Artist Page - Andrea

If you have not checked out Andrea's blog you are missing out!  Not only is the writing great; she has one of the most entertaining reads on the internet.  Smart, quick wit, imaginative, funny and she can hula!  Listings in order from newest submission to the oldest.

Theme twenty-two inspiration: Something that frightens you
"Fossilized Grimace"
Taken on the peninsula in Samoa, Humboldt County

Theme ten inspiration: Dreamland
A wordle is a toy for generating word clouds. One simply puts in text or a url and the program poops out  a wordle.  I write about my dreams a lot on my blog. For this wordle I included every post I've ever made about my dreams, my dream life and a few other little tidbits about dreams.  Enjoy.
 (Click on image above to link to the full-sized image.)
Wordle: Andrea's Dreams

Theme nine inspiration: "Out of My Element"
"Out of My Element?"
In the Hawaiian language, the word "huaka'i" means "trip" or "journey."
For a hula dancer it means something different.  It's an educational and cultural journey one takes with one's Kumu (teacher) and fellow haumana (students). Next May my class and I will be traveling to O'ahu for our huaka'i.
I'm not Hawaiian. I don't look Hawaiian. I've never lived in Hawaii. An outsider might say that I have no business being a part of a community with whom I have no real shared history. However, I've worked hard for this. My Kumu says that I am ready to take this journey with my hula brothers and sisters. For this, I am not out of my element.

Theme six inspiration: "Shadow"
"Shadowy Graveyard"
This is a graveyard in Santa Cruz across the street from the Portuguese Hall. It's an interesting place because it has grave markers from the 17th Century all the way to present day, its permanent residents comprising an interesting mix of adults, children and soldiers.
As you walk up the stairs, the staircase branches off to small grave plots. The further back and up one goes, the older the headstones. The further back and up the less the stones resemble gravestones. The names and dates have been rubbed off over time; the stones broken and stacked 5-6 high.
Funny thing about this graveyard is that a great number of them say "Tennessee". Did a lot of Portuguese folk in Tennessee have a giant Exodus ending in Santa Cruz?

Photography and Story

My in-laws have a condo in a funky little gated community in Guerneville. On the property, separating the row of condos from the river is a thicket of yummy; wild blackberry patches grow not ten feet from the little patio attached to the condo. Presently most of the blackberries bushes are just starting to bear fruit. Some still have pretty purple flowers, but most of them have turned into bunches of tightly packed unripe berries. In the coming weeks as they ripen, we will get to enjoy them, save for the ones the blue-jays get to first.
I love picking berries in the late morning, just after my first cup of coffee. It's fun to scout out which ones aren't quite ripe enough to pick in the morning but will be perfect come about 4pm after the berries have had a chance to soak up the day's sun.
Yesterday I found the perfectly purple berry surrounded by a big cluster of berries that still needed to cook in the sun. I twisted it off and handed the first berry of the season to my son.
 Theme Three -Title "This Pattern is Perfect For_______" 

"This Pattern Is Perfect for Showing You're a Well-Rounded Dork"
Crochet Pattern

"You Turkey! Oh wait, um . . . . I mean “You Chicken”!
Cooking & Story 

One day Hubby brought home a cookbook. Not sure where it came from, how he got it or why he decided that this particular cookbook would be a good addition to our home, but upon one of our bookcases in the kitchen did this new cookbook take its place. Yes, we do indeed have 2 bookshelves in our kitchen filled with cookbooks and books about food.

The book was (and still is) called Classical Turkish Cooking: Traditional Turkish Food for the American Kitchen by Ayla E. Algar.

When we first got the cookbook I leafed through it. The recipes sounded delicious. One recipe caught my eye; Tavuk Göğüsü. It was a dessert made with chicken breast. In all honestly, I think it caught my eye because it sounded kind of gross. The rest of the recipes, however, sounded yummy. I decided that if the rest of the recipes were good, then this one, however weird sounding it was to my American tastes, it was probably good; either that or it was one of those things that one has to grow up with to enjoy like Marmite, Natto or Lutefisk.  

The cookbook sat on my shelf for a few years, forgotten.

Flash forward to modern day.

I work with a woman from Turkey. Her name is Derya. Derya is very quiet. She doesn’t initiate conversation very often, but when someone else starts the conversation, she’s very friendly and has a good sense of humor. We often get lunch together. Sometimes we sit and eat it together, but a lot of the time we go back to our individual desks and eat while we work.

I brought Ms. Algar’s cookbook to work with me and asked her to pick out some recipes that I should make. She came back to me a week later with a list. On that list was Tavuk Göğüsü with a little smiley face next to it.

I made this recipe last Monday night. I don’t think it turned out as good as it could have and I get the feeling that some old woman in Turkey that’s been making this dessert her whole life could probably make it really yummy and beautiful looking.

The dessert called for -
The breast of a freshly slaughtered 3lb chicken – I used some frozen chicken tenders I bought at Trader Joe’s.
Milk – I used Horizon Organic Vitamin D milk
Rice Flour – I used Uncle Bob’s Red Mill Organic Brown Rice Flour
Sugar – I used C&H Sugar that had a vanilla bean inside of it for the last 6 months.

There are a few more steps involved than this, but basically you boil the milk and sugar, make a slurry out of some milk and the flour, combine, boil and then add the chicken and stir until thick.

From this point one can spoon into pretty dishes and serve.

The author also suggested putting the pudding in a heavy bottom sheet pan and put over a burner to gently burn the bottom. I tried this method. It made the house smell like burnt marshmallows and chicken. After cooling, I should have been able to cut the pudding into strips and then make sort of a jelly-roll shape out of it. That part didn’t work out too well. I guess I didn’t cook the pudding enough to thicken as much as it should. Also, the bottom didn’t get crusty enough. The whole dessert just looked like a giant mass of pudding skin.

We all took a bite out of it on Sunday night. Hubby and The Boy had some yesterday as a snack. The Girl and I didn’t care for it very much.

I told Derya about my adventure in making it. She told me I did something wrong and that I shouldn’t have been able to detect the chicken in the pudding.

My question is why add the chicken? If it wasn’t supposed to add any flavor, what purpose did it serve? It’s not like chicken breast has any fat, connective tissue or collagen to speak of that would have helped with the thickening process. It didn’t seem to have a purpose other than maybe adding some protein, but if it’s a dessert, why would it need protein? One would assume the protein was contained in the main part of the meal. Why would it be in the dessert?

Anyhow, the process of making this dessert, my interaction with Derya, my fondness for blogging, my joy of cooking and feeding my family and my desire to enjoy foods in all its forms has inspired me to make the rest of the recipes Derya suggested. I’ll possibly write about those ones as well.

Theme One -  Photo Inspiration 

 "A Sea of Endless Possibilities to Reach One Goal"
Digital Painting


Anika said...

Andrea-there's a comment about your second entry on Ego's page...couldn't figure out how to move it so thought I would let you know! The people loooove their Turkish cuisine!!

Chashway said...

I love Turkish food!!! I have a friend who is... well.. Turkish and I beg her to bring food to work for lunch so I can smell it (Perpetual diet here) when she warms it up!!!

Chashway said...

Anika, That was me :) . I missplaced my comment, but I just put it where it blongs :)

Anika said...

Chashway-you are so sweet!
Thanks for the comments and nice things to say!
Perhaps you will be inspired by this next theme to create a piece of jewelry??? If so please submit a photo and join in the fun...we'd love to have you!

Anika said...

Your Shadowy Graveyard is such a beautiful photo! I love the mood... great work!

Anika said...

Dreamland comment - I just recently discovered's addictive! It is interesting to see what pops up too.

Access4artists said...

WOW, I really like your Artist Page. Your blog is very cool. You make the most beautiful art! Keep it up.