Sunday, February 13, 2011

President's Day - Nourishing Kennedy's Astronauts

Spare no Expense: Nourishing the Astronauts

The average shuttle meal is chosen six months in advance, specially packaged, weighs 3.4 pounds, is carefully tested for bacteria and microbes, and costs about $300. Currently, Boeing industries process and prepare the shuttle foods. With an average shuttle mission lasting seven days, a minimum of 147 meals must be chosen, tested and packaged for each flight.

Waste is a familiar problem to Quartermasters who have operated field ration break points. Dr. Bourland noted that "astronauts always choose more food than they can eat." The result is hundreds of food items returned from every flight. Most astronauts are too busy to eat and just do not get hungry. Senator Garn agreed, noting that if he flew on the shuttle again he would choose fewer items. The 90-day menu alone consists of over 14,000 separate items.

Presidents' Day - An Army Marches on it's Stomach

"une armée marche à son estomac" -- Napoleon Bonaparte, 1795

Burger King, Baghdad

Burger King, Baghdad

George Washington, b. 2/22/1732 Nourishing the Continental Army

The Continental Congress of 1775 attempted to standardize rations and the way units prepared them. The basic ration included 1 pound (lb.) of beef, or 3/4 lb. of pork, or 1 lb. of salt fish; 1 lb. of bread or flour; 1 pint (pt.) of milk, or payment of 1/72 dollars, and 1 quart of cider or spruce beer; 3 pts. of peas or beans per man per week. [Soldiers were required to cook their own meals, no private contractors.]

Nourishing our troops in Afganistan and Iraq

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has given the green light to bring fast food and other concessions back to Afghanistan. “These quality-of-life programs remain important to soldiers for stress relief and therefore enhancing military readiness,” Gen. David Petraeus wrote in an Oct. 4, 2010 order.

Prior to February 2010, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service operated 141 eateries and shops in Afghanistan. After the May closures, 84 remained. Among the 57 closed were Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Popeyes restaurants, as well as new-car sales offices, jewelry, perfume and souvenir shops.

As a civilian, I don't know if I am as comforted by this comfort food for our troops.....

Celebrate World Cabbage Day - 17 February

from Ponder Food as Love, 2011

There is historical and botanical evidence that cabbage has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years and domesticated for over 2,500 years. Although they look very different, cabbage, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are all the same species of plant.

With it's ancient and distinguished heritage, Cabbage may be viewed as a symbol of the natural order of life. Its authority can be seen in the fairy tale of Little Otik, where those who wreck havoc by thwarting mother nature are punished by the crone who patiently nurtures her cabbage patch.

This fairy tale is realized in film by the brilliant animator Jan Svankmayer.

"As we know, folktales are old myths retold. What myth is hidden in the tale of Little Otik? A childless couple rebels against fate and creates, from nature, a child. They literally extract the secret of creation. For this rebellion against the natural order they suffer a bitter punishment, directed not only against themselves, but against those around them. As we can see, we have touched on one of the basic myths of this civilization: the myth of Adam and Eve, or, if you wish, a myth analogous to that of Faust. I think that now, after the mapping of the human genome, such myths are becoming increasingly relevant."
J. Svankmeyer

Jean Dunning has Mold Covered on February l8

Jean Dunning has been working with vegetables throughout her career, her most recent images inspire us.

Jean Dunning, Still Life with Grapes, 2010

Jean Dunning, Still Life with Green Apples, 2010

Jean Dunning, Marble Cake with Creme Fraise, 2010

"These [new] images serve as a far more extreme reminder of our own mortality than even the traditional still life. More time has passed, the decomposition is more advanced, and it has taken on a life of its own."

Donald Young Gallery

Reception for the artist, Friday, February 18, 2011

5:00 to 7:00 PM

Ponder Food as Love - Inevitable Sweets

Thinking about the inclusion of candy, cake, and sweets in our photographs, we are inspired by Amy Stevens' recent extravagances....and grateful for her vision.

Thinking about the inclusion of candy, cake, and sweets in our photographs, we are inspired by Amy Stevens' recent extravagances....

Valentine's Day - Historical Love Notes

from Ponder Food as Love, 2010
Regarding St. Valentine

269, 270, or 273 AD Various dates are given for the martyrdoms of men named Valentine whose acts are known only to God.

496 AD The feast of St. Valentine was first established in by Pope Gelasius I

before 1400 AD Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle associate the feast day of February 14 with romantic love.

Titian, Adam and Eve, ca 1550

Regarding the Fig

528 BCE Siddhartha Gautama, Lord Buddah, attained enlightenment while sitting under the bodhi tree/Ficus religious.

758-728 BCE Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome,were suckled by a she-wolf beneath a fig tree.

100,000 BCE Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and "the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons" Genesis 3:7

1557 AD Fig leaves were instituted by the bull of Pope Paul IV to reduce the amount of nudity in the Vatican art collection.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Update - New Three Sisters

Compare and contrast....we have replaced Sister Squash. Although this tryptic doesn't match most of Ponder Food as Love, so much time in New Mexico during our formative years makes us sentimental and gives us an opportunity to think about and play with color...

New Three Sisters

Original Three Sisters

Progress Report - Words and Images

refining the Artist Statement and making new images....

Ponder Food As Love (the new working title)

We have stood at the kitchen sink and performed the delicate and demanding task of nourishing our families for the last 20 years. Every day that we have engaged in these rituals, we felt the intense immersion, the consuming compulsion and the exquisite pleasures of offering nourishment. Our flesh is a terrain of give-and-take, where emotional and physical necessities meet. The line between serving and self dissolve as duties of mother, housekeeper, homemaker have transformed us into platter, altar, banquet and booty.

We offer you this intimate fare; our exploration of the convoluted act of nurture where need, ritual, offering, celebration, promise and debt all share the table.

In developing this body of work, Ciurej and Lochman were inspired by the words of John Ruskin, who recognized the mythic dimensions of their chores:

Cookery means the knowledge of Medea and of Circe and of Helen and of the Queen of Sheba. It means the knowledge of all herbs and fruits and balms and spices, and all this is healing and sweet in the fields and groves and savory in meats. It means carefulness and inventiveness and willingness and readiness of appliances. It means the economy of your grandmothers and the science of the modern chemist; it means testing and no wasting; it means English thoroughness and French and Arabian hospitality; and, in fine, it means that you are to be perfectly and always ladies -- loaf givers.

Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman have been collaborating on photographic projects for the past 30 years. In their work, they reconfigure the familiar in order to express the timelessness, magical and mythical that they feel in their bones.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ponder Food as Photojournalism

Photographer Jessica Dimmock's work documents nurture on the other side of the world in Burkina Faso.

Dimmock's film and photography document The US Standard of nurture.

Ponder Food...the best in the world

Moving to the more specific title, Ponder Food as Love, prompted a new wave of research into a sweeter side of our quest. Began with New Yorker's Notes of a Gastronome, an image search for photographs from Albert Adria's elBulli menu and ended with an historical trifle.



The high art of high-tech cuisine or the frivolity of a decadent, self-absorbed culture?
What would an art historian say? Since Warhol, we've come to honor art that criticizes what is most hateful about humanity (materialism, decadence, self-interest, celebrity-worship and mortality). Rococo, may have emerged from a comparatively similar level of wealth and decadence, but it endures. Is unselfconscious self-absorbtion, like youth, is too delightful to pass up?

Boucher, Venus Consoling Love (1751)

Fragonnard, The Swing (1766)