Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Uva do Monte

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Uva do Monte

Santa Susana

Praia de Aberta Nova

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Photography & Styling Workshop | Uva do Monte

Santa Susana

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Workshop, Beach Picnic

Sea, salt, and grassy olive oil. Brilliant, abiding sun reflected in marble, whitewash, and sand. Lulas, polvo chocos. And such mollusks. My fill of sea creatures; never wanting for garlic. Back roads & ocean bonfires. Antique brass & porcelain. Soft, pungent cheese & fatty chouriço (don’t call it sausage). That’s the seduction of Portugal. And I’m not easy to seduce.

Fava Courgette Mint Soup

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Uva do Monte

Fava Courgette Mint Soup

Uva do Monte

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Photography & Styling Workshop

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Photography & Styling Workshop

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Photography & Styling Workshop

Uva do Monte

I only wish I could have stayed and stayed. And not left ever. But lived on instead as an aunt (rumored to be mad as a March hare) to Sanda’s children, one that came around every now & again, and, forever forgetting to take her shoes off in the foyer, would proffer animal teeth & crystals to the children and help out with supper, talking a little too much & reminiscing about “real” buttermilk. That last night in Lisboa, walking through a web of streets eating pistachio gelato with Sanda, her husband Marcos, and their two happy children, I felt pained. Those narrow—always narrow—streets and their attendant tables convivial with Portuguese wine, the iconic tiles, the pastel facades strung with colored flags in May, streets so rambling you’ll turn your ankle if you’re not careful—it was a rare moment. Leaving Lisboa when we’d only just been acquainted was done with a heavy heart. But I was able to spend a more ample amount of time with the country & sea side, and for that I’m grateful.

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop, Beach Picnic

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Workshop, Beach Picnic

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Workshop, Beach Picnic

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop, Beach Picnic

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop, Beach Picnic

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop, Beach Picnic Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop, Beach Picnic

Portugal Beach Picnic

Praia de Aberta Nova

Praia de Aberta Nova

Santa Susana

Santa Susana

Santa Susana

Most of my time in Portugal was spent working & teaching south of Lisbon at Uva do Monte, a spectacular & entirely unique renovated blueberry farm come inn. I couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect backdrop for my partner Sanda (of one of my all time favorite blogs Little Upside Down Cake) & I’s workshop if I’d tried. In the days leading up we shopped for ingredients in town and cooked & planned away at Sanda’s flat, and then come the workshop we spent our days at the farm cooking together and teaching the ins & outs of visual story telling, prop & food styling, composition, and post-processing. The first afternoon, as everyone arrived, was spent enjoying tapas & ginger sage lemonade and getting to know one another. That night Sanda and I prepared a feast with squid we purchased (happily cleaned & sliced for us) at Peixaria Centenária, a fantastic fish monger in Lisbon (highly recommended if you’re visiting even if just to have a look!). We braised the squid in tomato & white wine and finished it with a pinch of cinnamon and served it tossed with bucatini, anchovy butter, and spicy parsley bread crumbs. Alongside it was a simple fennel & citrus salad with fresh cheese and for dessert we served a lavender panna cotta with red fruits & thyme cookies.

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop

Fava Courgette Mint Soup

Fava Courgette Mint Soup

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop

Beth Kirby | Local Milk
photo by Skye McAlpine

Beth Kirby | Local Milk
photo by Eve Hilaire

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Strawberry Galette

To Start

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Spring Risotto

Fava Courgette Mint Soup

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Strawberry Galette Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Strawberry Galette

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Strawberry Galette

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Uva do Monte Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop

The following day was spent cooking & styling everything from fava soup to spring risotto to beautiful strawberry thyme galettes. The next morning we baked cakes, foccaccia, burek, and assembled all manner of picnic fare and, stalwart in the face of an arguably oppressive sun, set up a make shift canopy and styled, shot, and subsequently ate a picnic on the expansive Praia de Aberta Nova as waves crashed and were blue in the way one hopes the sea to be. At least as I do. The final day we took the principles of visual story telling on the road and visited a few local spots, starting with a traditional Portuguese village, all white and blue, Santa Susana.  After that we had lunch at an old primary school that had been turned into a restaurant—a feast of seafood and rabbit and all manner of victuals soaked in oil & garlic. We moved on to an abandoned fishing village whose docks, while death traps, were also highly photogenic. The last night we celebrated with another picnic, this time at sunset with a bonfire. But most of all, each day, we enjoyed the company of our students: strong, bright women from all corners—France, New York, Amsterdam, Denmark, London, and Seattle. Teaching inevitably, and perhaps unfairly, results in learning as much from your students as they can learn from you.

A Escola, Alacer do Sal

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Photography & Styling Workshop

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Photography & Styling Workshop | Uva do Monte

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Photography & Styling Workshop | Uva do Monte

Uva do Monte

Uva do Monte

Uva do Monte

I received a package of tea & books from one of them, Skye (who’s work on her blog From My Dining Table is so beautiful these days I can hardly stop exclaiming to anyone who happens to be near when I look at it), that moved me to the verge of tears (she knew I’d wanted to grab a special tin of tea in London but that due to cancelled flights I couldn’t). And I often think of Leslie’s sound & pragmatic business advice. She (unbeknownst to her) exists as a coach in my head. I’m convinced Sif (a prolific cookbook author), in flowing skirts with long, blond locks, is a natural white sorceress (that is to say, a kindred spirit), and to hear her recount her life of dreams around the breakfast table was one of the many joys she brought. Nathalie reminded me daily and through just being that it was all terribly beautiful and not so serious; her good nature (which is a quiet, wordless wisdom) brought balance and reminded me daily that the point of it all is to enjoy it all. I’m ridiculously adept at forgetting that at times and instead become fixated on perfection, excellence. But there is nothing excellent about a dry, pursed life. No matter how lovely, how well composed & curated. Alice & Eve, both accomplished photographers, made me think about all aspects of what I do with their pointed, intelligent questions, and they brought a brand of humor and class that French women inevitably do. Their friendship and collaborative work with each other is also so inspiring. Olaiya, a chef from Seattle, had a bright, vibrant style that reminded me that technique is a means to your vision, and no one can teach you that last part. That’s yours to find, and you have to have the courage to find it, lest you fall victim to the sad farce of trying to be someone else. Confident in her style & taste, Olaiya would never fall victim to that. And Lisa. Lisa, a Dutch woman and mother of three, had such a quiet determination. And it shows in her work. Thoughtful shots that capture still moments. And done with a finesse I would have hardly believed the equipment she was working with was capable. She is a prime example of the fact that a good photographer can make beautiful photos on absolutely anything. This is and always has been true; her work exemplifies it. Her photos, like her, are quiet and beautiful, devoid of ostentation. They are honest. I cannot thank each of them enough for attending, putting up with my eccentricities, and allowing me to teach them. The honor was mine.

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Uva do Monte

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Photography & Styling Workshop

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop | Strawberry Galette

Santa Susana

Abandoned Portuguese Fishing Village

Many many thanks to our partners, who provided our students with beautiful gifts of sea salt from Old Salt Merchants, herbal teas from Marble & Milkweed, and gorgeous aprons from Knock Knock Linen. Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t end by thanking my friend & colleague Sanda for her hospitality, her hard work, and her sheer talent. I cried when saying good by to her. But only after she admitted that she was a bit teary behind her sunglasses. I’d meant to stuff it, and right after laughing in front of the airport If I was younger, I would cry, I did. Her photos have inspired me for a long time, and to have the chance to see her work, learn her process, and get to know her & her family was worth every bit of work involved. She’s everything I’m not and then some, and I couldn’t have done it without her. I miss you, Sanda! And I cannot thank you enough.

Praia de Aberta Nova

Praia de Aberta Nova

Praia de Aberta Nova

Abandoned Portuguese Fishing Village

I leave you with our menu to perhaps inspire some ideas of you own, and one of the simple recipe we created for the workshop, a homely but delicious soup of fat, smooth fava beans, courgette (zucchini! but doesn’t courgette just roll off your tongue?), leeks, and mint. It was inspired by nothing more than what was beautiful when I was there. It was cooking in the moment.

Greeting

Local cheese & charcuterie
Fresh Bread
Wine
Ginger Sage Lemonade
White Bean & Rosemary dip
Spring Crudités
Marinated Olives

Welcome Dinner

Fennel + olive + orange + buffalo mozzarella
Tomato White Wine Cinnamon Braised Squid Bucatini + Anchovy Butter+ Spicy Parsley Bread Crumbs
Lavender Buttermilk Panna Cotta + Sauce of Red Fruits + Thyme Olive Oil Dromkakor Cookies
Bread & Garlic Herb Butter

Savory Workshop Lunch

Fava Leek Courgette soup + Feta & Mint
Spring Risotto with Peas and Greens
Crostini

Afternoon Baking

Strawberry & Lemon Thyme Galettes with a Spelt Crust + Whipped Cream

Picnic

Spinach & Cheese Burek
Fresh fruit & Local Cheese
Tomato Basil Foccaccia
Smoked Salmon & Rocket Baguettes with Homemade Aioli, Pickled Shallots, and Capers
Grapefruit, Fennel, & Olive Oil Cakes
Spring Panzanella
Lavender Lemon Rosemary Soda

Fava Courgette Soup with Mint

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 medium leeks, rinsed and sliced into rings, white and light green parts only
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large courgette (zucchini), diced
  • 4-5 cups fresh, shelled fava beans (broad beans, butter beans)
  • enough water or stock to cover (can add a bouillion cube if using water)
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg plus extra to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium-large soup pot heat the olive oil till shimmering over medium high heat. Add the garlic and leeks, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about ten minutes until the leeks begin to get tender.
  2. Add in the courgette, favas, water or stock, and an additional teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover & cook until the favas are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, throw in the mint leaves, and puree using a stick blender or in batches in a regular blender. Return puree to the pot and thin with additional water or stock if needed to reach desired consistency. Should be thick but pourable. Season with the lemon, honey, nutmeg, and additional salt if needed to taste. Can be finished with a little cream if you're feeling rich.
  4. Top with good feta, mint, and a glug of good olive oil. Serve with crostini or a good crusty bread & sweet butter.
http://localmilkblog.com/2014/06/portugal-workshop-fava-soup.html

Local Milk x Little Upside Down Cake Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop

Fava Courgette Mint Soup

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55 Responses to Portugal Styling & Photography Workshop + Fava Courgette Soup with Mint

  1. Sanda says:

    Absolutely in love with every word and photo and honored to be part of this story Beth. We all miss you and your happy spirit!!!

  2. Laurel says:

    This is gorgeous as always, Beth, thank you for sharing it. I wish I could step right through the screen and into this world. :)

  3. Sarah says:

    This has to be the most beautiful collection of words and photos I have ever seen. I am constantly blown away with your posts. They make me want to cook and style, travel and have beautiful gatherings with friends. If only I could steal just one day of your life! xo

    I’m excited to try everything but I think I’m making the bean and rosemary dip this afternoon for sure.

  4. Steinsdotter says:

    This makes my just wanna dream away.
    What a collection of beautiful photos and gorgeous food!

    I wonder. I absolutely love those darker foodshots. What kind of editing are done with them? I want to shoot more food, and it would be a great help with an answer.

    xx

  5. Maria Campos says:

    Hello!

    I’m an (aspirant) blogger from Portugal and I am so happy that you are having gatherings like this one in our beautiful country. But I am sad I couldn’t be a part of it.

    Amazing photos!

  6. Beth,
    Absolutely stunning, darling… Your talent for capturing life is a true gift.
    x
    Amber

  7. olaiya says:

    Beth, this experience was absolutely amazing. I learned more than I’d hoped and met such a wonderful group of women. I am also completely in love with Portugal. Thank you, thank you for putting it all together and for continuing to inspire with your gorgeous photos!

  8. Anna says:

    Please share the recipe for ginger sage lemonade, yum!

  9. Corina Nika says:

    your photography is out of this world. so difficult not to stay for hours pinning everything!

  10. Beth says:

    You just took me on a beautiful journey during my lunch hour. Thank you for the welcome break and sharing so very much.

  11. Amelia says:

    Such beautiful and pleasent words.Glad you enjoy my country as much as I do!

  12. Briar says:

    So dreamy and exquisite, Beth! It was such a pleasure to be able to send along my Rose & Chamomile White Tea for this journey…

  13. Susan says:

    Beth , you are such an incredibly inspiring person. Your images are incredible and so much of what you write resonates with me. Please let me know if you do other workshops again as I would love to participate. Many thanks for all the beauty you generate. Susan

  14. Beth, you are such a thoughtful and inspiring individual. It just radiates off this post. What an incredible experience. I can’t get over the beauty in these photographs. I wish I could have been there…

  15. Marcos says:

    (don’t call it sausage)
    Hahahaha!!

    Amazing post.

    We all had a great time with you.
    Congratulations to you two for the great workshop and I really hope that you can make more people happy.

  16. What a beautiful post! Those photos are breathtaking, and you created such a magical story by using them with your lovely writing. Thanks for the breath of fresh air and inspiration!

  17. Ashley Ozuna says:

    Loved EVERY.SINGLE.PHOTO! xoxo ~Ashley

  18. Ramona says:

    Oh I was sooo looking forward to your next post and your blog has quickly become one of my favorites. Your photos are stunnding your words so honest and beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  19. Tabitha says:

    Oh my goodness, I don’t know what to say. Such beautiful, exquisite photography – I feel like I’ve peeked through a window into a fairytale world. Thank you so much for taking the time to photo-journal your experience and share it with us all :)

  20. Maja says:

    Magic woman, you! Makes me want to pack up and move to Portugal immediately! Such a coincidence, I’ve met Lisa at the Kinfolk dinner in Amsteram a few weeks ago. She’s amazing, right?! Hopefully another beautiful workshop in Europe soon. Will be attending for sure.
    xx
    Maja

  21. These moments are utterly captivating – the styling, the recipes, the setting, just brilliant work!

  22. Akane says:

    Sanda is indeed a very talented and wonderful person. I’m so so so happy that you’ve enjoyed Portugal and everything that our little country has to offer. You must come back! =) and this post is just perfect, very inspiring!

  23. Julie says:

    Breathtakingly beautiful!

  24. Skye says:

    Beth, this is such a beautiful post. Your photos and words are so evocative – an enchanting reflection of a truly dreamy few days. I feel so privileged to have been able to take part and to have spent time with you and all the other beautiful ladies. Thank you. And please host another workshop again very soon! Xx

  25. […] love with these dreamy travel & food pics taken in […]

  26. […] this Portugal workshop by Local Milk & Little Upside Down […]

  27. sarah says:

    Beth. You’re just so good. At everything.
    I’m teary-eyed at all the light and beauty here. xx

  28. Lauren says:

    Absolutely stunning! Love your photos.

  29. Kelven says:

    Your pictures are just stunning. You have a great eye based on simplicity but it goes to show you that you don’t have to over do a picture, you just need the right elements. Fantastic shots of Portugal… Makes me miss my Europe travels!

  30. Rebecca says:

    I have been waiting for a post for oh so long, and it was well worth the wait! I am glad; it looks like a great time. I can’t take my eyes of your pictures, they are my ultimate favourite. The food, the feels, all of it!
    http://www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com

  31. christiana says:

    mmm definitely on my bucket list now.

  32. emily brock says:

    I can’t even HANDLE ALL THIS.

  33. Alexandra says:

    Crazy Gorgeous…..they should have you do all the marketing for travelling there. Food pics are breathtaking.

  34. Leslie says:

    Beautiful words and beautiful images! It was a wonderful workshop, the perfect destination for a special group of photographers. I learned so much from you and Sanda, you are both so talented and I often think of your very pointed advice in my daily work!!! Looking forward to the next destination… xoxo PS: Please share the bundt cake and frosting recipe, it was amazing!

  35. […] Michael Graydon for Kinfolk + Quoonbeatz on Flickr + Local Milk + Anna Marek on […]

  36. kim says:

    Lovely post Beth! Would you mind sharing where you found your woven tote for the picnic. I’ve been looking for something for wildcrafting and this one looks lovely.

  37. […] Sursa foto localmilkblog.com […]

  38. Lídia says:

    Amazing photos, recipes and words. And I’m a very proud portuguese. Thank you for this wonderful post!
    Lídia

  39. […] credits: 1) Smitten Studio, 2 & 3) local milk, 4) Bodil Bergqvist for iPad magazine […]

  40. […] FAVORITE INSPIRATION […]

  41. […] You could use little sprigs from your own garden {or borrow from a neighbour, I’m sure they won’t mind!}. Check it out on Local Milk Blog. […]

  42. […] right: Pinterest | 5. left: Made From Scratch; right: Hello Natural | 6. Stocksy | 7. Local Milk | 8. Artifact Uprising | 9. Therese Knutsen | 10. left: Made by Mary; right: Mur Lifestyle| 11. 79 […]

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