Thursday, February 4, 2010

Art Chips (Eating little Paintings)

A theme begins to emerge. I learn something and go through several iterations and the food evolves. Yesterday I realized I was eating little paintings. I've been making flax chips for awhile, always adding different spices or vegetables on top. I spread the mixture out on a teflex sheet, add toppings (or not) and put trays in the dehydrator. When the flax sheet is dry on top I turn it over, letting the dry side sit directly on the rack. When this side is somewhat drier, I cut the sheet into cracker or chip sized pieces. The patterned side is still upside down. When the chips are completely crisp, they are left to cool to room temperature then put in an airtight tin. I was busy and hadn't really looked at the chips until it was time to eat them.
What interesting compositions some of them had!

These little abstract paintings with their vegetable brush strokes........alright, by now you've probably realized that I'm an artist who cooks, not a trained cook or chef.

There was a time when I heartily wished that I could just take a pill and have the day's nourishment taken care of. I would have LOVED green smoothies. I just wanted to make art, not cook or even take time to eat. Art was my nourishment then.

Sometimes the events of a single afternoon can change one's path forever. Our landlords were a sweet old Ukrainian couple. They had terraced gardens in their yard but one day they invited us to their large food garden which was a couple of miles from the house.

We were amazed to find so many different vegetables growing in one space. In the center of the garden was a gorgeous cherry tree, giving ample shade for a picnic.

Sensing that we were clueless about gardening, we were given a jar of cherries that had been marinating in vodka since the summer before, a blanket, and a place in the shade of the tree.

We were soon cheerfully drunk on the perfect summer's afternoon, in the shade with the most amazing cherries I had ever tasted. I began to see the garden and food in a completely different way.

One act of kindness, or teaching by example, can change everything.

Now where was I? Oh yes, eating little paintings.


  1. Hi Silani, I've just discovered your blog and I love it!! So many creative ideas, beautiful pics and lovely stories - I'm going to go make these dragon snaps right now, I want to eat some paintings :-) Thank you for sharing.....

  2. Let me know how they turn out Neeta.