In Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, Nick Bantock tells the story of two artists, Griffin Moss and Sabine Strohem, through the artifacts of their correspondence. Each postcard or letter is decorated with unique illustrations from the sender, resulting in a beautiful and tactile narrative you may breeze through but won’t soon forget.
It all begins when Sabine sends Griffin a postcard to introduce herself. In this first missive she reveals that for many years she has had visions of Griffin’s art as if looking at his work through his own eyes. She never knew whose art she was seeing until she saw one of Griffin Moss’s pieces featured in a magazine, and upon discovering his name, and tracking down his address, decided to write. At first, Griffin is reticent to believe such a fantastical declaration, but Sabine references creations he has never shown anyone, so he gradually begins to believe that her claim might be true. And that’s where the real story begins.
There are five books in the Griffin & Sabine series and each can be read in about an hour. They all have relatively straightforward plotlines with a twist at the end of each volume, but the great satisfaction of these stories lies in their tactile experience. No matter how many ‘letters’ I opened, I never tired of the delight of pulling free a printed letter from its envelope, from reading each missive as if I were its recipient. I poured over the illustrations on each postcard as if strolling through a miniature museum, enjoying the oddities they depicted as well as the differences between the illustrations done by Griffin versus those done by Sabine.
For Griffin & Sabine I needed a recipe with texture, a recipe that was as much about its flavor as its tactile experience. As a result, I made sundried tomato and spinach pinwheels, using crispy phyllo dough that can be peeled apart layer by thin layer and flakes in your mouth as you chew. Each bite size morsel is perfect for an appetizer, but feel free to toast up the leftovers the next day and toss a fried egg on top for textural heaven.
SUNDRIED TOMATO AND SPINACH PINWHEELS
- 4 ounces sundried tomatoes
- 1 cup chiffoned spinach
- 3 ounces spreadable cheese (I used Alouette Garlic & Herbs but any sort of goat cheese would work just as well)
- 1 package pre-made puff pastry/phyllo dough with 2 ready-to-bake sheets
- Egg wash (1 egg, 1 tablespoon water)
Thaw puff pastry at room temperature for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400ºF and lightly grease two baking sheets.
Chop sundried tomatoes into ½ inch pieces, set aside. Roll up spinach leaves and chiffon until you have about 1 cup, set aside.
Unroll first thawed puff pastry onto cutting board. Spread half of spreadable cheese, covering the entire sheet. Sprinkle half of the sundried tomatoes and half of the chiffoned spinach evenly across the puff pastry. Starting at the short side, roll up puff pastry like a jelly roll. Using a chef’s knife, slice the roll into ½ inch slices. Place the slices on the baking sheet, reshaping slightly. (They will be closer to ovals than circles, but don’t worry, ovals are just as tasty!)
Repeat with second puff pastry sheet.
Beat one egg and 1 tbsp water together to make an egg wash. Egg wash the top of all the pinwheel slices.
Put baking sheets in oven and bake for 15 minutes.