Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
"The obedient in art are always the forgotten . . . The country is glorious but its beauties are unknown, and but waiting for a real live artist to splash them onto canvas . . . Chop your own path. Get off the car track."
- A.Y. Jackson, Montreal (letter to Florence Clement, Berlin, Ontario, 5 March 1913).
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
The brilliant new Beatrix Potter Tale of Peter Rabbit PopOut! app came out July 11th. It follows The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin Popout! app.
Both from Loudcrow Interactive out of Vancouver, Canada.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
I don't think I've ever posted photos of meat on this blog. There are a few broiled fish, but someone recently asked me if I'm vegetarian. To clarify: a tartare post.
I love cooking on a grill but haven't yet researched and found the right barbeque for my side balcony. Next week this might get done. But this week I've been eating as the grill-less do, buying tender, very flavourful sirloin and cutting it into small cubes just before serving, with frites.
I like the meat done two ways: blue (seared in a cast-iron pan) and raw. I add little piles of cornichons, dill pickle, dijon, capers, thyme, basil, a few shakes of worchestershire, a drizzle of olive oil (this one's basilic), a sprinkle of fleur de sel, and a few twists of black pepper. A raw egg from a chicken who ran free is nice too. I mix it all up with some Boston lettuce.
For the frites I slice new potatoes, parboil, then lay them out on a baking sheet in one layer, with oil and sea salt underneath, then salt again, and slide them into a 450°F oven for about 20 min.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
for strawberries, is now. And this means shortcake.
I bought this civilised basket of berries at the Atwater Market to make dessert for a party on July 1st. Not one substandard berry in the lot! And I was lucky enough to get 2 pints of strawberries in the Eastern Townships the following day to make dessert again.
This recipe is adapted from two others:
1. A shortcake biscuit recipe my Grandma Hanson had in her files
2. Dorie Greenspan's shortcake from her book Baking: From My Home To Yours.
For the strawberries:
Slice 2 pints of strawberries north-south and toss with a little organic sugar and 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier. A few curls of lemon rind are also nice but not essential. Cover and let stand at least an hour or two so the berries have time to make themselves a bit of syrup.
For the cakes:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 ½ sticks cold butter
1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
Center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 425°F. Lay a sheet of parchment on a baking tray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and, working quickly, integrate it with the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter until the mixture is pebbly.
Pour the cream over the dry ingredients, and gently toss the ingredients with a fork until you’ve got a very soft dough. You’ll probably still have some flour at the bottom of the bowl, so reach in and use your hand to mix and gently knead the dough until it’s evenly blended. But don’t get overzealous: it’s better to have a few dry spots than an overworked dough. The dough should be soft and sticky.
Using two large spoons, take about 1/3 cup of the dough at a time out of the bowl, and place about 5 or 6 of these spoonfuls on the baking sheet, leaving about an inch between them.
Bake 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back midway through, until the shortcakes are golden, puffed and give just a little when poked with a fingertip. Pull the pan from the oven, and carefully transfer the shortcakes to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheet first.
Serve the shortcakes slightly warm or at room temperature. To serve, use a serrated knife to gently cut each cake in half horizontally. Put the bottom halves on plates, top with berries and gently whipped cream, and then cap with the top halves.
Yields 10 servings
Monday, July 4, 2011
at the CCAG is a poster by Paul Chan.
In art, the parts do not make a whole, and this is how a work of art is less than a thing. Like the perfect crime or a bad dream, it is not apparent at all how the elements come together. Yet they nevertheless do, through composition, sometimes by chance, so that it appears as if it were a thing. But we know better, since it never feels solid or purposeful enough to bear the weight of a real thing. This is not to say that art does not really exist or that it is just an illusion. Art can be touched and held (although people usually prefer you not to). It can be turned on or off. It can be broken. It can be bought and sold. It can feel like any other thing. Yet in experiencing art, it always feels like there is a grave misunderstanding at the heart of what it is, as if it were made with the wrong use in mind, or the wrong tools, or simply the wrong set of assumptions about what it means to exist fully in the world.
This is how art becomes art. For what it expresses most, beyond the intention of the maker, the essence of an idea, an experience, or an existence, is the irreconcilability of what it is and what it wants to be. Art is the expression of an embodiment that never fully expresses itself. It is not for lack of trying. Art, like things, must exist in a material reality to be fully realized. But unlike things, art shapes matter—which gives substance to material reality—without ever dominating it. ...[B]ecause it cannot express what it truly wants to be, art becomes something greater and more profound. Its full measure reaches beyond its own composition, touching but never embracing the family of things that art ought to belong to, but does not, because it refuses (or is unable) to become a thing-in-itself. Instead, art takes on a ghostly presence that hovers between appearance and reality.
- Paul Chan (excerpt from What Art Is and Where It Belongs)