Pink Himalayan Rock Salt And Saffron

I thought since butterflies are gone and blooms are over, it’s time to put away my 60 mm macro lens until next spring. But, Raj encouraged me to find other subjects to practice, like dry leaves (but Helen’s leaf shots were remarkable.) He also mentioned about tripod.

This time, instead of looking for subjects in trails and woods, as I normally do, I went to my pantry, pink Himalayan rock salt and saffron were my choices.

I did a few shots at f 7 and f 9 and ISO 1600 without a tripod on the pink Himalayan rock salt. When I turned aperture to f11, I set my camera on the tripod. When I reset the ISO, I had to plugged the cable onto the camera. Master Raj was right, narrow aperture and a tripod made a difference.

Below is the actual size of the rock salt.

I bought a jar of saffron when we were in London last fall. It took some effort to opened the tightly sealed jar.

I’m wondering if f 11 and f 14 are too narrow for these shots.

Wanna see how thin these saffron threads are?

I had a long debate with myself deciding on the items, then getting a simple display ready was a battle. When the tripod, camera, and lens… were in place, it was another 60 minutes. I can’t  imagine how much time and effort Helen (HHC Blog) spent on shooting her beautiful studio photos.

Thank you, Raj for your critics and suggestions. Click HERE to visit Raj’s XDrive Learn Photography and join us. 🙂


After photography was done, I had to use this spice. So, I cooked the Moroccan Saffron Chicken for our Sunday dinner.

Do you know it takes over 14,000 of tiny stigmas to create an ounce of saffron?

To glean 1 lb (450 g) of dry saffron requires the harvest of 50,000–75,000 flowers; a kilogram requires 110,000–170,000 flowers. Forty hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers. —Wikipedia


1 teaspoon cumin, 1 tp cinnamon, 1/2 tp turmeric, salt and pepper

Brown flour coat chicken (6 pieces of thigh), when it’s done, set aside, stir with red pepper, onion for 7, 8 minutes or so. In a small pan, sauté chopped garlic and 1 tp ground ginger for a couple of min., then add the above spice mix and 1 tp flour for another 1 min.

Cook 1/2 cup of wine for 2 min, add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, chicken, and the spice mix, cook for 15-20 min at low med heat, stir 2, 3 times.

Top with cilantro and crumbled saffron thread. Voila!

Serve with rice and Chardonnay. Bon Appétit! 

You’re invited, Master Raj 🙂

50 thoughts on “Pink Himalayan Rock Salt And Saffron

  1. Good morning, Amy!
    Looks like a great recipe! 🙂 Thanks for the information about Saffron: very interesting.
    As to using the macro lens” great shots of yours. If I’ll ever use mine that way? I doubt it. I’ve never been into “studio photographing”.
    Have a wonderful week,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Pit! Thank you for reading. I thought I knew about macro until I took the lesson from Raj. 🙂
      Studio photographing is not as easy, simple as it looks like. I thought It was a 30-min work, but ended with 2:45 min.
      When the saffron jar was opened, the entire kitchen smell so… I can’t find a word to describe, “heavenly” may be closer… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all best shot of the whole bunch is …. The last one! Tada.. 😀
    On the serious note, incredible efforts once again. Great results. Once you are with the help of tripod and studio environment, everything becomes simple. Did you shoot all the images from the closest distance? I think your lens could focus from 0.65ft. Also note as you go closer your dof gets more shallow.

    Liked by 3 people

      • We all have your little challenges – some bigger, some smaller. I know we will survive as we have to. No other choice as my belief is making lemonade and laugh. Take heart…Garfield Hugs and like you, life is not easy for me.

        Liked by 1 person

          • My pleasure Amy! Together, let’s overcome our challenges….no matter how small or big, we must overcome as we journey in life. Let’s laugh, eat, drink and be happy – it is hard but we have little choice. Do continue to post your beautiful photos as with it, comes joy of a visual treat for people like me. Thank you also for showing me beautiful pictures of the world seen through your lenses 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Good morning, Amy. Smart idea… I will check my kitchen next 😉 I always wonder why saffron is so expensive. Now I know 😉 Thanks for continuing educating us.
    Moroccan Saffron Chicken looks delicious. You are a great cook! I can see some restaurants hanging this photo on their wall. They should. This photo makes me hungry!
    I am surprised at how different those two Saffron photos look. Since they have same F stop, aren’t they supposed look pretty much the same? I mean DOF. The left one seems having shallower DOF, isn’t it? Clearly, I am still confused about something… This is too hard for my little brain! ;-(
    Thanks for mentioning my blog. I appreciate it. Taking Raj’s lesson with a photographer I admire is so fun and rewarding! I just read an article saying this is how we keep ourselves young! Ha.
    Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for reading. This dish can’t go wrong. When I opened the jar, the whole room smell so … no word can describe it. When you have a bit of the chicken, heavenly!!! I also brought some back from our Spain trip. Though not cheap, but worth every penny!
      I guess ISO was different for the second set. BTW, Raj was presented with teach award by his university. 🙂 No wonder… I read on his IG.
      Learning is exciting, especially learn the things you are passionate about. 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bon appetit is right! And what? Nat Geo Amy going indoors – well glad u did.
    Also – glad they sealed the saffron nice and tight cos I am sure u pairs a good penny for it.
    I saw some saffron for sale and it was super cheap (cannot recall where we were – but it was earlier this summer) and I thought “that has to be a lowest quality for that price….


      • Yes – learned this with essential oils – we don’t necessarily need the name brands that sell as MLM – but there is a quality difference and if it is 4ounces for super low price – well it is absurd to think it is high quality – and who knows what it has added.


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