Carrot soup, chicken enchiladas and brownies: cook with Georgia O’Keeffe
A new cookbook of the artists personal recipes offers insight into her approach to healthy eating and the dinners she shared with Frieda Kahlo
According to Carol Merrill, one of artist Georgia OKeeffes caretakers, being at her table was to be immersed in beauty with few distractions and an unspoken invitation to completely focus on the matter at hand. The fragrance, the presentation, the savour of the fresh food in the simple surrounds was like being surrounded by fine music without audible sound.
Breakfast was a formal affair: She always liked to come over to the dining room. It was a very formal event. We might have a fire for breakfast in the little hearth in the dining room, Margaret Wood, another of OKeeffes caretakers, remembers.
Lunch was the main meal of the day, and dinner was designed to be lighting, delicious, and healthy. The perfect day would include productive time in the studio, finished off with an outdoor dinner framed by the cliffs above and the expansive mesa beyond.
Known for her interest in healthy eating, OKeeffe clipped and collected recipes throughout her life which she would frequently cook for family and friends. Australian writer Robyn Lea dug through her extensive files for a new cookbook of the artists personal recipes, Dinner with Georgia OKeeffe: Recipes, Art and Landscape( Assouline, $50 ), which offers new insight into the iconic American artist.
Creamy carrot soup
This soup provides the excitement of intense coloring on the table and is an almost perfect match in hue to one of OKeeffes preferred petroleum paints: Cadmium Yellow Medium by Winsor& Newton. Several of her paintings feature the colour, including Pelvis Series Red and Yellow, 1945; Pedernal from the Ranch II, 1958; and Green, Yellow and Orange, 1960. The soups deep, saturated yellow seems especially striking when served with table decor of otherwise muted tones, or in elegantly simple fine white ceramic soup bowls such as those OKeeffe employed, made by Centura by Corning.
For OKeeffe, colour was a life force, an elixir, and a deep-seated visual language that she was compelled to express through her run: Color is one of the great things in the world that induces life worth living to me.