Friday, August 30, 2013

JW Turner. Art and French Cooking with Rachel Khoo

Can you combine art and cooking?  Yes, yes and yes.  Rachel Khoo the star of "Little French Kitchen," shows us how in this You Tube video.

In my last post, I wrote about my new favorite cooking show,  "Little French Kitchen."  She is on the Cooking Channel and if you cannot see it, you might try You Tube where snippets of her show are shown.

In this episode, she combines one of my favorite artists, JW Turner with a cooking lesson, but through the magic of You Tube, you can glimpse a few of Turner's earlier works at the Tate Gallery in London.

His art is amazing and if you are ever in London it is worth the trip by the London tube and bit of a walk.  Years ago my family and I were visiting London and we did visit the Tate, albeit soaking wet.  Yes we ran into a horrific rain storm on our way over to the museum, and even our umbrella's turned inside out.  As we dripped our way inside, no one even looked our way as we paid our fee, checked our umbrellas and made our way to the Turners.  I was freezing, wet and miserable and felt very sorry for myself.  Here I was amidst these magnificent paintings which I had waited for so long to actually see and all I could think of was how wet I was.  But, I told myself, here is your chance, get over it.  And I did.  Looking at the larger paintings, you felt as if you could just keep walking and walk inside the painting.  His colors are wonderful, the sea, the sky, very abstract for his time.

In the talented Ms Khoos segment, you can see a few of his earlier works and enjoy her recipe, "Quick Pickled Sardines." She also sketches food and ideas for her show and makes me appreciate that there is beauty and creativity everywhere. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Little Paris Kitchen

"Little Paris Kitchen" is my favorite food show getaway.  When I watch it, in a few moments I am in Paris with Rachel Khoo, drinking a strong cup of coffee made with a French Press, of course, and watch Ms Rachel cook.  Her apartment is small, very small, with a tiny kitchen, no glamour cooking pots in sight.  And of course talking with her in fluent French about cooking and life in general.

"Little Paris Kitchen" is on the Cooking Channel with all their other remarkable shows but my criteria for food shows is -- no yelling, running around and rushing, rushing, rushing.  I am not a "challenge" fan, there is no winning in my getaway world, just pleasure watching someone cook and enjoy what they are doing, plus learning something.  And of course there is that panache of Paris.

To me the big lesson of "Little Paris Kitchen" is that you don't have to have a giant kitchen with the latest appliances to cook a wonderful meal.  And it underlines what is really important -- the art of cooking for friends (or yourself) and taking time to enjoy being in the moment.

Rachel Khoo has a website where she talks about cooking and places she likes to visit in Paris and elsewhere,  a very personal and friendly blog about food and people.  And sometimes she visits other cities and cooks there with their chefs.

Some of her pots are enamelware with chips, yes just like your grandmother had.  And yes, I realize that some of the show could be staged, but I don't care, the charm of the show is not diminished.

Rachel had a restaurant in her little apartment where she would cook a meal for couples.  A little table, tablecloths, napkins, and a restaurant meal all created in this little space.  She does not do this anymore, no time as she is getting famous with a cook book coming out in the fall and many appearances here and in the United States.  But meanwhile. . .

I hope that "Little Paris Kitchen" does not change, but it probably will, meanwhile, I will take a break on Fridays, from 10:30 to 11 AM and imagine I am in the kitchen with Rachel, talking about food and life in the heart of Paris.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dreams and . . . .

I came across this bit of writing I did a while ago and it seemed to fit my mood today.  I am thinking about my project and getting excited as the steps go forward.

Even Toads Can Dream

Behold the Green Toad
with his rhinestone crown,

Flicking his long red tongue at

every passing gnat,

while dreaming of long-limbed princesses 

with blond hair and luscious red lips.

Who is to say what dreams are out of reach

either by bony fingers or even green-webbed ones?