THANKSGIVING to COREY STEIN and PELLEGRINO ARTUSI

 “The Art of Eating Well”

TUNDRA-VENICE Chapter 4 (Chevac, Alaska — Venice, California)

By Rosanna Albertini

While I crack eggs, and separate the yolks from the whites, hoping my Italian potato cake for Thanksgiving will look better than a panettone, my husband has a hard choice to make for his pumpkin pie: goat milk, soy cream, real cream? Fat, sweet, irresistible butter or vegan buttery spread? Real eggs, children of hens, or a liquid substitute? For this time, November 2015, we pretend history of cooking stopped in 1891, when Pellegrino Artusi published his “Art of Eating Well,” a book in perfect Italian language that helped to unify Italy more than the monarchy or the republic, with recipes for common readers of a country in which most people did not speak Italian.

I learned to cook from that book when I was twelve, and never quit. Only, beware of eggs, one century ago they were much smaller, their number must be cut in a half. And don’t be afraid of simple food! Pellegrino Artusi writes the recipe of the meatloaf as spirited as Corey Stein when she depicts the California Surfertaco.

COREY STEIN, Surfertaco beads hand sewn on felt, Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Surfertaco
beads hand sewn on felt, Courtesy of the artis

183 . POLPETTONE (Meatloaf)

Mister meatloaf, don’t hesitate to come forward, as I wish to present you to my readers. I know that you are retiring and shy because you’re conscious of your origins and realize you are more lowly than many others. Take heart and doubt not that a few words in your favor will convince people to try you, and perhaps even smile upon you.”

Corey Stein’s siblings in Alaska would be the perfect eaters of Artusi’s GENOESE PUDDING featuring a mixture of milk-fed veal, chicken breast, prosciutto, butter, grated Parmisan and eggs. The pudding must be completed, on the top, with chopped liver cooked in meat sauce. He recommends to serve it hot, “if it was made well, I guarantee your guests will remark on its delicacy.” It could be an alternative source of calories for lovers of Carnation evaporated milk. Unfortunately, also among the icebergs, butter is replaced by all-vegetable shortening. Adding mashed potatoes, sugar and salmonberries, good health is assured.

COREY STEIN, Crisco beads hand sewn on felt, Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Crisco
beads hand sewn on felt, Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Carnation milk beads hand sewn on felt, Courtesy of the artist Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Carnation milk
beads hand sewn on felt, Courtesy of the artist

In California, instead, cows could cry in their stable: soy milk is ‘silky,’ who ever would call silky the creamy, good smelling cow milk? They call it FAT. Yes, nourishing food has been banned from our lives, but we shouldn’t ignore that rich food of the past, like the Macaroni pie, were prepared and offered rarely, meat was on the table only once a week or less, bread and tomatoes were a whole meal.

COREY STEIN, Silk beads hand sewn on felt, Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Silk
beads hand sewn on felt, Courtesy of the artist

201. PASTICCIO DI MACCHERONI (Macaroni pie)

The cooks of Emilia-Romagna are usually very good at making this difficult and expensive dish, which is excellent when it is well made―a thing that’s easier said than done. Macaroni pie is a Carnevale [Mardi Gras] dish, and during that period of the year, there isn’t a luncheon or dinner in Romagna that doesn’t begin with it.

I once met a Romagnan of legendary appetite who arrived unexpected at a party as the guests were sitting down in front of a magnificent pie fit for a dozen. “What!” he said. “Just that pie I could eat all by myself for all of you?” “If you can eat it, we’ll pay for it,” they replied. The good man didn’t wait to be asked twice, and did. “He is going to croak by morning,” the astounded spectators said to each other after the performance. Luckily, the man’s condition wasn’t serious, though his belly did swell until the skin was as tight as a drum and he groaned, writhed, and cried out as if he was in labor. A man armed with a rolling pin hurried to his aid and, kneading his stomach as if it were dough, cleared the way for who knows how many other pies.

Gluttons and parasites of this type are rarer in our time than they used to be, for two reasons, I think. First, the human constitution has become frailer, and second, spiritual pleasures, a benefit of civilization, have eclipsed the pleasures of the flesh.”

 

The Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi (1820-1911) is a translation of La Scienza in Cucina e L’Arte di Mangiar Bene. Translated from Italian by Kyle M. Phillips III, Published by Random House, New York, in 1996. Out of print, but probably it can still be found as used copy, if the search is well done.

BLESSED NEWS

TUNDRA-VENICE: Chapter 3 (Chevac, Alaska — Venice, California)

About COREY STEIN from Sunland, California

COREY STEIN, Fox tanning in the sun Venice CA)  2010 8

COREY STEIN, Fox tanning in the sun (Venice CA) 2010,   8″x 11″x 2″ beads hand sewn on felt
Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Fox tanning in the sun (Chevak AK) 2009 8

COREY STEIN, Fox tanning in the sun (Chevak AK) 2009,  8″x 11″x 2″ beads hand sewn on felt
Courtesy of the artist

The air lives a life that is not ours

to understand; it lives its own blue

windy life that starts overhead and soars

upward, ending nowhere. Looking out of the window, you

see spires and chimneys, rooftops of lead;

you see this: the beginning of a great, damp world

where a roadway, which reared us, heads

to its own premature end. Dawn curls

over the horizon. A mail truck clangs by.

There is no longer anything one can choose

to believe, except that while there’s a bank on the right,

there’s a left one too: blessed news.

JOSEPH BRODSKY, Collected Poems in English, 2000

There is a human fox on the left and the skin of a fox on the right. The sun is roasting both. It’s a curious news that for both of them we don’t know what it is or was inside the skin, who’s the animal. As a stereotype, the woman isn’t less empty than the fox. The two of them are clever at deceiving. Impersonal bodies, blocked by inertia. The sunlight they stored should turn them into a lively and funny pair of bodies. Instead they dry up like motionless images, nothing to dance with. It’s almost impossible for an artist’s mind to give up with the skin obsession; whatever the object they bring to life, they sacrifice their own skin. (Symbolically I mean, like the round, white small host on the tongue of the faithful.) Michelangelo painted his own skinned body on a corner of the Sistine Chapel, Corey Stein paints two foxes, with beads: one supposed to be in California, the other in Alaska, blessed news.

COREY STEIN, Beach bear 2008 8.5

COREY STEIN, Beach bear 2008,  8.5″x 9.5″x 2″ beads hand sewn on felt
Courtesy of the artist

And yet the uncivilized, the wild beast breaks into the scene without permission, so surprised he did it that he didn’t even feel the heath of the sand, nor the fear of the beach population that left him alone, measuring the shore with long steps. Angry, maybe. Perhaps another symbol, the power of a dark spot in the sun. Breathing the air “that is not ours to understand.”

Might one say the Venice building is easier to comprehend? It lives its own wooden life, painted white, sheltered by bars at the windows and locks at the door. That’s the thickest skin. As the artist is taken by the sense of it, the needle slips from her fingers, ending as a blade into her skin. She bleeds but doesn’t cry.

COREY STEIN, Hang'in on Breeze Court  2010, 8.5

COREY STEIN, Hang’in on Breeze Court 2010, 8.5″x 12″x 2″ beads hand sewn on felt
Courtesy of the artist

A crime story for Christmas

1, 2, 3, 4, 5        by Rosanna Albertini

Thank you, COREY STEIN

Numbers have such a pretty name … They have something to do with money and with trees and flat lands, not with mountains or lakes, yes with blades of grass, not much a little but not much with flowers, some with birds not much with dogs, quite a bit with oxen and with cows and sheep a little with sheep and so have numbers anything to do with the human mind … They ought to have something to do with the human mind because they are so pretty and they can bring forth tears of pleasure …” (Gertrude Stein)

COREY STEIN, friction 2006 bead work on wood   Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN,    Friction     2006     Beadwork on wood   5″ x 21″ x 11/2″
Courtesy of Christine Arburua

And they have something to do with Corey Stein’s counting and beading, beading and counting and hanging stories of fear on the branches of a pine tree who shows the story of other trees dancing their deadly waltz on the wind – fire, fire! – asking the green green grass for relief but burning as well while a fox runs away from the flames in search of ponds lakes or a comfortable shade where to rest and count her dreams of rabbits maybe not so fast runners.

Maybe there is no crime if wind and flames are only told by words and beads and they only came to clean the forest to make space for young trees or the fox might run looking for her love in a different forest there is hope for sure although we never know what might happen that we are not able to see or tell, nor write. Fears have a house: they become a tree. Do they know that same body that embrace them contains the tools for a crime?

COREY STEIN, Waltz on the wind    2006 Beadwork on wood with stone & matches   11" x 16" x 2"     Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN,    Waltz of the wind    2006
Beadwork on wood with stone & matches 11″ x 16″ x 2″
Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Waltz of the wind    2006  Matches detail.

COREY STEIN,    Waltz of the wind    2006    Matches detail.

COREY STEIN,fox on the run 2006 beadwork on wood with stone and matches   11" x 16" x 2" Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN,   Fox on the run    2006
Beadwork on wood with stone & matches 11″ x 16″ x 2″
Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, green green grass of home    2006 beadwork on wood with stone and matches  11" x 16" x 2" Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN,    Green green grass of home    2006
Beadwork on wood with stone & matches 11″ x 16″ x 2″
Courtesy of the artist

Tundra-Venice: Chapter 1

COREY STEIN from Sunland – California

“If there was no geography no geographical history would there be any human mind not as it is but would there would there be any human mind.” (Gertrude Stein)

Corey Stein going to Chevac seven years ago to see a cousin took a quite bad panoramic photograph of the snow. Back to Los Angeles she saw it was looking more like the sand of Venice Beach. Chapter I started with that and was called

TUNDRA-VENICE

(Chevac-Alaska, Venice-California)

COREY STEIN, Panorama Quiver, 2017-2014 Seed beads, fabric, wolf fur, 11 x 20 inches Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Panorama Quiver, 2007-2014
Seed beads, fabric, wolf fur, 11 x 20 inches
Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Panorama Quiver, 2007-2014  Back side. Seed beads, fabric, wolf fur, 11 x 20 inches Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Panorama Quiver, 2007-2014 Back side.
Seed beads, fabric, wolf fur, 11 x 20 inches
Courtesy of the artist

“Looking down is the same as passing over.

Snow is always astonishing when it is looked at.

But the more astonishing when the trees the bare trees make shadows on it.

Dogs do behave as they please that is as they naturally please until they are told not to.

Anything like that is annoying and annoying has something to do with the human mind. It means it is attached and waits not to go away but to stay. In this way annoying or annoyance is a symptom of there being a human mind.

Yes a human mind.

And what is it.

Is it that all the same.” (Gertrude Stein)

COREY STEIN, Chevac Dump, 2011 Seed beads hand sewn on felt, 13 x 9 inches Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Chevac Dump, 2011
Seed beads hand sewn on felt, 13 x 9 inches
Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Venice Dump, 2011 Seed beads hand sewn on felt, 13 x 9 inches Courtesy of the artist

COREY STEIN, Venice Dump, 2011
Seed beads hand sewn on felt, 13 x 9 inches
Courtesy of the artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does she say. She says that Benjamin Lincoln and Aaron Neville and herself were born in the same month and day the 24th of January and that this nobody can deny. Can any one this deny not even now and she does not but she would have liked better April 4th. Human nature cannot know that there is no use in being a baby girl born January 24th if she is to grow up to be a woman. (R.A. in the mood of Gertrude Stein)