Recipe Stories: Joy of Cooking Cookbook

Artist Betsy Krebs drew inspiration for this series of paintings from the Joy of Cooking cookbook. To Betsy, this cookbook is like a Bible, a Torah or Koran of sacred already tested information for people who prepare and make food to nourish and preserve.

Betsy describes these paintings as “…placemats like you would see in a restaurant. These images are about what goes on around the ritual of eating. They include a language that is usually not spoken during food related encounters. There is lots of symbolism about psychological developments within the rooms and deserve closer observation….The “Cow” series placemats are about our comfortable views of the common uses of cows for foods we eat. These works also suggest how we see them before we have them butchered, as nice “Elsie” the cows, to the happy butchered version found in supermarkets, blanking out our view of what happens to them during the time they are alive and the time they are found in packages. This conjures the notion of the styles of death that they may go through to get to the cellophane wrapper stage we are so comfortable with.”