5


Knödel Love

Our kitchen this morning

The last and final event of the project ‘5 The dish’ took place last night at my home on Iso Roba. Starting at 5 pm, last guests left around 1:30 am – that would be 8,5 hrs of Knödel party! This morning, I woke up with a hangover of sorts (which was not caused by too much glögi) – was this really the last event? I feel sad, but also relieved; now, the writing can start, and tomorrow, I will take off to Austria and Germany afterwards for holidays (if the snow storm doesn’t wreck my travel plans).

‘Waste’ bread from the supermarket

Preparations started with a supermarket tour on Thursday morning, when I picked up a bag full of the bread that would have officially expired the next day (supermarkets usually sort out products one day before expiration date), and which would have gone to the bin. I felt a bit like Santa Clause with that huge heavy black plastic bag full of goodies on my back, tramping back home through the snow. I unpacked the bread to prevent it from becoming mouldy – my flat smelled like some sort of bakery for three days.

The plan was to make so-called ‘Knödel’ from the waste bread, a typical German dish that recycles stale bread. I am sure none of my guests would have expected those hot steaming round bread balls to be as tasty as they were – not even me! I have to admit, the first Knödel in my mouth just truly made my night – so hearty, warming, and comforting! (talking about food arousing memories) The kitchen was packed with people, and nevertheless we managed to cook together. People just started chopping up bread and following the recipe that hung next to the stove. I didn’t even count how many different doughs were made last night, but there were quite a few, ranging from rye-beetroot- over normal white-bread-parsley-onion- to mixed-bread-with-carrots-Knödels.

All photos but first two by Marina Ekroos

The night went on with our ‘analogue Facebook’ wall – visualizing the social network of people at the party and those who had participated in former events and workshops of this project. It only stopped when we ran out of stickers! When people left, ‘Knödel doggy bags’ with the recipe printed on them were handed out to be filled with leftover bread from the table. Long live the Knödel!

Check out more pictures taken by Marina of the night on Facebook or/and Picasa! Thanks to her again for the great support. :)

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4/5 Photos online!

All photos by Marina Ekroos

This time, the event was documented by photographer Marina Ekroos, who also participated as a guest in the happening. Find more of her work from her website! Thanks to her for the beautiful pictures which can be now checked out on Picasa! Enjoy…



Open invitation to the big final 5th event!

The art and food event series ‘5 – The dish’ comes to an end with this big final event: an open invitation to the artist’s house! Welcome to bring as many friends as you want. The only thing I ask from everybody is to bring old bread – either from your own kitchen, salvaged from the supermarket waste bin, hunted for in a bakery, or from elsewhere – be creative! We will pile up the ‘waste bread’ and turn them into delicious ‘Knödels’.

This event is a chance to meet new and known faces, build up new networks, think of new projects, and reflect upon past, present, and things to come…

Date: December 5th 2010 (this week’s Sunday)

Location: at my home, on Big Mama’s 5th floor (where I share a flat with two girls). Iso Roobertinkatu 26 A 14, 00120 Helsinki

Time: starting from 5 pm onwards. Open end.

Looking forward to seeing you!




4/5, Consumed!
November 30, 2010, 8:32 am
Filed under: 4/5, Art, Bread, Design, Food, Workshop | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday night at Ravintola Kuurna in Kruununhaka: a bread making and root cutlery workshop, three plus five chefs of sorts, bottle candle lights, three experimental dishes, a shopping receipt tablecloth, melting beer glasses, and ten strangers. The ingredients that composed the fourth event of the food series ‘5- The dish’. Sounds chaotic? Maybe it was, but a beautiful chaos, with an open-minded atmosphere, delicious plates, and a nice crowd.

The evening started at 5 pm with the first half of our guests coming to join forces to create the first dish of the evening – a plate made from Ravintola Kuurna’s specialty, the home made sourdough crisp bread, topped with any vegetable creation people wanted to think of, to be eaten with cutlery made from local root vegetables as material. There were carrots, radish, parsnip, celery, different kinds of turnips and cabbages, cucumbers, leek, and spring onions ready to be cut up and composed into colourful dishes. The guests were asked to make one set for themselves and one for their avec which would join us two hours later, at 7 pm, for dinner.

When the second half of the guests arrived, preparations were still underway, but soon we could sit down for the starter creations. Antto offered a special brew of a Finnish beer brand (won’t do any advertisement here!;)), which we served in glasses made from ice (that’s how you make people drink fast!). In the meanwhile, the main course and the dessert were being completed in the kitchen – a barley-beetroot bowl with melted goat cheese and honey, and a strawberry sorbet container with lingonberries and chocolate sauce on top of a cookie plate. Yummy! The basic idea of the dinner event was to make a wholesome ephemeral experience with all objects slowly melting away, being eaten, or salvaging and repurposing trash.

Time to give props to all those people involved: first of all, thanks to all the guests for your interest and participation! Thanks to Marina for documenting the event. A very special thank you to Salla for the big support, help, and creativity with the dishes and preparations, and of course, last but not least, to Antto for the support in the kitchen, the generous sponsoring of all the food and drinks, and the provision of the kitchen and the atmospheric location! More photos are coming soon (as soon as I get hands on Marina’s material)! :)

Stay tuned for the 5th and last event coming up this week’s Sunday, 5th of December, more information can be found online soon!



Would you like the receipt?
November 23, 2010, 7:04 am
Filed under: 4/5, Art, Food | Tags: , ,

Why isn’t anybody interested in the shopping bill in supermarkets? Yes, they are cramming the wallet – but just think of a journey, when all in the sudden, those bills can become a precious memory and people start saving them as if they were valuable souvenirs? If you lay out the bills of a month, you can combine the date, the time, the place, and the things bought with the things that happened around it. But the everyday memories are not of an interest? Particularly, other people’s shopping bills can inspire stories about their lives and offer clues about their way of life. A cashier sees all the things people from different backgrounds and ‘classes’ buy, which may, at times, be really private. Did you ever think about what kind of impression you make when putting your groceries on the conveyor?

The Mexican artist Gabriel Kuri is often using shopping bills in his art. Check this out:

Gabriel Kuri, Untitled, 2008, collage on paper, 29,5 x 26 cm

 

Gabriel Kuri, Mexican grocery receipts, tapestry, 2008, detail

 

Gabriel Kuri, s.a., at Art Basel Miami Beach

 



4/5 invitations

The invitations for the 4th event are ready and sent out to three people plus my tutor Cathérine. Antto and Salla will also pick three people of their choice for the event, so that we will have many new faces coming together. The 10 guests will first participate in making edible objects together with us in a mini-workshop and then, we will be joined by their avecs two hours later.

I am excited about our list of guests and the menu! It will be inspired by Finnish local handicraft, seasonal ingredients, popular objects, and traditional recipes, and be executed by the guests, Antto, Salla, and me.



The gleaners
November 9, 2010, 12:42 pm
Filed under: 5/5, Food | Tags: , , , , , ,

The Gleaners. Jean-François Millet. 1857

Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system. (Source: Wikipedia)

Agnès Verda’s documentary ‘Les glaneurs et la glaneuse’ (The gleaners and I/Elämä on kaunis in Finnish, which means: Life is beautiful!!), released in 2000 (more about the film here, and a preview of the movie can be found here), is about people, who collect thrown-away things, ranging from food over household articles to tools and furniture, with different motivations such as simply economical necessity, political and ethical protest against abundant consumerism and food production, and holistic life philosophy. As you might have already heard and seen in the documentary ‘Taste the Waste’, optically incorrect products are already sorted out before they even reach the market, left to rot on the fields. The same thing happens in the supermarkets- as soon as there is a brown spot on a banana, it goes to the dump, without even asking the customers if they are even keen on buying only perfectly sized, monosized, green bananas.

It is assumed that customers want shelves to be exploding with variety and a plethora of neverending products, even half an hour before closing time. This leads to an abundance of edible and still valuable food, turning all in the sudden into unwanted waste and being thrown away, even though the term ‘waste’ does not even do justice to the latter. One might think, that the employees could at least diminish small parts of the ‘waste’ for their own needs, but no: that would be theft and against the law. One might think then, well, the food that is still good and harmless to health could be distributed amongst the poor- but no, hygiene laws in Finland are so strict that even that is forbidden, and the ‘waste’ goes to the bin.

No wonder that a movement started to spread worldwide: dumpster-diving (in Finnish: dyykkaaminen). In 2002, YLE has screened a documentary about a community in Espoo, that only lives from discarded food and stuff found on dumpsters. You can watch it online here. The term literally means to dive for valuable goods in dumpsters. One might be disgusted by the pure thought of eating waste, but the edibles that can be found are usually in shockingly good state and can hardly be called waste.  Dumpster diving is rather about salvaging goods that are thrown away only because crazy hygiene laws, insane competition amongst shops, and distorted perspectives on the value of things call for it.

In Germany and the States one can find so-called foodbanks, charity organizations that collect unwanted supermarket and wholesale food and distribute it amongst the needy. The world’s first food bank is the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Arizona, called into life by John van Hengel in 1967. According to Wikipedia, similar concepts can also be found in other European countries such as Iceland (since the financial crisis), Austria, Spain, and Switzerland.

Here some interesting links:

http://dyykkarit.net/ (Finnish dumpster-diving website)

http://freegan.info/ (American site with many links to worldwide networks)

http://www.endhunger.org/gleaning_network.htm (American gleaning network)

http://www.berliner-tafel.de/(German Food Bank in Berlin)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_bank (About the history of food banks and their practice)