Sunday, June 27, 2010

my Lifestyle Tart

Now that I'm on holiday, I can sit around thinking stray thoughts. Uppermost in my mind is where the division lies between Culture and Lifestyle. I guess it's a point somewhere along the line between the Bayeux Tapestry and a roll of Designer's Guild flock wallpaper, but where exactly?

Tom Stephenson writes a compact but adorable Lifestyle blog, so I asked him what the answer is. He says,
'Lifestyle' is how we emulate the 'Culture' of those to whom we aspire. Culture is either acquired through exposure to generations of traditional practices ... or bought using hard cash ...
Lifestyle, he goes on to suggest, is "a natural, pinkish sort of high" that can be glamorised a lot more readily than culture.

[my facial recognition software struggled with this tart]

There may be some truth in that. This is what I call my 'Lifestyle Tart', glamorised through being placed on polka dots. It gives me that natural pinkish sort of high and is a staple for entertaining visitors, unless I'm being lazy and can only rise to a hand-purchased packet of chocolate biscuits.

If I consider this tart to be an art installation on my kitchen table, emblematic of transience or what have you, does it become Culture? If not, what is the Culture it aspires to emulate? Would you and Melvyn Bragg come round for a slice and help me out here?

49 comments:

  1. I would like some of that tart with a glass of white please, sitting wherever you are at the moment on your holiday.

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  2. Hmm, would most people call it a Pizza ?. If so, then it is neither Culture nor Lifestyle but one of the very few food groups that will make your tummy say thank you.
    All you need to make it a little bit of heaven is a splash of Olive Oil.

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  3. As I've just come from Tom's site, I'm going to say what I said there. If you are aware of being cultural, and you make a point of it, then it's bunk. It's doing it, being a part of it, but not realizing it that makes it genuine. Yes/No??
    I think your tart is lovely and am sure it is delicious. Take it out to your lovely yard, by the clothes line perhaps, and shoot your girls digging in. Hair blowing in the breeze, laundry on the line, pizza faces..there's the lifestyle.

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  4. To me, your tart is culture. Through my lifestyle I shall try to emulate your culture. I fear I shall never achieve this, though, as my nut allergy means I have to leave out the pine nuts :-(

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  5. The how to for the tart (or pizza):

    Shortcrust pastry topped with tomatoes, sautéed shallots, rounds of goat's cheese, a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar sprinkled over it. Placed in oven, basil leaves and pine nuts added when nearly cooked.

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  6. I am thinking that your tart is pretty perfect Mise...I would take it anyway I could get it!

    Jeanne:)

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  7. Well, since we're being philosophical, I'm going to have to quote Homer (Simpson, that is):

    "Mmmmmmhhhhhhh...pizza..!"

    And I am all for natural, pinkish sorts of highs, so I'll be over soon. Save a slice for me!

    xoox,
    -maria

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  8. Culture is a word like class, in my opinion. When used with a lower case c, everybody's got one. When used with an upper case C all kinds of atrocities may result. That said, your tart doesn't look the least bit atrocious, and I'd eat it before it got cold:).

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  9. As long as your biscuits are hand purchased I would say you are a cultured gal Mise. Now if you ordered them online, that would make them "lifestyle" biscuits.

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  10. Whatever that's called, it looks pretty good to me. Three slices please, and a glass of Chardonnay.

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  11. Lifestyle or culture...it looks yummylicious!

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  12. Yes, definitely a lifestyle tart. If you had dolloped it with Greek yoghurt, then it would have been cultured...ha!

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  13. it has goats cheese - seems like a fairly robust cultural statement to me! jx

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  14. Isn't the answer that a Tart (French, hard to make, requires concentration to get pastry right and reasonable amount of complaining) is Culture and a Pizza (much easier - (Naan pizza anyone?), Italian, can be slightly slapdash but still looks relatively stylish) is Lifestyle?

    Ah the deepness of me.

    xoxo

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  15. I really want some of that tart it looks delish!!

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  16. Can I come round some time when that ghastly cultural bully - Melvyn Bragg - will not be there?

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  17. Sure, Tom, we'll make an array of home-baked lifestyle-suitable goodies for you when you come round, and Melvyn can make do with the inferior hand-purchased biscuits.

    Jane, you may have a point there that the degree of Culture is correlated with the Complaining required.

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  18. Yes Mise, I would be happy to visit with my pince nez bookishly perched atop the bridge of my nose, to discuss this intriguing question at length - but not if you invite that terrible Melvin Bragg.

    I'll just give you a taster of my thoughts on said tart and the culture it wishes to emulate...

    See, I would say that a Mediterranean tart epitomises a certain Northern European romanticism of Southern European culture. That tart says to me, 'I'm all about warm evenings with a glass of chilled white in one hand and a hot lothario in the other'. It says, 'I don't need to eat meat and potatoes - I exist purely on the fruits of the sun, thrown together casually and eaten with my fingers'

    Therefore, the juxtaposition of mediterranean tart on Cath Kidston style tablecloth, suggests the homogenisation of European culture, non?

    Lest we forget our humble roots with the colcannon eh Mise?

    x x x

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  19. HI Mise
    this tart is mouth watering.. and killing me as I am no longer allowed carbs [insulin thing].... so lifestyle speaking.. mine has become one of no sugar or carbs... can that really be called a lifestyle??? Can someone devise a pizza with no carbs??

    Have a great week.. xxx Julie

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  20. Tom's blog is compact and adorable. You are so astute, Mise. The tart is masterful ~ don't worry about that silly old facial recognition software.

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  21. Your tart looks so delicious Mise. I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing in case I am not cultured enough! And I obviously favour the Designers Guild lifestyle.

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  22. Is culture and lifestyle divisible?
    one man's meat ,
    is another man's vegetarian paella,
    There are no answers,
    only more questions.
    can I have another slice please.?


    ( that is a poem )

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  23. Yummy tart! Culture? Lifestyle? Doesn't matter, I still want to eat it;)

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  24. I must be so tired I thought you said you were a lifestyle tart. Arg, on account of sniggering when I figgered it out probably shouldnn't comment further. Nice tart onboth counts I reckon...

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  25. You've risen to the occasion magnificently in your pince-nez, Naomi, and lest we forget indeed - there'll be special nettle and potato boxty for your visit while we discuss lifestyle cathexis.

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  26. Jaboopee,
    of course!
    Have three!

    (also a poem)

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  27. Hey Mise
    Glad to know I am contributing to clean screens in Western Europe! ciao ciao xx Julie

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  28. Yum! I would eat that whole thing myself. The addition of pine nuts and balsamic makes it Art. Beautiful!

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  29. Either way, may we have a recipe?

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  30. You're funny :) I always love popping over here to see what you've got cookin'! Clever clever clever!
    xo - jami
    i m a g i n e

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  31. Which came first, culture or lifestyle? hmmm, for the fun of it I will say, "Lifestyle." Then it becomes part of the culture. After a long period of time technological advancements are made, priorities are sometimes changed due to necessities, and lifestyles change which, after a proper length of time, effect culture. "The circle of life."
    If the tart tastes as good as it looks it is a winner regardless of its placement on the circle.

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  32. Mise! So much thinking for a Monday, I love it! Your wit is fabulous, lady! I see a whole line of Culture/Lifestyle frozen foods in your future...

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  33. On my way. In the event I don't make it due to Cultural transport strikes that most certainly take the pink high out of my lifestyle ...would you consider sharing the recipe ?

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  34. pretty sure my lifestyle has nothing to do with culture BUT i do know a good tart/pizza when i see it.
    im betting its delish
    ~laura

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  35. It's amazing the difference between Melvyn Bragg and Billy Bragg.

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  36. I would just call it fabulously good looking. It needs to be in action to be lifestyle. Take a pic of yourself taking a big chomp out of it ;)

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  37. Perhaps it would be considered culture (according to Tom) if you and your mother and her mother had eaten the same tart as children and you then inherited the recipe.

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  38. Hellooo, Mise, I am back. About facial recognition - I wish I knew how to copy your picture circle all the faces I see and post it here. I am up to 5: a devil, a cherub (interesting the opposites), a fire spitting horse -a horse, definitely not a dragon, porky pig and the face from van Gogh's "The Scream."

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  39. You are such a crack up, Mise! Haha. But the tart/pizza/whatever it is, leaves me wishing I had some right now.

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  40. My goodness, you've become a philosopher whilst my back has been turned! That tart looks extremely tasty :)

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  41. Pizza! This is no more a pizza! Tart, please, definitely. I believe Jane said it all.

    And LOL @ Tara! :-D

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  42. What does it all MEAN Mise? The tart as lifestyle vs culture art installation is genius. I think it's the pine nuts and the goat's cheese that make it lifestyle....the balsamic adds the required cultural specific tone required....or is it the other way around? If I make tasty cheese and ham quiche will you still be my friend or am I just too suburban for words? Be gentle. Meredy xo.

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  43. I tried culture once & I didn't like it. Give me lifestyle any day.
    Millie ^_^

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  44. Hi Mise, I believe that if it's part of you and your everyday life (or the life of your lucky table) then it's part of your culture... I would like that tart to be part of my everyday life!! Yummo...
    Flick :)

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  45. Well, this is the best post I have read in a while. Food for thought (tee hee. Sorry). Thank you.

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You're looking particularly well.

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