28 February 2012
My work is on the tube today, on the Nate Berkus show! Do you watch that show? I don't usually catch much daytime television, but I'm pretty excited that Nate is talking up hand-printed wares. (Wish he would have said who made them though!) Check out the video and see if you can spot my Four Feathers cocktail napkins.
Or you can watch it directly on Nate's site.
If you want to watch the whole episode, it's on NBC channel 11 at 3pm here in SF. If you're elsewhere, here's where to look up your station/time.
Pretty crazy, huh?
24 February 2012
It was a beautiful, nearly hot week in the garden. I took lots of breaks from working in the still-chilly downstairs studio to just sit outside pondering, snooping, sipping coffee and sketching.
This new perennial-heavy garden plan has me hunting harder for signs of progress (it's a slower growing plan), which is an adjustment. In prior years I would have planted every single Spring seed (and every inch of soil) the day after I returned from an annual early February business trip. Little green shoots would pop up nearly in unison all throughout the garden beds, which was a fresh bit of excitement (and maintenance) every day. I think this new, "investment-y" plan's going to be great, but there's just not that visual WOW just yet. Patience.
|Lettuce sprouts! Multiplying overnight.|
|Do you grow Alpine Strawberries? You really should. They're pretty plants, almost never die, are perennial ever-bloomers, and the the tiny fruits are ah-mayzing. Almost like a watermelon-y berry taste. I planted mine from these seeds two years ago, and this newer plant was transplanted here from a tiny self-sown volunteer off the main plant. Super carefree: just plunk it in and it won't stop.|
|Such pretty flowers too.|
|crazy bed head + runny nose + dirt pile = fun garden times|
// Summary of the Week //
Sun: nearly constant! mid-70s most days. Actual sunburn danger (no complaints).
Seeds planted: kale (cavolo nero), 'catalina' spinach, chives, 'april in paris' sweet peas
Next up: 'bergamo bouquet' monarda, anise hyssop, carrots, parsley, cilantro, favorite lettuce
Spotted: wee salad sprouts (from 'Monet's Garden' mesclun mix), red-tailed hawks, hummingbird
Harvested: more thyme and rosemary
To buy: new watering can, copper tape (for slugs), more potting soil
To pot up: meyer lemon, kumquat, rosemary
To do: massive weeding and tidying (bet this'll be on the list next week!)
23 February 2012
in case you're hungry right now, too... this is *exactly* what I want to eat right now.
A pile of these lentil samosas:
A big bowl of Sara's gorgeous, green soup:
Followed by a very dark cup of decaf and one of these mounds of coco-heaven:
Unfortunately, it's just minutes before lunch, blood sugar is low, and all I have are some random bits and bobs upstairs.
Think I'll probably make a variation on this salad, with leftover jerked chicken:
Plus a cup of something dark and a nibble of my favorite chocolate.
What's for lunch at your place??
21 February 2012
17 February 2012
// Summary of the Week //
Sun: present at times
Naked child sessions: one
Seeds planted: peas, chard, lettuces
Seed not planted b/c I forgot to buy them: kale (doh!)
Spotted: raspberry shoots, asparagus tips
Harvested: some thyme and rosemary
Eaten: all the kumquats (for now)
Pruned: big apple tree (branches used for pea trellis)
Broken: orange watering can (note to garden assistant: it is not a "mallet")
Ordered: black currant, honeybush (see last photo!)
// Visuals //
Honey Bush! I've never seen one before, so I had to have it :)
15 February 2012
In our house, we don't book a table for V Day. Somewhere along the line, waaaaay back, before offspring, before the age of 30 even... Toby and I decided our V Day, or Night rather, would be a home-cooked affair. We would take turns cooking a special meal comprised of new dishes (to us). It's probably the only night of the year that one person assumes all the cooking and the other one (usually) lounges, checks the Internets or plays a video game. Or sets the table.
There have been simple pleasers: way back, when Toby made toast points topped with steak and parsley compound butter (we were watching a lot of Julia and Jacques at the time). There were semi-flops: A rather novice cook, I thought I'd just whip up an authentic Beef Wellington after work. We ate at 10pm. And, there were elaborate, definitely-pre-children productions: something like 5 courses with wine pairings. Never repeated yet, interestingly.
This year was my turn. Well, actually, it wasn't, but we realized this too close to the date for Toby to work some magic, so I went ahead with my plans. And, dear friends, even after leading you all this way, I'm not about to unveil some breath-takingly composed, conceptual meal.
I'm going to share a meal made for comfort. The only unwritten rule of our V day cooking is the the cook must make something the other eater is going to really, really, really love. Or at least that's the hope.
Toby's a meat guy, and one of his favorite things to eat is a real country ham that's basted with Dr Pepper while it bakes. His mom is from Arkansas, what can I say :) His "people" apparently like this type of thing. (Though I have to agree: it's delicious.)
So, when I came across a Martha recipe for Root Beer Short Ribs, I had my meaty main dish. And, let me tell you, it was outrageously good. Easy, too. I will definitely make it again. And so should you. You know, if you like meat. Saucy, falling-apart meat.
On the side were simple lemony green beans and a baked, crumb-topped mac n cheese. Dessert was a sliver of molten-y flourless chocolate cake. Now in the past, I would've found a way to craft all of this from scratch. This year? Oh please. Not on a Tuesday. Maybe not even on a Saturday. I laughed at myself as I scooped a big lump of mac n cheese from the Whole Foods hot bar and snagged an AG Ferrari cake. Back home, I toasted bread crumbs, sprinkled them on Toby's favorite comfort carb, baked it, and called it a worthy side.
I might not be a fan of Sandra Lee and table-scaping, but this is a type of semi-homemade that I can live with. At least on a Tuesday.
Hope all your Valentine's Days were delicious!
image via Martha
14 February 2012
This past weekend, I was antsy. The whole house was pretty listless. It was drizzly at times, simply gray at others, then quite rainy as well. We pitched a tent in the living room. Ugh, Winter. We haven't had much depressingly gray weather yet, I realized.
And, it's funny because I spent a very busy Fall just pining for Winter. You know, when projects would be all done and general hibernation could occur. I was burned out on the garden's needs, I closed up the Etsy shop for a month, I sat inside and relished cups of holiday tea and a mystery novel (my first since grade school?). Eventually, I indulged in thinking about the next year. Work stuff, family stuff, garden stuff. No pressure, because Spring was a long way away. Exhale.... sip tea. Nibble on a cookie.
|mmm, lavender shortbread|
But now. I'm antsy. I wish the weather would cooperate... you know, break out of the low 50s. I have a pile of seed packets on my desk. I've been buying plants, I've been working again, preschool applications are being filled out, swimming lessons are being scheduled. The year is beginning.
I'm kinda of two minds, though. The gray weekend was depressing, and we couldn't do much outside except plant a lime tree (Jacky's lime tree) on the deck during a break in the rain. So, I kinda want Spring to hurry up. But, then... do I really? What's the hurry? Once the seeds go in the ground, you have to tend them... so to speak. Maybe a touch more of hibernation lite is just the ticket. There's no rush, I suppose. The year will come.
|Love this pot.|
10 February 2012
Today, my garden is gray. It's drizzly. But things are happening, the plants are happy (well most of them).
My garden is...
|Sprouting | Tahitian Sunset rose|
|Frondy | Purple artichoke, take two (take one: here)|
|Happy | The label said kiwis are vigorous, I'm starting to believe it. |
It's off to the races.
|Fragrant | new Meyer lemon|
|Sweet & Tart | Kumquat... please oh please do well here. I love you so.|
|Scratchy | Claw-sharpening in preparation for all-day sun-bathing. |
Cats, they have the life.
|Broken | I really screwed the pooch this time. Bent an espaliered apple arm too far.|
Damn, damn, damn. Set-back of one year, hopefully nothing worse.
|Cranky | Or just a little grabby. Or maybe needs a haircut. Or maybe just has to poop.|
Or all of the above.
Thank goodness for a nice cup of tea in a comfy chair. Have a great weekend!