Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Georgia O'Keefe And The Meals That Followed

"One can't paint New York as is, but rather as is felt"

I fear I may have fallen out of the habit of blogging. Perhaps I have lost the impulse to record my noteworthy dishes and memorable meals? Sometimes it just feels like yet another thing that needs to be done. And I wonder if anyone is even out there anyway. But today deserves a mention- if only to commit it to memory. Despite all the UN happenings in midtown, Eustacia and I decided to check out the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition at the Whitney Museum. We parked in my old neighborhood on the Upper West Side and walked through the park in pleasant early autumn weather.
The exhibition was incredible, it focused on Georgia O'Keefe's abstract paintings. There were a number of her recognizable large scale flower canvases which were gorgeous and absorbing. But the pieces I was most attracted to were in a series called Bright Star, and her paintings on Lake George. These works did for me what I feel good art does in general- it made me see things in a different way. I left feeling "spiritually" nourished but physically starving. Where to for lunch? We were in Manhattan- and a myriad of choices lay deliciously before us. Due to time constraints we decided that wherever we went should be close to the car, as we had to make a quick getaway. I remembered a Le Pain Quotidien on 72nd Street and hoped it was still there. Mais Oui and Hell Yeah! We were seated at one of those long communal tables and I immediately ordered a cafe au lait, which was perfect. Next, I deliberated over what to eat- all I really wanted was baguette with butter, which they do well, but the adorable teenaged waiter convinced me to get a cheese platter to go with it. Memories of our recent visit to LA Burdick flitted through my mind, and the stylized French-ness of it all had me going. Going, going, gone - with a final swallow of my cafe au lait, I grabbed a piece of baguette for the road, and eyed the sumptuous pastry case on the way out. We headed to the car, got back on the road that leads out of my magical island, and straight to afternoon pick up. It was one of those perfect New York days.
The presence of Georgia O'Keefe and her artwork lingered through dinner. I made cornbread and beans as a tabletop tribute to O'Keefe's New Mexico influence. Honey butter seemed appropriate for this time of year and was a nice addition to the cornbread.

Honey Butter
Mix up 1 tbsp. honey with 4 tbsp. softened butter. Great on toast, muffins, scones, and tea bread

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