Moseying along a small street near West Glacier, Montana, I came upon a used book store filled with unusual treasures, most especially the book store owner, Gracie, who seemed to me to know who had left each of the books! A gardener in her late 80S, as told to me by Gracie, had been left with no choice but to leave her home and the garden she had tended most of her adult life to live in a smaller apartment where she would receive some help with her daily living. She had dropped off many books that simply would not fit into the close quarters of her new apartment. I became excited, imagining gorgeous old gardening and cook books with little notes penned in by the owner on the sides of the pages. Not exactly what I found. But there was one special book that appeared to have been given to the woman as a gift. It immediately stirred my imagination. Does this not speak to us directly? So sorry, I can not seem to undo this hyper-link to nothing.
Passion Fruit by Alex Gotfryd is a small thin recipe book using art, photography, prose and poetry on each of its pages. I imagined our own visual feast.
Do you have a memory of a garden past or present? Or perhaps a farmer's market where you swoon over the intermingling smells from ripe cherries and full blooming peonies? Maybe it is your grandmother's fresh lemon meringue pie or the strawberry champagne cocktail you served at an intimate gathering just last week.
I placed this inspiration with a note from Gina Smith that has remained glued in my mind. She told us of a call for art together with creative writing or poetry made by Somerset Studios.
How about we use the topic of common or exotic fruit? We would put into words the joy or sensuality of it. What if we, next, find or offer a recipe using the fruit together with a short story or poem or memory the recipe evokes? Next, we could place the recipe on an artful page created with our own hands and materials. That page would include our photo, drawing, painting, charm, etc...and a line of poetry by us or another, with credit to the author.
That means we would have one page with whatever we write originally and a second page with recipe and art and/or a credited or original line of poetry.
I have never done this myself. Here is an example from the book:
A recipe for strawberries romanoff is offered on page 14 together with illustrations of strawberries (from the NY library collection as opposed to the author himself)and a quote from a poem by Wallace Stevens. We would add to our own version a second page with something we write.
Next project, (September?) we could gather the recipes for a small book. Obviously, my inspiration here is the phenomenal self portrait book I received which we created and I will forever treasure.
We could, as the Artists and Poets group, submit the small handmade recipe/story/poetry/art book to the challenge made by Somerset! Voila! That is it in a nutshell! What do you think?
Beyond making my self-portrait, I did nothing to create the self-portrait book. Those who put the book together gave generously! Thank you. This time perhaps a different group could do the bulk of the book assemblage or we could switch things around so that I for one, and others who want to join me, could assemble our group pieces.
Now, if only we could prepare our recipes and bring them in all of their culinary glory to my house for a delicious evening together. That, for me, would be the piece DE resistance! (I live in Scottsdale,AZ and would love to have any one of you drop by. You will let me know if you are in the vicinity! In which case, you being on the road and all, would eat recipes of yours prepared by me. While there is no telling what I will do to them, I guarantee we will have fun. )
Leave a comment below to let me know if you are in. I hope so!