Artnotes Italy Daily

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Waiting for Chutney

 Cyclamen on the porch    Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acryilc/canvas   14 x 20"  35 x 50cm  BUY

 Quinces in a black bowl   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas 15 x 18"  38 x 46cm SOLD

 ​Fall Scene on Glass Window   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/glass 10 x 38"    25 x 96cm  

Saturday in Venice    Blair Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  10 x 12"  25 x 30cm  BUY

Waiting for Chutney

Quinces are a beautiful, aromatic fruit, but what to do with them?  I am making a quince and pear chutney as we speak, an amalgamation of various recipes.  No onion, a little salt (will that inhibit the gelling process?), raisins, ginger, basalmic vinegar.  We’ll see.  My general feeling is that if it smells good, and you let it settle for a few weeks, it will be delicious.

I painted three times this week – slightly larger works for me.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday rushed by.  I painted on a window -- we had windows replaced in our corridor.  I know, nobody lives in the corridor, but our landlady and the carpenter decided that would help keep the heat in, and it can’t hurt.   We convinced the carpenter to use the help of one of our classmates at Italian lessons – the carpenter could never have done it without him.      

I have always lived with immigrants around me:  my own grandmother came from Poland.  When I moved to Seattle, there were many Asian immigrants, and waves of Vietnamese were arriving about the time I did.   Blair and I frequented “A Little Bit of Saigon” almost all the time that we lived in Seattle.  The best prices on clams and pork were at the store next door, and we ate Durian fruit (looks like a football with spikes, custard-y inside).  One of our first dates was at Chiyoko’s Japanese restaurant, where Blair spilled miso soup in his lap and I laughed.  Then I knew we could get along.  When we moved to Paris, there were Tunisian grocers, who were always friendly.  Our favorite Tunisian merchant, ultimately, was Omar at the Tourne Bouchon.  I still miss him, and the Algerian flatbread seller in the Tuesday/Friday Raspail market.  But there are many new immigrants here, for whom I am grateful.  I am not the only  outsider.  

Harika is an immigrant.  Blair and I are sort of immigrants ourselves.  We moved to Paris in 1993, and have only lived in the USA four years since then.   Our status in Italy, is “elective resident”, which is different from people who MUST stay here.  We’re used to the place now, and couldn’t imagine any other.   We’re hoping to a get a two year visa on 31 October.

I added some cardamom, nutmeg, lemon, cloves.   They all come from someplace else (well, not the lemon).   The house smells like Christmas.  I put all the chutney into six jars, and wait six weeks for the result.

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