ALL in Lowell

Recently I visited Van Gogh’s Gear in Lowell to purchase some art supplies for an upcoming show, (more on that later). Laura, who works there, was great in helping with practical tips for framing and displaying works on paper. Laura mainly works with oils, but has started to get back into printmaking. She encouraged us to visit the exhibit in the room adjoining the shop, The Fabrication of Imagination, by Arts League of Lowell – ALL, sponsored by Artscope Magazine.  The show just ended, but thought I would share some of the works by members of ALL. These photos are also posted on Paper Connection International’s Facebook, where I freelance. Paper Connection is a great resource for handmade paper for all sorts of art applications.

Burdock, Lilies, and Dulse, Veggie Soup Delight

Made a nice, warm, and healthy soup recently, using burdock, dried lilies, and dulse.
What is dulse? you may ask. It is an edible seaweed found just north of us on the Northeastern Canadian coast. My friend, who hails from that area, gave me a generous dried bag full, and loves to eat it just like that, crunchy as a snack. I wondered how it would taste heated in an Asian inspired soup.

So onto burdock, which is my latest go to root vegetable. I usually boil it, add some rice vinegar, sesame oil, and fresh grated ginger, and let it set for a few minutes while I move on to something else. You can eat it cold, (I make a slaw type salad out of it with shredded carrots, soy sprouts, broccoli, etc.), or even in sushi. For that, you have to go to Ranzan, in Providence, RI.

Burdock root, peeled…
…and then boiled for about 10 minutes.

In this case, I just use one big pot, and cook the burdock first, as it is quite hard. I like my burdock a bit on the crunchy side, so let it boil a bit more if you like it softer.
Dried flowers are something I like to have in the house, great for soups like this, (or even added to some sauteed bitter greens). Add when you can just about stick your fork through the burdock.  The dulse will cook the quickest, so I save this for last. If you prefer tofu, throw it in at the last minute as well. You do not want spongy tofu, unless, you do want spongy tofu.

Dried Chinese lilies, which I bought at P & R in Chelmsford  You can also find  fresh burdock there as well.
Dulse, from NE Canada,

It’s quite simple, actually, just let all the above ingredients simmer, while you add in what spices you like. I usually add fresh ginger, garlic, a bit of sesame oil, soy sauce, more rice vinegar, and Chinese ground pepper to taste. The flavors of the ginger and garlic will be stronger when you add them in later.

Noodles were cooked separately, the soup poured over them.  If you want your noodles to absorb the flavors, I suggest cooking them in the soup, but do so before you add the dulse.



A Bamboo Soup to Warm You Up in Lowell

bamboo shoot sour soup
Originally uploaded by duxyak

I love this bamboo shoot sour soup-perfect to warm you up on these cold winter days we are having up in Northern MA.
I haven’t been to Phien’s Kitchen yet, but the concoction of winter veggies is beckoning me. I can just smell the aroma and feel the steam seen in great photo by duxyak!

Here are images of some ingredients to inspire you, such as Chinese greens, and bamboo shoots: