Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Introduction to This Blog

You may be wondering about this new blog, Tomato Prints and Recipes.

How This Book Came to Be and Thanks to One and All, in a post below, describes how I came to make the etchings and books. But it doesn’t say anything about the blog---mainly because it came as an after-thought. Why would I want to turn a 17-page art project into something else? Good question.

Let me backtrack for a minute. The original project was basically for my own amusement. I had these tomato etchings. I wanted to do something fun with them. A red-covered mini-cookbook, with the etchings and tomato recipes interspersed, popped into my head. That was it. That got me started.

I collected recipes from six friends and, with lots of trial and error, scanned, designed, edited, printed, cut, glued, drilled, and stitched together seven books.  I gave one to each of my six collaborators.

The books were wonderful. All seven of them. But didn’t this special art project deserve a wider audience? Why not turn it into a blog? I asked myself. So yesterday afternoon, I did it. Just like that. It’s not a colorful hand-crafted book which you can hold, feel, and turn the pages. But it does have some of the same warmth and spirit. I hope you will enjoy looking through each post. You can even print them out and make your own book. The recipes are simple, juicy and just delicious. And in their own way, the etchings are also simple, juicy, and just delicious. Enjoy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Original Bowl of Tomatoes

Table of Contents

How This Book Came To Be and Thanks to One and All

The Best Gazpacho from Barbara Linhard

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Garlic and Basil 
from Carol Harvey

Basil, Tomato, Mozzarella Salad from Geraldine Whitman

Tomato Sauce from Karyn Smith

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches from Katharine Kunst

Cherry Tomato Candies from Kristin Viguerie

Tomato and Onion Tart from Pat Reed

How This Book Came to Be and Thanks to One and All

It all started with a print-making class I took through the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in July 2011. On two consecutive Saturdays we met at the Sonoma Community Center in the Print-making Room which boasts one of the most incredible presses around. Our teacher, Julie Cavaz, provided everything we needed including encouragement for all of us beginners. The first week we did monotypes. The second week we did etchings on plexiglas. I chose to do a bowl of tomatoes which I photographed in my kitchen, printed out to a size that fit and carved it onto the plastic—not very adeptly, I might add. But it worked.

Over the course of the day, I pulled seven prints, trying seven different approaches. Some worked better than others. I learned quickly that patience was required, not optional. Thanks to Pat Reed for the photo above. Once home, I filled in some missing lines with pen and ink and then scanned the images. What you see in this edition of seven books are printed versions of the scanned images. The original prints are in the eighth book.

In August, I took two book-making classes also through the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Emily Marks taught the classes on two consecutive Saturdays at the Museum and furnished us with a wealth of supplies and expertise. We learned four different book-making methods. I chose the Japanese stab stitch for Tomato Prints and Recipes.

Thanks to both of these excellent teachers and to Barbara, Carol, Geraldine, Karyn, Kristin, and Pat for contributing the recipes to accompany the prints. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t thank my lucky stars for Katherine Fulton.

I hope you enjoy both the prints and the wonderful recipes.

Etching #1

The Best Gazpacho from Barbara Linhard

4 big ripe tomatoes
1 peeled and seeded cucumber, coarsely chopped
1 small sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 small garlic clove
½ cup toasted almonds
1 sprig fresh mint or more
1 – 2 leaves fresh basil
2 – 3 sprigs fresh cilantro or more
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup good olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Possible additions: cooked beets, yogurt, cream, or whatever you like to change it around. Some people in Spain add melba toast to the mix, but I don’t think it needs it.

1. Blend everything is a food processor or blender until smooth.
2. Chill until you’re ready to serve.

The photo, above, has half of a cooked beet in it, along with everything else. It adds a little something extra to the flavor. The color is truly gorgeous.

6 servings
Adapted from Barbara’s friend, Suzanne Dunaway, author of Rome, at Home

Etching #2