Hanging out at Mortal Muses today with Holga shots of last summer. Come on over.
Words between the hours,
morning. Novels read slower than slow. Letter
by letter we advance. Eight and a half months and counting.
Read out loud, Montana 1948. Recommended twice. Some nights
the story gets tangled in sheets, pressed into
paper and bound with glue. Something I wanted to tell you, lost
between coffee and diapers.
The camera remembers our untouchables
Look back, it’s all here.
Hasselblad 500cm | Kodak Portra 800
p.s. Though you might enjoy this list: Top ten food artists who turn edibles into elaborate art. I’m rather fond of Julie Lee’s food collages as well as Sarah Illenberger’s witty and clever food creations.
Today is the last day of ‘Roid Week 2014 (round one) on Flickr. Polaroid Week dates back to 2006 as a place to celebrate instant film, push the boundaries of Polaroid images, and make some great work in the process. For a quick shot of Friday film inspiration, check out the talent from ‘Roid Week.
A few images I shot this week as part of a new black and white instant film project titled, Fleeting.
You may remember Favreau from “Swingers,” the hit indie comedy-drama he produced, wrote, and starred in back in 1996. Since then, he shifted to big budget films including “Elf,” the “Iron Man” series, and “The Avengers.” With “Chef”, he returns to fast-paced small budget filmmaking — the film was shot in a month — and a subject he’s passionate about, food.
In his new film, Favreau plays chef Carl Casper, once infamous for his soulful cuisine, turns out food to please the restaurant he’s worked in for the past ten years. He caves under pressure from his boss to serve the kind of banal restaurant food regular clientele expect: undistinguished French fare. Carl suffers from his mediocre routine, both professionally and personally, until food critic/blogger extraordinaire (Oliver Platt) reserves a seat for dinner. His boss (Dustin Hoffman) demands Carl prepare the regular menu, without flair. He plays it safe, dinner flops, and life tailspins from there. What follows is a trip with his ex-wife (Sofía Vergara) and son (Emjay Anthony), food truck, road trip, and reconciliation with his past. “Chef” is heartwarming and funny and takes us along on Carl’s noble albeit feel-good journey.
It’s the kind of film strangers bond over. After the credits rolled, I stood in line in the Ladies’ room. A woman struck up conversation with five of us waited near the door. “Did anyone see Chef?” The others replied no. “I did,” I said. “Didn’t you just love the film? It was so enjoyable to watch,” she said. “Yes and funny and well written. Plus Jon Favreau worked the line in Chef Roy Choi’s (Koji BBQ) food trucks and restaurants to get the life of a chef right.” She dried her hands and waved.
I left the theater thinking about beignets and barbecue.
p.s. To learn more about the making of “Chef,” Jon Favreau talks food, family, and filmmaking in this interview at CNN’s Eatocracy.
It’s 9:30 a.m. Coffee and water are on the kitchen table along with an empty baby bottle. Last week’s flowers wilt at the stems as pink petals turn pale. High flute notes play from a radio shelved almost out of arms reach. The little one is off for a walk with David, Luke is off at school likely belting out “White and Nerdy” from Weird Al on the playground (or at least I hope that’s the version he’s singing, earlier it was “white and dirty,” and I’m left with an unsettled quiet.
Through the curtain slips, clouds pull across the sun like taut silver balloons. They swell with gold confetti that will shower us on a whim. I fall in and out of daydreams easily given my seven plus months of interrupted sleep. We remind ourselves how temporary it is and well, coffee is a fine antidote to parental “spaciness”.
We drove to southern New Hampshire last weekend for a short getaway and spent the entire time indoors. Both kids were under the weather (one with a head cold, the other with newly sprouted teeth) so we ordered movies and Chinese food in and camped on the couch between naps. The basement double feature was American Hustle (directed by David O. Russell) and Finding Vivian Maier (directed by John Maloof). I liked the story premise and cast of American Hustle, a crime comedy-drama set in the late 1970s about two con-artists who in the course of reinventing themselves, they wind up involved in an FBI sting operation on corrupt politicians including the Mayor of New Jersey. Slow and confusing at times, American Hustle is still a smart homage to American film, you just have to wade through the sluggish plot points to uncover the truth in the end.
With all the buzz around Vivian Maier’s work over the past few years, I couldn’t wait to see this telling film. Finding Vivian Maier is a documentary about a career nanny whose previously unknown stock of 100,000 photographs has earned her the reputation as one of America’s most insightful street photographers. Filmmaker John Maloof traces the story of her secret photographs, homemade films, recordings and collections that were hidden away in storage lockers, and discovered decades later when he purchased an unmarked box of 40,000 negatives at a Chicago auction house in 2007. Since then, Maloof has tried to piece together the mystery of Maier, a woman who spent five decades taking photos that she kept private from the world, through her artifacts and stories told by those who knew her, marginally or more intimately. Maier’s story is undoubtedly difficult to tell and while the film falls prey to mythmaking at times, it succeeds in creating a portrait of an enigmatic figure who escapes anonymity by chance.
The next morning we packed our bags and drove back to Massachusetts, still thinking about the films. This morning, sun broke through without an afterthought. The little one returns. Soon enough the school bell will ring and our house will be filled with the call of the wild.
Hello, Friends. On Sunday we drove to Vermont for Easter brunch, an egg hunt, and a stroll up a wooded mountain road. Sun poured in through the cars windows. I wrote two sentences before David turned onto the highway. In the backseat, Luke sounded out “huh-oh-emm-ee” (home) while reading a train book, and Cody sputtered “eehmmmeun” from his chair. I forgot to pack the kombucha (a fermented sweet tea drink) and a jacket for the day. All normal stuff here.
Except forgetting the kombucha wasn’t as flippant as leaving behind a jacket on a warmer day. A few ounces a day is a new average for me and not having that smoky sweet tea on the ride to counter many sleepless nights meant a sluggish and possibly allergy riddled day ahead. A few weeks ago I decided to solidify my kombucha habit and make it from scratch. Two cookbooks suggested I needed to purchase or inherit a special SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, aka “mother” or “mushroom”) to brew the tea. Yet I wanted a simpler process. I had read somewhere online about growing a scoby from a bottle of raw organic kombucha you can find at the store. I also wanted the scoop on the effervescent tea and to answer my list of questions. One, what’s the history of kombucha; Two, what are the benefits and risks of brewing it at home; Three, can I grow my own scoby?
I turned to the interwebs for answers. Normally I begin with a Google search to get background details on a story subject. Since I recently discovered Bing, I switched. Type in “History of Kombucha” in both search engines and you’ll find the results are similar. What I like about Bing is the clean interface and design; simplified option to view web, image, and video searches; and credits earned through Bing Rewards, a program that gives Bing users credits for each search (think frequent flyer points for the interwebs). Credits can be redeemed for gift cards to Amazon, Sephora, Starbucks, and more or donated to a charity of your choice. Available for both Android and iOS, Bing Rewards lets you search across platforms and on the go. Which is where I find myself most often.
Kombucha is traditionally made with a brew of black tea and cane sugar and then fermented with a SCOBY. Its exact origins are unknown but most speculate the tea dates back to the Qin Dynasty (220BC) in China where it was known as the “tea of immortality” although a number of cultures around the world have a similar fermented drink. Over time, the tea made its way into Russia, Germany, India, and beyond.
According to online sources, the benefits of drinking the tea have long outweighed the risks. Kombucha has a rich history of health benefits that claim to prevent and fight cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases. Other benefits include detoxification, joint support, digestive support, and immune booster. The tea is packed with B-vitamins, antioxidants, and glucaric acids as well.
To date, there isn’t conclusive medical evidence supporting the health benefits of drinking kombucha tea in US. I suppose like most food and drink, moderation is key.
Brewing kombucha at home was once the only way to sample the drink. Now major supermarkets and health food stores carry it. A homemade supply means you choose your own flavor options according to taste. I prefer a smoky kombucha made from Lapsang Souchong tea but you can choose your black tea of choice and add raw juices, extracts, herbs, and spices. It also means a watchful eye on the fermentation process to keep your brew clean and safe.
Here’s the method I followed to grow a SCOBY:
1. buy a bottle of organic raw kombucha
2. pour contents of the bottle into a quart-size wide-mouth glass jar (SCOBY will grow to the diameter of the jar)
3. cover the jar with a clean tea towel and secure with a rubber band to keep unwanted pests and debris out
4. store at room temperature until the SCOBY grows to 1/4″ thick
In a week or so I should have my own brew to report back to you on plus a few extra rewards points from all my research. Have you made kombucha at home? Any tips to share?
I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Bing. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences.
The past few months I’ve carried this small collection of books from my nightstand to kitchen counter and back. While I’ve clung to warm bowls of oatmeal or soup as a winter routine, I found some quiet evenings when the boys were sound asleep and I was in the kitchen alone to sample recipes from The Southern Vegetarian, Honey & Oats, Isa Does It, Gluten-Free & Vegan Pie, and One Simple Change. They’ve since found a spot on my overcrowded bookshelf which is testament to how much I like each one.
Burks and Lawrence are the same duo behind the charming and prolific recipe blog, The Chubby Vegetarian where they turn out classic southern fare into vegetable laden dishes from their Tennessee kitchen. After spending a handful of months cooking from The Southern Vegetarian, I’m hooked. Bold flavor and creative flair define the recipes which hold technique and simplicity hand in hand. I haven’t been this smitten with a cookbook since Ottolenghi’s last hit Plenty splayed across storefront windows. I started with these five recipes and am still cooking from the book: Easy Horchata, Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie, Smoked Coconut Bacon, Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Eggplant, Vegetarian Chicken and Waffles. The seasonal food is joyful and downright good. Keep a copy near the stove, mark your favorites, try a new one, then repeat. Final note, many of the recipes can easily be modified to fit a vegan diet and shouldn’t be shied away from by any means.
The author, who started Seattle’s Flying Apron Bakery with her father in 2002, set a place for organic baked goods made without refined flours and sweeteners. The bakery grew in size and popularity, from a small take-out window in the University District to a large cafe in the city’s Fremont neighborhood, and is a tribute to Katzinger’s talent for turning out healthy treats. She sold the still thriving bakery in 2010 to pen cookbooks and we should all celebrate this move since home bakers across the country are now able to sample her goods.
Honey & Oats, Katzinger’s fifth book (see #4 on this for another one of her titles), includes 74 recipes for elegant and wholesome timeless sweets made with whole grains and natural sweeteners. Oats, teff, kamut, spelt, buckwheat, einkorn, and barley flour stand in place of white flour while honey, coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, and Sucanet replace refined sugar. One might think nutritious baked treats lack flavor and texture, not in this author’s hands. Maple syrup sweetened carrot cake with einkorn flour and vanilla maple frosting is a worthy afternoon treat and the Barley Walnut Boule is a sandwich staple. A few other recipe to try include Granola Bars (gluten-free or vegan variation), Animal Cookies (vegan), and Strawberry and Macadamia Nut Crisp. The photographs and recipes are equally lovely and approachable, for kids (especially my five year-old) and adults alike.
In her latest vegan tome, bestselling author Isa Chandra Moskowitz shares 150 plus recipes for the busy home cook to make in a snap. If you’re familiar with vegan cooking, you likely read her blog Post Punk Kitchen or have cooked from one of her books including Veganomicon (co-authored with Terry Hope Romero), Vegan Brunch, or Vegan with a Vengeance, among others. Isa Does It, highlights ways to transform daily cooking into easy routine. Moskowitz delves into cooking savvy with quick ways to char vegan proteins, incorporate umami ingredients, build flavor depth, and use enough healthy fats to get the most flavor bang for their buck. The author’s Recommended pantry ingredients and cooking techniques offer simple and satisfying meals. Written in her signature style and wit the book is an entertaining read alongside the stunningly beautiful images from Vanessa Rees. Each recipe gives total and active cooking times making it a cinch to fit those 3o minute dinners into a hectic schedule with two young kids, a mister, and cat for example. Starred favorites include: Bistro Beet Burgers, Quinoa Caesar Salad, Roasty Soba Bowl, New England Glam Chowder, and Nacho Night.
In Gluten-Free & Vegan Pie, Jennifer Katzinger proves how to fit both in a traditional-style pie with delightful results. Introductory chapters detail necessary equipment and ingredients as well as pastry dough tips and techniques to make your pie making dreams come true. Featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, the recipes are arranged by season, from spring to winter. With more than 12 crust recipes to swap fillings with and ways to handle and dress each one, creative possibilities abound. Once again Katzinger shows us that baked goods without the use of dairy, eggs, gluten, or animal products is not only possible but also simple and delectable. Pies to bake first: Apricot and Cherry Crostata, Fig Frangipane Tart, Chaussons aux Pommes, Banana Cream Pie, Savory Provencal Tart.
As a regular reader and fan of Winnie’s blog Healthy Green Kitchen, I was excited for the publication of her new book. Smart and practical, One Simple Change is a new kind of wellness guide that favors age-old culinary wisdom, green living tips, modern nutrition tips, and 15 recipes to help you feel their best. Each one of the 50 tips has a dedicated chapter that can be worked through week by for a year long practice or anytime that’s good for you. As expected, Winnie’s engaging prose along with her nutrition and lifestyle tips are not to be missed. Five must-try tips and recipes: Pay Attention To Protein/Coconut Tempeh and Vegetable Stew; Ramp Up Raw Foods/Blended Raw Tomato-Basil Soup; Load Up On Leafy Greens/Mixed Green Salad with Apple, Goat Cheese, and Soft-Boiled Eggs; Get Some Culture/Spicy Lacto-Fermented Pickles; Drink Healthy/Walnut Milk.