Monday, August 6, 2007

New altered book idea - Food Poisoning

I am going to work on an altered book entitled "Food Poisoning". Its is little odd old medical book I bought at the flea market.

We had some odd eating habits in our family. We never ate anything with cooked tomatoes. So, no tomato sauce, no spaghetti, no pizza. We would put ketchup on macaroni and cheese and call it spaghetti. We never ate out, so didn't know the difference. None of the family are very adventurous cooks. We have a few things we cook well, but more things that we don't. None of us were ever very impressed with food so didn't develop very sophisticated palates. We ate to stay healthy - good healthy meals, but rather devoid of much flavor. Mother was an Iowa farm girl, so big meals, lots of meat and potatos were the common fare. My dad was always a gentleman and thanked and complimented her every day for dinner.

This book will feature the mistakes, the errors in judgement, the burnt beans, the creamed tuna made with plaster of paris, the lead-like buckwheat pancakes, and what we used to call candy - which tasted more like medicine (Mother bought them at the health food store) - Horhound drops. Yuch. No wonder I never developed a taste for hard candy. After spending the weekend with my brother talking about our childhoods, I realized there was an altered book just waiting to be constructed on the memories of food that are sort of unique to our family. My daughters-in-law cook, the grandchildren cook. Maybe I can tap into their horror stories too.

So now that the book is chosen, and the theme is developing - the next step is gathering the images that will help illustrate it. Family photos of course, and other found images. Maybe some old recipes. I think the whole thing is a bit silly, but I think it will be fun. I have photos of animals in strange contortions that will probably be used to illustrate tummyaches and so forth. I think that this will probably develop pretty fast. It's kind of a family journal of our eating history. I guarantee this is one of a kind. I'm so glad I found that little book at the flea market. No one else would have bought it. Indeed they had boxes and boxes of books that were not selling. If I could have gone back in the afteroon, I would have got more for next to nothing - but I was back in camp waiting for Ace hardware to deliver my new lawn swing. Oh well, I probably have enough books for awhile.

Since posting the beginning of this post, I have been in the studio where I picked up a book of Shakespeare quotations which I think I will use in this book. I seldom quote Shakespeare - but maybe just this once. Things like "Good sooth, she is the queen of curds and cream." or, "For this, be sure, tonight thou shalt have cramps."

I'm already envisioning a page stamped with real green beans in black ink to commemorate my mom's penchant for leaving them on the stove until smoke filled the house. Then later, we would get out the ladder and wash the ceiling and walls. Not one of my fondest memories, but it does give me a giggle now, looking back. She was the greatest baker of bread and cinnamon rolls. She and my aunt Verna Mae. I'll never have cinnamon rolls like that again. Maybe this winter I'll try to duplicate them. Yummm. All the family loves them. "Then to breakfast with What appetite you have." Yes, Shakespeare is going to work out fine for this one.

Then there was the night my high school sweetheart came back from the beach with gunny sacks full of tiny little fish for us to "cook?" My mother was not pleased with this great gift and my brother and I were dispatched to the backyard to bury them. "thou deboshed fish thou."

Yes, a food book is in the works.

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