Tag Archives: Inspiration

Van Gogh – The End

 

Wheat-Field-with-Crows Vincent van Gogh July 1890 last

A painting from the last days of Vincent’s life

This is the day, in 1890, that Vincent Van Gogh died. His cause of death is often stated as a suicide, but the evidence is/was far from conclusive.

Van Gogh The Life

According to Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, the authors of

Van Gogh: The Life  

Vincent  very well have been murdered. Naifeh and Smith make a very compelling case and their book is meticulously, thoroughly and lovingly researched. A long read but never a slog.

Tree-Roots-and-Trunks Vincent van GoghJuly 1890

Tree Roots and Trunks
Vincent van Gogh
Painting, Oil on Canvas
Auvers-sur-Oise: July, 1890
Van Gogh Museum
             another painting from Vincent’s last days

 

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Filed under Books, Perception ways, Summer

Flipping, Flapping, Frapping

Flip-flops.

The Sound of summer includes the sound of flip flops.

Flip-flop. Flip-flop. Flip-flop.

Even in places where flip flops aren’t the best choice. Like anyplace that isn’t a beach.

You can hear them coming. And going. Without looking at feet, you know what’s on them.

Flip-flop.

Havaianas_Tradicional

 

So while the girl was asking, “Have you ever heard of a drink called…..a flap?” I was hearing flip-flops.

I asked her if she meant

“Frappe”

And she smiled real big and said, Yes, THAT’S it!” and her sister got closer, and her Mom and there were others and it was hard to tell who was together-together and who was just together as in there in the moment together.

frappe Photograph by Kang Kim, Prop Styling by Lauren Evans, Styling by Karen EvansApostrophe

FRAPPES    photograph by Kang Kim, Prop Styling by Lauren Evans, Styling by Karen Evans/Apostrophe

So I describe how a frappe was a milkshake with ice cream, and if they ordered a milkshake ‘round these parts, they were likely to get shook milk, no ice cream.

Her sister asked, “But where’s the

RUM?”

Flip-flop. Flip-flop. Flip-flop.

The_Pirates_carrying_rum_on_shore_to_purchase_slaves

Yo

 

Both girls were under the age of 12 so rum drinks weren’t what I first thought of when this line of questioning began, and then I remembered….

FLIP?

Are you asking about Flip?

Now everyone was smiling and nodding….

Now, thanks to Paula Marcoux I know from flip.

flip_Paula_01

Beer, rum, molasses, hot poker, done.

 

 

I know oodles of other things from her, too, but flip and rum had come up recently, and put her in my thoughts, and memories of flips past…. in the way rum drinks do here in New England. It’s not exactly flip season here, with temperatures and humidity both in the high ‘80’s, but no season is truly far from another here in New England, so soon enough it will be flip appropriate time.

rum5FlipTools

illustration fro Rum: A Global History

I had recently been flipping through Mrs. Child’s (Lydia Maria, not Julia) “American Frugal Housewife”, the way one does in the food history biz.

Frugal hs 2nd ed cover

I was (and still am) wrestling with the differences/different-name-for-the-same-thing conundrum between flapjacks, slapjacks and flatjacks. In short, sorting out the Jack branch of the fritter family.

Which started with Johnnycake and Hoe Cake, and is detouring through Pancake, with short stops in Griddle Cake, Mush Cake and Corn Cake……

While looking at pancakes, and I saw this:

Pancakes

“…A spoonful or two of N.E. rum makes pancakes light. Flip makes very nice pancakes. In this case, nothing is done but to sweeten your mug of beer with molasses; put in one glass of N.E. rum; heat it till it foams, by putting in a hot poker; and stir it up with flour as thick as other pancakes.”

  • Child, Mrs. The American Frugal Housewife, 12th Boston: Carter, Hendee and Co. 1832. Reprinted 1980. p. 74.

Paula’s has directions for flip (with a photo step by step) in Cooking With Fire. And she has notes on these pancakes in the appendix, where she recommends adding a pinch of salt and an egg. And cook them in bacon grease. All good.

Cooking with fire

I’m still thinking about rum in pancakes……with blueberry pancakes and cinnamon? With rum butter? Are these supper pancakes rather than breakfast pancakes?

So I told the girls about flip pancakes, too.

And then I wondered – what sort of New England Colonial Educational Experience was this family on that involved Flip? Cause that’s the field trip that I want to go on.

 

RumGlobal History

I have more RUM books then I thought – all that Living Proof at Plimoth Plantation

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, New England, Perception ways, Summer

Scarborough Fair

Art Garfunkel was at Memorial Hall in Plymouth, and I was , too. And about 1,500 others, including Jacob, Erin, Kristi, Jeanne, Chris and Heidi, to name a few.

Art sang (natch)

He shared the credit with his musicians  :

Tab Laven 

and

Dave Mackay

He told stories and dropped a few names (Paul Simon. and also Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson, Paul Simon, Ann Margret, Paul Simon….)

He talked about his family – his kids, his wife, his parents.

He said the Enrico Caruso’s arias from The Pearl Fishers was a huge influence on him.

and he sang……

Set List:

April Come She Will

The Boxer

Perfect Moment

A Heart in New York

All I Know

Scarborough Fair

The Side of a Hill

Homeward Bound

Intermission

Real Emotional Girl (Randy Newman)

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her

Sound of Silence

Kathy’s Song

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Encore

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

(set list from Concert Comminicator)

 And now, humming, I shall continue my day.

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Filed under Influencers, The 1960"s, The 1970's

Bon Boeuf Bourguignon!

February 11, 1963,

the day the very FIRST episode of

The French Chef

airs.

The first recipe: Boeuf Bourguignon .

Which by most accounts is a lost episode,the tapes having been taped over…who knew?

Boeuf Bourguignon was reprieved in 1969.Both YouTube and Amazon streaming have likely candidates…….they claim 1963…….

 

 

Boeuf Bourguignon

This link will take you to Amazon streaming where you can watch the episode for $1.99.

There was later a companion cookbook

french-chef-cb

and there are also DVD’s

french-chef-tv-dvd

julia-child-rose

Julia Child Rose

Season One of The French Chef:

Season 1 Episode Subject
S01 (1963) E01 Boeuf Bourguignon (February 11, 1963)
S01 E02 French Onion Soup
S01 E03 Casserole Roast Chicken
S01 E04 The French Omelette
S01 E05 Scallops
S01 E06 Quiche Lorraine
S01 E07 Fruit Tarts
S01 E08 Chicken Breasts and Rice
S01 E09 Vegetables à la Française
S01 E10 Veal Scallops
S01 E11 French Salads- Mayonnaise
S01 E12 Chicken Livers à la Française
S01 E13 Roast Duck à l’Orange
S01 E14 Chocolate Mousse and Caramel Custard
S01 E15 Pâtés
S01 E16 Aspics
S01 E17 Bouillabaise
S01 E18 Lobster à l’Américaine
S01 E19 French Crêpes
S01 E20 French Crêpes II – Suzette
S01 E21 Steaks and Hamburgers
S01 E22 The Potato Show
S01 E23 Soufflé on a Platter
S01 E24 Dinner in a Pot
S01 E25 Pâte à Choux

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Filed under Influencers, The 1960"s, TV shows

Window Sill Garden

I bought a rosemary plant at the farmers market last month; considering my luck with growing rosemary (NONE) I also bought some really beautiful stems. She said put them in water and they’d root.I bought more then I needed….the price was right.

I used what I wanted, put the stems in a jar with water….Now they have beautiful roots and smell great every time I brush by them. Not quite ready to bloom, but anything that grows in the dead of winter is encouraging.

The plant?

It’s not dead ….yet.

I have a nice terra cotta pot…time to try chives?

Van Gogh, you inspire me!

van-gogh-flowerpot-with-chives-january-february-1887-oil-on-canvas-31-9-x-22-cm-van-gogh-museum-amsterdam

Van Gogh, Flowerpot with Chives, January-February 1887. Oil on canvas, 31.9 x 22 cm. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

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Filed under Influencers, winter

Early Influencer

Early Influencers in my culinary biography were the food itself and the people who made or brought or served the food.

Events (Christmas! Birthdays! The Fourth of July!!) shaped/warped/twisted/ influenced me, and even at an early age, books.

Then there was

Betty Crocker.

Betty in 1955

Betty in 1955

Betty from the 60's and early 70's - the Betty I remember best

Betty from the 60’s and early 70’s – the Betty I remember best

This is Betty now - looking good!

This is Betty now – looking good, girlfriend!

In spite of all the Betty food in boxes …the cake mixes, oh, the cake mixes……what I remember her best for is this:

This was the cookbook my mother had....

This was the cookbook my mother had….

and in it was a drawing of a Candlestick Salad

This is very similar to the illustration, but I'm not sure if it's THE one

This is very similar to the illustration, but I’m not sure if it’s THE one – I’m working from internet images and my mother still has her cookbooks. I think they’re in a box  somewhere.

I wanted to make this. I wanted to make this even though I do not like bananas, not one little bit and I did not like them then either. I might have liked bananas even less when I was little. I didn’t even like touching bananas. Or banana smell….still.

Candlestick Salad

Candlestick Salad

Spare me the analysis. Sometimes a banana is just a banana.

There was also something with canned whole pears…..

Bunny Salad

Bunny Salad

I must have been studied these before I knew how to read…although I have eaten many a rabbit, my three year old self might have objected to Bunny Salad that looked so much like…a bunny. And a blue bunny, at that.

Blue Bunny Ice Cream logo

Blue Bunny Ice Cream logo – Betty Crocker  inspiration piece? Turns out Blue Bunny ice cream is older then Betty Crocker.

So Betty’s not a real person (although she was played by an actress for TV for a while) and her name is all over boxes in the grocery store, but she’s not the actual food, she the mixes.

She is a cookbook – several cookbooks, and a constant presence in my childhood. She’s even in my kitchen now, in the form of a red dough scraper with that signature ….signature.

BettyCrockerLogoModal

Sweet talker.

The only recipe that I remember my mother using from this cookbook (henceforth BC/CB) was for the sugar cookies, a recipe I’ll be copying out on my next visit to the ancestral home.

The other thing or two I learned from the BC/CB, when  I was older then three and really knew how to read, was that the Betty World had a very different way of eating then the Wall family.

BettyWorld had cake or pie for dessert EVERY night.

WallyWorld had  – a fruit bowl. With Fresh Fruit. NO canned pears, fresh pears.Fresh apples. Fresh oranges. But no bananas.

Bananas were breakfast food.

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Filed under Perception ways