Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Asia Challenge with Pod Collective

Well lately I've been a tad busy.... so when i heard about the latest Pod Collective challenge I decided I don't have enough time to create an artwork, so my artistic challenge for March comes to you in the form of a tart!

A bit of background on the tart....I found a recipe on and I modified it.  I will type up my version and add to here, as soon as I can get around to it.  Anyway, in the recipe you whisk eggs, sugar and cream together and put in lime juice and lime rind, which you later put through a sieve.  So for my version I put in 3 crumpled fresh kaffir lime leaves, 2 stalks of bruised lemongrass (the lower third) and a heaped tsp of freshly grated ginger.  Also, instead of 1 cup of cream I used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup coconut cream, and then added some toasted shredded coconut on top.  This was served with Red Papaya on bamboo skewers which had been sprinkled with lime juice ( I have dozens of limes on my tree!).  

To set the scene I brought in a few of my asian things, they all have a bit of a story.  

A CD "Taiwan 100 year favourites"  a classical music CD I bought on my last night in Taiwan and which was not what I was expecting!

The table runner is a piece of ikat weaving from West Timor.  Click here to see a website which explains the process of ikat weaving, this one is also in Nusa Tenggara ( the region of the islands east of Bali) During the time I lived in the N.T. I went to West Timor about 4 times between 1996 and 1999 and was lucky to meet a very interesting lady known as the Queen of Baun, Ibu Koroh in the village of Baun, West Timor.  She is a renowned weaver of the ikat style and speaks English very well.  She lives in an amazing house built by a Dutch arhitect and I went to see her each time I visited Kupang.  She loves cooking and baking cakes but couldn't get all the ingredients to get the cakes she wanted so asked me to bring her over some packet cake mixes next time I came over.  (there used to be flights from Darwin to Kupang a few times a week, it was only an hour and a half flight).  So the next time I went there I took a bundle of cake mixes and took them to her house.  She wasn't home so I left them with a friend and went back to Kupang.  The next day I returned to the hotel after an outing and she was waiting for me in the foyer.  She brought this beautiful ikat weaving for me to thank me for the cake mixes.  Needless to say I was extremely embarrassed, there is certainly no comparison, but the polite thing to do of course is to accept the gift.  This weaving has a lot of memories attached to it from my visits to the Queen of Baun and to West Timor.  There are no longer any direct flights there and I can't imagine I'll ever get there again, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to do so at the time.

 Here is a link to the website that shows weavings using Ibu Koroh's technique with some information about her.
An example of an ikat weaving from West Timor
The Taiwanese teaset is gorgeous and was given to me by a group of student I taught in Taiwan in 2001.  Going to teahouses is a big part of Taiwanese culture and I really enjoyed doing this with friends I met in Tsaotun.  This group of students were the 'advanced' level class and I also taught their children during the day at the school I worked at.  What a nice bunch of people they were, always taking me out for dinner and on weekend day trips.  
Here is a photo of me with them.  

So, after all that, here are the pictures
Served on a banana leaf with a big dollop of double cream!

Part of my Taiwanese Tea set
I forgot to mention my Thai cutlery - unremarkably I bought this at Bangkok airport, sorry, should have made up an exotic tale about it
 Shannon and Ali enjoying have their pie and eating it too...
The table, set up in our Pod Collective shop

I'm looking forward to coming back from hols and seeing the results of the other girls' challenge. 

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