I am at the six month mark with this little blog and within the collection of paintings, prints, and sculptures featured on the site, one element has been sorely lacking – photographs. Throughout my studies I was always particularly interested in studying photographers, I found the manipulation of the mechanical medium to be enthralling. By frequenting the Tate galleries and the yearly Frieze art fair while living in the UK, I was introduced to David Shrigley and Martin Parr’s art. My own personal aesthetic style has been greatly influenced by both artists. I wanted to embody the irony often found in Shrigley’s work within the recipe selection for this post. I thought, by elevating the common condiments of ketchup and mustard to a relatively posh concoction with sophisticated flavors, I would be able to mirror the satire of the everyday life found in the photograph. In effect, the lavish attention paid to the condiments turns a low-brow summer dinner into an interesting meal I would eagerly anticipate at any BBQ.

David Shrigley, Hot Dog, 2002
30 x 40 cm, Photograph on paper, edition of 10

Although David Shrigley’s photographs are included in major public museums including the Tate Collection, he is predominantly known for his humorous cartoons like Who I Am And What I Want 26. His drawings often feature text acting as commentary about the image. The art is rife with satire and he depicts the every day life of an individual struggling against a social body (1). Hot Dog is part of a series of photographs where Shrigley anthropomorphises inane objects with cartoon-like eyes. The photograph captures a solitary moment – a universal instant familiar to any viewer. The humor injected into the image through the use of the hot dog initially deters from the poignancy of the sterile bed on which the foodstuff lays.

Ketchup and mustard is among the ubiquitous pairs of foodstuffs always uttered in the same breath like peanut butter and jelly. There are as many names (and spellings) for ketchup as there are varieties of mustard with my favorites being Catchup and the wholegrain style respectively. In the United States, ketchup is one of the most common condiments found in 97% of households (2). Not only is mustard popular in the States – it is also found in the cuisine of India, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, northern Europe, the Balkan States, Asia, and Africa (3). The recipes below are both quite spicy although they contain very different heat. The chipotle chilies offer a smoky spice while the mustard could be likened to the English variety (but with a hint of sweetness) which is described as having a wasabi-like sensation.

{Chipotle Ketchup}

adapted from The Washington Post
Yield: 2 cups

1/2 red onion, diced
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
14 ounces tomato puree, canned
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons seeded mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 chipotle pepper + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 lime

Sweat the onions with a bit of salt and the oil in a saucepan for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and chili and let cook 30 seconds while stirring. Incorporate the remaining ingredients (excluding the lime) and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes until thickened. Puree with a hand blender for 2 to 3 minutes and add the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and store in a jar in the refrigerator.

{Dark Beer Mustard}

Yield: 2 cups

1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup dry mustard
1/2 cup dark beer
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 yellow onion, minced
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground chili
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine the three types of mustard in a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to a saucepan and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes over medium heat until the mixture has reduced by half.

Pour the reduced mixture into the small bowl with the mustard seeds. Leave on the counter for 48 hours before partially pureeing to the point where the mustard is creamy but the seeds are still grainy, takes about 5 minutes with a hand blender.

Transfer to jars and let age for three days in the refrigerator. This will allow the mustard to mellow in flavor.