Monday, June 2, 2014

project 52:36

ink and acrylic on watercolor paper

Last week's card was inspired by a little bit of obsession. One day, while doing a bit of internet research to check up on the contents of a salad I'd enjoyed at a local restaurant and was recreating at home, I stumbled across a description of a meal at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island, here in Washington, which had incorporated something called an "apple caper," a pickled immature apple bud. Intrigued, I did more research - into the Willows Inn tasting menu from last winter, scanning for photos and description; into apple capers and uses of immature apple buds, looking for recipes (or, at the very least, precedents); reading up on Blaine Wetzel, chef at the Willows Inn, looking for a cookbook. This idea possessed me for more than a week, and spilled over into my card as well. The card started with an illustration of those immature buds and the center of my obsession (the name, "apple caper") front and center. I worked the brief description of the apple caper from the original blog post into the background, though it has been blurred, obscured, interrupted, and even overwritten. Over this is a line from T.S. Eliot's "Little Gidding" that I think of often - and especially when I discover something new right under my own nose:

           And the children in the apple-tree

           Not known, because not looked for
           But heard, half-heard in the stillness
           Between two waves of the sea.

I did eventually find a recipe from a woman who was lacto-fermenting green crab apples to make a kind of South Indian pickle, modeled on the traditional mango pickle. I used her salt and acid proportions, selected my own spices, and a jar of apple capers is currently fermenting and pickling in the sunlight on my window sill for the next two weeks. If they turn out okay, I'll post a recipe and process here - in case you, too, are gripped with the apple caper obsession!

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