Portrait artist Hannah Rae Alton has that rare ability to immortalise the warmth and individuality of her subjects’ personalities. I particularly love her drawings of children, that capture all the vibrancy of their young and busy minds. It is perhaps not the best place to showcase Hannah’s draughtsmanship, next to photos of what the artist had for dinner, but this is a food blog and I must stick to my theme. Therefore I asked Hannah whether she would be kind enough to take part in my growing ‘Five a Day’ feature (see here and here), and share with me what she has eaten during a typical working day. I’m glad I did, because apart from the fact I can display some of her beautiful work, Hannah has also revealed her failsafe way to cook great tofu.
“Breakfast is an apple, oats, agave syrup and yoghurt concoction that my mum taught me, comprised entirely of things that are always knocking around in the kitchen or in danger of going mouldy: a main criterion for anything I make, cook or eat.
“Packed lunch in the studio is food of the gods: coriander hummus and pitta bread, with blueberries and apricots stolen from my two-year-old son’s stash, and a blitz-and-bake beetroot and chocolate cake. I love this cake because I can make it in 30 seconds and it freezes like a dream.
“Snack number two is popcorn, which I am only just rehabilitating after I got sick at the sight of it while working in the cinema industry a few years back. The key is to always, always make it fresh with a little bit of oil, a little bit of sea salt and a lot of icing sugar. Popcorn is the cheapest food known to man, and as such, is a friend of mine.
“Dinner is marinated tofu stir fry. I was a vegan for 10 years so I developed a way with soy protein, and I still enjoy a bit of it now and again. My trick is to freeze and defrost it before marinating it, it does something magical to the texture. Texture is pretty much all tofu has going for it, so make the most of it. I threw in a handful of sesame seeds for popping sounds, mirin and white wine vinegar because we ran out of rice wine vinegar, and then I drowned it all in Pearl River dark soy sauce, because it tastes good.”
Hannah Alton MA/RCA is based in London and is available for portrait commissions, with prices starting at £150 for a unique work. For more details please see Hannah’s website.
Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post.
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About Chloe King
I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.
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