anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Posts Tagged ‘Food

Cupcake Feminism?

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I’ve got a whole article devoted to questions of cupcakes, feminism and sexism in the world of food over on The Kitchn this week. Here’s a little excerpt:

I asked my friend Lisa Knisely for her opinion. I was introduced to Lisa when she worked at the magazine Render, and I respect her opinion on these topics, as she’s well-versed on the complexities and nuances. Beyond holding a PhD in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, she works as a freelance writer and tackles these topics on a daily basis.

“Baking, particularly of the domestic sweet and pie variety (as opposed to the uber-fancy and technical professional pastry chef kind), is a kind of culinary work we particularly associate with a feminized form of care and nurturing in our culture,” says Knisely. “I think a lot of baking businesses employ a kind of gendered marketing and ideology to advance women bakers and it makes sense that they do because many of us have powerful associations of baked goods with love and care from women. And that kind of love and care through food is powerful, awesome, life-sustaining stuff that should be celebrated.”

“But,” she went on, “I don’t see why men shouldn’t be doing about half of this kind of culinary care labor, too. If men were half of the cupcake makers in our culture, either domestically or professionally, that would change the whole field of gender identity and kitchen politics.”

I would agree with Lisa. As a culture, we love to define people and put them in boxes, and that certainly happens with professions. There are many professions which people assume are inherently male; the language that we use is a good reflection of this. For example, why when we read an article about a chef, do we assume that the chef is male? Female chefs are just chefs after all, just like female filmmakers are just filmmakers and female pilots are just pilots.

Read the full article here (I’ll warn you, it’s a long one!).

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Written by Anna Brones

May 21, 2015 at 01:09

How to Make Dried Apples

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How to Make Dried Apples, photo by Anna Brones

In an attempt to eat more local, I have been trying to find things in my regular baking and cooking repertoire that I can switch out for alternatives that come from closer to home. Dried fruit is something that I use a lot of, and this week I experimented with drying my own apples. Turns out it’s super simple, and the footprint of these apples is a whole lot less than figs, apricots and dates that come from much farther away.

You use the same method you do for drying citrus peels – an hour or two in the oven at low heat (I did them at200°F (95°C)) – and you end up with tasty dried apples that are good on their own, or in baked goods. The full explanation is over on Foodie Underground.

Next on the to do list: drying pears.

Written by Anna Brones

February 27, 2015 at 09:32

Could Superfoods Actually Be Bad for Us?

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A question I ask in an article over on EcoSalon:

When we put certain individual ingredients on a pedestal, it also keeps us from thinking locally. This is often the problem with superfoods marketing, as you’ll commonly find lots of foods that come from nowhere near your backyard. Let’s take goji berries for example. Do you know where goji berries come from? They may be branded as the Himalayan superfood, invoking images of tranquil fields in the foothills of mountains, but the reality is that the majority of goji crops hail from industrial fields in Northwestern China. And hey, even if we get sick of that superfood, the food marketing world will always come up with another exotic option to replace it with. Kakadu plum anyone?

Read the full article here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 22, 2014 at 16:29

Happy Birthday ‘The Culinary Cyclist’

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The Culinary Cyclist by Anna Brones

It was about a year ago that my first book The Culinary Cyclist came out.

It’s crazy to think that a year has gone by. In fact it’s amazing to think back to when I was writing the book. I remember when the outline first came together, sitting in a cafe in Portland on a work date with a good friend. I had a blank sketchbook with me, which I like to use to write sometimes because the pages are big and blank and I can sketch little drawings as I go along.

I sat and stared at that blank page for a long time, then went to work on something else as I couldn’t get the ideas into place. But then eventually they spilled out onto the paper, and quickly. I scribbled quickly in order to keep up with the pace of my thoughts.

The book unfolded in a way that made me think that maybe I’d always had The Culinary Cyclist in me, that it was just a matter of putting a name and an official project to it in order for it to come out.

Maybe that’s how books are sometimes. The Culinary Cyclist is no work of great literature – it’s a cookbook after all. But the experience has left me with the desire to write more, be it a short story or thoughts on food.

So, happy birthday dear little book, I hope you celebrate with lots of coffee and peanut butter cookies.

Written by Anna Brones

August 29, 2014 at 11:29

Making a Kale Smoothie on the Pedal Powered Talk Show

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boaz frankel anna brones pedal powered talk show

Last summer my friend Boaz invited me to come and be on his talk show.

But this wasn’t just any talk show. No, Boaz created the Pedal Powered Talk Show, essentially, a talk show on wheels. Boaz takes around his cargo bike, sets up shop in all kinds of places, and interviews all kinds of interesting types. So I was honored when he asked me to be a part.

The night in question, the Pedal Powered Talk Show was a part of a live event put on with NW Documentary. I was there to talk about my book, The Culinary Cyclist, and Boaz asked if I would be willing to make a smoothie on stage.

Anyone out there ever made a smoothie on stage? No, I didn’t think so. It’s not really what you usually get asked to do. But I said yes.

This of course entailed me bringing my own blender, which I diligently packed up in my backpack before riding over to the event. Backpack filled with kale and a blender. That’s true Culinary Cyclist style.

Fortunately, the Pedal Powered Talk Show team got the entire thing on camera and is now available for your viewing pleasure.

It should also be noted that immediately after filming the intro to this episode, Boaz got into a bike crash. Thankfully, he and his awesome cargo bike survived just fine. Maybe it had something to do with his super-powered green smoothie he just drank.

Image: The Pedal Powered Talk Show

Written by Anna Brones

June 24, 2014 at 19:56

For the Love of Brewing Coffee Outdoors

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outdoor-coffee-2-740x493

I drink coffee outside whenever I can. If there’s sun and a terrace, you can bet that I will be on it. But even better than just drinking coffee outdoors? Brewing coffee outdoors.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 11, 2014 at 09:00

Tracking Down Good Coffee in Montmartre

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sacre coeur

People often ask me where they should go when they come to Paris. It takes time to make personal itineraries for people (I really should start charging…), but fortunately I write enough roundups that I can just start sending links instead. Case in point: my favorite coffee spots around Montmartre.

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Written by Anna Brones

April 16, 2014 at 11:42