woensdag 17 juli 2013

Edible art & Victorian Gifts

Food brings out the artist in me. Combining shapes and colors as well as different textures is a creative process. Or it can be if you want it to. A plate of food arranged beautifully looks so much tastier than a plate on which you piled a few blobs, doesn't it...

I guess my mom inspired me to present a meal as pretty as possible. She was always adding a bit of decoration or cutting things in nice shapes. As a kid she made fun figures too, especially out of food my sister & I didn't overly care for. Though there weren't a lot of things I didn't like, vegetable wise. Meat was another story but then I learned there was such a thing called being a vegetarian & it all worked out fine.

I've been a vegetarian for oh, 15 years. That's more than half my life. During those years my love for vegetables and their many qualities grew. I was talking to my mom the other day about veggies and we wondered if we'd had every vegetable available under the sun on our plate. She said, that yes we've had many but we never had artichokes & I gasped. She was right!

How could we not have had an artichoke, which name in Dutch pretty much contains the word artist... We had to try it at least once. So when we were at the greengrocer and saw artichokes on display, we took a pair home with us.

Dad looked suspiciously at the artichokes and asked for chickpeas instead. No problem, me and mom are more adventurous when it comes to food. When we had purchased this "new" veg and were on our way to Pale Rose, I said to mom that I had no idea how to cook it & she replied we'll google it :)

Which we did, I was a little taken back by the long time it would take to prepare this vegetable. But also curious about its taste. Mom once had artichoke bottoms on a pizza and must admit that they were not fresh but from a jar. I do sometimes use a convenient food item from a jar or tin myself. Nothing beats the real thing though. That's certainly true for artichokes, as I was about to discover.

First you had to clean the veg, coat it wih lemon, cook it in lemon water. Then peel it and arrange it, top it with lemon & voila here's an edible piece of art:

We enjoyed the sight of this dish & it tasted loads better than that jar all those years ago mom said. But I will be honest with you, it was the one and only time I cooked an artichoke for dinner. I will never do so again...

The amount you can eat is very little and though the flavor is excellent. I found this disappointing. Spending a long time in the kitchen is not an issue, it can be a lot of fun. Sadly this was not worth it, I thought.

Well, meal wise that is. Picture wise I'm super happy with the beautiful sight my artichoke flowers presented at lunchtime. I love the soft colors and the warm magical feeling it gave me. It felt like summer sunshine & all the good things in life. Everyone claimed my artichoke flowers were a picture worth framing. In a small way I do hang them up here, for all the world to see.

Something else that made me feel all cozy and warm inside, is the amazing Victorian set of gifts I received from Lynn. The mailman brought a big brown box full of squeaky white bits, of which I do not know the English name, to Pale Rose. Charlotte jumped in it & offered to help me unpack. Four fabulous things came out that made my day :)

A Victorian style seashell heart for on the wall. It's a real starfish in the middle and Charlotte got really excited about that. So I hung it up immediately, out of reach. She's a real hunter and the seashell heart needs to stay pretty. I also got a set of lovely notecards with a little swan and violet on the cover, adorable.

Her new book, which I'm dying to read & a necklace that she made herself. It's a gorgeous pocket watch with a little key and arrow on it. Also a tiny bird inside & it sparkles...

Just like my eyes did, when I put it round my neck. It's a piece of art that I can wear every day, how lucky am I. Looking at all these beautiful gifts, I didn't know what to say. Thanks ever so much Lynn, you have made me very very happy!

What piece of edible art have you created this week? Or did you get a piece of art in the mail, like I did. Anything fun happen at your home? Tell me everything, don't hold back :)

Until next time,
Jo's Daughter

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