Happy Thanksgiving!



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Over the River and Through the Woods…

WoodsA path through the woods shot by John B. Capewell.

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Cranberry Meringue Tart



This cranberry meringue tart is the brainchild of Dorie Greenspan, my hero! It’s a pre-baked crust, with a thin layer of cherry preserves, filled with a cranberry studded meringue, and baked until the surface is crunchy. The sweetness of the meringue contrasts nicely with the tartness of the cranberries. It’s a light dessert that’s perfect after  two helpings of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole. You may as well add a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream – just make sure you’re wearing your Thanksgiving pants!  Continue reading

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The Photo Elective – Cundey’s Motel

Cundey's Motel
When I was in art school in the early ’80s, I was required to take a photography elective course where we had to shoot photographs; develop the film; make prints from the negatives and hopefully wind up with something that was either esthetically pleasing or good enough to get a passing grade. Most of my fellow students lived in and around the school in Center City Philadelphia where they shot vibrant and dynamic images of urban vistas while I lived just across the Delaware River in suburban Westville, New Jersey and felt I had to scrabble for things worthy of making a monochromatic exposure. I thought I had nothing to shoot compared to the other kids. How wrong I was.

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Banana Pumpkin Bread



Every Thanksgiving my mother made banana and pumpkin breads. A slice and a cup of coffee on Thanksgiving morning was our fuel to get started on preparation for dinner. I tried an experiment pouring both batters into the same pan and marbleize with a butter knife. The results were marvelous – the bananas give a nice sweetness to the pumpkin, it was tough to wait for the bread to cool down. My two favorite breads united!  Continue reading

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The Teeth That Bite

teethSomewhere along the subway lines in Philadelphia, PA. Fortunately, the station was deserted so it wasn’t like I was blocking the path.

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Strings Attached

Strings AttachedHere’s a shot from John Capewell’s younger days when he wanted to play around with photography, composition and odd juxtapositions. He’s included himself in the center of this oddly posed crowd as he activates his camera’s shutter with a length of string.

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Ham & Cheese


If you don’t refrigerate this sandwich, see if you can trade it with the other children.

I can’t pinpoint how this came about – I think it may have been an article about a dad who lovingly drew a cartoon on his kindergartener’s sandwich bag every day. Never one to be outdone, Joe grabbed a Sharpie and seized the opportunity to dispense fatherly advice.

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The Photo Elective – South Philly Circa 1981

South Philly - 1981As I wrote recently, I lived in New Jersey but commuted to the big city across the Delaware River to attend the Philadelphia College of Art. When I needed to shoot photographs for a photo elective course, I tended to stick close to home in South Jersey while my fellow students who lived in Philly tended to shoot in Philly. Above is a shot of The City of Brotherly Love by my fellow illustration student and future wife Tina Garceau. She’s a little foggy on the details as to where this was shot from, but obviously it’s someplace high in center city, and it looks to be in between Fourth and Fifth Streets looking South.

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Carrot Apple Bread


CarrotAppleI made this on Sunday morning as soon as I got home from the market. I love that despite what looks like a long list of ingredients, this bread comes together in a snap. A bowl, a whisk, and a box grater and we’re in business. It’s heavy on the cinnamon, and the apples and carrots make the bread moist. A thick slice of this, paired with a hot cup of strong coffee makes a cold, gray November morning a little more bearable!  Continue reading

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Friday Five – Number Seventy



Seventieth in a series creating a collage using five elements.

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The Great Indoors

3-in-the-corner-detThe Capewell Glass Negative Collection continues with a great indoor self-portrait of the photographer John Capewell who looks to have been experimenting with flash photography. He’s flanked by two ladies — John’s wife Ella on the right and a woman who I’m not sure of on the left.

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Cappuccio’s Meats


My son and I were walking home yesterday at dusk when I shot this photo of Cappuccio’s Meats on 9th Street. It’s a family owned business that opened in 1920. Cleavers, well worn cutting boards, and the most amazing selection of sausages in the city. I feel compelled to shoot photos of 9th Street now and again so that down the road, I have a personal record of how it was. There seems to be a rapacious hunger to tear down just about everything and replace it with uninspiring structures. I want to try to capture some of the true feel and charm of this area before it, God forbid, vanishes.

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The Photo Elective – Murphy’s Tavern

Last week we did pretty well with a visit to The Mardi Gras Club and were actually graced by the presence of the Miss Vicki. Over on the Facebook pages for Westville and Gloucester City there was a lot of back and forth between folks there offering their memories of the place and time. Somebody mentioned Murphy’s Tavern which brings us today’s post.
Murphy's Tavern
As I said before I had a photography course in art school, and I recently uncovered several plastic binder pages filled with the negatives. I don’t remember what the assignments entailed, but being that I lived in Westville and commuted to school, I shot pictures in Westville. My fellow art students lived in dorms, student housing and apartments in Philly and shot every square inch of Center City Philadelphia. At the time, I thought my photos were lackluster compared to the other kids’ cosmopolitan shots of glass and brick and steel in the big city. Now that I’m looking at my shots with fresh eyes, they’re not that bad. I wish I shot ten times as much!

As always comments, questions and anecdotes are welcome, and feel free to leave them below.

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