Archive for November, 2010

Published by Patianne on 27 Nov 2010

Mock Salmon

We’ve had enough turkey talk, so lets talk salmon. This amazing fish has quite a place in history. Salmon lore crosses cultures from Native American to Druids, with the traditions of preparing this fish spanning from grilled to gravlax.  And of course, there is the color.

No matter what we are describing, umbrellas or dishes, if it’s this color we refer to it as ‘salmon’ colored.

I am in the ‘oh so early’ process of preparing salmon in The Cardboard Kitchen. No grilling or gravlax with this version. This salmon will be baked whole.

Part of this early process includes painting subjects before I construct them in cardboard. This gives me a feel for the form.

So how do I plan to translate this intricate, beautiful and complicated fish form from this pile of cardboard:

into this fluid, shimmering shape?

I couldn’t guess right now!

Published by Patianne on 21 Nov 2010

Are Pumpkins Edible?

It’s beloved, but not for eating.  Although it’s delicious roasted; pureed; baked in

bread and pastries or stuffed in ravioli; mostly it’s a centerpiece.  And the final

degradation is on Halloween, when it’s carved and left to slowly sag as it rots away

on porches around the country.  Where the pumpkin is concerned, few people are.

So,  for my November recipe  I decided I would lift this squash out of it’s lowly

position.  I envisioned a cookie that was as round, beautiful, and stand alone as the

pumpkin. No drop cookies here.

I went to work mining my ‘too’ vast collections of  filed recipes, cookie magazines,

and cookbooks.

I was so excited when I finally found one. It was called Pumpkin-Spiced Balls. But

carrying on the tradition of the pumpkin as decoration, the pumpkin in the name of

this cookie did not refer to the squash. This cookie is beautiful and round, but no

pumpkin. How appropriate!

Oh well, there is always next year’s pumpkin cookie blog at Thanksgiving.  Until

then, I will keep looking.

Pumpkin-Spiced Balls

Preheat oven to 325°

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

Pumpkin-Spiced Glaze ( follows)

Beat butter on medium to high for 30 seconds.

Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until combined, scraping down the bowl if


Beat in pumpkin pie spice and as much flour as you can with the stand  or electric

mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, and pecans.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 16-20 min or until bottoms are lightly browned. (If using parchment, bake longer).

Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Pumpkin-Spiced Glaze

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
3-4 tsps cream or milk

Combine powdered sugar, and spices in a bowl.

Stir in enough milk to make the glaze the desired consistency.

Dip the tops of the cooled cookies, place on wire rack, and let stand until set.

Makes about 48.

To freeze: place cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container. Freeze up to 3 months.

Adapted from Better Homes And Gardens Christmas Cookies.

Published by Patianne on 15 Nov 2010

A Morning At Art On The Menu

9 Am:

It’s cold today, and pouring rain, but I have to get to the post office to ship commissions.  Living in the city has advantages. I live within close proximity to several post offices. But I do have a favorite: it has a large tree lined parking lot. Here, I can juggle as many boxes as I like without having to worry about opening my car door into traffic or dodging cars with my arms full.  I could have the packages picked up as a time saver, but I prefer to personally “see them off”.

9:30 AM

After leaving the post office, I visit one of my regular recycle bins. It’s parked outside of an art supply store. I choose my cardboard carefully, and it has to be clean (no food containers in the bins). The cardboard from the art supply recycle is clean and sturdy since it’s used to ship delicate supplies. Because it’s strong, I like it for armatures, and monochromatic cardboard colored pieces like this  cupcake.

10 AM

Back at the studio. Immediately I cut up the boxes, keeping only the cleanest pieces. I then pencil the source of the box ( ie: Random House) on the sections, so I can accurately inform buyers of the ‘ingredients’ included in their purchase. All of the pieces from ‘The Cardboard Kitchen’ include an ingredients tag which lists the major sources of cardboard in each sculpture.

10:30 AM

At last I return to the organized chaos of the studio, and begin all over again. At least it’s warm and dry!

Published by Patianne on 06 Nov 2010


Why do I find oysters attractive as a subject. I have no doubt it is all the multi- hued layers of shell they build up throughout their lives. Layering is definitely a theme:  in the studio I layer paint; in ‘The Cardboard Kitchen’ I layer cardboard such as this Napoleon I constructed;  and in the ‘real’ kitchen as in this layered  strudel.

In ‘The Cardboard Kitchen’ I am still working out the construction details of the outer shell and the oyster inside. Although these are my first 100% recycled cardboard oysters, I know that as long as I have just the right cardboard box to complete the process, oysters will  soon be on the menu in ‘The Cardboard Kitchen’.