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For a good while I was cooking from Paul Prudhomme's "Fiery Foods That I Love". He has a recipe for a rolled bread using leftover beans. It wasn't a total success for me as a bread, because the beans were sloppy and thus the bread was hard to slice and store. However, rolls, I think, are a whole other story! Easy to bake, eat, store, and freeze any leftovers.
Because Paul Prudhomme was a Cajun cook from New Orleans, I decided to give this recipe a Mardi Gras flair via the parade (the drum straps are Mardi Gras beads) and colors.
Lavash is a traditional thin Armenian flatbread made in a tandoor. It is rolled out flat and slapped on to the sides of the clay oven. Women all over Armenia in villages make this bread and it is a huge part of their food culture. It is eaten with almost everything in Armenia, but it is best when hot out of the oven and wrapped with fresh herbs and cheese. I wanted to create an illustration depicting the process of making this bread as it was something I saw while in Armenia the first time years ago.
Occasionally Dad would have to work out of town for the weekend. Since he didn't consider pizza a "proper" meal, the first thing that my mom, sister, and I would do is get a pizza from Genii's. Then we'd bake and decorate cupcakes all night long while listening to music (Mom loved disco!) and dancing in the kitchen.
When my sister and I were growing up, my mom was the primary chef in the house but my dad liked to create spur-of-the-moment snacks and meals whenever the opportunity would arise. One of my favorite good memories comes from when my dad was home with us kids while my mom was out for the afternoon and we asked for pizza (delivery pizza was such a special treat for us back in the early 80s) and he did one better and made us pizza toasts from what we had on hand in the house (sandwich bread, spaghetti sauce, ground beef, and American cheese singles). They were tasty and made with so much love. I am especially warmed by this memory since my father recently passed away. He was such a playful and inventive man who was always game to make his daughters happy with the resources he had on hand.
My Fave Memory with food is the day my significant other and I traveled almost 300 miles to meet in New York City. With a long distance relationship we don’t see each other often, so we make it count when we do! A few hours before the concert we planned to attend that night, we both got hungry and decided to look at our delivery options, which were far and few in between unfortunately. Against my significant other’s will, who doesn’t like pizza, we took to the little pizza place across the way as a last resort. It wasn’t until after we ordered two slices that we realized they were bigger than our heads! The biggest slices of pizza I’ve ever seen - we definitely could have split one! But, being that we were headed straight to the concert after dinner, we had to finish both slices no matter how big they were or how much my significant other hated pizza! I, however, personally think it was a delicious slice of pizza, and a time I will never forget!
Fave Memory for the October HandPicked Design Challenge:
While most Southern hoecakes are small and fried, our family gives the name "hoecake" to a large, fluffy buttermilk biscuit that we bake and then cut into squares. The recipe for this three-ingredient quickbread has been passed down through at least four generations of Virginia mountain women, from my great-grandmother Rosalie who was born in the 19th century, to my grandmother Clelon who grew up during the Great Depression, to my mother Shelley who created the pencil-lettered title for this recipe, to me, who created this illustration in watercolor, pencil, and digital media. Whenever I make a hoecake, I feel connected to my heritage, proud of the women who came before me, and covered in flour. We love to eat hoecake with cozy fall soups or drizzled with honey for dessert.
NEW ILLUSTRATION SERIES ALERT! Get ready for some bread. Actually, all the bread. Why bread? Why now? I’ve been waiting to fully dive into this idea, partially because of procrastination, and partially because I wanted to wait until Adobe Fresco came out so I could get my hands on that sweeeet live digital watercolor. Now that the new program is out and my procrastination can’t last any longer, I am here committing myself to illustrating probably way too many carbs. The parameters around the term “bread” is kind of loose. (I went to wikipedia and picked out 20+ different variations, along with some others that may not be thought of as bread.) So, why bread? Why now? Well, I’m pretty sure everybody’s favorite part of a meal is bread. If it’s not, you might be some sort of monster. Anyways, food has become something that I am really passionate about and I also want to continue growing as an illustrator. So, I am going to mash the two together. FOOD ILLUSTRATION BABY! While I know that this isn’t a new concept, I am hoping that by combining two passions, it will allow me to play around and maybe find a style that is completely my own, or maybe even let me break into the food illustration biz. This series is a chance for me to explore color, shape, texture, and patterns. Is there a better place to start a meal with some bread? Nah, man. Bread is where you always start. So, here I am, starting my illustration journey with a ton of bread, like a good meal. Today I am presenting you with a classic: the baguette. Crusty, chewy outside and a soft fluffy inside. Made famous by the French and then Panera. Goes well with dang near everything, but mostly great at sopping up soup or that little bit of leftover sauce.
Food Geometry | In thinking about the geometry of food, I needed to look no further than my garden, ripe with all the makings for a grilled pizza: tomatoes, chives, basil & oregano. As a letterpress printer I like experimenting with forms, and pressure printing is a wonderful way to capture the details in plants. I arranged the leaves of the ingredients on my Vandercook 4 press, inked them up, layed cotton paper over top, and rolled the carriage down the press bed to impress the images into the page. The tomatoes were a beautifully explosive disaster, so I gave myself permission to print circles instead. I then went back & printed the tomato leaves overtop the red circles; the perfect final touch. As I printed the aromatic oils were released from the leaves, making my mouth water. The hand lettering was done with a fountain pen, rather than wood or metal type, to capture the spontaneity and ease of my new favorite late-summer meal.