anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Fall/Winter Reading: Comestible Issue 6

leave a comment »

If you’re looking for something to curl up with as the days get colder and darker, consider checking out the latest issue of Comestible.

Comestible is my bi-annual food zine, dedicated to showcasing where food comes from, and using food as a lens for looking at other issues like economics, gender, etc. It’s filled with art, essays and recipes.

In Issue 6, we cover everything from the effects of the immigration crackdown on farmworkers to kimjang, the Korean tradition of making kimchi.

For a little taste, here is a short excerpt from a piece called “Stick by Stick” by Kirsten K. Shockey of Ferment Works, all about the enormous job of preserving heirloom apples.

“What kind of apples do you recommend for hard cider?” Christopher ventured. Christopher and I live, work, and raised our family on a small holding in the mountains of southern Oregon. When we bought our hilly homestead, our goal was to be self-sufficient and leave the land better than we found it. This has led us to many remarkable farmers who have generously shared wisdom not found in books. That day, we sat there gazing at Nick like initiates around a sage, waiting for the meaning of life. Or at least the meaning of apples.

Nick, in his late seventies, was hard of hearing and seemed content to be enjoying his coffee.

Christopher looked at me. “What kind of apples would you suggest for hard cider?” he said again, this time much louder.

Our land, cut from mountains blanketed in fir and pine forests, is suited to trees, not row crops. We were planting a cider orchard to join the ninety-year-old pioneer-planted apples. We wanted to honor the older apples by finding unique heirloom varieties.

“There are a lot of great apples for cider,” Nick said and we both stared, pen in hand, waiting to scribble down varieties we’d never heard of. He told us a good cider apple contributes to one or more of four components: color, flavor, body, or bouquet. He didn’t drop any variety names though.

“Do you have the Redstreak?” Christopher asked hopefully. During the eighteenth century, this apple was believed to be the finest cider apple in England. At the time, cider made from the Redstreak commanded the highest prices. Its popularity had diminished by the end of the century and its believed viruses may have killed remaining trees. Now the apple is rare, even thought to be extinct, as breeders are unsure if the claimed Redstreaks are authentic Redstreaks.

“Yes, I believe I do,” Nick said. “Would you like to see the orchard?”

Order a copy of the issue here.

Advertisements

Written by Anna Brones

October 16, 2017 at 18:33

Kanelbullensdag – Swedish Cinnamon Bun Day

leave a comment »

In Sweden, the cinnamon bun gets its very own day: October 4th. Celebrate with a fika today!

I like making cinnamon buns (and more importantly, cardamom buns) with sourdough. Here’s a recipe for sourdough cardamom buns with pear and hazelnut filling to try out.

Or you can try the traditional recipe in my book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Check out #kanelbullensdag on Instagram for inspiration.

Written by Anna Brones

October 4, 2017 at 08:54

New Book: “Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way”

leave a comment »

Today marks the release of my new book Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way. I love book birthdays because they are the ideal time to give a little backstory on the book and what it meant for me to write it.

Lagom is a Swedish word that doesn’t have a direct translation in English, but means something along the lines of “just right.” As the title of the book would have you believe, it’s a look at how the concept of lagom translates into various elements of Swedish society, and identifies some of the lessons that we might be able to incorporate into our own lives.

But you don’t need me to tell you what’s in the book; you can buy it to get that story! You’re here for the inner look.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anna Brones

July 27, 2017 at 06:15

#withthesethighs

leave a comment »

“Ugh, my thighs look huge.”

My friend and I were flipping through our photos from a recent bike camping trip. There was so much good going on in the photo; we were happy and goofy, the sun was shining. You could see it on our faces, that we were in one of those rare moments that not much mattered but the present, that we were enthralled with the simple act of riding our bicycles, feeling the wind on our faces and talking about whatever came to our minds. Yet here I was, entirely ignoring the beauty of that moment captured in the photo, and instead, focused on how my thighs looked.

I am not alone. This is an automatic reaction for many women: to focus on our appearance above all else. It’s almost second nature when you look at a photo of yourself or stare into the mirror, or simply gather together with another group of women. We have a tendency to pick ourselves apart, focus on all the things we wished looked better, be it our thighs, our hips, our stomachs, our noses, our breasts, our ankles. It’s all up for judgment and scrutiny.

This may seem vain, and to some extent it is, but the onus isn’t just on us; we are after all raised in a culture that teaches us that vanity is of the utmost importance. That how we look shows who we are.

A body is much more than something to sculpt and maintain. A body is our way to get around, our way to see the world. Our body holds our heart and our emotions, it is our vehicle for existing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anna Brones

July 6, 2017 at 11:01

Adventure Journals

leave a comment »

What inspires you to get out and adventure?

That was the driving question behind this collection of three Adventure Journals, a special, limited edition collaboration with my friends over at Wylder Goods. Inspired by the pursuit of adventure – whether it’s a bike ride, a cup of coffee brewed outside, or a night under the stars – these journals are there to accompany you and provide a home for your thoughts, musings and ponderings.

They each feature one of my papercuts, and are printed by Scout Books in Portland, Oregon.

What makes these special:

  • 100% recycled Kraft cover!
  • 100% recycle white interior paper!
  • 100% awesome!

You can snag them in my shop or over on Wylder Goods.

Written by Anna Brones

June 30, 2017 at 14:31

A Strawberry Cake to Celebrate Swedish Midsummer

with one comment

Summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, and that’s cause for celebration. This week is one of sunshine stretching into the evening, carpets of wildflowers in the midst of grassy fields, bare feet and picnic blankets.

For me, it marks the celebration of Swedish midsommar, which will be celebrated this Friday. The traditional midsommar spread of food is one of my favorites, featuring some of my favorite dishes like marinated cucumbers, pickled herring (which you can even use in a savory cake), and plenty of knäckebröd.

But my favorite part of midsommar has to be dessert. Strawberry cake is one of the most common desserts on the Swedish midsommar table, and it puts seasonal berries front and center. It’s a simple dessert, topped with plenty of whipped cream and bright red berries.

I like to make the cake with cardamom, and even marinate a few strawberries in honey and cardamom to use as the center filling. The cake is cut in half, so that you can layer it, but if you want to make an even fancier cake, consider making two of them and layering them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anna Brones

June 21, 2017 at 07:35

‘I Look Like a Fisherman’ Greeting Cards

leave a comment »

In honor and support of the women who fish our seas, I teamed up with Salmon Sisters to make a limited edition of benefit greeting cards. They were inspired by the I Look Like a Farmer cards I did last fall.

The result is five different cards featuring papercuts of mine. The series is titled ‘I Look Like a Fisherman’ and 50% of proceeds will be donated to sponsoring a promising young female fishermen to attend the 2017 Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit in Anchorage, Alaska.

The Summit takes place December 6-8, 2017, and is an incredible resource for fishermen getting started in the industry. Each set of five cards comes with five envelopes. The 5×7″ greeting cards are printed on 100 lb. cover Desert Storm Neenah Environment paper, FSC certified and 30% post consumer. The cards are printed in Seattle, Washington by women-owned printing company Girlie Press.

I love working on projects like these that highlight (and also support) the hard work of our food producers. You can buy a set of cards on the Salmon Sisters website or on my site

 

Written by Anna Brones

March 23, 2017 at 11:07