anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘Food

Sliced Rye and Almond Pepparkakor

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Growing up, we always made a recipe out of the classic Swedish baking book Sju sorters kakor, called Franska pepparkakor, French gingersnaps, for Christmas. Why they were French I am not entirely sure. I have lived in France and never encountered anything similar.

A more apt name is skurna pepparkor, sliced gingersnaps. I like making these because they take much less time than rolling out and cutting traditional pepparkakor but still use the same iconic seasonal spices. This year, I adapted the recipe to be a little less sweet and also be made with 100% rye flour. I like making whole grain cookies, because they are far more robust in flavor than baking with traditional all-purpose flour.

These cookies are great on their own, but also pair very well with a little blue cheese. And a mug of glögg of course.

Sliced Rye and Almond Pepparkakor

Ingredients:

1 cup (5 ounces, 140 grams) almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces, 225 grams) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces, 50 gram) sugar
1/4 cup (60 milliliters) molasses
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons cardamom
2 teaspoons cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups (8.75 ounces, 250 grams) rye flour

Preparation:

Chop the almonds and set them aside.

Cream the butter, sugar and molasses, then mix in the spices and orange zest until well blended.

Mix the baking soda with the flour, then add to the wet ingredients. Work the dough together (it will be quite sticky).

Form the dough into cylinders, about 12 inches long and wrap in parchment paper or a tea towel. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Note: the dough lasts for a few days in the refrigerator so if you don’t get around to baking them right away it’s totally fine.)

Grease a baking tray and cut dough into thin slices. Place the slices on the tray and bake at 375ºF (180ºC) for 10 to 12 minutes.The cookies don’t spread out very much, so you can put them pretty close to each other.

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Written by Anna Brones

December 22, 2017 at 07:36

Using Food to Change the Thanksgiving Narrative

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For many of us, our associations with Thanksgiving are mostly about food. Cranberries, pumpkin pies, stuffing and all those other things that turns the food media world into a seasonal frenzy of recipes and roundups. It’s a holiday where we’re encouraged to gather with our friends and family and be thankful, showing gratitude for what’s on the table and the people we share it with.

These are admirable ideals, however when we talk about Thanksgiving, share iconic recipes, gather around the table, we avoid the harsh reality of a holiday with a dark past, one of slavery, plague and massacres. At its core, Thanksgiving is a story of genocide, and instead of facing that reality, it’s a holiday that we have chosen to mythologize, erasing real stories and people along the way. Instead of the truth, the false narrative around Thanksgiving allows us to focus on the easy stuff, in the form of “10 Best Pie Crusts” and “25 Creative Stuffing Ideas You Never Thought Of.

“Food media at large still won’t touch the imperialist implications of Thanksgiving with a ten foot pole bc it’s more profitable to pub stuffing listicles,” wrote Racist Sandwich a few weeks ago on Twitter.

I thought about that comment a lot, pondering the importance and weight of food media in addressing cultural history as well as today’s realities. Food is an excellent lens for looking at important topics like gender, race and culture, and in that sense, the food hype over Thanksgiving seems like a massively missed opportunity to highlight the true story and its modern day implications. Avoiding the conversation about the true roots of Thanksgiving means perpetuating the injustice.

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Written by Anna Brones

November 22, 2017 at 13:25

“Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed” – Benefit Zine

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Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed

In January 2017 (just in time for the Million Women’s March) my friend Caitlin and I will be releasing Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed. We are currently wrapping up the final design so that we can send it to the printer right after the new year.

No matter who we are or here we live, we must eat. Food is something that unites us. With that in mind, I wanted to use food as a catalyst for change. Protest Fuel is a collection of recipes, essays, artwork and quotes, all with the goal of inspiring you to take action, whether that’s by hosting a comforting soup night or getting out on the frontlines in a protest.

The zine itself is will be printed in January 2017 in Seattle by Girlie Press. All of the contributors to this zine have volunteered their recipes, stories and time, and for that I am very grateful.

I wanted this zine to benefit a cause, but how to choose? There is no way to choose. There are so many issues that are important right now. I have chosen to donate 100% of the proceeds to the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. When women thrive, so does society. Without the environment we have nothing. As one of the WEDO founders Vandana Shiva once said, “In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.” I hope that this zine inspires you to choose life, to be active within your own communities, and to support the people and initiatives committed to positive change.

You can preorder Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 29, 2016 at 16:57

This Week’s Stories: Textile and Coffee Waste, Sustainable Beer and Taking Action

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domestic-stencilworks_processpic

Here is some of my work published this week:

Coffee Waste or Product Potential? – This story was featured in the print edition of Fresh Cup but is also up online. “Wast is simply resources in the wrong place,” says Daniel Crockett of Bio-Bean. I love that sentiment, because it challenges us to rethink what we assume is, or isn’t, something with potential.

10 Fashion Brands Innovating with Textile Waste – Speaking of waste, I also wrote a piece on textile waste. Did you know that in just 20 years, our textile waste has doubled? Today the average American discards around 70 pounds of textiles per year, the majority of it ending up in landfills. Fortunately, there are some innovators out there attempting to do something with it.

Patagonia is Making a Sustainable Kernza Beer – Patagonia, long known for its apparel, is moving into the food space. I love their efforts in working to build a better food system, and the new Long Ale beer is just another example.

Food, Agriculture and Environmental Organizations and Independent Media Outlets You Can Give To – If you’re looking for places to support this holiday season (and places whose work is very needed in the current political climate), I put together a roundup of some food and environment related organizations and media outlets over on Foodie Underground. There’s also an essay about caring (which includes a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal pudding) if you’re interested.

And finally, these weren’t written by me, but I was happy to have Hello, Bicycle mentioned in this list of presents for women cycling fans, as well as this mention of Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break in Condeé Nast Traveller.

Image: Domestic Stencilworks

Written by Anna Brones

November 18, 2016 at 12:08

I Am Launching a New Quarterly Print Publication!

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Comestible by Anna Brones

It could be considered moderately crazy to launch a print publication, but I finally decided to take the leap on a creative challenge that I have been thinking about for over a year: a print quarterly dedicated to real food. The quarterly is called Comestible and it’s launching this spring. I am both excited and nervous. But mostly excited!

Here is a little bit about Comestible:

In this day and age we are inundated with food media; glossy food magazines, elaborate food blogs, celebrity status chefs. But has all of this made us eat better? Not quite.

We live in a world of extremes, obesity and fast food on one end and the superfood craze on the other. Certainly there has to be something in between. This is where Comestible comes in. Part food narrative, part food guide, part cookbook, this is a journal devoted to real food.

Comestible is themed by season, based on the belief that we should all live a little more in balance with the natural world, not just because it’s what makes sense, but because it’s what’s good for us. There will be guides to what’s in season (think of it like a simplified Farmer’s Almanac) and how to put that food to use; the kind of guidebook you wish was available next to the farmers market stand when you’re wondering what to do with all those vegetables.

Ultimately, Comestible is a celebration of real food, accessible to real people. Simple, informative and fun, Comestible should inspire you to do more with your food. To cook something, the plant tomatoes, to build a beehive.

Comestible is about celebrating the one thing that sustains us and brings us together, no matter who we are or where we are in the world.

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I am raising the initial print funds for the first issue on Kickstarter, and if you want to preorder a copy, I would be thrilled to have your support. You can pledge here.

You can also follow Comestible on Facebook. 

Written by Anna Brones

February 29, 2016 at 16:28

Celebrate Lucia Day with Swedish Saffron Buns (or a Cake)

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Swedish Saffron Buns by Anna Brones

December 13th marks the celebration of Lucia Day, an essential tradition on the Swedish holiday calendar. This is where all of the photos of children dressed in long white dresses with red sashes and wreaths in their hair come from. Ultimately, it’s a celebration of light – which is no surprise given the dark, Swedish winter – and whoever is crowned Lucia wears a wreath of candles in her hair.

The traditional treat served on Lucia Day is saffron buns. Bright yellow from the spice, these sweet, yeasted buns are formed into a variety of shapes (some of which are pictured in this vintage illustration) and served with a cup of coffee or mug of glögg.

advent lussekatter

Want to celebrate Lucia Day yourself? Here are a few recipes to help:

Swedish Saffron Buns – This is the classic recipe, complete with a few more illustrations of different forms that you can make.

Swedish Saffron Cake

Saffron Cake with Hazelnut and Whiskey Filling – I always like making a cake out of the saffron bun dough, and filling it with almond paste. This year I did something a little different and made the filling out of hazelnuts. With a dash of whiskey for good holiday cheer!

Saffron Bun Cookies – A gluten-free recipe, inspired by the traditional saffron buns. The cookies are made with rice flour and ground almonds, then twisted into the classic saffron bun shapes.

Glad Lucia!

Images: Anna Brones, Viriditas

Written by Anna Brones

December 11, 2015 at 21:33

The Wonderful World of Yeast

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Sourdough Rye Bread

Ever since starting to brew my own kombucha, I have been fascinated with wild yeast. Most of us think of yeast as packets of little brown granules that we buy at the supermarket, but yeast is (quite literally) all around us.

It’s thanks to yeast that we can enjoy some of our favorite foods and drinks, like beer, wine and bread. It’s how the beautiful loaf of sourdough rye bread pictured above came to be. We need yeast to keep us healthy.

I tackled the topic of yeast in this month’s Wild Culture column over on Paste Magazine, and I took some time to get the input of journalist Simran Sethi. Sethi just released her new book Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, in which yeast appears as a very important character. As Sethi says, “Microbes, including yeast, are everything. Not just in beer, but in life. The study of yeast is the study of us.”

You can read the column all about yeast, and my interview with Sethi, here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 7, 2015 at 22:43