Taco in the belly

 A few found foods…

 

Artists, more often than not display an appreciation for the found object. They’ll dedicate a show or a life to the genre, using discarded forgotten things that were paid for in good faith by somebody, and therefore had value. Take a look at Denver artist, Phil Bender’s work.

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There’s a knack, or, maybe it’s a nurturing quality, to take something without apparent worth— that’s been scrapped or ditched, like rescuing an abandoned cat—and bring it home, clean it up and keep it because, well, it’s beautiful, and by saving it, you’ve done some good for yourself and for society at large. You’ve transformed something consigned to oblivion — even if it is just a can of soup, or a toilet seat — and turned the eyes of the world back upon it, for all to admire.

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Continue reading “Taco in the belly”

Moroccan Carrot Salad

 

A killer carrot salad.

 

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In 1973, the year that Lonely Planet published their first book about journeying overland to Australia, I had the chance to spend a summer humping a backpack around Morocco. It was like traveling through time. I’d read about biblical heroes in catechism class in school, wandering the deserts with goats, daggers and imaginations. But I’d never seen it for real: I’d never seen a desert, a dagger, or a goat until I saw Morocco. Continue reading “Moroccan Carrot Salad”

Eggplant Rillettes

Eggplant Rillettes.

 

 

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A surprisingly broad range of skills is required to cook successfully in a professional kitchen. Your most crucial tool is not, as many would assume, your knife: it’s your body. For a start, you need a good set of oiled knees. Then, you need a reliably sharp back: one you don’t have to constantly watch over and hone. You need a set of feet that won’t let you down. You need them to kick walk-in cooler and oven doors closed, because your hands are always busy working overtime, balancing pans of sizzling flesh in hot oil, or filthy from gouging out glops of congealed fat from the corners of a forgotten roasting pan.

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You need a pair of arms long enough to grapple a 32 quart stock pot full of steaming liquid and bones. Needless to say, you need your hands, and they better be good, and fingers nimble as a raccoon’s. You got to move with the grace of a dancer and you’ve got to balance a solid head on those exhausted shoulders. Stamina is key. A sarcastic disposition comes in handy. It helps if you are under forty— and it helps if you can cook. Continue reading “Eggplant Rillettes”