Inspiration: What’s in your shopping basket?

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I was unloading my shopping bags onto the counter and loved the pile with all the shades of greens, reds, and orange. I had just grabbed a lot of produce that looked good at Essex Street Market in the LES putting together a loose meal plan in my mind as I went along. I got okra, Persian cucumbers, poblanos, cilantro, radishes, limes, nopal cactus paddles, red chiles, and sour oranges. It looked like a summer still life, and it makes being (mostly) vegetarian exciting when one has beautiful fruits and vegetables to cook with.

So far, we’ve had cilantro, citrus, and chiles in ceviche, crisp radish and cucumber snacks, and I’m working on nopal and poblano tacos. I’ll probably roast the okra with chipotle and do some vegetable chiles rellenos.

It got my thinking: how do most people shop and where do you get your inspiration? Do you plan ahead and then shop or look for what’s good and plan your meals from there? Do you research before you buy a new strange vegetable or do you buy and then look for what to do with it?

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Happy Pi Day!

To celebrate, I’m going to share a delicious painting (or three) by one of my favorite Southern artists.

Gladys Always Put A Rabbit’s Foot In Her Apron Pocket When She Made A Meringue

by Oxford, Mississippi artist Amy Cameron Evans

Amy is the Oral Historian for Southern Foodways Alliance where she gathers and documents the stories that make up the rich and varied food culture in the Southern U.S.

Camille’s Grandmother Loved Duke’s Mayonnaise and Costume Jewelry

It’s this embrace of the gorgeously eccentric personalities of the South, while still embracing and celebrating its traditions (like Dukes’ Mayonnaise and dill pickle chips) that I love about her work.

Velma Had A Secret

I also love the visual storytelling. Storytelling, yarn-spinning, layered, complex, absurd, hilarious, colorful, evocative, is to me a defining characteristic of “Southerness.”  And Velma Had A Secret is about as loaded a four-words-and-a-painting short story as it gets.

To see more of her artwork, follow these links:


http://amycevans.com/

or

KoelshGallery.com

Love to the power of 3

Yes, yes, a Painting of Books about Cooking.

Sort of a distillation of my “Happy Place” trifecta in handy 14×18 size.

 

I got home from our Thanksgiving holiday road trip with some sort of cold, sore throat, stomach-and general-achey-like funk going on, so I’ve been wallowing in bed taking medicine and drinking lots of water in hopes of preventing It from getting worse, catching up on email, perusing some blogs, generally engaging in some dazed and uncomfortable lethargy.

This painting was in a post on Design*Sponge, a really beautiful design blog I’ve followed for a while. The artist, Holly Farrell,  has a pale, cool palette and an amazing ability to exalt the mundane that is, in part, what I love about the beautiful domestic scenes by Jan Vermeer like The Milkmaid or Mother’s Duty. I love art that reminds me of the beauty and dignity of the everyday life we’re all so blessed to enjoy.

 

Kitchen art

 

 

 

These watercolors make me happy.

From Lucile’s Kitchen:

Autumn Fruits

 

I stumbled upon this artist’s Etsy shop on Kitchenisms, and would love to have every single one of her pictures on my walls. They evoke the ever so slightly cluttered sunny serenity of a homey kitchen in which I would love to spend hours and hours.

 

The illustrated recipes remind me of a couple of cookbooks I loved looking through when I was little, simple but fascinating.

 

La Soupe au Pistou

 

 

 

I’ve always loved watercolors, especially if they don’t take themselves too seriously.

These are sweet, but with a wink that prevents their

sweetness from becoming saccherine

 

Cupcakes collection No.2

I’ve only posted a few of the many paintings and prints in the shop. Have a look around. She has some lovely stuff in there.