Cook: With a cherry on top | News, Sports, Jobs
When we join our interests with those of others, it is always a victory! I experienced this firsthand when I joined the Minot State Art Club as a student. We held regular meetings and discussed artistic matters. It was our spring trip to Minneapolis to see the Picasso exhibit at the Walker Art Center, however, that cemented that belief.
Walter Piehl was responsible for the trip. Before we had a chance to see Picasso’s original works, he reminded us of this: Painting is more than an aesthetic. He went on to explain that it’s about creating a feeling. He wanted us to relate to the feeling that Picasso represented in this vast exhibition. It’s something that I never forgot because it allowed me to really appreciate the exhibition. Did I like or understand each exhibit? No, and I just didn’t need it. I continued to use this understanding whenever I looked at art and it served me well.
It was my first experience in a big art institute and it made me want to visit art museums throughout my life. Over the years, I have had the good fortune of being exhibited by traveling to many different art museums in our country, Canada and Europe. The Walker Art Center has always been a favorite stop, perhaps because it was my first experience in an art gallery.
On July 18, Claes Oldenburg died at his home in Manhattan at the age of 93. I got to know this marvelous artist by watching his “Spoonbridge and Cherry” Walker Sculpture Garden. The piece was completed in 1988 and straddles a small pond and no you can’t step on the spoon! Perhaps you have seen this utilitarian image that is pictured here today.
Oldenburg was a Swedish-American sculpture best known for his giant public art that featured nostalgia-infused objects that could have been found at Ideal Cafe and Rose’s Cafe in Rugby, as well as the Park Inn Cafe in Underwood. He also created sculptures from objects that would commonly be found in a desk drawer.
You see Oldenburg inflated many objects to giant proportions. For example, he made the sculpture Typewriter Eraser which is on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He created a giant three-way electrical outlet for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The list is lengthened increasingly. Be sure to check out his awesome Clothespin which is on display in downtown Philadelphia.
It was his comfort food creation, however, that caught my attention. You know the guy who keeps your waistline in order, ice cream cones, pies, cakes and even cheeseburgers. Love, love her “Pastry case” which is on display at the Museum of Modern Art and it is a must see during a visit there. These crates were found in every coffee shop in small towns and the fact that he elevates these crates and their delicious contents to an artistic level leaves no question how one feels. Yes! I’ll have a slice of homemade blueberry pie with a cup of joe!
Oldenburg graduated from Yale in 1956, he went to New York and opened a shop where he and his first wife, Patty Mucha, created so-called soft sculptures of cheeseburgers, carrots, etc. His second wife, Coosje van Bruggen, was also an artist and was created by placing the giant cherry on top of the spoon sculpture. He received the prestigious National Medal of Art – an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984 to honor artists and patrons of the arts.
The recipe presented is certainly one that would be well represented in a display case. I would like to have one! It contains maraschino cherries which are always fun to use in baking! This recipe came from Larry Evander, former owner of Rexall Drug in Underwood and baker for the store’s mini lunch counter.
Cherry Pecan Specialty Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter plus 1 tbsp, divided
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 tablespoon of water
1/2 powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Put aside. In a large bowl, cream the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating until well blended. Stir in nuts, cherries and almond extract. Pour the batter into a greased loading pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. In a small bowl, melt the remaining butter, 1 tbsp. Add water, powdered sugar and a drop of almond extract. Mix well and pour over hot bread. Makes 1 loaf.