Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Category archive for: Religious or Ritualised

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Elder flower syrup recipe
… basic stuff

Elder Flower Syrup Recipe / Basic Stuff (makes 3,5 - 4 liters of syrup) You will need: 5 liter jar 3 kilos sugar plus 1 kilo for later 3 liters water Elderflowers a'plenty, plucked, unwashed, bugs and all The flowers: Fill a 5 liter jar ½ - 2/3 -full with elder flowers. Flowe... Read more

Posted on June 6, 2012 18:36

This weekend:
Massive Dutch protests against the obliteration of cultural funding!

Dutch text below is not a direct translation. Imagine this: you're an internationally recognised Dutch cultural institution of art/design/media culture. You have a substantial collection; media art, landscape art, but also paintings/ sculptures/ installations/ photography/ film/ design object... Read more

Posted on June 25, 2011 14:01

The citron,
Il cedro,
Sunshine of my resolutions

To encourage success in completing difficult, unrealistic New Year's resolutions (like daily blogging and yoga practice), I tend to spike my list with easily attainable, readily achievable, things that happen anyway. Usually these resolutions occupy the esoteric slash culinary realm, like learni... Read more

Posted on January 12, 2011 13:51

Rethinking the
Market of the Future

Market folk, people from Rotterdam's Afrikaanderbuurt and artists renew one of the Netherlands' largest open-air markets, the Afrikaandermarkt. My involvement in this mega project is one of the reasons I've written so little in this blog the past year. So much to write about, but no time to writ... Read more

Posted on June 5, 2009 23:35

In Memoriam Sidi El Gouche

Champagne no, socialism Yes. Last week I received the very sad news that my dear friend, Sidi El Gouche, my Occitanian kitchen garden neighbour, has died. It has taken me a long time to get to the point that I could even write this memorial to him because I am just devastated that he is gone. H... Read more

Posted on February 27, 2009 12:49

A happy new year
for the fruit trees

Woodcut for the Jewish arbor day Tu b'Shvat, from the Minhogimbukh Amsterdam 1722, recently adapted by Scott-Martin Kosofsky, image used entirely without permission. There's nothing like a religious calendar sporting multiple 'new years' to remind us that we were once deeply connected to our fo... Read more

Posted on February 10, 2009 15:58

Communauté Choucroute, Community Pickle,
a proposal

Jangdok are onggi or earthen jars storing jang (condiments) such as gochujang (chili pepper condiment), doenjang (soybean paste), ganjang (Korean soy sauce) or kimchi. Image from Save the Dinosaur's photostream and used entirely without permission. The following is a statement about food storag... Read more

Posted on October 30, 2008 16:48

A Light Year

In the past year, interesting projects that would yield so much content for Culiblog occupied me such that it was difficult to find time to write about them at all. Thankfully it's the very first days into the New Year, a time for a resolution or two, one about more frequent and lighter blog pos... Read more

Posted on October 6, 2008 14:33

Ayn Hawd bread story

At the beginning of my first week in Ayn Hawd, if Noga and I opened our windows just right, we could create a lazy crosswind that would exhale her curtains, just as it inhaled mine. Exhale mine, inhale hers. Slow puffs of curtain with the power to close eyelids. Exhale hers, inhale mine. But ... Read more

Posted on September 2, 2008 23:02

On acting-out at dinner

All together now. Purple tablecloth, purple flowering chives and irises. Entirely too much purple at the dining table and an amuse comprised of an overly precious presentation of tofu, inspired my friends to spontaneously bust out a tongue-in-cheeky, anthroposophical pre-dinner recitation of gr... Read more

Posted on May 20, 2008 14:27

Fredie Beckmans’ interior life

Dear Fredie, On Queen's Day, we had a party in your house. We overruled Katja, to whom you have been so kind, letting a relative stranger stay in your home while you're away in Berlin. She just wanted a traditional Queen's Day, one in which you simply get drunk and slut it up on the streets. I... Read more

Posted on May 7, 2008 19:16

Cinnamon & cardamom meringues
kosher for Pesach

I heart pareve desserts. One of this year's Pesach innovations was a sephardic-style seder dinner which more or less cancelled out last year's innovation, the Pesach Ultra-lite. Whatevs, now that we've made these recipes our own, we can teach ourselves to make light of them. It's about liberati... Read more

Posted on April 22, 2008 14:52

One little kid
Chad Gadya

Happy Pesach! Are you 6 kilos? Although we had sworn to recreate Pesach Ultra-Lite, Superior Powers and my own stubborn determination to not sit on the floor like my ancestors in the desert, dictated that we drop everything and become a trans-regional trucking company. We had a truck all right,... Read more

Posted on April 19, 2008 11:12

Imagining Kate

="Come Back Kate film still by Quirine Racké and Helena Muskens used entirely with permission The Kate Bush Party at Mediamatic this Friday evening promises give-us-a-twirl dress-up, lighters-in-the-air sing-a-long and a generous format screening of Quirine Racké and Helena Musken's poignant art... Read more

Posted on April 9, 2008 23:36

Purim power

Converting to citrus power for your electrical needs is one possible solution for a bumper crop of lemons Staring a post-Purim citrus surplus in the face, my family goes out and cuts some rug. Yesterday's email from home, making me homesick for a raucous Purim and for Meyer lemons... We also... Read more

Posted on March 22, 2008 12:50

Bone marrow

Roasted cow bone right out of the oven. Maybe it's because I was sick with flu for the past 2 months and had no appetite. Maybe because bone marrow used to be considered a restorative food for ill people. Maybe because yesterday, going to and from yoga practice, I just wore 2 pairs of sweats un... Read more

Posted on January 30, 2008 4:14

Speaking of pomegranate

Last year I did my utmost to eat food that was grown and produced locally. But because Amsterdam is excruciatingly far north, more or less deep inside the Polar Circle, this meant that my diet didn't have much in the way of citrus fruit, bananas or mangos. At first I didn't think this would be a... Read more

Posted on January 16, 2008 10:05

Subjective Atlas of Palestine
and also of food

Just another beautiful picture of Palestine by Majdi Hadid, used entirely without permission Say 'Palestine' and the first thing that pops into your head probably isn't an image of undulating hills speckled with date palm oases and creased with a babbling brook, or an image of lush olive orchar... Read more

Posted on January 13, 2008 20:37

Harvesting rhubarb by candlelight

Of the BBC's 100 unexpected facts that we didn't know last year I've edited the list to include only the 13 food-related facts. Apparently harvesting rhubarb by candlelight is a way to preserve even more rhubarb flavour. Because 2008 is a year for pumping up the volume, I have decided to make... Read more

Posted on January 4, 2008 12:05

Welcoming the wood,
Culiblog is finally back in the house

HeeJin igniting the aromatic herbs It was probably the lingering paint fumes that prompted Katja to suggest designing an aromatic 'welcoming the wood' ritual to get the good vibe back into my home. HeeJin, Katja and I adhoc'd three rituals, two of them aroma-centric involving spice-burning and ... Read more

Posted on December 22, 2007 14:42

Chanukkah, the fesitval of
using oil responsibly

This Dutch snackbar certification sign says, 'Heq yes, we fry responsibly. We use liquid fryer fat and we follow the rules of responsible frying.' This year I decided to celebrate Chanukkah. Probably it's because the past 4 months during the renovation of my home I've been so homesick that the ... Read more

Posted on December 8, 2007 2:00

Yo, Slip of the Tongue

Adapted from the poem Slip of the Tongue by Adriel Luis, directed by Karen Lum, produced by Youth Sounds Factory Read more

Posted on November 25, 2007 14:16

Carbohydrates and conviviality

Pasta shapes developed by Valentina de Lorenzis What is it about carboydrate-rich food that just screams conviviality? Valentina de Lorenzis, a recent graduate of the Man and Humanity Masters at the Design Academy Eindhoven, chose pasta to investigate this very subject. The result was an array ... Read more

Posted on September 10, 2007 12:39

Alignment at last
Shana Tova and Ramadan Mubarek

May this be a year of double happiness. At sundown last night began both the month of Islamic month of Ramadan and the Jewish New Year. Holidays can do nothing other than coincide from time to time when you're both sporting lunar calendars. This will be the last time for awhile as Ramadan comes earl... Read more

Posted on September 3, 2007 3:59

The Knödelist

Son of a bakerman, keeping up the family tradition I am blessed with a goodly many friends who, feeling my temporary loss of Heim, have been inviting me over to dinner nearly every night of the week. Dear Friends, please pace yourselves but keep up the good work and continue to rock the kitchen... Read more

Posted on September 1, 2007 13:28

In memoriam
Yariv Alter Fin

'I' an image poem by Yariv Alter Fin Yariv Alter Fin b. 1968 - d. 2007 Yariv died on Tuesday in Tel Aviv. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends. We are devastated. Yariv was a brilliant artist and designer who never ceased to inspire and wonder why and 'i' and why. He enjoyed ... Read more

Posted on August 31, 2007 10:45

The gentlemen farmers’ summer party

Dancing with wines, dahlia fetishist, celebrity hayseed, gentle farmer-man en silhouette All natural, all gentleman, slash Friesian agro-history adept, organic farmer-man Guus yuks it up with Lisette. Then gives us a reed-obscured all-natural history lesson moving Madeleine and Hans... Read more

Posted on August 27, 2007 19:21

The arabised ‘H’ of EL HEMA

Joann digs EL HEMA packaging, image of the chocolate letter 'H' by Mediamatic used entirely with permission EL HEMA, an Arabised version of the Dutch five and dime, will be selling chocolate letters for the disputably secular Dutch winter holiday Sinter Klaas. The Arabic letters are in one of t... Read more

Posted on August 25, 2007 10:49

Birthday Cake ultra-lite

When you've inhaled enough buttercream for one life... So would your life be any less fab if you never ate birthday cake again? What is worth more, satisfying 1000 desires or learning to control just one? Birthday boy John B. & buddy Betty D. & basking cake In lieu of the same 'ol same... Read more

Posted on August 9, 2007 15:15

Dude, lay off my
ubiquitous Dutch weener

Dutch postage stamps with images of quintessentially Dutch design items incl. HEMA tea kettle Lapin. Producers of the objêts du design Ne'erlandais paid big dosh to have their stuff immortalised. In Dutch media circles this time of year is called 'Cucumber Time'. Supposedly all of our real jou... Read more

Posted on July 27, 2007 14:33

Where Nina Planck and I agree to disagree about vegans

Image barely related to entry: Tarama and full-fat kwark on wholewheat bread strewn with chive flowers The following is the correspondence between Nina Planck and I on whether or not veganism is natural for humans. I wrote Nina in regard to her newsletter and Nina's article in the NYTimes Li... Read more

Posted on June 17, 2007 9:35

Glutinous Maximus,
Grow yer own dang protein!

It may be beige, but it sure is some good eatin'... There are days when in one go, we can be inspired enough to shrug off one hella lotta ballast of preconceived notion. Last night was one of those days, when in an ad hoc workshop at the cooking studio of Marlein and Inez, Tomoko taught us to e... Read more

Posted on June 2, 2007 13:12

A yogic diet is not for me

My Aunties preparing an oddly sattvic picnic for our family in Paris' Jardin de Luxembourg It's slightly troubling to learn that my ancestral diet and a yogic or sattvic diet have little in common. I'm a lover of leafy greens, an initator of a sprout restaurant and I've been known to be inordin... Read more

Posted on May 18, 2007 19:17

Pomtajer is the New Cocoyam
a friend of kugel and latke

Food is synonymous with identity and culture. And in case you hadn't noticed, cultural identity is all over contemporary art these days. Amsterdam artist and culinary historian Karin Vaneker has been studying the dynamic history of the tropical tuber called the New Cocoyam, aka Pomtajer (say puh... Read more

Posted on April 19, 2007 13:00

Passover ultra-lite,
ultra authentic

Our first matza ball ever. Don't believe the hype. More than half of us had to be at Schiphol Airport the next morning on planes boarding well before 7. We should've blown the whole thing off. I mean, isn't Pesach synonymous with multi-day preparation? To make matters worse, an unfortuitous div... Read more

Posted on April 14, 2007 13:06

Left leaves

Author with 36-point fresh kill Yesterday it occured to me that it's only because the garden was neglected for such a long time that we're able to enjoy these spring flower salads and everything-but-the-squeal brassica eating experiences. The romanesca shown above was at one time a compact lig... Read more

Posted on March 25, 2007 11:08

Visiting a langar

The entire meal, the ingredients, the preparation and the cleanup, all of it is donated by the community. Everyone eats together as equals, sitting side by side at the langar. In one week's time the Doors of Perception: JUICE round table workshops will begin in Delhi. Despite all of the tragic... Read more

Posted on February 20, 2007 2:30

Liquid chauvinism,
drinking with Muslims

Buzzkill's throwin' a wrench in my terroir-ism. From time to time a girlfriend coming over to dinner will burst in the door, plop down her big 'ol handbag and announce with a performative voice loud enough for all to hear, 'Oh, and I've stopped drinking!' Pretty much always this means that ... Read more

Posted on January 22, 2007 14:26

Smoke yer marijuanakkah, it’s time to celebrate Chanukkah

Latkes prepared in 1969 and preserved for lifetime use The continental posse is curious about my visit back to the Heimatt and has requested some reflection on my own personal hotbed of culinary inspiration. When it comes to holiday cooking, Mom (not her real name) says, 'You only need to m... Read more

Posted on December 22, 2006 20:53

Vermin, varmints and my neighbour who votes incorrectly

Paros major morbidus, deader than a doornail. For friends and fambly who received a frantic email, text or who coached me on the phone this morning, here's an update: - All dead and feathered animals have been removed from the premises. - Chernobylicals have been applied to discourage ... Read more

Posted on November 24, 2006 21:01

In Praise of Shadows

In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, cover art by Yukio Futagawa used entirely without permission "The sun never knew how wonderful it was, until if fell on the wall of a building," said architect Louis Kahn. I didn't expect to bump into him so soon, having just returned My Architect to... Read more

Posted on October 19, 2006 12:31

Come to your senses, and fast

The Ramadan Festival logo Loving the lunar calendar convergence this year. Since Friday, I have celebrated the beginning of no less than 3 religious holidays, 2 of which are devoted to forms of fasting. It was a veritable autumnal fasting kickoff weekend as the new moon signaled the start of th... Read more

Posted on September 24, 2006 23:09

Shana tova

Get a gander at the cool card I got from my friends Liora and Carlos. 'My First Rosh Hashana Art' was made by Carlos Jadraque who channeled himself into the body of an 8 yr. old Jewish girl with impossible hair, in order to create this work. That's the spirit, Carlos! Dear Friends, Friends of F... Read more

Posted on September 21, 2006 1:21

In Memoriam
Anna de Casparis

ANNA DE CASPARIS 15th August 1947 - 18th July 2006 Anna died on Tuesday evening. Her extraordinary, indomitable spirit was evident to the end. We will miss her as a comrade, mother, sister and friend, as someone who lived life with relish and brought great beauty and delicious tarte oignon... Read more

Posted on July 20, 2006 18:40

Here as the Centre of the World, in terms of food

Here as the Centre of the World banquet with local food from Twente and Overijssel. Guests getting giggly on the bubbly. A week and a half ago, my colleagues and I at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI), were in the throes of an international symposium on 'all things periferal' for artists and mediat... Read more

Posted on June 3, 2006 14:35

Dead nettle
crude mousse for dinner

Kruudmoes leafy green selection from 9 o'clock: white deadnettle (dovenetel), kohlrabi leaves, spring onions, curly leaf parsley, chicory and ground elder (zevenblad). Ten days before the Here as the Centre of the World dinner and I'm busy testing traditional recipes from Overijssel for the mai... Read more

Posted on May 14, 2006 19:29

Locative eating in Overijssel at the end of the Hungry Gap

Image of a shopping centre under contruction in Enschede, NL. Soon to be a banquet location Speaking of starving oneself, although it seems like it's spring, crop-wise we're right in the middle of the Hungry Gap, the period before the spring crops have come in, and when foodstocks stored from f... Read more

Posted on April 19, 2006 20:57

Drawing Restraint, dragging ambergris

Occidental Guest (bride), production still from Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9, copyright Matthew Barney, used without permission Filled with expectation unsuitable for the company of friends, clutching a fat wad of tickets between fingers reeking of quickly eaten, mediocre sushi, it is u... Read more

Posted on February 5, 2006 20:51

Eat while you can, in a few minutes it will be Yom Kippur, the chaotic humanistic Day of Atonement

And on Yom Kippur, you fast by eating and drinking absolutely *bubkis. In my search for all things concerning fasting, I came upon this article by the Chabad Folks, titled Laws and Lore: Eating Before Yom Kippur. Apparently, It is a **mitzvah to eat and drink heartily on Erev Yom Kippur... ... Read more

Posted on October 12, 2005 14:11

Far away is the new *onrein

Maybe it comes from the fact that I'm reading up on dietary law combined with reading John Thackara's book, In the Bubble about sustainability and design, but I'm starting to wonder if distance is the new unkosher. In Patrick Faas' Volkskrant article titled, The prophet Mohammed's favourite dish, (1... Read more

Posted on May 3, 2005 5:59

Hors d’oeuvre of affliction

Some years ago a friend of mine waxing rabbinic told me that during Pesach week, whilst eating charoset one must never say, 'Mmmmm, I love charoset!", because charoset, a delicious mixture of apples, honey, and/or nuts, dates figs, symbolises the mortar used by slaves to build the buildings of t... Read more

Posted on April 27, 2005 9:42

For the Luv of Gawd, Whip Me!

Patrick Faas fastens his kipa I guess I should have known that something like this would happen when Reb Noam, the leader of our pesach seder appeared sporting a self-styled kipa with the words, 'Next year in Miami' written on it. But even my inner-fagele couldn't have predicted that during thi... Read more

Posted on April 25, 2005 10:49

Passover cleaning

In December 2004, a Spanish Talmudic scholar named Sinterklaas was cited translating the Torah, 'Passover is the holiday when it behooves us to clean the barnacles out of our grooves'. If you don't have anything in the fridge, it's easier to clean it. Smetvrees, the fear of contamina... Read more

Posted on April 22, 2005 10:20

Recycle and Re-Use your Superfluous Spoon Collection

I just can't do it. I can't give away my superfluous spoon collection and my small liquid container collection. I know the rules for our Jewish-Occitanian (SinterKlaas) holiday require us to give presents that we have culled from our closets, recycled and re-used, but I just can't part with thes... Read more

Posted on November 26, 2004 12:45

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