Wednesday 26 September 2018

Recipe: Imam Bayildi made easy!

Although traditionally this delicious Turkish recipe is complicated to prepare because the final appearance of the aubergines (eggplants) is striped, through scoring of the skin, I decided to adjust the recipe so that it was a one-pot dish. The adjusted recipe tastes just as wonderful as the complicated recipe, so the Imam (and anyone else who eats it) may still faint because it tastes so good! [NB: the translation for "Imam Bayildi" is "the Imam fainted".]

This is a vegetarian dish, which can be eaten as a full meal (with rice) or in smaller portions as a side or starter.

The ingredients: 2 med/large aubergines. 1 large onion (or 3 small onions as I have used), 3 tomatoes, 2-3 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup water, juice of 1/2 lemon, large handful of chopped parsley, large handful of chopped dillweed, pinch of salt (if desired), 2/3 cup olive oil, tsp sugar.

Use some of the olive oil to cover the bottom of lidded casserole dish Chop tomatoes and aubergines, slice onions and crush garlic; add to casserole dish. Then add chopped parsley, dill, sugar, salt (if using), lemon juice, water and the rest of the olive oil to the casserole.

Cover casserole and bake at 180C for about 40 minutes. Stir the casserole at least twice during this time. Serve with lemon slices and rice; I prefer wild rice with this treat of a dish. Some warm pitta or crusty bread is also nice to have with this dish as the juices are gorgeous.

You can see how large the casserole dish is from this photo before I turned on the oven.

I meant to take a picture of the cooked meal, but forgot! Or maybe I fainted...

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Antibes outdoor sculpture: Le Nomade

A visit to Antibes is incomplete without paying respect to Jaume Plensa's Le Nomade sculpture looking out to the Mediterranean.

This summer was no exception. It was an easy enough short walk up the ramparts from the beach below, when taking a break from the water.

I've always loved that one can go inside the sculpture too, as it is an open mesh of letters.

Looking up at the pure blue sky from within Le Nomade is a pleasure.

In strong sunlight, the shadows cast by the sculpture are sharp and interesting. I am always expecting to see random words with all the letters of the sculpture, but in my annual visits to Antibes, I have never actually picked out a single word!

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Antibes - musée Picasso and La Colonne à la mer

Every summer when I am in Antibes, I always check out the beautiful Picasso Museum in the Chateau Grimaldi.  I knew there had been renovations done inside, and was delighted to see more of the permanent collection given space. 

While walking past the museum, sculptures by Germaine Richier are visible peering over the walls. When inside the museum, this area is an outdoor sculpture garden, and visitors can also peer over the walls at the sea and at people walking on the ramparts below.

 A new addition to the Picasso Museum collection is La Colonne à la mer by Bernard Pagès. There is another sculpture by Pagès in the outdoor sculpture garden at the museum, but I really like the fact that this one is on the ramparts and fully accessible to pedestrian passersby.

The sculpture is made from stone from nearby Vence, painted steel and coloured concrete. According to the wall plaque on the rampart, it took about twent eight years to complete, 1989-2017.

I liked the way the strong sun made shadows play on the sculpture to become elements of the sculpture itself. There is another sculpture by Bernard Pagès in the museum, but I definitely prefer La Colonne!

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Antibes outdoor sculpture: Sosno

Every summer in Antibes (at least for the past few years that I have been there) there is an outdoor sculpture exhibition, by a single artist. Although the full exhibition consisted of 26 works by Sacha Sosno around Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, I only saw the pieces in the streets around Port Vauban. 

I was especially attracted to this triptych of cut-out columns, which had a changing perspective as one moved.

At first I thought this was a group show, as the highly polished and colourful street furniture and some sculptures were in such contrast with the rustic steel pieces. I epect they were just from different periods of the artist's work.

Other than the column pieces above, all the works had a figurative element. Even the abstracted colourful sculptures, were identifiable as "human". That said, one can also argue that architecture is figurative. These cut-out pieces that recall Roman sculptures are very playful begging for tourist photo-opportunities, as may be found usually limited to head-holes in seaside resort towns in the UK.

I enjoyed the way the cut-outs framed areas of the environment, totally dependant on an individual's point of view.