anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Archive for the ‘Food + Recipes’ Category

Welcoming the Darkness

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It’s so easy to complain about the lack of light this time of year, particularly after we have set our clocks back and the afternoon succumbs to darkness even earlier. Yet with that darkness comes a beautiful quietness and stillness that’s hard to find at other times of year.

The Scandinavian way to enjoy this is to bring in lots of candlelight. I’ve been lighting candles both in the morning and the afternoon, a way to welcome the darkness instead of falling prey to it. In Finnish, “kaamos” is the world that refers to the time of year when the sun doesn’t even rise, yet there is still a magical lightness that covers the winter landscape. It doesn’t matter if you live in a place of pure winter darkness or not, candles and a pot of tea or a cup of coffee always help.

So in the coming weeks, invite a friend over and have fika by candlelight. (Here’s a recipe for sourdough cardamom buns, if you are in the mood for a little baking)

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A couple of Scandinavian classics featured in the papercut above: the Kivi candleholders from Iittala and a teapot and mug in the Unikko design from Marimekko. Kivi means “stone” in Finnish, and the candleholder is a gentle nod to the fact that so much of Scandinavian design is influenced by nature. The Marimekko Unniko design dates back all the way to 1964, when the company’s founder Armi Ratia declared that the company would never print a flower pattern again. Designer Maija Isola thought otherwise, and came up with this iconic poppy print that is still used today, over half a century later.

 

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Written by Anna Brones

November 9, 2017 at 10:44

Recipe: Chanterelle Tart with Rye Crust

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In Swedish, chanterelles (and other mushrooms that can be found in the forest this time of year) are often referred to as skogsguld, forest gold. Cooking them up in a pan with a little olive oil or butter is as indicative of autumn to me as the changing colors.

I haven’t been out to harvest any chanterelles this season, but fortunately my friend Adam supplies a good stash, and I like sautéing them and serving on top of a slice of rye bread for a simple warm sandwich.

Another good way to put chanterelles to use is in a tart or quiche. I like making savory tarts because they are fairly straightforward and forgiving; just sauté up whatever you want as a filling, pour some whisked eggs on top and call it a day.

For this one in particular, I wanted a flavorful crust to pair with the earthy chanterelles, so I came up with a rye pastry crust. It’s made up of mostly rye flour and a little oat flour.

This is a cozy recipe, perfect for a blustery autumn day with flickering candles on the kitchen table. Leftovers will be perfect for breakfast the next day too, so be sure to save a few slices.

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Written by Anna Brones

November 2, 2017 at 10:42

Comestible on Shortlist for Stack Awards 2017 ‘Best Use of Illustration’

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Ever since I read about a writer’s goal for 100 rejections a year, I have been trying harder to do more submissions, whether they are for writing, for residencies, for awards, etc. The idea of course is that if you aim for 100 rejections in a year, somewhere along the way, you’re going to get a response that says “yes” instead of “no.”

I decided to submit my indie food zine Comestible to the Stack Awards 2017, a selection of awards for independent magazines. These days, the indie mag scene is strong, and every time I go into the bookstore I am amazed (perhaps slightly overwhelmed as well) at the high caliber of content and editorial vision that is out there.

I submitted Comestible to the Best Use of Illustration category, since I think that’s a large part of what makes the publication different. The food media space is inundated with gorgeous food photography, and when I started Comestible I wanted something different. Every issue has featured my own papercut illustrations as well as drawn illustrations by some of my favorite illustrators, Jessie Kanelos Weiner for the issues in 2016 and Molly Reeder for the issues in 2017.

How shocked was I when I learned that Comestible had made it onto the shortlist of magazines for the award? Quite shocked! I am honored to have it be a part of a group of such incredible publications with creative and unique artwork. Check out the full list here.

Yet another reminder that it’s always worth it to put your work out there.

Image: Stack Magazines

Written by Anna Brones

October 25, 2017 at 12:03

Fall/Winter Reading: Comestible Issue 6

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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.

Written by Anna Brones

October 16, 2017 at 18:33

Kanelbullensdag – Swedish Cinnamon Bun Day

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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

A Strawberry Cake to Celebrate Swedish Midsummer

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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.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 21, 2017 at 07:35

‘I Look Like a Fisherman’ Greeting Cards

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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