Fish Pie and Stuff

comments: 28


Comfort food: Tessa Kiros's Fish Pie from Apples for Jam. I've never had fish pie before, believe it or not. I suspect fish pie is supposed to be a rather humble casserole; this one was fancy — halibut (under there somewhere), shrimp, white wine and mushrooms, ringed with a frothy halo of mashed potatoes. I think this, with a big green salad and some crusty bread, would be fantastic for a Friday-night after-work dinner with friends in front of the fireplace. Especially if the weather is bad, I can't think of anything better.


I forget how hard it is to blog about dinner in the winter — it gets so dark so early that the finished-dish picture just looks like a solid block of yellow. It sort of looked like that in real life, too, but it was absolutely delicious. Tessa Kiros is 2-0 around here. The pastitsio and now the fish pie — win, win.

All this month I have worked on reshooting photos and finishing sidebars and all the dozens of details that didn't make it into the originally submitted manuscript in September. I am tired, I have to admit. I was hoping to do a small line of Christmas stuff for the Posie web shop this fall, but I honestly don't think it's going to happen. Book proofs come December 15 and I have to return them by January 4 — so, right over Christmas. Before then, I am definitely needing a break. My sweet friend Megan interviewed me for the Design*Sponge guest blog last week (I just popped over there and see interviews from Susan and Amy — whoot! go Team Portland! — are up now, too) and I talked a little bit about trying to balance things. I see the light at the end of the tunnel here, maybe even really finishing this week, but the past five months have been intense. In real life I'm sure anyone who has seen me hasn't been able to miss the too-frantic tone in my voice and the wild look in my eye, like I'm being chased. I will say that I really had no idea what doing the photography for a book entailed before I did it. Ignorance made me brave. Or not "brave" but at least like, "Sure! Cool!" Now that I've done it — submitting close to 150 photos for the book — I have a completely different appreciation for what goes into product photography. I can't even get my mind around it yet, I don't think. I'll never look at it the same way again. Even more than it did before, it really seems like magic to me now. It seems like it should be the opposite, but, strangely, great shots feel like even more of a mystery than ever. What can I say. Backwards. I'm more than a bit intrigued. And a little hooked.


Oh! Tessa. I have bajillions of fish and shrimp in my freezer and now NOW I will have to seriously consider buying "Apples for Jam". I like humble.
I'm glad you still come here even whilst being chased. You're a spot of real. A drink with jam and bread. Can't wait for your book and can't wait for you to be able to say "Hahhhhhhhhh" and put your feet up and "now what?"


I can't even TELL you how excited I am for your book to come out....

At least you are past heartbreak hill in your marathon and can see the finish line. We're all here waiting for you!

And so am I Alicia...more impatient for this wonderful book!

Great interview! I am glad you pointed it out, I will pop back over to read the others. Take care.

magic is a great word ... even though you share your trials and tribulations it still seems like magic!

magic is a great word ... even though you share your trials and tribulations it still seems like magic!

I have no doubt whatsoever that your photos for the book are fabulous - wish we didn't have to wait so long to see!!

hi alicia!
de-lurking to say i'm another one looking forward to seeing your book next sept. i think it will be lovely.

thank you for introducing me to tessa kiros's cookbooks. i bought "apples for jam" at my local bookstore two weeks ago and was so enchanted i immediately ordered "falling cloudberries" from amazon. am stalking the mailbox in hopes it comes this week.

hope you soon are able to slow down a bit from the book and relax.

No one takes pictures like your Alicia.. they will all be amazing. Your pictures always make me feel like I've discovered a hidden treasure.. they have that light makes you experience everything in an ethereal way.

I love your blog it brightens my day! I ordered Falling Cloudberries as well as other did too. But I couldnt get it from Amazon so I ordered it from France:) Yippee at least I will be getting it. Now I think I may order the other book as well the fish dish sounds yummy. Thanks

i seriously cannot wait to see your book, i think it will feel like magic to me too.
that fish pie looks yellow and good!

Isn't there saying that goes "The more you know, the more you realize that the less you know."? Or something like that.

I love my little "Ott lamp" that I got at Michaels last year. I'm no photography expert, but if there's no natural light to be found, this might be a close second. Of course it's not the same as natural light, but over the winter we NorthWesterners don't have a lot of choice :)


looks like you
are ready
for your *next book*


just joking,
wait until spring...

I can't wait for your book to come out. I'm sure it's going to be splendid!

Your blog ALWAYS makes me smile! Thanks for all you share...the triumphs and the falling down (sometimes literally! you gotta stop that!) all well. It's all very encouraging and inspiring as I launch out on my own. Your photos just keep getting more and more beautiful as well.

I read your blog regularly, so I feel like I can get away with saying that when my feeds showed a new post titled "Fish Pie & Stuff"...I wasn't exactly setting world records for click/speed to get over and see it!! However, of course...another great post.

great interview - l loved the felting story!

yes, lots of effort to do the photos your self -- but as it's been said, your eye is very special and it just wouldn't have been the same if you didn't do the shots!
I'm hoping that your next book will be Christmas themed...

Can i just DIVE into this vision of beauty???? I can taste the shrimp ~ oh boy this looks GOOD!

I enjoyed your interview. it does seem like everybody is from Portland these days, doesn't it?

I appreciate the honesty you share in your writing here and in your interviews. searching for balance in work, being unable to fit everything in- these are things we all face.

can't wait to see the finished product! that's awesome that you're doing your own photos! i've been doing the photos for my jewelry for 3 years now and it's tough work! i'm not very good at it, but practice makes, perfect, right?

i've never had fish pie either, but maybe your post will inspire me to try it out? anthing "pie" has to be a good cold-weather comfort food.

:) Diana

Fish pie for tea it is then! I love Apples For Jam.

Oh fish pie is my most favourite comfort food in the world! And I am just devouring 'Falling Cloudberries' at the moment. It MADE me buy cloudberry jam at Ikea on Sunday!

I think it is great you are doing the photography for your book. Jane did the same for her marvellous 'Gentle Art of Domesticity' and it is so gorgeous how her book is the same flavour as her blog, if that makes sense...which makes me think your book will be the same flavour as your blog, which is even more scrumptious, and I just can't wait to buy it!

Hi Alicia, your photos are really nice and I like the free Tiramisu blanket pattern on your page. May I put a link to your blog on my blog page...please?

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at