Saturday, August 29, 2020

Artnotes: Canned

The Garden Late August Laurie Fox  Pessemier  mixed media/paper  17 x 25"   41 x 63cm  425.00
On Tuesday, we got a flat of 14 eggplant.  I had a terrific recipe for North Chinese eggplant (who knows what that’s supposed to mean?).  It is made with soy sauce and ginger and garlic – it’s delish.  After I did 7 of the 14 that way, I was pooped.  The rest I put up in the regular Italian way, roasted with salt, pepper and a tad of hot pepper flakes. 
Ferragosto  Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas 19.5  x 27.5"  50 x 70 cm   650.00
I love canning.  This year, so far, I have made peach jam (regular, with hot pepper, and with saffron); cherry tomatoes (I just freeze them on a cookie sheet and when they get like marbles, divide into bags); and the eggplant.  I didn’t see a single blueberry this year.  I haven’t made any chutney yet. Figs, usually in abundance, aren’t.  It’s been a very hot and dry summer.
Black Cypress in the Garden  Laurie Fox  Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas 20 x 8"  50 x 20 cm   550.00
I used to glean fruit from the market when we lived in Paris.  If one strawberry showed a tinge of mold, the whole box would be left behind by the greengrocer.  Same for oranges, and figs:  I'd can them. We could observe such from our kitchen window on the corner of rue de Rennes and Raspail, and score.   Markets here in Italy seem to take away everything.  The Neapolitan, who has a stand in our grocery store parking lot in Roccamalatina, sells the occasional withered pepper.  He wants to retire but in Italy, you must work until you reach the exact age of retirement in your profession.  His heart isn’t in it.   He is more expensive than the grocery store, but we patronize him, because if he quits, we won’t have a market.  There’s less than 550 people who live in our town.
The Pear Tree in the Garden  Blair Pessemier   Acryrlic/canvas   18 x 10.5"  45 x 27 cm  450.00
We go to Zocca on Tuesday for the market there.  We buy fish:  everything from swordfish to salmon, branzino to itty bitty clams (lupino) from the Adriatic.  They are right next to the fruit stand where I get the flat of eggplant for 5 euros. 
Insects from the Garden   Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvaspanel  7 x 9.5"  18 x 24 cm  325.00
I console my lack of farming skills with the fact that I can buy such great vegetables here in Italy.   I have a deep freeze in our basement here in Roccamalatina.  It freezes things to a rock hard state, but lacks the convenience of being in the kitchen.  I am using my kitchen less since the pandemic, just serving Blair, Harika and myself.   I miss my guests so very much, it makes me happy I had an excess for the past 25 years.  If I could have only canned them.
Ferragosto Dinner      Blair Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas 10 x 20.5"   25 x 50 cm    reserved
Which brings to mind our “canned” salon:
Red Flowers from the Garden   Laurie Fox Pessemier    Acrylic/canvas 20 x 12"  50 x 30 cm  450.00

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