31 July 2013

Food 52

The girls over at Food 52, Amanda & Merrill,  are in the process of launching a gigantic "pop up", on-line, grocery, kitchen gadget, kind-a thing called Provisions.  Generally we shy away from these things as our kitchen holds everything from a baguette guillotine to a Wesson Oil Mayonnaise maker. 

Of course, we couldn't resist looking at the site even though, for some reason, every e-mail address we have ever used was linked to this site and we were getting 5 e-mails a day announcing Provisions, even when they had not a provision one.  Now the site is live and low and behold, there was an item we had been looking for forever. 

It seems that about a year ago, I became obsessed with organizing my vast collection of canning supplies. 

In the process, I found a package of old Le Parfait jars.  They were still in the cellophane, but the top had torn and the lids were a mess.   I logged on to the Le Parfait site and found these great "home made" tops that I wanted, but none could be found.   No one in the US had them.  They had them in England but only with jars attached.  I found some in France and ordered them, but when my friend Anne picked them up, they were not the right lids.  Now I was on a mission!   I finally found the lids in New Zealand and the nice people at the shop sent them to me.   Finally, by last Christmas,  I had my jar lids.  

Now Provisions has a source for the jars with the lids here in the US.   I have also found a new source for just the lids.  What a difference a year makes. 

Now if I could just find where I put that possum-shaped ice cream mould.

30 July 2013

Cat Selfies

The cats heard "selfies" were all the rage. (I blame it on Anthony Weiner, but I digress...)

Alas, they soon found out that cat arms are not only too short to box with god, but they are also too short to get a good iPad selfie.    They need an app for that!

24 July 2013

Happy Birthday Zelda

Self-Portrait by Zelda Fitzgerald

In honor of Zelda Fitzgerald's birthday, we urge you to read her one and only novel.  Regardless of what one might have been told, Save Me the Waltz is a beautiful book and well worth a read.  For a view of Zelda's paintings, check out  Zelda: An Illustrated Life: The Private World of Zelda Fitzgerald, published in 1996.  It features many of her whimsical paintings like The Mad Tea Party.

22 July 2013

Country Living

Rarely does one pick up a magazine and read an article that features so many of one's favorite things.  Well miracles do happen.  I got the new Country Living which featured an article about a sprawling,

down on the farm party in Elkmont, Alabama.  Here are the 5 "W's" of great journalism.


Tasia Malakasis, one of my favorite cookbook writers and cheesemakers (Tasia's Table: Cooking With The Artisan Cheesemaker at Belle Chèvre).


A big party on the farm with great food.


When I opened the magazine! And shortly after the release of the self-titled CD by one of favorite bands, The Great Book of John, who happened to be part of the "WHO" at the party.


In Alabama!


Seriously, you had to ask, "Why?"  

Somehow my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail --Damn USPS.  Still, reading about it just might be the next best thing.  Check out Malakasis' cookbook at Cookbook Of The Day.

19 July 2013

Geography Is Fun...

The perfect gift for that North Carolina Panthers fan who resides in...South Carolina!

UPDATE:  Clearly this blogging on the iPad is not working as it should!

16 July 2013

Cocktails At The Burn Pit -- 4th of July Edition

You know how there are some blogs you follow because your friends follow them, or Elle Decor says you should follow them, or they once wrote something you liked and haven't really cared since then but you hate to unfollow them... and then there are those blogs who are always fun and you have been known not to read them for a while so that in the event of a really crappy day you will have a post to lift your spirits?  My favorite blog for hording and savoring is Rowley's Whiskey Forge. The Rowley is one Matthew Rowley who is always erudite, funny and authoritative and, when you remind him of this, he is always humble. 

Matthew quite literally wrote the book on moonshine entitled, Moonshine!.  He may be one of the only people this side of the Schlesinger Library with more cookbooks than I.  In recent days he has discussed mid century glass making, George Orwell's essay on picking hops, and he previewed his talk for the 13th annual Tiki Oasis celebration; a talk entitled, Squirrel Whiskey, Monkey Rum, and Sweet Spirit of Cats a'Fighting: The Taming of American Moonshine.   

His last post was on cobblers, of the liquid variety; specifically, a Blood Orange Cobbler with Lillet.  The drink is a winner.  First there is blood orange liqueur.  Then there is Lillet.  Finally there is marmalade.  As a big preserve maker, I look for every chance to add a bit of jam to my drinks.

That being said, for the Fourth of July, I needed a big jug of something to quench the crowd while I cooked (and washed dishes, and set up the fireworks!)  I was margaritaed out!  While I was preparing for the arrival of guests, I ran across a large bottle of Italian Blood Orange soda that had been moved to the back of the larder, so I set it out.  One of my guests had traveled with an orange that landed on the counter.   Last summer at the beach, I had picked up a bottle of Dogfish Head's blood orange vodka.   Of course there was a big bottle of blood orange bitters, so the drink made itself.  I was looking for a zippy name, but I just told the crowd it was a blood orange punch -- hey it packed a punch!

Blood Orange Punch

1 bottle of Italian Blood Orange soda
2 cups blood orange vodka
10 to 12 shakes of blood orange bitters

Mix and pour over a big block of ice and sliced oranges.
It is insufferably hot here so we have made the air-conditioner the official summer burn pit.  Grab a drink and settle in.  In the meantime, check out Rowley's Whiskey Forge.  Matthew Rowley is definitely someone you want around your burn pit.

15 July 2013

Crazy Cat Lady

While I love my cats, I swear I do not own that house coat. Get you very own Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure at Amazon. Amazon has everything but cats!


11 July 2013

Moving Day


You know how it is.  You want to move a lamp from this table to that.  But, it is heavy, the cord gets tangled, the outlet doesn't work, you need an extension cord and on and on.  Well, the next time that happens, think about my friend, Catherine.  One of her many jobs is moving the Alexander Calder stiable, Gwenfritz, from the front of the Smithsonian to the side of the Smithsonian. 

ASIDE ABOUT THE SIDE: The "Smithsonian" is not one big thing as many tourists might believe, but a whole bunch of big things scattered from hell to breakfast. The Gwenfritz sits beside the National Museum of American History which was formerly the Museum of History and Technology which is just one part of the gigantic Smithsonian.  

ASIDE SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU ARCHITECTURE FANS:  The National Museum of American History, formerly the Museum of History and Technology was the last building designed by McKim, Mead and White.

Anyway, the Gwenfritz weighs in at 35 tons which is comprised of 75 pieces held together with 1,270 bolts.  After 50 years sitting outside, they are going to need a river of WD-40 for all those bolts!  Once disassembled, it will be cleaned, repaired, repainted, moved and re-assembled on the side of the Smithsonian which is technically the West Front.  (Pity those poor tourists who thought they were just going to one big ol' building -- now they find that the Museum of American History has four fronts.  (Clearly, telling someone to meet "in front of the Smithsonian" holds the potential of being lost forever, but I digress...)

According to Ewing Cole, this is what the site will look like upon completion.

During the dedication, a soft-spoken Calder said, “I call it the Caftolin.”   At that moment a plane flew overhead. (It was the olden days when flying over the Mall was allowed.)   Since Calder's voice was drowned out, Gwen Cafritz who paid for the sculpture, stood up and announced loud and clearly that it was called the "Gwenfritz"  and since she paid for it the name stuck.

Read more about the move here.

09 July 2013

The New Kroger

We all know that woman who cannot bear to pass up a shoe store without stopping.  I admit that I am the proud owner of over 40 pairs of Converse Chucks.   I am the woman who never met a grocery store she didn't want to visit.

Several years ago Wegman's opened a store in Virginia in what was a gigantic open field.  I arranged to spend the night at my friend Ann's who lived just a short drive from that field, to go to the Wegman's opening.  I wanted to leave the house at 7:30 A.M.   Ann, not believing in the power of the grocery store, thought that was stupid.  At about 10:00 A.M. we headed off to the Wegman's.   About three miles from the new Wegman's, traffic stopped.  Literally stopped.   By 11:00 we had made it to the parking lot.  There one would simply wait until a car pulled out and then park there, no matter where "there' was.  The gigantic field is now a bustling metropolis.

That is a long story to tell you that Kroger just bought Harris Teeter.   Harris Teeter is a good old Southern grocery.  That meant that one could go into almost any Harris Teeter and find Tab and Durkee's mayo.  There is no Tab at my Kroger, though they do occasionally have Duke's mayo.   Oh well.

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