Monday, April 25, 2011

eat; lettuce wraps

While on my detox a few weeks ago, I was enjoying these lettuce wraps without the avocado. They are really fun to eat and you can add all sorts of things in them like sprouted lentils or alfalfa. I was making these while in The States and drowning them in Trader Joe's yummy Goddess Dressing! I wrote down the ingredients so I could replicate it while here in Australia, but I seem to have lost the recipe! I'm devastated! So any of you Americans reading this right now, please rush out and get a bottle and please post the ingredients down the bottom so I may make up this dressing!

What you need;
Romaine lettuce leaves
1 Beet
1 Carrot
1/2 Avocado
Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley or basil)
Any other vegies you feel like. Play around with different combos.
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by cutting your carrots and beets into julienne slices. If you are not up for the challenge of cutting them into julienne slices, pull out the grater; it will taste just as great grated. I normally make up a containers worth when I do it so I only do it once but get to enjoy them over a few days. Make sure your container is airtight if you decide to do this.

Wash the lettuce under warm running water so the leaves may go a little limp for easy rolling, then split each leaf at the bottom as shown in the image below.

Cut your avocado into thin slices by going across the fruit. With a spoon, scoop out the slices and set aside.

To assemble simply lay the julienne slices neatly across the bottom of the leaf where you created the split. Add your fresh herbs, a slice or two of avocado and drizzle with the Goddess Dressing if you have it. Do not over pack the vegies! Keep them at a minimum and make more if you have to. It will be easier to roll if they are not bursting out at the seams! Add salt and pepper to taste and carefully begin to roll the leaves. A wonderfully fun and healthy lunch! I suggest serving with sparkling mineral water with a few slices of fresh cucumber...YUM!

 Boun Appetito!

pink; oscar

Last week I went along to RMIT Project Space here in Melbourne and stumbled across this pink work by Jessica McElhinney as part of the It's Not You, It's Me exhibition which show cased five local artists exploring video performance, self representation and role play within their video works. Oscar by McElhinney is an acted out role play of what seems to be a young teenage girl's first experience of death. Here, McElhinney surrounds the young teenage girl with the colour pink to represent her girly characteristics and to frame her age group, a repetitive melancholic soundtrack and what appears to be family pets.

For most of us, our first experience of death is through the loss of a family pet.  As you will see from the video excert below,  the work guides us through from the beginning of how the young girl comes to terms with that loss. The quality of the sound is not great in the documentation I took, but in general, I found the sound of each work competed with each other so it was very difficult to really experience the full effect of this work's soundtrack. I found the bleeding of sounds coming from outside the gallery and the sounds from the other video works extremely distracting but this was no fault of the artists involved but a bad decision made by the curators. 

Oscar begins with the young girl sitting with her cat in front of a television. She acknowledges the cats presence by patting it before she goes ahead and puts a DVD into the player. We watch as she presses play and we begin to see on the television what she sees. The music is repetitive and non descriptive, acting as a generic soundtrack to what is about to unfold.

Using real footage mixed in with simple animation, the video shows a black Labrador dog sniffing it's way through a snowy landscape of pine trees and falling snow. After a short while, the dog seems to acknowledge the girl and the cat on the other side of the screen watching him. The girl then picks up the cat and holds it in her arms as a mother would hold her own baby. The video extends for a while in this exchange between the dog recognizing the girl and the cat and the girl recognizing the dog is watching her too. 

We finally see the dog move on, sniffing it's way through the snow to what appears to be it's final destination; it comes across another Labrador, this one belly up. The girl is taken aback by the vision of the golden Labrador and sways the cat in her arms. As a viewer, it is difficult not to be roped into this video and the feelings it is trying to evoke in us. We feel the girls loss. There is a moment when it appears the golden Labrador is alive as it moves a little and looks into the camera But did the dog actually move, or was this a moment of hope that us, the viewer and the young girl imagined?

The video ends giving us no more real hope that the dog may be alive. It does appear to be dead and with it's abrupt ending, we are now left feeling the loss the girl is experiencing.

Oscar is a compelling video, one that is hard to drag yourself away from. It succeeds in bringing us along the girls journey of dealing with death and makes us think about our own first experience of death.

love; ten things i love this week
1. Roses blooming in gardens. There is something special about a rose that is home grown. You definitely can't beat the smell of them and it's always a pleasure to stop and smell them as you walk on by a bush. LOVE!
2. Absolutely Fabulous. Yes definitely showing my age here! I was reminded about this show by a friend of mine this week and how hooked I was on it during the nineties. If you're unaware of it, get onto youtube and check out some clips. Too funny! LOVE!
 3. My friend explaining how her three year old daughter broke her arm. Alicia thinks she is an actual fairy and while dressed in her fairy costume, she attempted to fly off her bed and instead, broke her arm. Such a sweet story! So often it is about a boy who wanted to fly like superman not a girl who wanted to fly like a fairy! LOVE!
4. Italian Easter Eggs. They are usually made with dark chocolate and soooo overly decorated with the words Buona Pasqua written on them. They are then wrapped in cellophane and ribbons to boot! LOVE!
5. Italian Easter Cake. It's actually called a Colombo which means Dove. Similar to a Panettone it is traditionally given to each family for Easter and is soooo YUM! It has a crunchy sugary top with almonds while being soft and fluffy with orange rind pieces on the inside. LOVE!
6.  People wearing bunny ears! I loved that people got into the spirit of Easter rebirth by wearing bunny ears! Seemed like everyone from shop assistants to bar tenders were onto it this year. LOVE!

7. Booking my ticket back to Lala Land! Goodbye Australian winter, hello Californian summer! Be there June 20th! LOVE!
8. Chasing the sun! My plan to never experience winter again seems to be coming to fruition! Those of you out there that know me, know that I hate winter or being cold and my dream is to have a house in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere and never have winter again. Looks like that will be happening this year! Am working on a plan for next year too! LOVE!
9. Receiving a replica of Princess Diana's engagement ring in the mail! My friends mum sent it all the way from Canada; a bit of Commonwealth comradeship. I wore it out one night catching up with a few people I haven't seen in a while and their eyes went straight to my finger as if I came back from The States engaged! LOVE!

10. This piece of graffiti down the street from where I now live in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is known for it's street graffiti but the suburb I'm currently living in isn't known for it. I came across this during the week and loved that it's a Chinese girl spilling out a real deck of cards with the words Be Free written next to her (especially as Ai Weiwei is still detained by the Chinese Government with no word yet). Be free to live. LOVE!