Ashley Strickland is an associate producer with CNN.com. She likes tackling English toffee, sharing green soup, cajoling recipes from athletes and studying up on food holidays.
When you have a hard time recalling what summer feels like, from the warmth of sun on bare toes to a lazy wind ruffling your hair, food will take you there. It’s the sizzle of your neighbor’s grill as he attempts teriyaki satay for the first time, or fried chicken and icebox pie on the Fourth of July. For me, it’s sunflower cheesecakes.
That sweltering July day defied normal summer temperatures in Georgia, and dared to make a mockery of delicate desserts like chocolate and cheesecake. However, I carefully packed an ice-cold combination of the two alongside my cargo of camera gear, preparing for a Sunday 2 p.m. sizzle at Coolray Field.
Working for the Gwinnett Braves, the triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, had already given me nearly three months of baseball-shooting experience, an enviable tan (excluding my white, white feet, always shoved in a pair of dust-coated sneakers) and a family of co-workers that I adored.
Ashley Strickland is an associate producer at CNN.com. In her previous job as a traveling sports photographer, she picked up plenty of souvenir recipes that she'll be sharing over the next few months in her Fare Play column.
The first time I photographed University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt, he was on the field of Sanford Stadium. But instead of capturing him in a huddle amongst his team, my shot showed Coach Richt taking a big, juicy bite out of a watermelon wedge.
It was soon after beginning a photography internship with the UGA Athletic Association. The early Saturday morning scrimmage ended the football team’s sweltering two-a-day practices of summer, just in time for fall classes to start on Monday. They celebrated by indulging in an annual tradition, the watermelon cutting.
Dozens of UGA football players drenched in sweat were chomping on giant wedges of orange and pink watermelon. Off to the side, Coach Richt was eating his piece as well.
In the state of Georgia, UGA football is a way of life. So when it came to working for the Athletic Association, I covered my share of football and press conferences about football.
Ashley Strickland is an associate producer at CNN.com. In her previous job as a traveling sports photographer, she picked up plenty of souvenir recipes that she'll be sharing over the next few months in her new Fare Play column.
Eating isn’t always on my mind, especially when I'm focusing on the task at hand. When I was working as a sports photographer over the last two years, this happened six days out of every seven. The phrase "starving artist" definitely hit home, but every once in a while during my travels, food was what drove me.
in February 2010, my adventures took me from my college town of Athens, Georgia across the state to Elberton (“Granite Capital of the World”) to pursue a community journalism project. I was hot on the trail of a tip that might turn an assignment into a sports shoot; the Brock University rowing teams had driven 15 hours down from St. Catharines, Ontario to participate in a one-week training camp on Lake Russell. I didn’t know them, they didn’t know me and they had no idea I was about to show up.
I knew the first time head coach Peter Somerwil cracked open his cabin door and I smelled an heavenly aroma drifting from the oven, he had to be cooking comfort food. I needed to know more so I could make it for myself later. He shrugged in reply and said he was making a peach upside-down cake. Oh, Lordy.
It became a quest, not only for sports photography, but a fabulous recipe as well.
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