Posts Tagged ‘art’

this and that

I am seriously in hibernation mode these days.  I go to work,  I come home, I intend to read, I cook comfort food and I eat.

chocolate bar

If you are getting out of the house today (Saturday 2/9), head down to Verdigris Tea & Chocolate Bar at 5pm.  From there you’ll walk to the Christopher Norman Chocolate Factory for a tour, then back to Verdigris for a wine and chocolate tasting.  Chocolate and wine = comfort food.

* Sadly the tour was cancelled…



Next weekend, gather around your computer for a TEDx talk, Changing the Way We Eat on Saturday February 16.  I know my attention span will not allow me to watch/listen all day, but I’ll try to tune in at least for Anna Lappe.  Her mom’s book provided one of  my early food awakenings.


Did you see that NY State is the “Silicon Valley of Greek Yogurt“?  Who knew???  I see some spoons in our neck of the woods, so that must include Maple Hill Creamery (you can find at Otto’s in Germantown or the Co-op in Chatham), Old Chatham Sheepherding (at the farm) and of course, Ronnybrook Farm.


And in the world of food art…

Image by Andy Ellison

Andy Ellison gets the prize for creative thinking.  Who else thinks of putting fruit and vegetables in an MRI machine?  Frankly, those are the only things that really fit in those claustrophobia machines.  Check out the animations here.  Can something be black & white AND psychedelic at the same time???

look at the light

Painting by Dennis Wojtkiewicz

Painting by Dennis Wojtkiewicz

Even though I bought a million books over the holidays with great intentions to amp up my reading, I’m here at my computer gazing at images.  Of food.  Of course.

You can find more from this artist here and here.

couch potato

I know I should be cooking, but instead I’m either watching the Olympics or sitting in front of my computer gazing/grazing/staring.  I don’t have a lot of energy to do things when it is wicked hot & humid.  I’m obviously not from the South.  Or the North East.  So I look at art online.  I love this:

by Swedish artist Fideli Sundqvist

You can find more of this work here or here.

I think I may drag myself into action to witness? experience? the Marina Abramovic open house on Sunday 8/12.  I love a little huge art happening in our own town.  Actually, the whole town will be happening with the Hudson Music Festival this weekend – I don’t know where to begin.

I wonder if there will be snacks…

keeping track using circles

I need to blow these up poster-size since I continue to be surprised  by what’s available…

But considering all our variables (WEATHER, greenhouse or not, etc.) it doesn’t really matter, does it?  I need to just relax.  I’ve been told that before.

For those of us who garden, this infographic can be a good resource if you have really good eyesight:

from {communicatecreative} on Facebook

Check out communicatecreative on Facebook for more great food-related infographics.

I’m going to go back to melting now…

seeds of change

Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds at Mary Boone Gallery in NYC, through February 4, 2012.

My OH is obsessed by garinim so it was all I could do to get him out of there before he tried to eat one.  That’s probably why there was a security guard.

If you can’t go, at least watch this.

apple season, already

William H. Martin. A Load of Good Iowa Apples. 1909

I love this recent MoMA Five for Friday, highlighting 5 works from the MoMA collection.  I always love me a good food theme.

The apple farms got hit hard by Hurricane Irene, since trees heavy with almost ripe fruit standing in completely saturated soil were very easily toppled during the storm.  We are well into the midst of picking season, so if there’s a day where it will just stop raining, I highly recommend getting yourself out to a nearby orchard.  Availability can change so it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure they still are open for U-Pick.  Here are a few good options:

Love Apple Farm

Don Baker Farm

Fix Bros Farm

Golden Harvest Farm – HUGE bonus: a micro distillery

I’ve been in denial for weeks.  You know what apple season means, right?  Winter is next.  Sigh.

So if you’re smart you’re going to put away some of those apples for later in the season.  The first thing that I make is a very simple applesauce.  It’s worth pulling out the dutch oven to make a batch or two and to stick a couple of jars in the freezer.  I probably post this recipe every year:

Applesauceadapted from Joy of Cooking

Place in a large, heavy skillet or saucepan:

3 pounds cooking apples, peeled if desired, cored, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
1/2 – 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice, depending on juiciness of apples
1-1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, depending on tartness of apples
1 large cinnamon stick

Cover and simmer, stirring often, over low heat using tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes (maybe longer).  Stir in:

Scant 1/2 cup white or turbinado sugar or 6 tablespoons mild honey  (I use local honey)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional – but use it)
1/2 teaspoon ground mace (optional – good thing, since I never have it)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cook, stirring, until the sweetener is dissolved and blended, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Discard the cinnamon stick.  For chunky applesauce, break up the apples with a wooden spoon.  For medium texture, crush with a potato masher.  For smooth sauce, pass it through a food mill or coarse sieve.

Serve warm or chilled.  Great on greek yogurt.


I usually don’t put in all the apple peel into my applesauce; just a little for color. Maybe if I had chickens I wouldn’t feel so guilty about throwing away all that peel.  At the very end of the season last year I found this (very relaxed) recipe requiring apple peel.  You might get a chance to try it before I do – if so, tell me how it goes!

Apple Peel Jellyfrom

To make the jelly I took the peels and cores from 5 apples (I used cortland) and put them in a pot with enough water to cover them. I boiled this for about 10 minutes. This part smelled sooo good! Then I poured the mix through a colander to strain out the chunks. I got about 2 cups of pretty pink liquid. I poured this back into my pot, stirred in a cup of sugar, a little bit of cinnamon and set it to boil. Then I put my candy thermometer in the liquid and waited for it to reach 220F (which is where the thermometer said ‘jelly’). After that, I poured it into an empty sauce jar. The 2 cups of liquid boiled down to around a cup. And there you have it, apple cinnamon jelly!


What else can you do with apples?  Make lots of galettes.  Or crisps.  Or crumbles. What about a Dutch apple pancake???


If you prefer to drink your apples, check out the Hudson Valley Cider Route created by The Apple Project.  There will be a Cider Week (“join the hard cider revival”) October 16 – 23.  I’m game!

in case you missed food for thought

‘Food for Thought’ just recently closed at the Columbia County Council on the Arts and as you might imagine, it was all about food.  You can still check out images here.  I was particularly partial to the work of Jerry Freedner.

CCCA’s next exhibit is on ‘Wabi-Sabi’ – a Japanese philosophy about seeing beauty in imperfection.  I use it all the time in my garden!

  • Opening: Saturday 9/24, 5:00pm
  • CCCA Gallery
  • 209 Warren Street, Hudson NY

Explore wabi-sabi here or here.

I am so sad I missed this…

The 5th Annual Edible Sculpture Contest happened recently in Tivoli.  Find the photo of the “watermelon” – that’s my kind of rice krispie treat!  It was covered in, of all places, The Huffington Post.



still feeling kinda artsy?

NADA blew in and out of town this past weekend – a harbinger of good changes to come for our little town of Hudson.

Caren Alpert, Terra Cibus No.1, Blueberry, 19x Magnification

I’m partial to photography myself, and I find these works by Caren Alpert to be amazing.  Did you see any blueberries like this at the Austerlitz Blueberry Festival today?  Personally, I would love a blow-up of Table Salt on my wall:

Caren Alpert, Terra Cibus No.5, Table Salt, 45x Magnification

And I think Ms. Alpert makes a sun-dried tomato look like the fiery gates of hell, no?  Rather Dante’s Inferno and gorgeous.

Caren Alpert, Terra Cibus No.35, Sun-Dried Tomato 3, 250x Magnification

if you love your food, you should love your farms

And take photographs!

Image courtesy of Slow Food

Large farming operations are trying to make illegal the taking of photos on farms – they do not want any heartbreaking images of the abuse of our food to get out.  Slow Food USA responded by asking followers to go out to farms and take pictures.  Click here for the full slideshow of Farmarazzi photos.

We should take photos of our Northern Hudson Valley farms!