When World Art and Food collide

Annie Ferris

Photo courtesy of Annie Ferris

Over spring break Ava took an amazing art class with local artist Annie Ferris.

An Unexpected Friendship

Annie and I first connected back when I was on Rick Steve’s radio show on NPR. She had the radio on while running errands and almost screeched to a halt when she realized I was cooking the world from Tulsa – the same city she lived in. Annie logged on to this web site, emailed me, and – long story short – invited me to speak to her middle school Global Gardens class.

The day we first met Annie - at Global Gardens. Ava was so little!

The day we first met Annie – at Global Gardens. Ava was so little!

friends

We soon discovered we had daughters the same age and many similar beliefs regarding peace, appreciating other cultures, and the important role of food in bringing the world together.

Annie’s friendship – and our daughters’ – are two of the happiest things to come from starting this blog.

Two Worlds Unite

When Annie suggested we collaborate on an Around the World Art Class over spring break I didn’t hesitate.

For 5 days Annie taught the kids art from Russia, India, Australia, Rwanda, and the Navajo Nation… on their final day they had an art show. To make an already special afternoon ever more fun, I created global nibbles from each of the places they’d studied.

What do you serve at a Global Art Show?

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INDIA

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Mandalas from India

There were Kulfi Pops from India to go with the Mandalas.

Kulfi is ice cream made with pistachios, rose water, cardamom, and bread.  And you don’t need an ice cream maker.

True story.

Tip: These can be made several days ahead of time.

Kulfi Pops from India

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RUSSIA

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I also made Homemade Rye Bread with Beet Caviar from Russia to go with the Matryoshka Dolls.

Rye Bread and Beet Caviar

I made the rye bread and beet caviar the night before. Beet caviar can be really complex, but I kept this one simple for the kids: 1 can beets (chopped), a few sprinkles of dill, a drizzle of oil, and garlic salt. All to taste.

Russian Dolls

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AUSTRALIA

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I made Lamingtons from Australia to go with the children’s Aboriginal paintings (many of them chose to paint iguanas)

Australian Art

Lamington quick fix: Dip day-old prepared and cubed cake into chocolate glaze and dunk liberally into shredded coconut.

Lamingtons Australia

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RWANDA

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Then there was a pitcher of freshly prepared Mango and Papaya Smoothie from Rwanda to go with the Rwandan Peace Baskets (they made these with glue-soaked yarn draped over saran-wrapped bowls ).

So cool!

Rwandan Peace Baskets

Tip: To make one half gallon blend a quart of papaya juice, 3 small mangoes, and one papaya.

Bonus? Mangoes are in season!

Peace Baskets

Peace Baskets

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NAVAJO RESERVATION

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And finally … the biggest hit was the “make your own Blue Corn Tortillas” station for the Navajo Reservation. Every child got to use the tortilla press to make perfectly thin tortillas.

Sasha Martin - Global Table Adventure

For this, simply mix blue corn flour, salt, and hot water to make a non-sticky dough. Let rest an hour, shape into small balls and – when ready to cook – press and cook a couple minutes on each side.

Navajo Dyed Yarn

They went beautifully with the brightly colored yarn the kids made.

Making Blue Corn Tortillas

What did you do for spring break?

Did you travel?

Stovetop travel?

Or did you  keep plugging away at your regular routine?

Balancing a basket on the head

(For more pictures of the art class, check out Annie Ferris’ overview)

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Comments

  1. Adorable! There are so many great activity ideas in this post, the dyed yarn necklaces actually look really pretty!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      The yarn is actually just gathered in a loop for the children to take home but I had the same thought – they would make great necklaces! I also thought about edging a potholder or something with it (or if it was long enough I’d knit Ava a scarf)

  2. What a fantastic spring break camp!!! Thank you for sharing, I’m sure the kids had a grand time!

  3. Cannot imagine a better Spring break than what you had! Absolutely wonderful!!!!!

    thanks so much for sharing!

  4. What a nice idea to combine art and little treats from each country. I’m sure my daughter would have loved that if somebody would have come up with such idea when she was in elementary school. (I would go for the Rwandan peace baskets and the Kufi pops.)

    • Sasha Martin says:

      So true – I think even extending this into high school and beyond makes a lot of sense. I found myself wishing there was such an art class for *me*! :)

  5. Wow very impressive. This is so educational for the kids on so many levels. An appreciation of art and food that can only be positive. The lack of education and appreciation of the arts is one of the biggest impediments to a healthy living lifestyle, so bravo for this effort.

    I see those Matryoshka dolls from Russia in the background. Did you know they are part of the Montessori teaching system? Of course in the Montessori system they called nesting dolls, but these are very educational for children.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      I didn’t realize that – but I could see why.. figuring out order and shapes in this manner seems like a logical part of the primary classroom – cool!

  6. I am so intrigued by the indian kulfi! With rose water in it, it must taste and smell fantastic!

  7. The elephant dress came out good. ..looks comfortable…

    Sorry…but I honestly think that place looks like an insane asylum – not an art and craft studio./ workshop…

    The kids would be better served making mud pies by the river bank ..one color scheme …a natural environment…

    Each child’s creativity is stifled and inhibited in an environment that doesn’t respect the dignity of individuality. It’s called CHAOS ….produced by everyone doing their own thing with anything and everything …a false freedom …

    There is something fundamental missing…it’s called the gift of the holy spirit….a goal, a purpose, a plan…

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