A noisy investigation of media, with a little food on the side.
In this workshop, we brought together a group of young people after school to encourage a culture of curiosity and engagement around film and music. At 2:30 each Wednesday, we met up and prepared for our afternoon by cooking up a snack under the guidance of chef Nicole LoBue. (We started with popcorn, and got more ambitious each week.) AFter our snack, we watched a series of short and medium-length films suitable for all ages. In between the films we had group discussions. The films we watched were a selection of rare cinematic gems pulled from the fields of documentary and animation, as well as short features, found and archival footage.
In this program, it was our goal to convert the passivity and lethargy that often accompanies children watching screens into active participation: thinking, talking, laughing, and questioning. We used our discussion of movies and music as a platform for children to listen to and be heard by one another. As the weeks progress, we also begam to synchronize what we snacked on with what we were watching, making meal that emerged from a culture or idea represented in the film.
popcorn with maple butter caramel
"Western Spaghetti" by Pes (2008)
"Fireworks" by Pes (2009)
"The Deep" by Pes (2010)
- 2 cups popcorn kernels
- 4 tbsp Coconut oil
Heat a heavy-bottomed pot on high.When pot is very hot, add oil. Quickly add kernels. Shake pot vigorously with the lid on. Turn flame down slightly and allow kernels to pop. Shake pot frequently while holding on to the lid.
MAPLE BUTTER CARAMEL
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 2 tbsp butter, salted
- pinch of sea salt
Melt together maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stirring with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes until the sauce thickens to the consistency of a smooth caramel sauce. If necessary, whisk to thoroughly incorporate melted butter.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. As it cools, a thin skin may form on top. Just stir it once more with your wooden spoon before drizzling over your popcorn, tossing quickly.
Popcorn with sharp cheddar cheese
Sour jelly candy, inspired by the film "Sour Death Balls" by Jessica Yu (1992)
"Game Over by Pes (2008)
"Prank Call" by Pes (2008)
- 3 tablespoons gelatin
- 1/3 cup lemon/lime juice
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- Optional: non-toxic, vegetable-based food coloring
- Optional: a few drops of lime oil for increased sour pucker
SOUR DEATH variation
Add to above recipe
- ¼ cup Citric acid powder
- ⅛ cup Malic acid powder
- 3 additional tablespoons of gelatin
Whisk lemon/lime juice, honey and gelatin in a saucepan until there are no lumps.
Heat over low heat until melted, stirring constantly.
Add natural food coloring and/or extract if desired.
Use an ice cube tray or silicone mold . You can use a basic pan, too, and then just cut into squares or use a cookie cutter after it’s set.
Pour in the mixture, then pop in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up. Once they’re out of the freezer they will stay firm at room temperature.
Arepas with avocado and slaw
"Fox Snow Dive" by BBC Two (2009)
"Cheetahs on the Edge - Director's Cut" by Gregory Wilson (2012)
"Cheetah Project (Making Of)" by Gregory Wilson (2012)
"Glas" by Bert Haanstra (1958)
Arepas (unlike tortillas) are made with flour that is pre-cooked. This recipe is especially quick and easy, but you’ll need to find “masarepa”: pre-cooked ground corn flour. it is widely available in Latin groceries stores. Use organic masarepa if possible. Masarepa is also sold as “masa harina precocida”.
- 2 1/2 cups masarepa
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 cups warm water
- queso blanco, crumbled (we used local handmade cheese from The Amazing Real Live Food Co.)
- watermelon radish
In a bowl place all ingredients, allow to sit five minutes.
Shape into patties that are ⅓” thick and 3” wide.
Cook on a hot oiled griddle or cast-iron pan until golden, then flip.
Sprinke on a bit of queso blanco cheese, and put an already-cooked arepa on top, to help the cheese melt.
Garnish with sliced avocado and slaw of watermelon radish, cabbage and cilantro.
House-made mozzarella cheese
Bread from Bonfiglio & Bread
"Primiti Too Taa" by Ed Ackerman & Colin Morton (1988)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water
- 1 gallon raw whole milk or 1 gallon pasteurized whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet
- 1 teaspoon cheese salt
- 1/4 cup cheese salt, added to whey
Slowly heat the milk in a stainless steel pot to 55 degrees. While stirring, add the citric acid solution to the milk and mix thoroughly.
Heat the milk to 93 degrees over medium-low heat. The milk will begin to curdle.If you are using store-bought milk, it needs to be heated a bit higher for coagulation
Gently stir in the diluted rennet with an up-and-down motion for 30 seconds. Then let the milk sit still while heating it to between 100 and 105 degrees. In about 5 to 8 minutes, the curds should be pulling away from the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat.
The curds will look like thick yogurt and have a bit of shine to them, and the whey will be clear. If the whey is still milky white, wait a few more minutes before turning off the heat. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon and put into a 2-quart microwavable bowl. Press the curds gently with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible.
Drain off all excess whey. Gently fold the cheese over and over (as in kneading bread) with your hand or a spoon. This distributes the heat evenly throughout the cheese, which will not stretch until it is too hot to touch (145 degrees inside the curd). You may want to don rubber gloves at this point, as the cheese will be extremely hot to the touch.
Knead quickly until it is smooth and elastic. When the cheese stretched like taffy, it’s done. If the curds break instead of stretch, they are too cool and need to be reheated.
When the cheese is smooth and shiny, roll it into small balls and eat while warm. Or place them in a bowl of ice water for half an hour to bring the inside temperature down rapidly; this will produce a consistent smooth texture throughout the cheese. Although best eaten fresh, it can be stored in the refrigerator at this point.
Note: If you are using store-bought milk, and your curds turn into the consistency of ricotta cheese and will not come together, switch brands of milk. It may have been heated at the factory at too high a temperature.
Vanilla bean rice pudding
"Timelapse: Building Set For Sweet Dreams" by Kirsten Lepore (2008)
"Zea" by Andre Leduc & Jean-Jacques Leduc (1981)
"Begone Dull Care" by Norman McLaren & Evelyn Lambert (1949)
Vanilla bean rice pudding
- 9 cups water
- 4.5 cups basmati rice
- 1.5 tsp teaspoon salt
- 18 cups whole milk
- 6 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 cup sugar
- 3 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
Bring 1 1/2 cups water, rice, and salt to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add milk, cream, and sugar. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Increase heat to medium; cook uncovered until rice is tender and mixture thickens slightly to a soft, creamy texture, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove pudding from heat and discard vanilla bean. Divide pudding evenly among small bowls. Serve warm or press plastic wrap directly onto surface of each pudding and chill thoroughly.
sushi, inspired by the film "Jiro Dreams Of Sushi" by David Gelb (2011)
excerpts from "Jiro Dreams Of Sushi" by David Gelb (2011)
(to add to 2 cups cooked sushi or short grain rice)
- 4 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
Heat and stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved, but do not allow the mixture to boil. Allow the mixture to cool. Fold thoroughly into rice to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture.
"'Loops' excerpt (Whale Fall)" by Radiolab (producer Lynn Levy) (2011)
"Whale Fall Community" by Dr. Craig Smith (2008)
"Whale falls in Monterey Canyon: a feast in the deep" by MBARI (2010)
"Words" by Daniel Mercadante & Will Hoffman (2010)
"Muto" by Blu (2008)
(adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters)
makes 30 crepes
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan and serving
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, or vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup beer
In a medium saucepan, heat milk, salt, sugar, and butter until butter has melted. Let cool to room temperature.
Place flour in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center, and add oil and eggs. Beat until the batter is too stiff to beat and is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk mixture little by little, beating until smooth. Strain the batter through a fine sieve, and then whisk in beer. Chill overnight.
Heat a crepe pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles in the pan. (The first crepe may stick a little if your pan is not heated to the proper temperature.) Rub the pan with a little butter, wiping out the excess with a paper towel. Ladle a thin layer of the batter (about 2 tablespoons) into the center of the pan, tilting and rotating the pan to cover the bottom as thinly and evenly as possible. Lightly brown the first side for 1 to 2 minutes. Gently flip the crepe over, and brown the other side for about a minute. Turn out onto plastic wrap. The crepes may be covered and kept at room temperature for a few hours or refrigerated for up to two days. To reheat crepes, place in a covered baking dish, and transfer to an oven heated to 400 degrees until heated through.
To serve, spread warm crepes with jam or butter. Drizzle lemon juice over the butter, and sprinkle with sugar. Fold into quarters, and serve immediately.
"Horse Horse TV: The Dressage Horses - Olympic dressage backstage" by Adam Morley & Amer Chadha-Patel (2012)
jerk chicken, grilled
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup ground allspice
- ¾ cup minced scallions
- ½ cup peanut or canola oil
- ⅓ cup ground black pepper
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup minced ginger
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed and minced
- 2 3-4-lb. chickens, each quartered
Combine sugar, allspice, scallions, oil, pepper, salt, ginger, juice, soy sauce, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, and chiles in a bowl. Add chicken; toss to coat in jerk marinade. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.) Add chicken, skin side down; cook, turning once, until marinade forms a crust on the outside, about 8 minutes. Cover grill; continue cooking until cooked through, about 40 minutes. (Alternatively, transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet; bake in a 350° oven until done.)
A workshop by Bryan Welch & Nicole LoBue .