My whipped cream drawing is a swirling tower of the words, ‘whipped cream’, back and forth, around and around, in two colors. Whipped cream is something that really speaks to the notion of ‘mouth feel’: there a richness that cannot be denied. Cheese cake has it too. It’s dairy-rich, I guess. Animal fats, which include my dear friend butter. Whipped cream requires no chewing, no tooth action. It fills your mouth and then melts down your throat.
Many people will not acknowledge a passion for whipped cream. They are often young men, like KM and NP. Just the other day, a young woman friend said, with a slightly shy smile, that she loves whipped cream. Ah, when V piles whipped cream on top of his Pavlova. It’s an OMG moment. That Pavlova is another story; something I still need to draw.
I see that I’ve ‘spoken’ with only half of the items on my first page of drawings. I had no idea that it would take so long; that the chat with food would be so fruitful, rich, enjoyable.
In the corner, beside the mound of whipped cream is a radish. That was another surprise, to find myself eating, in fact almost craving, and then drawing a radish. They are so alluringly round and shiny red (which is just water, of course, they get dull again.) I recently read (in some food magazine or cookbook) something about ‘tea sandwiches’, as in high tea, as in Britain. I generally think of watercress or cucumber as the classic tea sandwiches. However, this suggestion was for radishes, thinly sliced and lightly salted, on lightly buttered bread. I’ve been enjoying the radish crunch and bite in my salads, but this was a new idea.
It has been well documented that bread and butter is a favorite of mine. The addition of slices of radish, with salt, was amazing. I love it. I now must keep radishes on hand and find myself using them (it’s a bit messy, but…) to dip into humus, as well as sliced in salads or tea sandwiches. Yum crunch.
Here is an elegy to crispy hot toast, with butter. Once upon a time, in our old kitchen, the toaster oven sat on the classic white enamel kitchen table. The gold standard for eating toast at it’s hottest and most crisp: sit next to the toaster with your plate, knife and butter. Have the first bite of glory within 30 seconds. Maybe less. I would stop at a North End bakery for a loaf of fresh Scalli on my way home from trade school. Scalli is one of the best white breads, partly because it has sesame seeds on top. But the ‘crumb’, well, it must have a high gluten content, cause it is almost stretchy. Not air-filled white bread, like Wonder, or dense like Pepperidge Farm, but soft & stretchy. Another kind of ‘mouth feel’, this one involving the teeth.
A triangular wedge of cheese, or the rudimentary outline of one, sits in another corner of the page. In very few words I attempt to list the uses and many kinds of cheeses that bring joy to my life, happiness to my mouth and taste buds and, once again, animal fats to my body. Goat cheese and hard cheeses like Parmesan and Romano have less fat. Especially compared to triple-fat (do they really call it that?) brie, or 60% brie, which oozes, when soft, to better illustrate it’s fat content. I love Parmesan and goat cheese, so I could be satisfied with them.
But then again, cheddar melts so nicely. As for ‘fake’ cheese; I say, why bother? Sad, but better not to have it at all. I was raised on cheese; the real stuff, like the orange ‘rat’ cheese we were given as snacks, and a trifecta of fake cheeses: plastic-y Velveeta, the powdered cheese sauce in a box of Kraft mac ‘n cheese and the bright green container of dried out Parmesan., also made by Kraft. We did occasionally, that’s special event occasionally, have blue cheese, ‘cause my parents loved it and there was always some type of bottled blue cheese salad dressing in the refrigerator.
Every year or so, for a major gala event, Mom would make a decadent hot crab and cheddar dip, served in the chaffing dish. There was cheese on the pizza pies we would sometimes get from Pinto’s, but I’m guessing it was not fresh mozzarella. That creamy, soft delight, with fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil , salt & pepper, is the highlight of the summer tomato season. Rhapsodizing about cheeses, I could go on and on. I’ll conclude with the mention of melted gruyere atop french onion soup, actually atop the crouté (large crouton) atop french onion soup. Another OMG moment; sweet combo: melting onions, broth, toast & cheese.