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  • Jamie Ramsay

On a Food-Shoot Tear and Florida

A few weekends ago, I flew down to Fort Lauderdale to meet my Trondheim derby friends at the the Beach Brawl roller derby tournament. What was special about the weekend was it that included teams not only from the southeastern U.S., but also Scandinavia, the U.K. and even Bogota, Columbia - quite a haul for many of these teams. Again, I had the honor of serving on the Nidaros All-Stars bench, as coach. Happily, we reached a milestone together: the team’s first complete sweep of a multi-game weekend. Three decisive victories over three days. So much more to say about that entire weekend, but in short, I was stolt. These warriors left everything of themselves on that track in the final game. It was uplifting to watch this team consistently rise from game to game, all the while, singing and dancing - literally. They are such an inspiration.

We all made progresses that weekend: for me, it was expanding my Norwegian. I can count to 10, now!

Sports are great for learning numbers and things like the expression for “ants in your pants.” Incidentally, it translates, well, a little more coarsely in Norwegian! Most importantly, I learned that direct translations from iPhones can prove embarrassingly misleading, as in the case of translating “I’m excited.” When in doubt, asking a native speaker is always best. Otherwise, instead of telling everyone how excited you are for the upcoming game, you’ll be telling them you’re aroused. ;P

One thing that being in this sport has taught me: trust is the foundation of strength. The strength we learn as women together on a team, no matter what our roles on that team, opens doors to rooms that little girls rarely got a chance to explore growing up. It's pretty amazing.

Norway’s seductive beauty and the invigoration that its environment and people have instilled in me over the past few months, continue to affect my life profoundly, fueling my soul and my creative drive. After a celebratory weekend of watching Nidaros’s elite athleticism and spending some high quality beach time along the Atlantic coast, I came home incredibly nostalgic for Norway.

In an ode to all that is good about brød med pålegg, I threw together this sandwich you see above, with the last bits of some Norway treasures I had transported back: Norvegia cheese and some aronia berry jam. Ric picked up this fabulous local broccoli rabe (hurray for summer produce finally being at the markets!) that I sautéed with garlic and chili for heat. The Norvegia is somewhat like Swiss, so it mellowed the greens, adding creaminess. And the jam is an intense tart berry (nicked named “chokeberry” in a nod to its astringency) that balanced the bitter rabe, so well. I’d picked up flaked Norwegian sea salt in Åndalsnes, which finished the sandwich nicely. The bold colors of this lunch kept me in a victorious mood, let me savor some final tangibles of that gorgeous country, and I couldin't wait to shoot some of this lovliness...and study my Norwegian vocab from some beautifully-illustrated, vintage children's books, I'd picked up at a thrift store in Trondheim.

I’ve actually been on quite a food-shooting tear since May, also shooting food for Groupon’s developing initiative to build an in-house stock library. A few of my favorite shots from the newly-opened Latin restaurant, Altiro, in Chicago’s Roscoe village, are posted below. Some of my food shots have even made it onto their web site! (note: not all the photos on their banner are mine.) It's an airy and sophisticated space with beautiful light a head chef who has passion for churning out artful dishes. Their fruity cocktail menu and crisp white patio are ripe for summer!

Photos below by Jamie Ramsay, ©Groupon

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