The holidays are past us and as we start the new year, I am looking forward to my group Hevreh Ensemble‘s album release concert in February at the Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn. I realize that I need to get into shape with a regular practice routine. And, if all goes well, I am scheduled to travel to California at the beginning of March for a collaboration with the iconic jazz oboist Paul McCandless; made possible by a professional development grant from Hofstra University- all very exciting! This is made all the more fun because McCandless lives in the middle of wine country in Sonoma County and I will be accompanied by my intrepid travel companion Carol!
Not bad things to have plans on the horizon as we slog through the rest of the winter. And, on a particularly gray, cold and raw Sunday, we thought of a trip to New Haven and the Yale University Art Gallery and maybe takeout from the wonderful ramen restaurant Mecha Noodle Bar!
The Yale University Art Gallery is one of our favorite places to visit. The collection and special exhibits are excellent, the size of the museum is perfect; not too large, but big enough that you leave feeling full and satisfied and there is always free admission.
For this visit, we headed up to the Modern and Contemporary Art Collection. As were entered the large gallery our eyes were drawn immediately to a beautiful and familiar work by Pierre Bonnard- “Interior at Le Cannet”.
I often become visually overwhelmed when visiting art museums and have found it helps if I stroll slowly through the galleries, not trying to see everything at once, my eyes become accustomed to all of the richness and beauty of the art; then I am drawn into a few works that I can focus on.
This particular day after a few minutes of walking together, we took off in opposite directions. I enjoyed the bold lines and brilliant colors of works by Kadinsky, Pollack and Picasso.
I was most taken with works created by artists that I was not familiar with including Dora Bromberger’s Village Street.
Dora Bromberger born in 1881, was a German artist who painted expressionist landscapes. She was born in Germany into a Jewish family and in 1941 was deported to a concentration camp where she was killed in 1942.
I was most taken by a work by the American painter Sam Gilliam (1953-2022) titled “Haystack”.
I sat on a nearby bench and was mesmerized by the beautiful intricate patterns and rich imagery.
Paul and I met up and we showed each other some of our favorite paintings. We both were taken by Paul Klee’s “Joyful Mountain Landscape”.
Perhaps it brought to mind the joy that we have experienced surrounded by the beauty of nature during our walks.
Recently, dear friends from Toronto stopped through on their way to their daughter’s wedding in Boston. We had not seen them since the beginning of the pandemic. After their long drive, we wanted to make something nice for dinner. For dessert, I was thinking of something light but satisfying; lemon curd came to mind. Combined with chia pudding and fresh fruit, it looked pretty and after the holidays, was a guilt free pleasure. This could easily be enjoyed for breakfast!
Lemon Curd/ Chia Pudding Parfaits
Yield: 5 servings
Low fat Lemon Curd
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- ¾ cup granulated monk fruit sweetener ( I used 1/4 cup for a very tart flavor, you could also use regular sugar)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- ⅔ cup lemon juice
To prepare lemon curd: Whisk whole egg, 2 egg whites, granulated sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough that drawing your finger across a coated spoon leaves a mark, 5 to 12 minutes. Do not let the sauce come to a simmer. Pour the hot curd through a fine-meshed sieve into a small bowl, pressing on the solids. Let cool slightly and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.
- 2cups unsweetened almond milk
- ½cup coconut milk
- 85grams chia seeds (½ cup)
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (or to taste)
In a quart container with a lid, combine almond and coconut milks, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Stir thoroughly so that seeds are evenly hydrated. Let rest at least 20 minutes or until pudding has a rich, creamy texture. Seeds should be fully hydrated. (Pudding will keep for up to 3 days but may require rehydrating with more almond or coconut milk as the seeds continue to absorb liquid.
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried on a paper towel
1 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed and dried on a paper towel
Place 1/2 of the chia pudding at the bottom of 5 wine goblets or clear glasses
Layer raspberries on top.
Place lemon curd on top.
Add a layer of blueberries.
Finish with a layer of the remaining chia pudding.
Refrigerate for a few hours .
AND: Here is the “Tree of the Week”!