Hello, readers and eaters! I took quite the holiday break, eh? Over my blogging vacation, I went wheat-free. So, from here on out, there will be less bread up in here. Luckily, my beloved pasta can be wheat-free, so, without further ado-
The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro, is a book very artist should read. Every art historian as well. I do mean amateur, as well as professional- there is so much food for thought (see what I did there) in this book. I found myself repeatedly setting the book down to google images, ideas, and equipment. It was like taking a class in advanced oil technique, only with a suspenseful subplot, which none of my college classes ever have.
The plot centers around a disgraced but tremendously talented painter, Claire. She has a History with the art world that has reduced her to living illegally in her tiny studio, spending her afternoons at a bar she can’t afford to drink in.
When a very attractive, successful dealer offers her a deal that will end in a triumphant comeback, she takes it. Her end of the bargain is to copy a Degas, which will be passed off as an original to a foreign buyer. The first catch is that the original she is working from is stolen. The second catch is that Claire begins to suspect the “original” is itself a forgery. Intrigue and twists ensue.
Claire, when making her first dinner date with Attractive Dealer, tells him she normally eats mac and cheese. To be cute, he makes her a gourmet version for their first evening together, with herbs, mushrooms, and fresh tomatoes.
The Macaroni Forger
1 lb macaroni
2 12 oz cans evaporated milk
4 Tb butter
2 lb assorted grated cheeses
(I used Brie, Parmesan, and white cheddar.)
4 oz cubed cream cheese
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup red wine
1 heirloom tomato
1 stalk fresh rosemary
Hm, I misordered those. Put the last four ingredients in a small pot and allow to simmer whilst you prepare the noodles.
Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the macaroni 2 minutes less than the directed time. Drain it and return to the pot. Add the milk and butter to the pot as well. Add the cheeses a bit at a time until melted.
Remove from heat, and cool for a few moments until you can add the egg without scrambling it. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into a 9 x 13 and bake for 1/2 hour. Top with mushrooms, which you have kept separate in case you have guests like Ashleigh Nelson, who flout excellent taste in favor of childhood prejudices.
Serve with more wine and a salad.