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Literary Gift Guide: Dana McClure

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Recipe

By Samantha Hahn

We’re always excited to find out what people are reading, have read and want to read. Now that the holidays are fast approaching we thought we’d ask inspiring friends to share book gift ideas and a recipe they love.

I’ve known artist Dana McClure since college. We were in a freshman sculpture class together. Neither of us became sculptors. Instead Dana works with a variety of media including printmaking, collage, textile design and the moving image. She has art directed print, motion, and interactive projects for business, non-profit, and cultural clients worldwide. A 5-year long documentary film that Dana directed and co-produced, entitled ‘Odd Ones Out,’ won a Telly Award in 2008 and is distributed internationally. After ten years of teaching 2D Design and Time-Based Media at Parsons The New School for Design and New York University, Dana is currently focusing on self-initiated work ranging from mixed-media, printmaking and textile design. She lives and works in upstate New York. She and her chef husband have a farm called Ravenwood, that explores the integration of agriculture, culinary arts and the local makers movement.

1. What’s your favorite book to give?

DM: Definitely Grace Bonney’s latest book In The Company of Women. It does such a great job of celebrating diversity amongst women working across a range of fields. I love that this book spotlights the challenges of running a business and maintaining a creative practice in an honest way – so empowering.

2. Favorite book you have ever been gifted?

DM: A friend gifted me “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert and I read it while on vacation in two days. As an artist with the natural tendency for occasional self-doubt, I gobbled up her words that were so validating and rang so true. I love that she calls bluff on the myth of the ‘starving artist’ and inspires her readers to embrace their talent unapologetically and let go of the sensor within.

3. Holiday gift you plan to give?

DM: My go-to for holiday gifting is personalized photo books by Artifact Uprising These never fail to please and leave a lasting impression with your loved ones. Such a great way of documenting the kiddos as they grow up so fast and also a wonderful opportunity to let my lady friends know just how much I cherish their friendship.

4. Holiday gift you’d like to receive?

Here are some things I would LOVE to receive for the holidays from some of my favorite small shops:

MCMC Fragrances: Nobel Perfume Oil
Captain Blankenship: Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray
Helen Dealtry: Original Watercolor titled ‘Dana’ : )
Haus Interior: Boat Haus Candle

5: What is your favorite holiday dish and please share recipe?

My husband is the chef + food stylist, but I do tinker around in the kitchen, particularly when the holiday’s roll around and there’s an excuse for sweets. I’m dairy-free and gluten-free but chocolate is my vice. So here’s a treat that does the trip which I cook up way more often than I’d like to admit:

Maple Cornmeal Waffles

1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more butter for serving
3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups oat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Heat waffle iron. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. In another medium bowl, whisk together oat flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour 2/3 cup of the batter into hot waffle iron and cook until deep golden brown and set 3 – 5 minutes. Transfer waffle to serving platter and repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.