April Redux-2012-Eggs

easter-eggs-inspired-by-lichtenstein-from-artclubblog21

In 2012 I began a series called artratcafe CAFE. It was slow-food art with a dash of tasty humour, a pinch of the creative unusual and a seasoning of literature with a culinary twist. It was the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party every afternoon and Tom Waits on the wonky old bar piano every night.

I haven’t posted from artratcafe CAFE for a very long time. I’m thinking I might resurrect it, dust off the juke box, buy some new lumber-jack table cloths and refill all the candle holders with heavenly beeswax.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a new series, revisiting posts from the pasts of each month. This April 2012 post was all about eggs and Easter:

“Because it’s almost Easter, eggs are on our mind and feature on our over easy-menu this week at artratcafe CAFE.

girl with eggs

Our fancy lightly turns to spring, sensual longing, fertility and well, yes, the sex life of plants, hens and rabbits.

The name ‘Easter’ derives from Eostre or Ostara, the Great Mother Goddess of the ancient Saxon people of Northern Europe. She was the fecundity of spring symbolized in carnal pleasure, pregnancy and birth. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honour and continues to this day wearing a Christian mask. Ostara was a playful goddess whose reign over the earth began in the spring when the Sun King journeyed across the sky in his chariot, heralding the end of winter. Ostara descended to earth then, appearing as a beautiful maiden with a basket of bright and colourful eggs. Her magical companion was a rabbit who accompanied her as she brought new life to plants, flowers, and the earth by hiding her eggs in the fields.

405px-ostara_by_johannes_gehrts1

The egg serves as a representation of new life. It stands for the renewing power of nature and by extension the attraction between female and male that results in new life. And this shell lead us, scrambling, to the following eggstremely sensual eggstract from the book:

1933 Was A Bad Year by John Fante:

“Dorothy was at the sideboard, breaking eggs and spilling them into a bowl. Just watching the oval things crack in her white fingers and spill forth with a golden plop created a series of small explosions inside me. My calves shuddered as she scrambled them with a fork and they turned yellow like her hair. She poured a bit of cream into the mixture and the silken smoothness of the descending cream had me reeling. I wanted to say, ‘Dorothy Parrish, I love you’, to take her in my arms, to lift the bowl of scrambled eggs above our heads and pour it over our bodies, to roll on the red tiles with her, smeared with the conquest of eggs, squirming and slithering in the yellow of love”.

 smiley eggs

 

Image Credits from top in order:

Easter Eggs inspired by Lichtenstein – artclubblog21.

Ostara by Johannes Gehrts. 1884.

Victorian Woman with Eggs and Smiley Toast from Google Images. Origins unknown.

 

artratcafe CAFE – Eggs…Redux

Because it is spring here in Vancouver, and almost Easter, eggs are on my mind and featured on the Cafe’s menu this week.

Our fancies turn lightly to spring and sensual longing and fertility and well, yes, sex.

The name Easter comes from Eostre or Ostara, the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Ostara represented spring fecundity and the love and carnal pleasure that leads along that flower strewn path and in pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honour. Ostara was a playful goddess whose reign over the earth began when the Sun King journeyed across the sky in his chariot, heralding the end of winter. Ostara appeared as a beautiful young woman carrying a basket of brightly coloured eggs. Her magical companion was a rabbit who accompanied her as she brought new life to dying plants and flowers by hiding her eggs in the fields.

The egg is a symbol of new life. It stands for the renewing power of nature and by extension the attraction between female and male that results in new growth and fertility. This segue shell lead us to the following eggstremely sensual extract from the book: 1933 Was A Bad Year by John Fante:

“Dorothy was at the sideboard, breaking eggs and spilling them into a bowl. Just watching the oval things crack in her white fingers and spill forth with a golden plop created a series of small explosions inside me. My calves shuddered as she scrambled them with a fork and they turned yellow like her hair. She poured a bit of cream into the mixture and the silken smoothness of the descending cream had me reeling. I wanted to say, ‘Dorothy Parrish, I love you’, to take her in my arms, to lift the bowl of scrambled eggs above our heads and pour it over our bodies, to roll on the red tiles with her, smeared with the conquest of eggs, squirming and slithering in the yellow of love”.

Image Credits from top in order:

Easter Eggs inspired by Lichtenstein – artclubblog21.

Ostara by Johannes Gehrts. 1884.

Victorian Woman with Eggs and Smiley Toast from Google Images. Origins unknown.

artratcafe CAFE – Mrs. Hussey’s Chowder…

Spring has sprung here on the west coast and the fishing’s been good. Thick, rich Clam and Cod Chowder is on offer this week at artratcafe Cafe, inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick:

 

“Upon making known our desires for a supper and a bed, Mrs. Hussey, postponing further scolding for the present, ushered us into a little room, and seating us at a table spread with the relics of a recently concluded repast, turned round to us and said – “Clam or Cod?” “What’s that about Cods, ma’am?” said I, with much politeness. “Clam or Cod?” she repeated. “A clam for supper? a cold clam; is that what you mean, Mrs. Hussey?” says I. But being in a great hurry to resume scolding the man in the purple shirt, who was waiting for it in the entry, and seeming to hear nothing but the word “clam”, Mrs. Hussey hurried towards an open door leading to the kitchen, and bawling out “clam for two,” disappeared.

 “Queequeg,” said I, “do you think that we can make out a supper for us both on one clam?” However, a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained.

Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt. Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favorite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition: when leaning back a moment and bethinking me of Mrs. Hussey’s clam and cod announcement, I thought I would try a little experiment. Stepping to the kitchen door, I uttered the word ‘cod’ with great emphasis, and resumed my seat. In a few moments the savory steam came forth again, but with a different flavor, and in good time a fine cod-chowder was placed before us.

We resumed business; and while plying our spoons in the bowl, thinks I to myself, I wonder now if this here has any effect on the head? What’s that stultifying saying about chowder-headed people? “But look, Queequeg, ain’t that a live eel in your bowl? Where’s your harpoon?”

 Fishiest of all fishy places was the Try Pots, which well deserved its name; for the pots there were always boiling chowders. Chowders for breakfast, and chowder for dinner, and chowder for supper, till you began to look for fish-bones coming through your clothes.

The area before the house was paved with clam-shells. Mrs. Hussey wore a polished necklace of codfish vertebra; and Hosea Hussey had his account books in superior old shark-skin. There was a fishy flavor to the milk, too, which I could not at all account for, till one morning happening to take a stroll along the beach among some fishermen’s boats, I saw Hosea’s brindled cow feeding on fish remnants, and marching along the sand with each foot in a cod’s decapitated head, looking very slip-shod, I assure ye.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Credits, top to bottom: Retro Tin Sign: vintagemetalart.com / Whaling Boat: vanityfair.com / Groucho: neatorama.com / Clam Chowder: cucintestarossa.blogs.com / Moby Dick by Jackson Pollock. 1943: artsunlight.com / Spouting Whales/Clams: betweentheneonandthesea.com / Cartoon: info on image.

artratcafe CAFE – Roasted Cheese…

In this part of the world spring is still struggling to show its true face. Wet coastal days and chilly nights continue to call for comfort food. So, to accompany our Beau–ootiful Soo-oop we are offering home-made, crusty bread, rich, creamy milk and Roasted Cheese – al la Heidi by Johanna Spyri.

‘I think, however, that we could eat something first. What is your opinion about that?’ asked the old man.
Heidi had been so much interested about her bed that she had forgotten everything else. Now she remembered, and felt suddenly very hungry. She had eaten nothing since breakfast, when she had a piece of bread and a little weak coffee, and had since made a long journey. Heidi replied heartily to her grandfather’s question, ‘Yes, I think so, indeed.’
…He went over to the fireplace… Next, he held a long iron fork over the fire, with a big piece of cheese on it, which he turned slowly round and round till it was of a golden yellow.


Heidi watched him with a keen interest; but suddenly an idea came into her head, and she sprang away…. When her grandfather came with the pot, and the roasted cheese on a fork, there lay already the round loaf, two plates, two knives, all neatly arranged; for Heidi had noticed everything in the press, and she knew what was needed for the table.

… Heidi seized her little mug, and drank and drank without once stopping; for all the thirst of her journey seemed to rise up at once. Then she drew a long breath – for in her eagerness to drink, she had not been able to stop to breathe – and set down her mug.  ‘Does the milk taste good?’ asked her grandfather.
‘I never drank such good milk,’ said the child. ‘Then you must have more,’ said he, and filled the mug again quite to the top, and placed it before the child, who was eating her bread, spread thickly with the hot cheese, which was like butter from the heat, and tasted delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

She now and then drank her milk, and looked meanwhile perfectly happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration Credits from top to bottom:

Heidi and Her Grandfather – source unknown. Possibly Jessie Wilcox Smith/ Roasting Cheese – glitterpissing.blogspot.com / Vermeer Pastiche – dynoxicon.com /  Melted Cheese on Bread – garthrotolo.narod.ru / Lait Pur – allposters.com / My Milk by Austin, age 12 – specialchildren.about.com

artratcafe CAFE – Beautiful Soup…

 

 

 

Not quite summer yet – the spring evenings are cool and what better to warm the cockles of your heart but some thick, rich soup. Artratcafe CAFE, inspired by Lewis Carroll, is brewing up some Beautiful Soup for your delectation this weekend…Enjoy, and sing along…

Beautiful Soup from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

BEAUTIFUL Soup, so rich and green,

Waiting in a hot tureen!

Who for such dainties would not stoop?

Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!

Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,

Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,

Game, or any other dish?

Who would not give all else for two

Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?

Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!

Beau–ootiful Soo-oop!

Soo–oop of the e–e–evening,

Beautiful, beauti–FUL SOUP!

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration Credits, from top:  Beautiful Soup – cabcabinmoran.com   Child eating Soup by Picasso – ojardimdeepicuro.wordpress.com  Soup with Moon – bainbridgenotes.wordpress.com

artratcafe CAFE – Eating Your Words…

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer, is a contemporary fantasy comparable to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Milo, the novel’s young and bored protagonist receives a magic tollbooth as a gift and drives through it in his toy car. With his two companions, Humbug and Tock, Milo has many incredible adventures, including a quest to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason. The book is full of pun filled events such as Milo’s jump to the Island of Conclusions. If you love puns as much as I do, this book is for you. The section of the story I have chosen for this week’s artratcafe Café menu takes place in Dictionopolis, a kingdom that has literally dedicated itself to words. Milo, Humbug and Tock are taking a break in their quest and find themselves invited to supper with the king:

“Are you ready with the menu?” reminded the Humbug. “Well,” said Milo, remembering that his mother had always told him to eat lightly when he was a guest, “why don’t we have a light meal?” “A light meal it shall be,” roared the bug, waving his arms. The waiters rushed in carrying large serving platters and set them on the table in front of the king. When he lifted the covers, shafts of brilliant-coloured light leaped from the plates and bounced around the ceiling, the walls, across the floor, and out the windows. “Not a very substantial meal,” said the Humbug, rubbing his eyes, “but quite an attractive one. Perhaps you can suggest something a little more filling.” The king clapped his hands, the platters were removed, and, without thinking, Milo quickly suggested, “Well, in that case, I think we ought to have a square meal of–”

“A square meal it is,” shouted the Humbug again. The king clapped his hands once more and the waiters reappeared carrying plates heaped high with steaming squares of all sizes and colours. “Ugh,” said the Spelling Bee, tasting one, “these are awful.” No one else seemed to like them very much either, and the Humbug got one caught in his throat and almost choked. “Time for the speeches,” announced the king as the plates were again removed and everyone looked glum. “You first,” he commanded, pointing to Milo. “Your Majesty, ladies and gentlemen,” started Milo timidly. “I would like to take this opportunity to say that in all the–“

“That’s quite enough,” snapped the king. “Mustn’t talk all day.”

 “But I’d just begun,” objected Milo. “NEXT!” bellowed the king. “Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, vanilla ice cream,” recited the Humbug, bouncing up and down quickly. “What a strange speech,” thought Milo, for he’d heard many in the past and knew that they were supposed to be long and dull. “Hamburgers, corn on the cob, chocolate pudding–p-u-d-d-i-n-g,” said the Spelling Bee in his turn. “Frankfurters, sour pickles, strawberry jam,” shouted Officer Shrift from his chair. Since he was taller sitting than standing, he didn’t bother to get up. And so down the line it went, with each guest rising briefly, making a short speech, and then resuming his place. When everyone had finished, the king rose. “Pâté de foie gras, soupe à l’oignon, faisan sous cloche, salade endive, fromages et fruits et demi-tasse,” he said carefully and clapped his hands again. The waiters reappeared immediately, carrying heavy, hot trays, which they set on the table. Each one contained the exact words spoken by the various guests, and they all began eating immediately with great gusto. “Dig in,” said the king, poking Milo with his elbow and looking disapprovingly at his plate. “I can’t say that I think much of your choice.”

 “I didn’t know that I was going to have to eat my words,” objected Milo. “Of course, of course, everyone here does,” the king grunted. “You should have made a tastier speech.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture Credits from top (thank you to all sources):

1. Word Cookies  from childparenting.about.com. 2. Supper with the King, illustration by Jules Feiffer from The Phantom Tollbooth. 3. A Square Meal from ebooksonl.blogspot.com. 4. Chocolate Pudding from amptoons.com.        5. Humble Pie from izzymom.com. 6. Eating Words from hotchildinthecountry.blogspot.com

 

artratcafe CAFE – Eggs…

Because it is spring, and almost Easter, EGGS are on our mind and featured on our literary menu this week. Our fancy lightly  turns to spring and sensual longing and fertility and well, yes, sex.

The name Easter comes from Eostre or Ostara, the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. And she certainly represented spring fecundity, and the love and carnal pleasure that leads to fecundity. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honour. Ostara was a playful goddess whose reign over the earth began in the spring when the Sun King journeyed across the sky in his chariot, heralding the end of winter. Ostara came down to earth then, appearing as a beautiful maiden with a basket of bright colourful eggs. Ostara’s magical companion was a rabbit who accompanied her as she brought new life to dying plants and flowers by hiding her eggs in the fields.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The egg serves as a representation of new life. It stands for the renewing power of nature and by extension the attraction between female and male that results in new life. Which shell lead us, of course, to the following eggstremely sensual extract from the book: 1933 Was A Bad Year by John Fante:

“Dorothy was at the sideboard, breaking eggs and spilling them into a bowl. Just watching the oval things crack in her white fingers and spill forth with a golden plop created a series of small explosions inside me. My calves shuddered as she scrambled them with a fork and they turned yellow like her hair. She poured a bit of cream into the mixture and the silken smoothness of the descending cream had me reeling. I wanted to say, ‘Dorothy Parrish, I love you’, to take her in my arms, to lift the bowl of scrambled eggs above our heads and pour it over our bodies, to roll on the red tiles with her, smeared with the conquest of eggs, squirming and slithering in the yellow of love”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Credits from top in order:

Easter Eggs inspired by Lichtenstein – artclubblog21.

Ostara by Johannes Gehrts. 1884.

Victorian Woman with Eggs and Smiley Toast from Google Images. Origins unknown.