Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cage in the Kitchen: John Cage's Cookie Recipe

"When you're with friends, you can have a potato."

Matta-Clark, Hirst, Tiravanija, Sarabia: quite a few contemporary artists have played a part in culinary, contemporary art experiments. Now, posthumously, we can add John Cage, who, we learn from the video above, discovered alternative diets from John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

The John Cage Trust has transformed the Dia:Beacon cafe, always the site of delicious food, into a macrobiotic eatery from February 20 through 23. (Catch a train up to Beacon tomorrow to enjoy it.) I was up there for the Merce Cunningham performance today (around the Flavin section and wonderful) and enjoyed the cookies made from Cage's recipe.

Generally, I like my desserts filled with sugar, chocolate, or cream, preferably all three.  Cage rejected all three of those sweet mainstays but still managed to concoct a delicious cookie. Here's the recipe from the informative pamphlet that accompanied the installation, performance, restaurant transformation:
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup ground oats
  • 1 cup almonds, ground into flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond (or hazelnut) oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 jar of unsweetened fruit spread of choice
Blend together all dry ingredients.  Mix together all wet and add to the dry ingredients.  Roll into small rounds and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Press the center of each with your thumb.  Put 1/2 teaspoon of unsweetened jam into the thumbprint of each, and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 14 minutes, reversing the cookie pans once during baking for even distribution of heat.  Cookies should be browned on the edges, but not throughout.

The complete list of recipes is available through Dia.