Monday, June 6, 2011

POP ART Pop Tarts!



For the National Queer Arts Festival, QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE decided to make Pop Art Pop Tarts. Taking inspiration from beloved gay artist Andy Warhol, we felt that while pop tarts were inherently fun, they could be made even more fun by substituting the regular sprinkles on top with real candy POP ROCKS, which none of us had tasted since childhood.

POP ROCKS are actually very exciting, we rediscovered, and you should go out to your local cheap liquor store and buy some immediately, because you don't normally buy them, and so they taste like childhood.

Fortunately, in the Mission, we have liquor stores on every corner, know what I mean? Sometimes inspiration means shopping in your own neighborhood and eating the crappy food that surrounds you without making a special trip to the worker-owned grocery co-operative across town. When we patronize our little bodegas for POP ROCKS and plantains and chilis and tortillas for QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE, we touch reality for most people in the neighborhoods where we live. Most Americans don't make pop tarts from scratch, and they certainly don't choose to eat food made by homos if they can help it. But here at QUEER FOOD, we do all sorts of things in the name of art.

Make some jam. Make some dough. Make them from great ingredients and not too sweet because you're an adult now and lost some of your sweet tooth. Then go ahead and put some candy crap you bought at the corner store all over it, just to prove you're not an uppity queer and too good for that. Eat your vegan pop tart and enjoy.

Life isn't about perfection, it's about trying your best and making the most of what you've got. In PopTartLandia, we find the essence of queer resilience: conceive, collaborate, improvise, enjoy, repeat.


conceive, collaborate, improvise, enjoy, repeat
conceive, collaborate, improvise, enjoy, repeat
conceive, collaborate, improvise, enjoy, repeat



Sunday, June 5, 2011

We Heart Gay Art: a short menu for art historians

Our menu for a visiting lecture by Jonathan Katz at the Queer Cultural Center, San Francisco.




More pictures here:

Queer Food for the Queer Cultural Center in San Francisco

Saturday, June 4, 2011

QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE does David Wojnarowicz



For the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco for 2011, we were invited to create food for an arts & culture lecture by Jonathan Katz, gay art historian and curator of the Smithsonian exhibit “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" at the National Portrait Gallery. Katz co-curated the exhibit, "the first major museum exhibition to focus on sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture":

'Hide/Seek' considers such themes as the role of sexual difference in depicting modern America; how artists explored the fluidity of sexuality and gender; how major themes in modern art were influenced by social marginalization; and how art reflected society’s evolving and changing attitudes toward sexuality, desire, and romantic attachment.


The exhibition was marred by controversy in 2010 when right-wing conservatives pressured the Smithsonian to cut footage from a 1987 film by David Wojnarowicz in the gallery, a few seconds of which depicted ants on a crucifix. The scene was meant to be a commentary by a prominent gay artist on the suffering of people with AIDS in the 1980's. Religious conservatives, fueled by homophobia, attacked the work by the gay artist as hate speech against the Church, dismissing its artistic merit on the grounds that such art made by gays was a waste of taxpayers money and should be banned.


Word of the Smithsonian's censorship spread, and in late 2010 a number of protests were staged around the country, honoring Wojnarowicz's work, and showing an unedited version of the film, which is now considered an historically important work about AIDS at a time when most people considered it a "gay disease" and turned a blind eye to the communities it killed.


To welcome queer art historian Jonathan Katz, Queer Food For Love served "Ants on a Cross," in face masks depicting David Wojnarowicz's face, whose lips are sewn together, as a visual metaphor for the 1980's ACT-UP slogan, "Silence=Death."


Queer Food For Love celebrates the queer resistance to art censorship and perseverance of gay artists to make historically relevant work that chronicles the lives of queer people. Viva la resistance, let them eat ants.



FRIED HEIRLOOM TOMATOES (VEGAN STYLE)


This is basically a recipe for fried green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes are awesome, but if you live in a city like us, you might have a hard time getting your hands on green (meaning unripe) tomatoes, which come early or very late in the summer, before the crop is fully ready, or after it is done and unlikely to ripen due to cooling weather.


Since unripe tomatoes don't usually it make it to market in the city, we substituted firm underripe heirloom tomatoes we found in the market early June, from the first crop of the year. Any variety will do, just make sure that they are pretty firm in your hand, that means they won't fall apart when you fry them. A little ripe is okay, but a totally ripe tomato will be too watery to be fried.


This recipe is vegan, so we substituted "egg replacer" for the eggs usually used in breading and aioli. Feel free to come up with your own egg substitute if you can find one, we just felt this one wasn't too watery and its neutral flavor wouldn't interfere much with the taste, or our frying.


Have your condiments made and ready before you even start your tomatoes. That way you have something to dip them in while they are still hot. Good matches for fried tomatoes include aioli (garlic mayonnaise), vegan aioli, or fruit chutney.


RECIPE:


Ingredients:

  • 4 or more large greenish, unripe tomatoes - heirloom varieties are best (figure at least 1 large tomato = 3 or 4 slices = 1 person )
  • 1 to 2 cups egg replacer (this is a readymade white powder made from potato flour, tapioca flower, and calcium carbonate, which acts as both a binder and leavener. You can find egg replacer in bulk at Rainbow Grocery)
  • 3 cups of plain flour (AP is fine)
  • water (to mix into egg replacer)
  • 4 to 8 cups breadcrumbs, depending on how many tomatoes you plan to fry (we made our own from drying out cubes of pain de mie bread from Acme, and grinding them in a food processor - you can use natural readymade breadcrumbs if you like, just read the ingredients first and make sure there's nothing nasty in them)
  • 2 quarts of frying oil (canola, safflower, peanut, or grapeseed oil)
  • sea salt (for sprinkling on at the end)


Equipment:

  • Frying pot (tall sided pot that holds at least a gallon of liquid)
  • slotted spoon or wire spider (for frying)
  • frying thermometer (highly recommended, so you know what temperature the oil is)
  • 3 large bowls
  • 3 trays or large plates for sliced tomatoes
  • paper towels or clean paper grocery bags (for setting fried food on)
Directions:

BREADING


1. Wash and slice your tomatoes with a bread knife (the serrated edge cuts tomatoes nicely) into slices about half an inch thick. You want it to hold up during frying. Set aside.


2 Put your frying oil into a pot that can hold about a gallon of liquid. You want the sides of the pot to be tall so the oil doesn't splatter on you during frying. Put your frying thermometer in the pot and let the oil heat over medium heat while you do your breading. Keep an eye on the temperature, you want the oil temperature to hover at 350 degrees.


3. Set up your breading station. A breading station has 5 steps, so use a large table or long counter, and line the items up in this order:

(a) a tray of your sliced tomatoes

(b) a bowl of flour

(c) a bowl of egg replacer mixed with water to the consistency of raw egg

(d) a bowl of breadcrumbs (hold half your crumbs back so they don't all get sticky at once)

(e) a platter or tray for your finished, breaded tomatoes


4. Breading several slices of tomato at once, drop 4-6 slices of tomato in the flour, toss and shake off excess flour off the sliced tomatoes. The flour is just there to soak up the extra moisture from your tomato so the crumbs stay dry.


5. Drop the floured tomato slices briefly in the egg replacer and shake off the excess or wipe it off with your fingers. You only want a thin coat.


6. Drop the eggy tomatoes in the bread crumbs. Toss the tomatoes in the crumbs til they are coated on all sides with crumbs. Remove gently and set on your empty, dry tray in a single layer. Do not stack them. Try to fry them within 20-30 minutes of breading, so your bread crumbs don't get soggy.




FRYING:


7. When you have breaded all your slices of tomatoes, you are ready to fry. Bring up your oil to 350 degrees on the frying thermometer (optimal frying temperature), and drop 3-5 slices of breaded tomato into the hot oil at a time.


8. Turn the slices with your slotted spoon, so the tomatoes fry evenly on all sides.


9. When they are golden brown, lift them out gently with your slotted spoon onto a tray or plate lined with paper towels or clean paper bags, to absorb excess oil. Do not stack, so they don't drip oil on eachother.


10. sure your oil comes back up to 350 degrees before you drop in more tomatoes. Repeat frying until all tomatoes are done.


11. Eat while hot, with aioli or fruit chutney.


If you need to hold the fried tomatoes for an hour or two, you can keep them in a 250 degree oven until service. PS: Don't pour your frying oil down the kitchen sink. Let it cool and bury it in your backyard, or donate it to your local biodiesel fueling station.


condiments:


VEGAN AIOLI


1 block soft tofu

1 cup olive or canola oil

2 Tablespoons dijon mustard

1 spoonful of vegan margarine or shortening (to help build an emulsion)

2 cloves of garlic, pounded in a mortar or chopped extremely fine

salt and lemon juice to taste


In a food processor, whip the shortening or margarine and dijon mustard. Blend until smooth. Add tofu and garlic and blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle your oil into the moving food processor; the whipping should help build an emulsion. It won't be as thick as mayonnaise, but it should be white and hold together. Add lemon and salt to taste, and continue to blend til it looks emulsified (opaque, not separated). Keep cold and refrigerated until use.



HOW WE SERVED OUR FRIED TOMATOES AT QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE:


At Queer Food For Love, we sprinkled our hot fried tomatoes with lavender sea salt, squeezed a dollop of cold vegan aioli on each tomato, sprinkled them with marjoram buds, fennel fronds, and onion flowers, and garnished them with edible flower petals. You can eat them any way you like, just make sure you salt them lightly when they come out of the oil and eat them while they are still hot. The hot tomatoes will set off the raw garlic in the aioli, making them taste extra delicious.


Do not feel guilty. Fried food is a pleasure in any culture.



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter dinner: prepping

Here are a few pics of the prep for our last dinner.









La bûche!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Queer Food For Love Presents: Winter Dinner

QUEER FOOD FOR LOVE Presents
~ WINTER DINNER~
SUNDAY DECEMBER 12, 2010
in the Mission / San Francisco

A 3-course sit-down dinner
with film & video, music, and crafts
for queers, by queers, for love.

Tickets are $20 cash only
available through Seventh Heart:
a queer clothing store located at
1592 Market St (at Page)
Hours M-F 11-7, Sat 11-6, closed Sun

Event venue is printed on the tickets.

Come be merry and be gay. xo