Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Art as food, Food as art

I have two wonderful sisters. They are each unique in their own way. I have enjoyed getting to know them better through the years and see in them what I couldn't see years ago when they were just the "little girls". (Another post someday)

Life is an interesting journey. We each see attributes in others, especially siblings, that we envy or enjoy, and wish we could be like them. Each of my sisters have incredible amounts of artistic talent. Each can use paint, draw, create, and do amazing things artistically. I use paint to cover large areas of wallboard, after consulting others regarding said paint colors. I have always envied the ability to create. I can follow a pattern and sew together an article of clothing, as long as I can get someone to help with buttonholes or zippers, or do a quick quilt. A pattern is necessary always, unlike my sisters' abilities to create from scratch.

Enter Flo Braker. Flo Braker found the artist in me. I have always enjoyed baking. Regular cooking is my husband's forte. Baking a pie or a cake for holiday gatherings is simple preocedure. A recipe is followed, and is thought of as an "anyone can do this" task. It was not until 1987 or 1988 that Ms. Braker opened a new chapter in cooking for me. Reading an article from Bon Apetit, or another cooking magazine, Sweet Miniatures was featured. It was intriguing - one could create small, bite sized treats. Not just sweet things, but savories also! I literally ran to my local bookstore. There on the shelf, was the cookbooks of all cookbooks. I have worn one out, and replaced it with a second copy. Using Ms. Braker's techniques, all kinds of difficult looking, yet simple to make, treats began to replace the repetoire of cakes, pies and cookies. I could create small, bite sized, heavenly creations that were fabulous. At first glance people would oooh and aahhh. They're so cute! Upon tasting, the exclamations would be "these are heavenly, these are so tasty, I can't believe how wonderful these are!" The best part of the entire experience was what I learned. You can adapt a recipe, change it a bit to meet your needs, and still have it be scrumptous.

Flo (if I can be so informal) taught me it's okay to color outside the lines.