Tuesday, July 12, 2011

eat; gazpacho

As the heat sets in here in Lala Land, everyone is on the search for cooling food, fresh ingredients and simplicity in food preparation. I was invited along to a friends place for a barbeque for the 4th of July celebrations and asked my hostess what I should bring along. To my surprise, she said Gazpacho. I made it for her over a year ago and she still remembered the amazing flavours. It has happened before too, when I made it for another beach event and had my friends mum hooked on it for weeks! She still makes it years later; now that's saying something!

It really does make sense to serve this amazing cold Spanish soup on a hot day for a bit of something different to salads and grilled things at a barbeque. It super easy to make as all you do is throw all the ingredients into a blender and whiz away! I made it on that same day, very early morning as it is the sort of dish that tastes better after the flavours have infused for a few hours at least. It always tastes great the next day (if it all hasn't been gobbled up!) so I reccomend if you can, make it the day before. To serve, I always pour it into a large bowl and then create individual 'cups' of the soup adding one or two ice-cubes to keep it cool just before serving. It's really fun to eat soup out of a ceramic cup for some reason, don't you think?!

The recipe that follows is taken from one of my all time favourite Australian cooks, Stephanie Alexander.

What You Need;

1.5 kg (1.5lbs) ripe tomato
200g (7oz) cucumber
150g (5oz) red pepper
2 cloves of garlic,
100g (4oz) sourdough bread
1 jalepino
1/2 cup really good olive oil
1/2 cup red wine viniger
1-2 cups of chilled water
salt and pepper to taste

So what's the next thing to do? Simply roughly chop everything and throw it into a blender!! Too easy!

Check the consistency and add as much water as you would like. I like mine on the thick side, so I only added one cup. I needed to do it in batches, and you'll probably find this too. Have an awaiting large bowl and pour your batches into it. Once done, give it a big swirl with a spoon to mix it all up. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least a three hours. Overnight is better.

To serve, thinly slice a cucumber for garnish, set aside. Pour into small ceramic cups, add one or two ice-cubes and gently place a slice of cucumber onto the edge of the cup. Vola, a yummy tasting summer soup!

Buon Appetito!

pink; night and fog, tubes on black mountain

This past week, I felt very bodily. Maybe it's the heat which is causing me to show more flesh (remembering I have just come out of two winters!!!) or maybe because it's 'that time of the month' for me. Either ways, this work both repulsed and intrigued me. It is a video/sculpture work by Naotaka Hiro on exhibit last year at Las Cienaga Projects, here in Los Angeles as part of a two person show.

Hiro is a Japanese born artist living and working in Los Angeles and his practice is all about the body; particularly focusing on the unseen parts of our bodies. In this video, Hiro takes on the role of a puppeteer with an animals intestine filled with minced meat, creating a very long sausage like form. During the video, the viewer is exposed to a play between the organic form of the meat and the static and hard surface of the pyramid-like sculpture, manipulated entirely by Hiro with a string.

The video stills above suggest not only a play with organic and non-organic matter but we see a strong relationship with the gloss surface of the two conflicting materials. This ties the forms together in a poetic play of opposite attracts. These opposing materials create a beautiful image of attraction and repulsion, all in the same breath. We are reminded of our own bodily relationship to non-organic materials and things, such as our bodily relationship to the automobile. Two opposing forces that once upon a time would have been unfathomable to imagine we could actually travel faster than a cheetah in a metal contraption in the future.

What remains after the poetic play of these two forms is the monolithic pyramid sculpture and the remains of the string that powered the dance of the meat stuffed intestine. It is a sad ending for the organic matter but a beautiful reminder of what we, as organic matter, are dealing with in our very fragile and short lived lives.

Unfortunately, I could not find much information about this work, so the details of materials, duration of the video and it's size are not available.  Never-the-less, this work communicates on a poetic scale that is beyond it's dimensions, duration or details of it's media. I'll be keeping an eye out for Hiro's next exhibition and do hope I will be in town for his next show.

love; ten things I love this week

1. This great picture my friend Natalie found at a yard sale while I was back in Australia. She thought of me straight away! It is super creepy and one does wonder what the hell is going on in there! LOVE!!!
2. Watching fire works from my friends front lawn in Echo Park for the 4th of July celebrations. The Mexican neighbours were all out with there fireworks and entertained us for hours with their sky rocketing displays. LOVE!!!
3. Hanging out with friends at a German beer garden, drinking beer and eating German food! I'm not a fan of German food, but this beer garden was the closest thing I've experienced to Australian Pubs here in L.A which I always miss when the heat is on. BTW, my German friend on F.B was MORTIFIED that I ate a soy sausage at a German Tavern. lol!!! LOVE!

4. Cooking and eating with my friend glo (yes she spells it with SMALL g!) I love introducing her to the amazingness of raw food and teaching her a few tricks! She loves food as much as I do and is always up for going somewhere to check out food. This week gone by, we were on the hunt for Persian Fairy Floss! LOVE!!!!

5. This great TED video about giving yourself a 30 day challenge to try something new. I've incorporated a walk in the mornings after my coffee and morning pages sessions and loving it! Try it out! LOVE!!!
6. Buying myself a fan! It is ridiculous how a fan can change your world when the heat is on! And it's recycled as I bought it for 10 bucks from the thrift store! LOVE!!!

7. Non-dairy, non-soy ice-cream! This IS what I love about the United States of America; the variety to choose! I had a whole tub the other night of ice-cream made out of coconut milk. YUM!!!!  I will be attempting a few recipes for raw ice-cream soon, so watch out for upcoming posts! LOVE!


8. Hanging out with one of ex-roomies in the back yard of where I used to live, here in Lala Land. We would spend hours chatting away about the universe. It was lovely to relive it again. LOVE!

9. Adding spirulina into my green smoothies.As if spinach and kale was not green enough! If you haven't tried incorporating this green amazingness into your diet, I highly recommend it!  LOVE!!!

10. The latest book I devoured in a day!...A Feminine Manifesta! LOVE!!!!