Thursday, May 23, 2013

Double Dutch

Last week, cousin Jan and I ventured into the city to admire the current exhibition at the surprisingly uncrowded deYoung Museum, The Girl With A Pearl Earring, now in its final weeks. We strolled through the painting galleries, awash in color and light. The Dutch painters of that era were not only amazing artists and craftsmen, they also managed somehow to capture an amazing glow in their canvases, as if they painted with sunshine or moonshine or magic. We drifted from one to another, amazed and impressed. Reproductions of these works simply can't capture their depth, warmth, and beauty. Whether a sweet little painting of a captive finch, or impressive portraits of wealthy couples, or amazing pictures of imaginary churches, all were alight with color and light. And the Girl, herself - well, if the guards hadn't been so vigilant, she'd be hanging in my house right now. She is so beautiful, she literally brings tears to my eyes.

After filling our heads with images, we turned our attention to filling our bellies with lunch. The cafe at the deYoung does a good job. For blockbuster exhibits like this, they erect a huge, clear plastic tent over the outdoor patio to accommodate the overflow eaters, and often serve special plates with the theme of the exhibition.  Jan and I got to try Dutch dishes that day. Her salmon salad with white beans, chick peas and green beans was quite delicious (she gave me a bite) and my choice, "Stamppot" turned out to be a pink, curving sausage with bacon lardons, potato purée mixed with braised kale, and all that topped with radish sprouts, with a generous pool of spicy mustard alongside.  This Dutch version of bangers and mash was a lovely surprise. Even though I'm currently suffering from kale ennui, I have to admit I loved it in the potatoes, where it gave texture and character to what might otherwise have been a little boring.

Remembering the fries My Beloved and I had loved in Belgium, I ordered Patat Friet with lemon and garlic aioli, too, hoping they would be as good as those. They were excellent fries, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, and the aioli was lovely with them, maybe not quite up to Belgian standard but still quite delicious. My eyes turned out to be bigger than my stomach, so Jan helped me to finish them. 

On my way home after dropping Jan off at her car, I did some errands, got my car washed, and drove home with a head full of glorious images and a tummy full of lovely food, doubly pleased with our Dutch adventure.


Blogger Diane said...

What a lovely afternoon with wonderful art and good food. I think I could say that is a favorite combination of mine. And the light those Dutch masters captured is stunning.

Saturday, May 25, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Diane, yes, we were lucky, both with the exhibition and with the food. San Francisco has had an amazing lineup of wonderful shows in the past several years.

Saturday, May 25, 2013  

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