Archive for the 'Staff' Category

An Enduring Legacy

DMA staff celebrated a true Dallas icon on Monday: Margaret Milam McDermott. Not only did she support the DMA throughout her life, but upon her recent passing, her renowned collection of Impressionist and modern art was given to The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund to benefit the Museum. These works will be on view in the special exhibition An Enduring Legacy: The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Collection of Impressionist and Modern Art. Though in true Margaret McDermott fashion, she added a special stipulation: prior to the public opening, DMA staff would be given a special time to enjoy her pictures—along with an abundant breakfast buffet, of course. That was just the type of person she was.

As her memorials attest, she touched many lives here in Dallas, not least of which included Museum staff. Russell Sublette, Senior Preparator, fondly recalls countless lunches in her Dallas home, where she would entertain guests from all walks of life. During one memorable meal in 2009, Mrs. McDermott discussed an upcoming trip to Gettysburg, a site she had not yet been able to visit. Surprised that her travels had not taken her there, Russell mentioned that he knew the Gettysburg Address. Mrs. McDermott asked him to recite it, and by the end, had tears streaming down her face. They shared a love of the written and spoken word, so Russell was always happy to repay her deep kindness with the gift of words. “Margaret built a nest in the clouds and she allowed us to visit. That was a great privilege,” he says.

Russell Sublette views his favorite artwork from the McDermott Collection: Poplars, Pink Effect by Claude Monet.

Madeleine Fitzgerald, Education Coordinator for Audience Relations and former McDermott Intern, looks back on her lunch with Mrs. McDermott with a smile as well: “She welcomed all the interns into her home and treated each one of us as if we were her own family, sharing stories of her life and experiences that I will always treasure.”

“Margaret was generous with a lot of zeros, generous with a few zeros, but most of all, generous with her spirit,” says Martha MacLeod, Senior Curatorial Administrator for the Curatorial Department. Her boundless generosity will truly be her lasting legacy—at the Museum and across Dallas.

An Enduring Legacy: The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Collection of Impressionist and Modern Art will be free for the public to enjoy from June 14, 2018, through February 17, 2019.

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator for Internships and a former McDermott Intern at the DMA.

Haute CAT-ure: National Dress Your Pet up Day

It’s the most PAWsome time of the year for DMA pets: National Dress Your Pet Up Day is on January 14. Every year our favorite pups and kitties look to the galleries for inspiration and bring to life works of art for this dog-gone fun day.


DMA Staffer: Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services
DMA Pet: Parker, English Springer Spaniel, age 4 (he belongs to my parents but I borrowed him when I was home for Christmas)
Portrait Inspiration: This year I picked Old Pilgrim because Parker is really good at giving you all-knowing and wise expressions. I borrowed my dad’s duster and hat and my mom’s purse and used talcum powder on Parker’s ears to make him look older and more distinguished. I believe Parker is very comfortable posing for this yearly event, as he loves all the attention, hugs, and treats.


DMA Staffer: Jessica Thompson, Manager of Teen Programs, and Gregory Castillo, Multimedia Producer
DMA Pet: Bastion, Cocker Spaniel, age 11 months
Portrait Inspiration: Although the DMA has wonderful portraits of spaniels in the collection, we looked for a work of art that shares one of Bastion’s best traits: his floppy ears! We made a saddle that tied onto his harness so he could carry one of his favorite toys around; however, we don’t think Bastion was very pleased with this development.


DMA Staffer: Jessie Carrillo, Manager of Adult Programming
DMA Pet: Jenny, Basset Hound, age 7
Portrait Inspiration: Whenever I see this work of art, I’m reminded of Jenny with her long nose, knobby head, and signature expression that is some combination of skepticism, poutiness, and irritation.


DMA Staffer: Dr. Anne R. Bromberg, The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art
DMA Pet: Miss Suzl, Maine Coon, and Miss Bounce Bounce, Abyssinian
Portrait Inspiration: Suzl is ready to pose for anything and resembles the lively cats in this painting. Bounce loves food and would be happy to raid a larder.


DMA Staffer:
Tamara Wootton Forsyth, Associate Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Facilities Management
DMA Pet: Hamish McTavish, Shelter dog, but definitely some Schnauzer and maybe some Scottie, age 1 1/2
Portrait Inspiration: My step-daughter Katrina Forsyth chose the pumpkins for our work of art, mainly because she loves the experience of the pumpkin infinity room. But also because we love our dog. The work is aptly titled All the Eternal Love I Have for the Hamish McTavish!


DMA Staffer:
Lindsay O’Conner, Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs
DMA Pet: Hattie, Terrier Mix, age 3
Portrait Inspiration: Hattie is known for her lively personality and long, wiggly little body, making her the perfect fit to channel Fernand Léger’s playful, seemingly weightless swimmers. Always happy to be the center of attention and no fan of baths, Hattie needed no encouragement to dive into the felt water-free re-creation of The Divers (Red and Black).

[images: Pietro Bellotti, Old Pilgrim, c. 1660s–1670s, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation 1987.4; Chess piece, India, Punjab Hills, late 18th-early 19th century, gilt and polychrome ivory, intended gift of David T. Owsley, 64.1996.2; Hakuin Ekaku, Daruma, date unknown, ink on paper, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, 1972.1; Frans Snyders, Cats Fighting in a Larder, with Loaves of Bread, a Dressed Lamb, Artichokes and Grapes, by 1620, oil and panel, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Campbell; Yayoi Kusama, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016, wood, mirror, plastic, acrylic, LED, Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore and Victoria Miro, London, pending joint acquisition of The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund, © Yayoi Kusama; Fernand Léger, The Divers (Red and Black), 1942, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation, 1982.29.FA, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris]

Kimberly Daniell is the Senior Manager of Communications, Public Affairs, and Social Media Strategy at the DMA.

Meet the McDermott Intern Authors

Elise Armani – McDermott Intern for Contemporary Art
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:
As the McDermott Curatorial Intern for Contemporary Art, I support curators Gavin Delahunty and Katherine Brodbeck in realizing exhibitions and projects in the Contemporary Department. This often consists of researching objects in the collection, gathering information on potential objects and artists for upcoming exhibitions, pulling sources, and writing labels.

Three things about me but not about my work:
I have a pitbull mix named Miró, though he has yet to bark at the moon.
-My favorite film is The Silence of the Lambs.
-My favorite eggcorn is “cease the day.”

Favorite three works in the DMA:
Jim Hodges, Changing Things, 1997
-Phil Collins, the world won’t listen, 2005
-Lee Bontecou, Untitled (35), 1961

Kathleen Alva – McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:
I help brainstorm, prepare, and lead the DMA’s Gallery Talks, Late Nights, Second Thursdays with a Twist, and special tours. I also work with the Arts & Letters Live team to bring incredible authors, performers, and artists to Dallas.

Three things about me but not about my work:
I love dancing and rhythms: clogging, flamenco, and tap are my favorite dance styles to practice.
-I was once on America’s Got Talent (but will never tell you where to find the video).
-After living in the same California city for the first 17 years of my life, I have moved at least twice each year since.

Favorite three works in the DMA:
-Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, Front doors from the Robert R. Blacker House (Pasadena, California), 1907
John Singer Sargent, Study for “The Spanish Dancer,” 1882
-Vincent van Gogh, Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, September 1888  


Beth CreMeens – Dedo and Barron Kidd McDermott Graduate Intern for European Painting and Sculpture
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:
I work closely with the curator of European art, Nicole Meyers, on upcoming exhibitions, projects, and provenance research into the permanent collection. Additionally, I am curating an exhibition of our works on paper collection that will be open in May 2018.

Three things about me but not about my work:
-I love traveling, and have been on two road trips up both the east and west coast, and into Canada.
-My cat Loki and I love to sleep in on Saturdays and read in bed.
-I like Latin music and dancing.

 Favorite three works in the DMA:
-Edward Jones, The Pilgrim at the Gate of Idleness, 1884
-Gustave Courbet, Fox in the Snow, 1860
-Thomas Sully, Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, 1843

Samantha Evans – McDermott Graduate Intern for Family and Access Teaching
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:
I will be assisting the Family, Access, Schools, and Teachers team with all of their many wonderful programs this year!

Three things about me but not about my work:
-I like to cook.
-I like to visit new places.
-I love old musicals.

Favorite three works in the DMA:
-Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1901,
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Flowers, 1915–19
Thimble, late 19th–early 20th century

Olivia Feal – McDermott Intern for Interpretation
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:
I see this job as being in-between education and curatorial duties. I work mostly in the Center for Creative Connections interacting with visitors and the public, but I also get to do behind-the-scenes work developing materials for the Testing Zone and Pop-Up Art Spot. Outside of C3, I help with prototyping and evaluating interpretive materials used in the Museum’s permanent collection galleries and special exhibitions. This position is great because I get to work with the public, but I also get a chance to incorporate educational initiatives into the rest of the Museum.

Three things about me but not about my work:
-Any time I go to a new city or town I always make sure to stop in a diner at some point.  (I have this weird dream of going to at least one diner in every state; so far I have been to 10 states in the US).
– I love to watch foreign films and documentaries; one of my favorite movies of all time is Vivre Sa Vie. (I am super excited that Dallas has the Angelika Film Center.)
-I never learned how to drive.

Favorite three works in the DMA:
Sword ornament in the form of a lion, Ghana, Asante peoples, c. mid-20th century
Romare Bearden, Soul Three, 1968
-Tadeusz Myslowski, Avenue of the Americas, New York City: Works from 1974 to 1979, 1979

Tayana Fincher – Curatorial Intern for African Art
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:
I am helping finalize exhibition and publication plans for an upcoming show in April. Duties include dealing with photography and image loan requests, rights and reproductions, brainstorming object location in the gallery spaces, as well as creating and finding interpretive materials for gallery display.

Three things about me but not about my work:
-I used to be an avid nail-biter.
-I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
-I collect movie tickets/stubs, and I have a pretty hefty collection since I started in 2010.

 Favorite three works in the DMA:
Anthology manuscript, Turkey, c. 1605–10 (Keir Collection)
Elephant mask (mbap mteng), Cameroon, Bamileke peoples, c. 1920–30
-Julie Mehretu, Epigraph, Damascus, by 2016

Danielle Gilbert – McDermott Graduate Intern for Arts of the Americas
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:

I work with Dr. Kimberly Jones on ancient and contemporary art from South America, Mesoamerica, and North America. With an archaeology and cultural heritage background, I am excited to help research, celebrate, and share the beauty, traditions, and meanings represented by these diverse cultures and artists.

Three things about me but not about my work:
-I have participated in archaeological excavations in the Lurín Valley, central-coast Peru, and Mount Vernon, Virginia.
-I love to read 19th-century British and American novels.
-I love to go hiking or wander around cities with historic architecture.

Favorite three works at the DMA:
Quipu (khipu) with top and subsidiary cords, Inca, 1400–1570
-Mantle with condors, Paracas, 300–100 B.C.E.
-Hummingbird pendant, Olmec, 800–400 B.C.E.

Lea Stephenson – McDermott Graduate Intern for American Art
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:
I assist the curator of American art in preparing upcoming exhibitions and researching the permanent collection. Some of my tasks include writing object labels and researching paintings in the galleries. I’m often surrounded by books on 19th-century and early modern American artists, like Childe Hassam and Charles Sheeler.

Three things about me but not about my work:
-I’m originally from Vermont, and a true New England girl, which means I love cold winters and old, colonial houses.
-I collect 19th-century photographs found in antique stores.
-I’m fascinated with Great Britain and always trying to find places for traditional English high tea.

Favorite three works in the DMA:
-John White Alexander, Miss Dorothy Quincy Roosevelt, 1901–02
-Sir Thomas Lawrence, Portrait of the Honorable Mrs. Seymour Bathurst, 1828
-Alfred Stevens, The Visit, before 1869

Yohanna Tesfai – McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching
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Me and my job in 50 words or less:
I assist with art educational programming for docent trainings, Go van Gogh school teachings, teen programs, and local community centers.

Three things about me but not about my work:
-I am a Tudor history nerd. My favorite queen is Anne Boleyn!
-I love all things from the 1980s. I have practically memorized all three Back to the Future movies.
-My dream car is a 1980s Volvo 242 DL sedan.

Favorite three works in the DMA:
Shiro Kuramata, “Miss Blanche” armchair, 1988
Alfred Thompson Bricher, Time and Tide, 1873
Asikpo Edet Okun of Ibonda, headcrest, late 19th–early 20th century

 

 

Falling for Dallas

Fall is one of our favorite times of year at the Museum: student tours return to the galleries after summer hiatus, special exhibitions begin to open, and–most exciting of all–a new class of McDermott Interns joins our ranks!

This year’s class is comprised of nine talented women: three native North Texans, three north-easterners, two Southern Californians, and one mid-westerner. We basically have the US represented from sea to shining sea! Some are more familiar with the Metroplex than others, but all are very eager to experience what Dallas and the Museum have in store this year.

Kathleen Alva, McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live, recently graduated as a McDermott Scholar from UTD in Richardson–that makes her McDermott squared! Originally from the LA area, she’s excited to be discovering Dallas proper this year.

Yohanna Tesfai, McDermott Graduate Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching, recently moved back to Dallas after completing her MA in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. She recommends checking out NorthPark Center for some shopping with a healthy dose of art, which I wholeheartedly support.

Samantha Evans, McDermott Graduate Intern for Family and Access Teaching, has spent her past few years in Denton where she completed her MA in Art Education at UNT. Also from the LA area, she too is looking forward to getting to know Dallas.

Elise Armani, McDermott Intern for Contemporary Art, joins us from the Midwest, having recently completed her BFA from the University of Minnesota. She’s excited to get involved in the Dallas contemporary arts scene.

Lea Stephenson, McDermott Graduate Intern for American Art, completed her Masters in Art History at Williams College in Massachusetts. As a New Englander, shes excited to explore all the unique things Texas has to offer.

Beth CreMeens, Dedo and Barron Kidd McDermott Graduate Intern for European Art, is a native Dallasite who has returned after receiving her Masters in Art History from Tufts University in Massachusetts. Beth loves visiting White Rock Lake, her favorite Dallas spot for strolling and appreciating nature.

Tayana Fincher, McDermott Intern for African Art, also attended Williams College in Massachusetts, where she completed her BA in Art History. She is originally from McKinney, Texas, and is excited to participate in the myriad cultural opportunities available in the Arts District.

Olivia Feal, McDermott Intern for Interpretation, recently completed her BA in Art History at Smith College in Massachusetts. As a public transportation expert hailing from NYC, Olivia is enthusiastic to become acquainted with her new town via DART.

Danielle Gilbert, McDermott Graduate Intern for Arts of the Americas, received her Masters of Philosophy in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage from the University of Cambridge in the UK. Danielle is looking forward to enjoying a performance by the Dallas Symphony.

We look forward to working with them and helping them get to know Dallas better in the months to come!

Sarah Coffey is the Education Coordinator and former McDermott Intern at the DMA.

After Hours: Staff Art

 


Ever wanted to know more about the staff at the Dallas Museum of Art? Until November 26, After Hours: Works by DMA Staff will be on view on Level M2. The show features 60 works by 38 staff members and showcases talents from many different mediums, including video and sculpture work. DMA employees whose roles at the Museum range from gallery attendant to librarian participated in the exhibition.


David Caldwell, a Gallery Attendant Supervisor at the DMA for 5 years, created his painting Marie Madeleine En Provence Devant Un Monolithe Kubrick this year based on the story of Mary Magdalene in the South of France and the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Caldwell has a BFA with an emphasis in Broadcast/Film from SMU. When asked how his position at the DMA inspired his artwork, Caldwell said, “My role at the DMA has inspired my paintings. As a Gallery Attendant, I learned about La Pausa [the home of Wendy and Emery Reves in the South of France], the phrase means ‘the pause.’ I found out that it refers to a French legend that Mary Magdalene fled the Holy Land a few years after the crucifixion. She and her entourage were adrift on a boat in the Mediterranean. They came to shore at what is now the French Riviera in Provence. Legend has it that Mary and her friends, on their journey inland, rested in a grove of olive trees that reminded them of home. That olive grove is said to be located on the property, called La Pausa, of Coco Chanel and then Wendy and Emery Reves. I would have never known this story had I not worked at the DMA.”


Center for Creative Connections Coordinator Kerry Butcher graduated with a BFA in Studio Arts with an emphasis in photography. Butcher entered two photographs she took during a road trip to Montana with friends in 2015. Using a gently used point and shoot film camera, Butcher said, “I had the intent of really working on refocusing my eye on capturing moments that were personal to me, something I felt I had somewhat lost touch with since graduating college.”


Burdette Katzen, a Library Assistant at the DMA for 18 years, created an oil painting titled Morning in Byzantium for the show. When speaking of her work, Katzen stated, “I especially enjoy depicting ordinary women performing typical tasks during their average days. Although there are many impressive paintings of spectacular landscapes, and colorful flowers, I believe there is great beauty to be seen in the simple things of everyday life.”

On your next trip to the DMA, stop by the exhibition and check out the works created by the staff!

Samantha Nemazie is the Exhibition Design Intern at the DMA.

 

New Conservator in our House

Recently we welcomed Elena Torok to the DMA’s Conservation Team! She joins us in the new role of Assistant Conservator of Objects. With over 24,000 objects in our encyclopedic collection,  an active acquisition program, busy exhibition calendar, and  increasing analytical/research needs, this additional staff member will assist with the growing demands on conservation.

She will work closely with the Collections and Exhibition Teams – and looks forward to sharing her holistic and scientific knowledge of materials with the larger team – creating a care plan for the collections.  She will dive immediately into the treatments of several objects for upcoming rotations.

Below, Elena answers a few brief questions for Uncrated to introduce her to you.  Welcome Elena!

Before joining us at the DMA, where did you work?
Before joining the DMA, I worked for just over four years as a conservator at the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG) in New Haven, CT. Most recently, I worked on YUAG’s large-scale storage move of 35,000 objects to the new Margaret and Angus Wurtele Collection Studies Center, a brand new visible study and storage center at Yale’s West Campus. I also assisted with the treatment and scientific analysis of a range of different types of objects (including decorative arts, modern and contemporary sculpture, and archaeological materials).

Prior to my time at YUAG, I earned my M.S. from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation in 2013 with concentrations in Objects Conservation and Preventive Conservation. During and before my graduate studies, I also completed internships at The British Museum (London, England), the American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA), and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Williamsburg, VA).

Growing up, what type of career did you envision yourself in? Did you think you’d work in an art museum?
In college, I actually majored in Neuroscience! I thought for a very long time that I wanted to be a scientist or a medical doctor. But as soon as I learned that the field of conservation existed (which combines many different types of science with art and art history in very exciting ways), I completely changed paths.

What skill set are you most proud to bring to the DMA?
I have really enjoyed the work I’ve done in preventive conservation (or the prevention or delay of deterioration of cultural heritage). I look forward to continuing this work at the DMA. Recently, I have participated in research related to Oddy testing (used for selecting materials for an object’s storage or display that have the most ideal ageing properties), anoxic treatment methods for pest management, and environmental pollutant monitoring.

What is your favorite thing about being a conservator?
I love that my job allows me to interact with collections in ways that often shed new light on an object’s history or an artist’s work, which continually enables me to keep learning. I feel lucky to be part of a field that also serves to share this information and connect the public with cultural heritage and works of art. I am so thrilled to work at the DMA and I very much look forward to working with and learning from the staff and the collections!

Fran Baas is the Associate Conservator at the DMA

The DMA Test Kitchen

This Friday, author, artist, and editor Natalie Eve Garrett will be here to discuss The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook which features intimate, funny, and heartbreaking stories paired with recipes from some of the most brilliant creative minds of our time.

And, in what has become a tradition for the Adult Programming team, we decided to try our hand at making a few of the recipes featured in the book. You can find our other cooking attempts here, here, and here.

Madeleine Fitzgerald, Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming:

I couldn’t resist choosing Alice Hoffman’s Grandmother’s Recipe for Life (also known as potato soup) for a couple of reasons. First of all, my mother’s potato soup has literal healing powers. Anytime one of my family members or friends had surgery, my mother and I would make the Famous Magical Potato Soup and by morning you would miraculously feel better. I knew going into this that nothing would beat my own mother’s recipe, not even Alice Hoffman’s grandmother’s recipe. There’s no way this soup could be more magical than my mother’s. Even if it’s from the writer of Practical Magic.

This recipe called for very few ingredients, and three of them were garlic, onion, and leeks. Nothing compliments potatoes better than onions and garlic! Also, any recipe that calls for wine is a friend of mine.

First you chop the trifecta of the onion family. It’s important to spend a sold 5 minutes admiring and photographing the geometric shape and bright green color of the leeks.

In a heavy saucepan, melt an entire stick of butter, the onion, lots of garlic, and leeks and cook until soft and starting to caramelize.

While you stir for about 10-15 minutes, open the wine early and pour yourself a glass (especially in a cute DMA wine glass!).

Then chop up the potatoes and toss them in as well. The recipe said to sauté for 7 minutes, but I wanted them to get some brown crispy spots on them before adding in the liquid (caramelization equals flavor!), so I actually let them cook for about 20 minutes before adding chicken stock, wine, salt, and lots of pepper. I poured a second glass of wine here.

The recipe does not tell you how long to cook the soup once you add the liquid. The last step is literally “Hope for the best.” I cooked it for about 20 more minutes until potatoes were cooked through and the starches in the potatoes naturally thickened the soup.

I garnished with some homegrown chives and more pepper (and maybe another splash or two of wine). I liked the soup just fine, but it needed more than just potatoes and onions.

Things I Learned: Next time I’ll add a lot more veggies: corn, peas, carrots, and even chicken or bacon. This soup was very creamy, even without any actual milk, cream, or cheese, which my mom uses heavily in her recipe. And this is why, for me, my mom’s recipe will always be better than Alice Hoffman’s grandmother’s.

 

Stacey Lizotte, Head of Adult Programming and Multimedia Services:

I decided to make the Kentucky Pizza because I am always on the lookout for a new pizza crust recipe and I was curious what zucchini and squash would add, texture-wise, to a pizza.

When I have made pizza dough before, the recipes usually call for you to let the dough rest for two hours, giving the yeast time to do its job. This recipe calls for a 24 hour resting period. So I made the dough on a Saturday in preparation for a Sunday pizza dinner.

This recipe also mentioned using a pizza stone – and while I normally make my pizzas on a sheet pan I thought I would treat myself to a pizza stone and a pizza sheet (used to transfer your pizza to and from the hot stone).

After preparing all my ingredients – shredding the smoked mozzarella and cooking the vegetables – I assembled my pizza on the pizza sheet.

I used plenty of corn meal and flour on the pizza sheet to make sure it wouldn’t stick and could slide right off on to the hot stone…but apparently I did not use enough. As I ended up with this:

Needless to say, my Sunday pizza dinner ended up being this:

Things I learned: When you are trying out a new kitchen tool, like a pizza stone, you maybe should do a few test runs before trying a recipe that will be featured on a blog.

 

Jessie Frazier, Manager of Adult Programming:

I’ve always found it kind of magical when a recipe makes strange ingredients tasty, so the editor’s own contribution to the cookbook, Disgustingly Good Cookies, caught my eye.

The recipe begins with chickpeas, drained, dried, and chopped in a food processor until they form a fluffy and surprisingly dough-like consistency. I added peanut butter, honey, vanilla, banana, and baking powder to the mix and finished it off with dark chocolate chips. I’m ashamed to say I was not brave enough to try the raw dough.

After scooping gobs of dough onto a cookie sheet and pressing them with a fork, I topped each cookie with a pinch of sea salt and put them into a 350 degree oven for about 13 minutes.

The flavor is nutty, oaty, just sweet enough, and thankfully not reminiscent of chickpeas. The texture is more akin to no-bake energy bites than crispy, ooey gooey cookies. These are not the indulgent cookies that I would eat while binge-watching Netflix. They are the ones I would put in my gym bag for a boost of energy before spin class, if I went to spin class.

Things I Learned: I still want to eat real cookies. But I’m glad to add this trick to my repertoire.

 

Katie Cooke, Manager of Adult Programming:

I was drawn to Francesca Lia Block’s Apple “Betty” recipe at first because I would be able to eat baked apples and call it work. And second, because of the beautiful, but sad poem that went along with it. The early stanzas call for white tapers, a crystal, and a plastic horse. I hope everyone will be okay with my substitutions of white tea candles and a tuxedo cat.

This recipe is about as simple as it gets, all I needed was flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, butter, and 4 apples. I’m always happy with a recipe that calls for things that I already have in my pantry.

You combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, easy enough. And then I went to work peeling the 4 gala apples. The recipe called for sweet or tart apples. I honestly do not know what the best apple is for baking, but gala apples are usually pretty sweet, so I chose them! After peeling the apples I cut them into quarters and pared them. To be honest, I think I may have cut them a little thinner than I should, but they were all uniform and isn’t that what really matters in the end? I’m going to tell myself, yes.

After all that cutting you throw the apples in the buttered pie pan. You melt the “cube of butter”, that is all it said in the recipe, so I used my best judgment. You melt it and mix that into the dry ingredients and then scoop it evenly onto the apples. I covered the pie pan with foil and baked it for 15 minutes then removed the foil and baked it for half an hour. It smelled amazing while it baked, 10 out of 10 for smell alone.

The first reaction I had was that the topping was good, but that was probably due to the clumps of warm, brown sugar. I wanted there to be cinnamon or nutmeg, some other flavor to really bring out the apple’s sweetness. But, for a recipe that I could make pretty much any day, at a moment’s notice, AND have Blue Bell ice cream, I was a happy camper.

Things I learned: Warm, baked apples should still count as a serving of fruit, even when there’s ice cream involved. Also, it’s great when a recipe is simple, but expect the taste to be on the simple side.

 

Please join us on Friday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. to hear Natalie Eve Garrett discuss The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes.


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