Desserts inspired by modern art

Desserts inspired by modern art

I can’t tell you how much I love this:   Caitlin Freeman, pastry chef at SFMOMA’s Blue Bottle Cafe creates these edible masterpieces inspired by the museum’s works of art. I have complete admiration for those who make the elusive, yet obvious connections and execute them perfectly. Talk about food-meets-art . . . here is her Warhol-inspired Jello: The museum’s Blue Bottle Cafe is closed until sometime in 2016 for a big museum renovation. Luckily the cafe’s closing coincided with the publication of Freeman’s book “Modern Art Desserts,” a step-by-step guide to creating sweet Mondrians, Liechtensteins, Kahlos, and Diebenkorns of your own. She’s not taking a break, though – you can buy the book and follow her blog. I did, and am looking forward to hearing what she’ll be creating...
The Kids are alright

The Kids are alright

Here is another reason my kids rock – not just because they wash the dishes – they also entertain me with their interesting views on the world and play Canasta. Best of all, they also give me handmade birthday and Christmas cards and gifts. Check out this year’s gift:

Modern midden at the MOMA

Modern midden at the MOMA

The very best part of fourteen years as an elementary school parent were the field trips. Are all California public schools as open and enthusiastic about off-site learning, or did we just get lucky??? It seems there wasn’t a mission, museum, or state park in a three-county radius we skipped, from fall’s monarch butterfly walks and county fair pig races to winter’s elephant seal viewing to spring’s steelhead release into local rivers. Each year, the teacher had at least five or six trips lined up, and I drove on every one of them, happy and lucky to learn right along with the kids. It was on one of those school outings that I learned about middens. Our group trotted single-file along a dirt trail lined with live oak trees dotted with woodpecker holes on one side and duckweed-covered wetlands on the other, where snowy egrets waded and dived for food. Our docent gathered us around her in a field and pointed out a raised mound near her feet where blue-green bunch grasses grew from between broken bits of shell. “That’s called a midden. It’s an ancient trash heap left by the Native Americans,” she informed us. “Archeologists sift through these to learn more about what they ate and how they lived.” The kids appeared to be unimpressed. I was fascinated though, completely taken with the realization that we were standing on wild land still bearing traces of people who came before us. Way before – hundreds, even thousands of years ago – parents stood on this very spot, creating briny feasts for their children from local oysters and clams...
What to do with that Halloween candy

What to do with that Halloween candy

Never mind your leftover Halloween candy – what are you going to do with all those candy wrappers? If you’re one of the few among us with a more rarefied vision of the world, you may already be saving them to create some objects of beauty like the M&M Matador: It’s stunning! Shimmery and perfectly constructed, it made me feel . . . Ole! – as opposed to “melts in your mouth and not in your hands.”  Artist Charlotte Kruk specialized in wearable art made from candy wrappers and other miscellanea that may otherwise line a landfill. Check out this video; I especially love the Peach Nectar dress at 1:35: embedded by Embedded Video The M&M Matador was part of the eye candy at Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History last Friday night. The place was hopping; some of the artists from UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media were there for a one-night showing of their work. Kid Two really liked the interactive surfboard:   A camera superimposed Kid One’s washed-out image in the video of big waves breaking. His perfect balance on the board was rewarded by a perfectly pitched version of “Wipe Out.” Less centered people trying it heard a sped up, slowed down, or otherwise warped version of the song; imagine if your Wii Balance Board was somehow in sync with your iPod and the pitch and tempo of your music changed as you got off track. Totally rad. Kid Two was also, surprisingly, into the Guerilla Grafters demonstration. It may be the next logical step in a collective culinary consciousness after community gardens and...
Preserving Lady Gaga’s meat dress

Preserving Lady Gaga’s meat dress

I found this great story in the latimes.com today: Lada Gaga meat dress: A curious task, however you slice it. Entering Damien Hirst territory, a British taxidermist was commissioned by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to preserve the meat dress Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 Video Music Awards. In case you missed it, here is the dress:   I liked the dress – from a distance – although I probably would have felt differently standing next to her. Kind of hard to mask the meat smell. And up close, it’s really kind of gross: The story makes it sound like it was a challenging and odorific gig for Sergio Vigilato, the taxidermist. Presumably he didn’t mind the ickiness factor too much; the dress was made by Franc Fernandez from 35 pounds of Argentinean beef purchased for $3.99 a pound from the Palermo Deli in Granada Hills, CA. Vigilato was paid $6,000 to preserve it. Not a bad gig, all things considered. Most of us mere mortals, when faced with a hunk of meat, will bake, broil, roast, or grill it. The more adventurous make carpaccio or tartar. But it takes a really unusual soul to look at a raw meat as a medium, instead of a...
This Is Just To Say

This Is Just To Say

In honor of National Poetry Month I decided it would be appropriate to find and share what bards and poets and other wordsmiths have penned about food over the centuries. Here’s one by the American poet (and physician) William Carlos Williams I first encountered in a class many years ago. It has remained lodged in my mind fairly completely, unlike the concepts of logarithms and half-life: