Some comments on The Anarchist’s Design Book

Some comments on The Anarchist’s Design Book:

Which brings me to my final point. Schwarz has been one of my favorite go-to writers for matters of technique for well over a decade. With this book, (and to be honest, this really snuck up on me) he’s also suddenly sitting as one of my favorite designers. These pieces are all based in historical research, and standing on the shoulders of centuries of other makers – but the results are, to my eye, most definitely his. I’ve been looking at iterations of the desk and chair above, both in photos and in person, for months now, and I think they’re some of my favorite designs of recent memory. And they’ve only gotten more appealing to me over time – which, to me, is the key hallmark of really good design.

[If you the read the piece I wrote on ratios it would be very easy to know all my interests intersect. Music, cooking, coding, baking, woodworking, photography, and others have a thread woven through them for me which I endeavor to exploit. The technical similarity makes for a warm welcome. And while ratios bring some rigor to the process, in the end they inform the process of design and composition and can be extracted from designs as well. A tool on the road to making a point that comes and goes like a barn swallow. The Anarchist’s Design Book. That’s aesthetic anarchy. Not the stuff that passes for anarchy in the news these days. You don’t have to build furniture or work with wood to be impacted by Schwarz’s books. It’s as much about eliminating consumerism, stewardship, and the cost of things. The tool chest in the first book in this series was a metaphor as much as a reality.

And if you love beautiful design rendered as tools, go convince Raney to sell you something. You won’t regret it.]

Here’s why your farmed salmon has color added to it

Here’s why your farmed salmon has color added to it:

The fact that consumers will shell out more for salmon that looks wild—even if it got that way by eating pellets in its pen—hints that people want to be eating wild salmon, but not quite badly enough to buy the real deal. If it’s price that’s keeping consumers from buying wild-caught salmon, they might want to consider saving a few bucks more and start demanding farmers cut out those expensive pigments—and sell them salmon that’s gray.

[Interesting. But I’d be surprised if it happened. Maybe if a company wanted to take on the marketing of a “new” fish and not call it salmon… and still charge nearly as much. What a mess. (I should add that assuming that none of the folks involved are lying to us, we buy wild salmon, we’re not fans of food coloring.)]

Sowing a Change in Kitchens

Sowing a Change in Kitchens:

The soil-tilling food experts happen to be every bit as expressive, and iconoclastic, as their knife-wielding counterparts in the kitchen. These days, many in the culinary world tend to view produce in a black-and-white way: You have either your delightfully lumpy, bumpy farmers’ market treasures, or your scarily uniform corporate Frankenfood. As Mr. Barber said, it’s “heirlooms over here, Monsanto maniacs over there.”

But Monday’s convocation, overseen by the Basque Culinary Center, suggested a third way: Independent breeders are ready to help make our breads and salads richer with deep flavor, bold color and plenty of nutrients. They just need someone to ask them.

What they do may also be seen as an old-school alternative to the spread of genetically modified plants, which have not been shown to be harmful but still frighten and concern many people.

“We’re making crosses within the same species, and we’re doing it the way it’s been done for 300 years,” said Dr. Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder from Washington State whose accessibly folksy lecture had the room transfixed. “There’s no forcing here. We put these plants together and we let them mate.”

[Since this ultimately will be driven by business and not love, it cares me a bit. But I’m curious to see where it goes.]

Uncle Glenn and The Choice of Buying Organic

Uncle Glenn and The Choice of Buying Organic:

To Glenn, a farmer’s job is to produce as much food as he possibly can, because people tend to need more food than they have. Developing and improving chemicals that increase yields is one way the farm industry keeps up with ever-increasing demand. We tend to look at the environmental damages caused by industrial farm runoff—not to be understated—and we associate the pollution with corporate greed. It’s easy to forget that without these chemicals, we’d perhaps have less food. The cost/benefit analysis here is tied inextricably to the ones that motivate our individual consumption, and it’s even harder to balance.

[Puff piece? You decide. But I think the answer is in distributed growing rather than in counting on “specialists” (farmers) for everything. There was a time when everyone was a “farmer” for themselves. What if stopped growing lawns (I don’t) and started vegetable gardens? Don’t you think that improve things for everyone? I do.]

Source: Simple Blog

Bread elevates your sense of “home”

Fresh!

If you want make any abode feel like a home you should bake bread. I don’t know why it makes this seem truer than preparing other food stuffs. But it does. Never done it before? Think you lack the equipment? Here’s what to do. Go to your local pizza place. Ask for one of the uncooked rounds of dough they make into a pizza. Take it home, shape to suit, pop into the oven until it looks done to you. Wonder at how you’ve just elevated the sense of home in your house, apartment, hovel, what have you…

Now, start looking at recipes…

The Fox Is Black » Magnus Nilsson’s Arctic Cuisine

magnus-nilsson-howard-sooley

The Fox Is Black » Magnus Nilsson’s Arctic Cuisine:

The menu at Fäviken is changeable, as when one ingredient runs out, it needs to be replaced by another. We never replace dishes ”just because”, instead we would rather wait for a new ingredient, idea or dish that is actually better than the one being replaced. Much of what we serve has its own life and remain on the menu for a long time, slowly evolving into something entirely different to the original, despite having the same name throughout its life.

[Like the philosophy, can’t speak for the food.]

Did someone say latkes?

parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill:

parsnip latkes with horseradish, dill

I have this affliction or maybe you could call it a fixation with latkes. And I know you’re probably thinking, potato pancakes? With shredded onion? They’re good, but are they really worth obsessing over? But you’d be using the literal definition of latkes and to me, latkes are not so much a singular recipe with a finite ingredient list but an approach to pancakes; an approach that could include anything that can be shredded and fried. And oh, when you start from this vantage point, they most certainly will.

I’ve made potato latkes, sure. Many times, even. But then I made mixed vegetable latkes with Indian spices and curry-lime yogurt. I made apple latkes, replete with a caramel sauce made from the juice you wring from the shredded apples. (I waste nothing in the kitchen. My grandmother would be so proud!) This past summer, I made zucchini fritters to solve a dinner crisis. And now, there’s this: Parsnips. Potatoes. Dill. Horseradish. Lemon juice.

[We played around with the same idea—to try various root vegetables—and decided “to not to” for the sake of our expanded holiday waistlines, but we did salt away the concept. This post should act as a reminder. One critical note. Latkes are at their finest only moments from the pan, when they are just cool enough to eat without burning your mouth. because most if us can’t fry enough at once to serve them to a large group at a meal, they are best either on their own, served as a treat or hors d’oeuvre.]

Source: smitten kitchen