Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Grayson Again

It sometimes seems that hardly a day passes, a TV programme issued, a radio feature broadcast, a newspaper published or a magazine issued without wise words from Grayson Perry. As far as the media goes he is hot stuff, his opinion sought, whether on art of every shape and type, or on the concept of originality (he thinks it’s overrated – and may well be right – but I suspect that’s the view of a media star). In the latest utterance (‘How we got started’, The Times, 29th September 2008), he gives as Grayson’s tip: ‘Hone your personal skills. You have all the technique and originality in the world, but if you’re not fun to be around, nobody will want to work with you. Go to openings and meet people.’

Whether this applies to artists in clay – many of whom seem to prefer the sheltered cloister and hermit’s cell rather than the social whirl – is not clear, but it suggests that it is the artist as much as the art that leads to success.

Recipe for Saba-dango (Mackerel Balls)

This dish (pictured on a stoneware plate by Yo Thom) is a traditional Japanese recipe, using mackerel and miso (soya bean paste). It’s easier than it looks, and tastes delicious. You will need:

1 mackerel (around 650g)
1 small carrot
3 spring onions
1 egg
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp miso
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tbsp flour
oil (for deep frying)

1 Take the skin and main bones off the mackerel and mince the fish meat with either a knife or blender (better to keep some lumpy bits).

2 Cut the carrot into thin shreds, wrap in a cling film and microwave for 1 min, or boil for 5 mins and drain. Cut the spring onions into small pieces.

3 Mix the minced mackerel, broken egg, miso, soya sauce, pinch of salt, grated ginger and flour.

4 Add the carrot and spring onion into the mix.

5 Scoop the mix with a tablespoon and make a small ball and deep fry in oil (160°C) until it’s nicely coloured.