When your parents own a garden they cultivate and harvest, never let its fruits go to waste. Fresh produce adds an unbelievably scrumptious flavor to your food that you may not wish to cook with anything mass produced ever .
Living in the Arabian Gulf, I honestly miss the taste of organic fruits and vegetables, and I make sure during every visit to my country to binge on those gems that are overly expensive when exported to the Gulf yet never taste the same as when you consume them in your hometown.
I am pretty sure this is not only in my head, nor that of the tens or even hundreds of fellow nationals who also repeat the same observation: I believe the weather and the elements take away from the taste as the items are shipped across the borders before they are consumed. But when it comes to food, it is the whole experience and not merely the taste of a specific vegetable that triggers our taste buds and nurses that olfactory memory we decide to safeguard, cherish and elaborate on when reminiscing about the beauty of returning home.
So in shorter words, eating fruits directly from your folks’ tree and then immediately taking them to the kitchen to turn them into your next culinary achievement is second to nothing! It is an experience I was blessed with when I was a kid, and that I would love for my little son to live. In an era of video games and minimal contact with Mother nature , I would want to see him discovering the task of fruit picking, getting himself dirty and returning home to tell the story in his own indecipherable words. I know this will help him get in touch with his roots, and learn to like what nature has to offer us.
It is for that exact reason that I decided to immortalize Jamie’s first contact with raw nature in this fig picking photoshoot that was beautifully done by Aimee, my talented sister-in-law who’s a professional photographer passionate about children’s photos. Mom had mentioned she had no time to pick the ripe fruits and I jumped on the opportunity to lend her a hand. I offered to do it with my overly excited and constantly exploring little Jamie, who seizes every chance he gets to roam free outdoors.
I thought the whole process would look amazing in the stills, and Aimee and myself started planning the outfit and the props. My father had a few wooden planks in his garage, and my brother-in-law suggested he uses them to fix me a nice wooden box that would serve as a good chair when sitting on the ground became tiring.
I used my parents’ bamboo fruit basket and decided Jamie would wear denim overalls to reflect his farmer’s potential in a perfect way! and Oh Boy the result was perfect in the most perfect way.
Not only did he love the attention, but he also thought it funny to squeeze the figs and see them dripping! Every time I saw how frustrated he was getting because he could not pull the fig out of the tree branch, I would jump to the rescue like the supporting mother I am supposed to be, only to take a fig blow in the face right after! But his priceless giggles made it all worthwhile!
I have to admit it is never easy to photoshoot a kid, let alone a one-year-old toddler! I go by a specific to-do list whenever I want to do one with Jamie, and you will hear about it very soon. So stay tuned!
Meanwhile, enjoy the final outcome of this one!