Vincent van Gogh, The Potato Eaters, 1885. Oil on canvas 82 x 114 cm. Vincent van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
"He is a filthy beast," so thought Vincent van Gogh about his family's estimation of him. What others would diagnose as mental illness, Vincent thought of as illumination - a new vision of what painting could be: a revelation of heaven here on earth. He thought himself a prophet-painter and a thinker. The thinker side of him poured thoughts out in a deluge of words in the letters he wrote to his younger brother, Theo. The prophet-painter side began as an epiphany. He decided he would be an artist and it would take him ten years to do it. After ten years, quite eerily, Vincent killed himself. He knew for certain that painting was in the very marrow of his bones. He wanted his fellow humans to know that this man feels for the earth keenly. If he were to demonstrate to the common poor that if heaven were in simple things - the smell of the soil, the petal of a flower, a frugal meal - he had better be one with them, not above them.
For your baskets tomorrow:
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use any combination of vegetables that you like; tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, parsnips, summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, onions, rutabagas, zucchini, squash, etc. This recipe serves 4-6 people.
Potatoes, peeled or not and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium Butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Preheat the oven to 425o F. Place vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss the vegetables well with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes.
red skinned new potatoes
3/4 c. unsalted butter
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, grated
2 tsp. rosemary
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Quarter potatoes and arrange in baking dish in single layer. Salt and pepper potatoes. Combine butter, lemon juice and lemon zest in a saucepan and heat until butter is melted. Pour mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle rosemary over potatoes. Bake until lightly browned for 30 to 45 minutes.