Sunday, October 15, 2006

Recent paintings


weekend figs

the figs are ripe, fall is here

The figs are dripping off the branches now, and the fallen ones have soaked the air with the smell of autumn. The fact that I need to drink more and more deliciously subtle Mariage Frères tea to keep my toes warm is just another sign that winter is around the corner. I also started my seasonal baking phase this weekend! To start off, a tomato and zucchini tart that's usually associated with summer picnics, but I added a little extra gruyere cheese for some winter comfort. Here's the recipe:

Tomato and Zucchini Tart
(Tarte aux Tomates et Courgette)

a 9 inch tart pan

Pâte brisée

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water


2 small zucchinis, sliced thinly

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced in wedges
1.5 oz of shredded gruyère or swiss cheese (add more if desired)
1-2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

• Flour your counter or table.
• Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry dough about 1/8 of an inch thick.
• Bake the pastry dough as directed for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
• Spread the dijon mustard evenly on the tart.
• Sprinkle about 3/4 ounces of the gruyère cheese over the mustard.
• Arrange zucchini slices in a circular pattern to cover the entire surface of the tart.
• Next, place tomatoes in a circular pattern in the center.
• Sprinkle remaining gruyère cheese on top. Add salt and pepper.
• Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Serve warm. (6-8 servings)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Roxana on Foodnetwork

I can't believe my little cousin is now on the Foodnetwork website! The chef's hat is so becoming, as well as that pizza box! You go!

Korean Thanksgiving

Last night we celebrated Korean thanksgiving, Chu'sok, just the way I remembered it as a child.

Ripe fruits, Korean rice cakes interlaced with pine needles, and raw chestnuts filled the ancestral table. Children ran around with toy cars as we fried pancakes and picked fresh vegetables in the backyard.

One notable difference was the Catholic hymns sung by aunts and uncles before the bowing and serving of rice wine to our ancestors. The grafting of East and West is rarely seamless; slowly time pulls traditions by its roots. And yet I appreciate the attempt to perserve old rituals as we take on new ones. The fact that my parents and relatives fumbled with the oversized digital TV, while watching Korean karaoke, instead of peeling chestnuts or playing Go, reminded me of just how much times have changed. Their loud voices were a bit muted this time, but their goofy humor still shined through. After a few shots of soju, their voices rose back to the thunderous levels I used to fall asleep to when I was younger. And being home after a year to see the entire family, including a sleepy but sweet new member, Alya, brought home the meaning of chu'sok and the tight bonds of our family.

Today, the rain is starting to blur the landscape out here in Maryland. My living room window is transforming itself into a Whistler painting. It's good to be home.

Korean Thanksgiving Background


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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sailing in Santa Cruz Lesson #1

Sailing could become my new source of debt, but finally, a legitimate reason for the San Franciscan wind.

Watching the wind, sea lions, and dolphins fills you with the selfish quietness you find when you walk through a city still in slumber on an early Sunday morning.

As though you've cheated, as though you've had the good luck to walk through a painting, all the while time stood still.

To find yourself floating by trying to manipulate something with so much potential power, the wind above, the ocean below, a siren's motherly voice making you believe you're back in the womb, is all very seductive.

It could have been the dramamine, but I prefer to be mesmerized by the former.

more sailing to come hopefully...

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