Posts

art and bread

bread

It’s autumn here in Northern California. So I’m desperately trying to get my front hedge trimmed (it’s crazy overgrown) before it gets really chilly out there, soup is on my mind constantly, and everyone is opening a new art show everywhere. As we head into my favorite cocooning season, I’ve got to share something that is completely off topic. But if you know me well, you will understand. Once something gets in my head I have to get it out before I can move on. And what I’ve got to share is this amazing bread recipe. In my house we went (mostly) gluten free a couple of months ago. It all started with a ‘clean food’ eating regimen that we decided to try to see how our bodies reacted to various foods as we added them one at a time back to our diets. One thing we all found was that gluten totally slows the digestion, at least in the massive quantities that we were consuming. And most of the gluten free breads out there are grainy, dry and totally un-palatable. Until I found this one. Here’s a link to the original recipe (thanks to the Gluten-Free Goddess®) and here’s how I made it….super simple. I used a stand mixer and flat beater.

Proof the yeast (that means put the ingredients listed in a small bowl and let them sit until frothy, maybe 5 minutes)
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup (generous) warm water, about 115 degrees (hot from the tap)
  • drop of honey or pinch of sugar
Blend the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl (put them in your mixer and turn it on the lowest speed)
  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons sea salt
Add the wet ingredients to the aforementioned mixing bowl leaving the speed on low
  • proofed yeast
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Continue to mix for a few minutes (I didn’t time, but I’d say maybe 3 or 4 minutes). Turn it out into a pyrex bread pan, oiled, smooth it flat with wet fingers, sprinkle on seeds of your choice (I used sesame and fennel), cover loosely with plastic wrap and set it somewhere warm for about 20 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Cook for 30-40 minutes. It will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom once out of the pan. If your bread sticks (like mine did), you’ll have to gently push the sides in with a dull knife. (I’m going to try an oiled cast iron bread pan next time.) If it isn’t quite done at first check, put it back in the oven without the pan, drop the temp to about 350, and keep an eye on it. It should be done in a matter of a couple of minutes. Don’t eat it all in one sitting, but do have the butter at the ready. Jam too if you’re in to that.
*update 1/22/15: I’ve now been making this bread for a few months and we still love it. If you’d like, you can replace the buckwheat flour with millet flour for a lighter colored loaf. Also, to avoid the sticking issue, line your pan with a long strip of parchment paper cut the width of the pan. Allow the parchment to extend well beyond the sides of the pan so that you can easily lift the loaf out when done cooking. Let it cool slightly then slice and eat. Yummy with compound butters (my current favorite is brown sugar and toasted pecan).
 

When you’ve had your fill of bread, check out these art shows in SF. There is no better way to spend a cold and rainy fall day.

Keith Haring at the de Young Museum, opens November 8

one of the world’s favorite populist activists

keith haring

Alien She at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, opened October 24

examines the empowerment of this generation’s women and the impact of Riot Grrrl

riot grrrl

Houghton Hall, Portrait of an English Country House at Legion of Honor, opened October 18

go ahead, get your Downton Abbey on

houghton hall

J. Otto Seibold and Mr. Lunch at the Contemporary Jewish Museum opening November 20

one of our very own famous Bay Area artists

seibold

Roads of Arabia, at the Asian Art Museum opened October 24

Art, Ebola, Landscape, Fog, Music, you name it at the Exploratorium every day and Thursday eve

if you haven’t visited the new location at Pier 15, it’s time

exploratorium

Skulls, at the Academy of Science until November 30

and earthquakes and insects and penguins and fish

acad of scienceEnjoy your indoor escapades and make that bread!

Keep in touch,
Leslie

get gorgeous

images courtesy asianart.org

I have a teenage daughter so I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to define beauty appropriately for her. Or rather I’ve spent this time trying to un-define the message that the media sends. But still the story is muddy and I don’t really have a definition that works. I’ve used the platitudes: ‘beauty is only skin deep‘; ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder‘; ‘beauty is as beauty does‘. They leave me with a pithy feeling in my mouth and an empty heart. Beauty is different from one moment to the next, and gorgeous, beauty’s luscious and voluptuous cousin, is just as difficult to define. And often sits just shy of crossing a line into revulsion.

The Asian Art Museum is opening the show Gorgeous tonight with their Grit and Glamour party. The body of work, which runs today through September 14, spans thousands of years and many cultures and includes 72 works from the Asian Art Museum and the SF Museum of Modern Art. The show is curated in groupings based on themes rather than time or place and includes: seduction, dress up, pose, in bounds, danger, beyond imperfection, reiteration, fantasy, evocation and on reflection. According to the curator, “The power lies in its ability to confound boundaries of childhood, femininity, and sexuality.” Sounds like it will take us right to the edge of our comfort zones. I think I’ll take my daughter.

Have a great weekend,
Leslie

With a special nod to my truly gorgeous mother….happy birthday to you.

      

palettes: fine art

The masters definitely knew how to use color. Here’s a sampling from the French masters displayed at the SF Legion of Honor, which not only houses an awesome collection but is an awesome building on a beautiful site. This is where I spent much of my senior year of college….learning from the best. The building was given to the people of San Francisco by Adolph and Alma Spreckels to honor the thousands of Californians who died in World War I.

Pictures courtesy legionofhonor.famsf.org, color palettes created at colourlovers.com.

art-caillebotte (800x657)

Soleils au Bord de la Seine, Gustave Caillebotte

art-monet (632x800)

Sailboats on the Seine, Claude Monet

art-bouguereau (800x738)

The Broken Pitcher, William Adolph-Bouguereau

art-cezanne (685x800)Forest Interior, Paul Cezanne (afraid this one isn’t on display, but I love the gorgeous colors! You can check it online.)

Happy Friday! Paint yourself a beautiful weekend….
Leslie

 

mid-century modern: the jewish connection

Anni Albers

Before I begin, let me first say that I grew up in an Eichler, I love Eichler style homes and the modernism that they represent, and I’m Jewish. So when the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco put on their latest show ‘Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism’, I was in. Steve and I went to the opening last night and the show is truly fabulous. It never occurred to me that mid-century style had a Jewish connection, but of course it does. Jewish designers, architects and patrons such as Anni Albers, Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra helped to create the ‘Mad Men’ style that still infatuates us today.

Here’s a bit of background:  the rise of Nazism in 1930’s Europe sent many Jews fleeing for safer shores. In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Germany’s Bauhaus School closed under Nazi pressure claiming that the school was a center of communist intellectualism and Jewish modernism. With the school’s closure, staff emigrated throughout the world and spread their modern ideals. The influx of modern design and designers from Europe sparked America’s appreciation and embrace of what we have come to call ‘mid-century modern’, a spare style that relates form to function and relies on bold pattern and color for decoration.

Check out the photos that I took last night, and visit the show if you have a chance. It is a must see for lovers of this style (and who isn’t?)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Enjoy the show!
Leslie