Tag Archives | Anna Brones

Comestible: A Print Journal About Food

Years ago now, on a visit to Western Mass, a friend and I sat around her dining room table and dreamed of creating a scrappy journal dedicated to home cooking and eating. It was going to be in the spirit of the zines of our youth, would be published a few times a year, and would strive to build community and pay its writers.

As you might guess, we never managed to pull this concept from dreamspace into reality. However, fellow food writer Anna Brones imagined a publication along similar lines and has brought hers into being. Called Comestible and launched in 2016, it is a 100% reader supported publication, with no advertisements. Printed twice a year, each issue is 64 pages, 5.25 x 7.75 inches and printed on recycled, FSC-certified paper in the Pacific Northwest.

Each issue includes original stories, artwork, and recipes. The spring/summer issue that’s currently available (and is pictured throughout this blog post), features work along the theme of reclaiming and includes stories by Andrea Bemis, Sara Bir, and many others.

You can order the current issue, buy back copies, and pick up prints of Anna’s paper cut art work here.

You should also head over to my Instagram account, because this week I’m giving away a 2018 subscription to Comestible. The winner will get the issue featured here, as well as the fall/winter edition (it will arrive in October).

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Cookbooks: Fika

fika cover

I have always been drawn to the coffee and tea rituals of other countries and cultures. When I was seven or eight years old, I tried to convince my mom that we should take up the practice of afternoon tea a la Great Britain (of course, I was mostly in it for the promise of cake).

fika spine

So, you can understand that when I heard that a book called Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break (by Anna Brones & Johanna Kindvall) was coming out, I was all in. I pre-ordered a copy for myself, but before it shipped, a review copy from Ten Speed landed in my mail box. Within 24 hours of its arrival, I’d read it cover to cover and was dreaming about instituting my own daily fika.

what is fika page

Fika is the Swedish tradition of taking a daily break in which one takes the time to have a coffee (or tea, if that’s your thing) and nibble a baked good (homemade if you can manage it). As a born and bred United States person, who has been conditioned to believe that coffee is best drunk in transit or while working (as I’m doing right now), the idea of a cultural imperative that requires you stop in order to enjoy a cup and a snack hugely appeals to me.

fika rye bread

If you also feel drawn to the idea of fika, this book will help get you oriented and ready. It begins with an introduction to fika and then proceeds to address the history of Swedish coffee. In that chapter, you’ll find also find recipes for the seven traditional fika cookies.

They’ve also included sections on modern fika treats, things to make during the summer months when time can be spent outside, fika for celebrations, and finally breads, sandwiches, and ways to turn fika into a full-fledged snack.

fika jam thumbprints

I marked a number of recipes to try, including the Jam Thumbprint Cookies pictured above (I love that they are more like tiny tarts than the thumbprints we’re used to), the Almond Tart on page 58, and the Quick Buns on page 70. There are also a few jam recipes tucked here and there throughout the book, and they are sensible, non-nonsense takes on preserving which I appreciate.

fika back

Instead of using photography to depict the recipes, this book relies on Johanna Kindvall’s charming illustrations. I love this element, but if you buy cookbooks for the images, this might not be the right book for you.

I predict that this is a book that I’ll keep in regular rotation, both for the approachable recipes as well as for the reminder to take step away from the phone/computer/camera/stove for a little while each day.

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