forks descended upon the plate like we'd been starved for a century.

One of those forks fell on clumsy hands {mine} and soon one dark, delicious drip made itself at home on Sara's linen. I am very, very lucky I know how to cook. Sara took her turn at the pancakes, declared them delicious and turned a blind eye to my mistake.

I wish I could share some blackberry magic with you while they're still in season. You'll have to wait for the book to get the recipe {sorry, you're going to hear that from me a lot in the next year}. I promise, it's worth the wait. But don't wait until then to go out and make some magic of your own. Summer still looms in luscious berries and the last of summer peaches and nectarines, early figs and plums. Go out and discover them!

In the meantime, you'll be hearing a lot more about the talented beauties behind my book, and of the many moments behind the scenes that make a book what it is before it gets into your hands.


The Smiths in NYC said...

Loved the imaging. You are able to capture the beauty of creating food that is beyond just physical nurishment. Keep on inspirting.

Erin said...


The pictures are beautiful and the pancakes look delicious. I can't even work for thinking about how they taste! Hurry up cookbook!!!

Allie (Live Laugh Eat) said...

I cannot WAIT for your cookbook to come out. I think the dark delicious drip gives the photo character! Do let me know if you need help with recipe testing :)

Anonymous said...

edible living - I can't wait to try this recipe! It looks so delicious!
your recipes are crowd stoppers every time! thank you for sharing this sneak peak!

sarah said...

Thank you for your comments everyone! I can NOT wait to get this cookbook to you. Dear editors, do we really have to wait until 2012? I'm having too much fun....

Lindsay said...

Those pancakes are like a dream from heaven! Wish I could have a stack in front of me right now.

: sara remington : said...

..my little linen forever smiles knowing that the best and yummiest stack of pancakes sat on it's back for a good 45 minutes. and it has the purple scar to prove it, shining proud and delicious!
that's my semi half poem for you, sarah; this book is going to be just F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!

My photo
New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.