Meet Claws Monet, one of 29 fibreglass lobster sculpture erected throughout the Plymouth Massachusetts Downtown and Waterfront areas. I saw loads more but only managed to get somewhat decent photos of the ones displayed here. Each lobster was sponsored by local businesses and organizations which were then custom designed and hand painted by local artists. While I was there a gorgeous mosaic lobster sculpture named Sir Loin was stolen but (UPDATE) artist Diana Naples has agreed to recreate Sir Loin and two teenagers have been charged. You can read more and see Sir Loin here did I just link to the Old Colony Memorial, why yes I did.
This is mixed-media polymer clay painting comprised of photographs and patterns that I have made onto a canvas. The hand is a ceramic sculpture I made millions of years ago in New Orleans. The candelabra is one that I found outside Ebenzer Street thousands of years ago. I was simply playing with symbols of time.
I love working with people of all ages doing arts, crafts and food workshops. I received this thank you card from a young girl who I have worked with several times before when she has attended workshops with her twin sister and their grandmother. Today we made mobiles and talked about art, crafts and musicals. I was really touched to receive this card at the end of the session and it hangs up and inspires me each and every day.
Soon it will be time to make Seville Orange Marmalade and I cannot wait. This year I plan on doing some experimentation on my usual recipe. The photo above is of a toast breakfast with fig and cherimoya from last year and also holds a clue to the intended experimentation. Until I get my hands on some Seville oranges I will be daydreaming and doodling as shown below.
I came across this poem several years ago in W. T. Fernie's 1905 book Meals Medicinal: With Herbal Simples (Of Edible Parts) Curative Foods from the Cook in Place of Drugs from the Chemist. The poem is originally found in Dr Andrew Boorde's Dyetary of Helthe but today I found it again and it stuck with me. When making preserves I always feel part scientist, part witch and part alchemist and I think this is what Fernie is referring to when he notes Boorde's quote that "A good coke (cook) is half a Physycyou (physician)." I do love the poem but was taken by the gender issues hidden within it as he is passionately calling for women, dames and maidens to up their game so that men need not live on bread alone. Then I started looking more into this Andrew Boorde and he seems like he was indeed a character. A brief look at his 16th century CV notes he was a physician, satirist, traveller and writer. His Instagram would have been on point as he travelled to every country in Europe except for Russia and Turkey and wrote his Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge in 1542 which is considered the earliest continental guidebook slash commentary on customs and peoples abroad and at home as well as introspective commentary on his own inclinations. More interesting to me is that Boorde is purported to have brought back my favourite fruit from Catalunya and that fruit is rhubarb. Apparently he sent rhubarb seeds from Catalunya to Thomas Cromwell over two hundred years before we started cultivating rhubarb in England. For this reason alone I will be looking into Boorde and his works. My love for rhubarb runs deep and I even made a video ages ago which features my friends from Barcelona trying my rhubarb chutney and asking what rhubarb is, which in spanish is "ruibarbo".
Most of my stories start, end or veer in to stories about New Orleans where I was lucky enough to live for three years. One of the many traditions that I took from there was that of having black eyed beans on New Years Day (NYD) to bring luck in the upcoming year. A New Year's dish of black eyed beans was always accompanied by a ham hock, rice, cabbage and a few pickled onions. I thought this was a spin on the famous red beans and rice dish served throughout New Orleans on Mondays. However I discovered several years years ago that beans and pork were popular NYD dishes throughout the world. Black eyed beans are eaten throughout the American South and are mentioned in the Talmud as being good luck to eat them on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. In Italy a popular NYD dish is cotechino e lenticchie or pork sausages and lentils. The lentils symbolising abundance and the round sliced sausages mimic the shape of coins and are meant to bring wealth. The eating of round foods is also practised in the Netherlands, the Phillipines and many other places throughout the world.
So each year regardless of how the previous year has gone I prepare my good luck black eyed beans. This year I prepared them with onion, garlic, carrot in a six-pepper t'chup and stock sauce served with bacon, griddled cabbage and pickled onions.
Recently I was reading
and the items it holds which relate to food and I wanted to see all the artworks mentioned in the piece and have shared them here to accompany the article.
Still Life with Fruit
- Severin Roesen
Apple Family, 1921 - Georgia O'Keeffe
Laid Table, 2007 - Beth Lipman
Still Life With Crab, 1657 - Pieter Claesz
The Meal of Oysters, 1902 - Lovis Corinth
Still life with Fish, 1710 - Gaetano Casati
Refrigerator Pies, 1962 - Wayne Thiebaud
Nathan's Coney Island, 1971 - Vestie Davis
Here's j.viewz (musician Jonathan Dagan) cover Massive Attack's Teardrop hooking up some fruit & veg to his Novation:
I was trying to capture a bit of grinding action while making some Smy Chutney apple and pepper chutney at my cousins house for an upcoming tutorial. Here's a minute-long sneak peak featuring her stunning antique mortar and pestle. I love the differing depths of imprints left from thousands of times when the pestle has met its mortar. I am quite happy with my own mortar and pestle which is not an antique but solid, sturdy and large enough to hold rather a lot of herbs, spices and more and keep them in place as I pummel them to pieces. I am so used to the rhythm of grinding pink peppercorns in my own m & p that when using my cousin's I felt as if it was gently laughing at me for trying to rely on brute strength rather than the finesse needed when using hers. It has a basin worn smooth through use and I found I needed to alter my technique to get them to break apart. The pink peppercorns were a perfect contrast to the creamy mortar and their intense aroma would form the basis of a fantastic perfume.
I also love imagining who has used these tools and for what purposes, what is its history, what time is its place? That last phrase is a slight amendment to the phrase that one of my historic preservation professors, W Brown Morton III, used to ask us when studying old buildings, sites and items, "What time is this place?" It has stuck with me and while the people below aren't using the same exact type of mortar and pestle as my cousin's the images capture the differing uses from inside to outside, for food, science, art and more.
seeks new solutions and innovation through food. International chef Stefan Eriksson began the new project in Stockholm which aims to
explore the relationship between food and society.
Fellow chefs, artists, designers, business leaders and more gather to examine the future of food and its symbiotic relationships with culture, sustainability, transportation and development through workshops, food labs and discussions.
Still Life by Petter Johansson Art Direction And Design
I am currently thinking, researching and writing about food to an extent that my conscious and unconscious are wandering a plan much like the one in Petter Johansson's beautiful images above. I am unable to read Swedish to fully understand everything on the website but the interviews in English are fantastically eclectic and the ethos of the project makes me want to march to Atelier Food Lab and get involved. I look forward to following their work closely.