Today as I worked on the task of Casserole Perfection, I pulled out my copy of the legendary Mennonite culinary source - The Mennonite Community Cookbook. Turning to the "Cheese, Egg, and Casserole Dish" chapter, I immediately noticed the small, detailed drawing framing the title at the top of the page - a cheese cloth hanging from a tree branch, dripping every so slightly onto the Dishes.
|A teapot in the "Bread" chapter. The intricate details are amazing.|
The Mennonite artist is Naomi Nissley from Pennsylvania - a serious, well-trained, accomplished printmaker. Her work has appeared at Harvard, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Cookbooks today are filled with vivid photography - portraits of stunning dishes aimed to stimulate a palate. My own photos of food seeks to do the same, as well as tell the story of its making.
But rarely do we see cookbooks today that feature the work of printmakers to show a particular culture's art and foodways. Yet another reason the book is an icon.
The drawing above struck me especially as it seemed to tell a lovely story like...
"YES! My love is home!"
Or maybe, "Oh great... The Millers have arrived for dinner!"
Or maybe, "Holy Crap! The Millers have arrived for dinner early! Quick... hide the television!"
|I'm sure some Mennonite somewhere has this for a tattoo. Rightly so.|
|I want those dishes|
I included the one above because I'm hoping someone can fill me in on what in the world that thing is the woman is holding. I'm baffled and intrigued.
Now back to my casserole...