Wax On, Wax Off

Our little Art Journaling Round Robin group is still arting strong. The theme for the journal I’m working in this month is Tales from the Kitchen.  I figured this might be a stretch since I forsook (verily!) cooking many moons ago. (In fact, I should clear out all those thirty-year-old spices in my cupboard and make more paint storage. But I digress.)

How-some-ever, during that magical time between sleep and waking one morning, a path back to the kitchen presented itself through my family’s rinderwurst. This is a meat sludge made from the left-overs of butchering, a recipe known only to my Gram and never written down.

It sounds gross, but we considered it a special treat, layered on hot pancakes. As food is wont to do, this gray delicacy carries my family’s DNA in the muscle memory of helping turn the meat grinder, listening for the canning lids to pop, and digging in together around the big kitchen table.

So, I created A Genealogy of Rinderwurst, tracing the Sorta Sausage back to my German immigrant ancestors. I used bits from Gram’s journals (yes, she broke the Journaling trail for me) and indulged in a decades-old desire to try my hand at encaustics. The golden glow of liquified beeswax gave the spread even more vintage deliciousness and puddled nicely in the paper’s dips and hollows.

I loved hooking a disgusting bit of farm history to my cache of family pictures and being brave with a new medium. I love the outcome. And I am, once again, revitalized and grateful for my Round Robin group—Tanya, Lori, Carina & Cindy—the Art Angels on my shoulder.

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anita S
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 10:32:35

    This is amazing! I feel very inspired now.


  2. Writer Lori
    Jun 27, 2019 @ 04:18:30

    Love the effects you’ve achieved here, Sandy. Encaustic is such a rich material! I know an artist in NH, Jessie Pollock, who works almost exclusively in encaustic and I am just nuts about her work. http://www.jessiepollock.com/

    And so happy that this project brought you joy. May it signal a new, happier chapter to come. Xo


  3. the #1 Itinerary
    Jun 27, 2019 @ 05:22:28

    Great post 🙂


  4. MarthaS
    Jun 27, 2019 @ 11:08:18

    This is really great, Sandy. I grew up with similar German and Eastern European foods, though more recent history applies to our immigrant family. I cook and bake every day so I’m doing your share! M


  5. Robert@69
    Jun 29, 2019 @ 23:40:12

    “meat sludge?” oh dear


  6. Kiki
    Jul 11, 2019 @ 06:06:32

    Honestly, Sandy, your Rinderwurst doesn’t evoke a lot of enthusiasm in me…. 😉 But having had a partly German based father, I know that there were some frankly bizarre foods around – and if it made their lifes more beautiful or meaningful for a moment, it’s alright with me!
    But what I admire most, is – once again – your determination to find fullfilment, patches of joy, something to do which means something, and I encourage you to try not to stop doing it. And blessings to your Art Angels – watching over you and guiding you over your shoulder. That’s beautiful.


  7. jinjerstanton
    Jul 12, 2019 @ 12:55:32

    I read some recipes online. It doesn’t sound so bad—or it sounds kinda good. Boiling with bones means bone stock which is super healthy. May have to try.


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