Maier had lived in New York and Chicago, and she created a remarkable collection of gorgeous street photographs that she never developed. The images are strikingly beautiful…the focus is uncanny, the blacks are rich and dark, the subjects are full of humor and sadness. She has beautiful images of children on the streets and looking through windows, images of lovers and workers and parents and elderly people going about their day. Maier was a nanny but I don’t think she had a family of her own, and it’s strange to think about her capturing the passage of time in other peoples’ lives, the progress from childhood to old age. She was never a celebrity, never recognized or acclaimed in her lifetime. She became poor and, I imagine, lonely. Her street photography lies in stark contrast to Guetta’s manically hyped shallow “works” and even to Banksy’s street art. But it seems as though they’re all asking the same questions and all deciding that there are no answers but it doesn’t mean they should stop asking, or that we should stop trying to capture moments as they fly by, though we can never catch time as it passes. The attempt may be futile, but that doesn’t mean it lacks value.Well, I’ve said it was my summer of cherries, and here’s another example. We were playing with our new cherry pitter the other evening, and Malcolm invented the method of stuffing the pitted cherries with chocolate chips. Genius! The boy’s a mad culinary genius! Of course I had to take it all a step further and pit and stuff some cherries and then bake them into a cake. I made a very simple cake, with ground hazelnuts. This is similar to clafoutis, of course, but it really is a cake and not a custard.
Here’s Tonight the Streets are Ours by Richard Hawley from Exit Through the Gift Shop.
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 cup cherries
1/2 (+/-) cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375.
Put the hazelnuts in a single layer on a tray. Toast in a toaster oven or the regular oven for about five minutes, shaking from time to time. Wrap in a clean tea towel for a few minutes, and then rub to remove the skins. You don’t have to get all the skins.
Process the hazelnuts till ground, and then add the milk and process until as smooth as possible. Set aside.
Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, and then the three eggs, one at a time. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and then beat in the hazelnut and milk mixture. You should have a light, smooth batter. Lightly butter and flour a large cake pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
Pit each cherry, and then stuff the cavity with chocolate chips. I could fit four in each cherry. Place these in a pretty pattern around the cake.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cake is puffed and golden and springs back when you press on it lightly.