Whenever I spot a cooking scene in a book or a movie I pay extra attention. The characters are being fed! The last one I saw was magical: it happens right in the middle of the three-hour long epic love story, Laurence, Anyways, by the young and talented Xavier Dolan. He was only twenty-two when he wrote and directed this film. The scene is simple: Fred, short for Frédérique, has just received a book of poetry published by her former love, Laurence. She reads it in the kitchen as she stirs a pot of something that resembles crème anglaise. She stirs, she reads, she stirs, she reads, she forgets the crème anglaise, and I won’t tell you what happens next. But the moment is heartbreaking. Mostly because Dolan has an eye for visual poetry. Fred never cooks and we rarely see her eat (in one restaurant scene she slams her fist on a plate, shattering the dish, in another she leaves before ordering food), and yet here she is, one hand on a wooden spoon, the other holding love poems. It comes as no surprise that she leaves the kitchen shortly thereafter.
 
I almost made a crème anglaise, just for the sake of it, but then I would have had to make a chocolate cake, or îles flottantes. Instead, I leafed through French cookbooks, and fell upon ratatouille.
 

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(crust from Vegetarian Everyday, filling inspired by the same recipe)
 
Although there are many possible fillings for quiches (it’s the perfect repository for haphazard leftovers), I’ve never thought of playing with the crust and custard base. Then I came across a recipe in Vegetarian Everyday that called for no dairy and no flour. The main substitute was coconut, and I was entirely skeptical but intrigued. I tried. The result is magnificent. In fact, the quiche is resting in my kitchen at this very moment and I keep cutting myself another slice. It is light and crisp, so a third helping does not feel decadent.
 

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07/29/2013 VEGGIES by Sanae


 
Why vegetables?
 
When we lived in Australia we drove to a spiritual retreat five hours away from Melbourne. The last stretch was on a narrow and sinuous road along a cliff that without fail made me nauseous. Some years we stopped on the side while I hung my head out the door and gulped for air. The retreat was a meditation and yoga center with a beautiful farm where young men and women farmed for a month or two before moving on. There were wooden bungalows with no private bathrooms or one-floor apartments lined side by side resembling a flat motel. My mother and I were early risers. She wandered off to meditate while I sat in the large kitchen where the cooks prepared breakfast. The kitchen was located in a gigantic roundish building with a domed ceiling. On one side there was a lounge area with tables and chairs and sofas for reading. On the other side was the communal eating space with long wooden tables. The kitchen bordered one side of dining room with a counter upon which pots and plates of food were displayed. I would sit on a table inside the kitchen and watch the cook quietly at work for the 8 a.m. meal. He was an amateur astronomer and owned a telescope. At night he showed me planets and stars. The owners, a married couple, founded the retreat after sharing the same dream one night. They liked to recount the story of this mysterious energy. The husband told us about his travels and of healers in the Philippines who removed cysts without touching bodies.
 

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06/10/2013 Dumpling Party by Kira


 

 
Yesterday, we hosted a homemade dumpling party in our garden to fundraise for our new nonprofit, China Residencies. The process of wrapping dumplings by hand is one of the most interactive and delicious forms of cultural exchange, aligning perfectly with our mission to help more artists experience China firsthand.
 

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Brilliant Green Pesto
 

 

 
I have been searching for a pesto recipe, trying to find one that holds a vibrant green color and has a soft, balanced flavor. After a few failed attempts of my pesto turning dark as soon as I stirred it into a bowl of spaghetti, or when I opened my fridge the following day, I started buying jars of it, rather than making it myself. It was also a rather messy process: the unruly, voluminous basil had to be processed in small bunches. I never liked the spicy, strong aftertaste of raw garlic, either, but when I made pesto omitting the garlic, I could sense a flavor missing. The jars were convenient, though they did lack the essential fresh grassy taste of homemade pesto. And the portions were tiny for a steep price.
 

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New York’s winter was quite long, and the artic chills are finally starting to wear off. When the sun is out, reflecting off skyscrapers, New Yorkers feel compelled to engage in certain springtime activities: wearing sunglasses, shedding layers of clothes, picnicking in parks, riding over bridges, and most of all, drinking during the day, preferably outside, on a sidewalk cafe or rooftop bar. They also enjoy listening to brighter tunes while consuming those very drinks, tunes with upbeat guitar riffs or a synthetic loftiness that both compliment the sunshine, sandals, t-shirts, and dresses. So, with that in mind, I have provided you with a mixtape and some cocktail recipes meant to lift your spirits as the temperature continues to rise. Let’s hope it doesn’t get too hot too soon.
 

——————————————————————————————————TRACK LISTINGS—————————————————————————————————— 
“Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker
“Always Alright” by Alabama Shakes
“Line of Fire” by Junip
“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk (ft. Pharrell)
“Big Love” by Jamie Lidell
“Adorn” by Miguel
“Hang with Me” by Robyn
“Little Numbers” by BOY
 

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