Yesterday I went with Ella, Anna and Cyrille(most of my crew)to the Rijksmuseum. It was the first time I visited since the reopening after their major 10 year renovation, and what a place it is! Walking in there is like standing in front of a buffet table with all of my favorite foods, knowing that putting them all on my plate and eating them will not allow me to appreciate their full value. I opted to enter into the Middle Ages and make my way up, aware that it would be hard to continue past the Dutch Renaissance or the Golden Age because I just love that period so much; I knew that continuing to look around past this period would be like putting more food on my plate after having eaten my most favorite dessert.
I have grown to really enjoy the art of Middle Ages, their wacky sense of perspective is something that I find totally puzzling as well as humorous. I find it hard to believe that they really saw the world the way they portrayed it: baby Jesuses with muscular bodies, or very skinny and not at all baby-like, vacant facial expressions and landscapes with no realistic sense of perspective. I know that there are different theories as to why Medieval artist didn’t make use of 3D, but the fact that most people believed that the world was flat makes sense to me given their one dimensional depiction of the world. Nevertheless I find their pious representations, their use of colors(specially gold) and the child like depictions very beautiful and touching, specially knowing the horrors that society was enduring at the time where rampant diseases like the plague, extreme poverty and starvation must have been causing unbearable suffering.
For Dutch 16th century art I have no words, and I will not try to describe its beauty and skills and the emotions and insight which it invokes. One thing that I have noticed in the Dutch Renaissance paintings is the relationship to foods, how detailed and prominent foods are depicted and the emotions around it. These are some of amazing paintings I saw yesterday which left me with a sense of awe for humanity.
Once back home we had a simple dinner which we finished with a quick and simple dessert, something which one of the characters in one of those old paintings could have made. The Fruit Bag doesn’t use pie forms or anything else besides fruit and a dough, and yes in the Dutch Renaissance they would have used butter and not coconut oil.
Anyway, if you come to Holland you may not leave without paying the Rijksmuseum a visit, and who knows, if you come in october you may be right on time for Pop-up Restaurant Amsterdam’s Oktoberfest.
Willem Claeszoon Heda-Still life with Gilt Goblet-(notice the light almost refined color of the bread)
2 cups spelt flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbs arrowroot
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup cold water
4 tbs coconut sugar
-mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
-add coconut oil and work with a fork until it looks sandy
-add the water little by little until the dough forms into a ball
-wrap it in plastic and refrigerate while making the filling
5-6 apples cored and cut in small cubes
1 cup frozen cherries
4 tbs coconut sugar
grated lemon peel from one lemon
1/4 cup roasted almonds
-mix everything in a bowl
-roll out the dough into a flat circle
-place filling starting in the center of the circle
-fold the sides leaving some of the filling showing in the center
-bake at 180* C until the pastry is done(about 20 minutes)