It is Good to Share

July 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mr. H and I are just winding down from a weekend spent with some good friends of ours at our house by the beach. Visits with them are always fun, since they just eat up life: throwing parties, dancing, far-off travels — you name it, they are game. They are also smart and funny and don’t seem to mind A+O’s need to accost them every time they enter the room.  (Or perhaps they both simply have really good poker faces. But I don’t think so.)

My friendship with this couple is “inherited” from Mr. H’s side of the Friend Family. I’m most grateful for the introduction. Almost immediately upon meeting the then-single “Mr.” of the pair, we bonded over cooking, finding good meat, business school horror stories and all manner of silly stuff. Not long after that meeting, our friend met his “Mrs.” and over the years we have clocked a fair amount of time at table. This weekend was no exception, which was also what was exceptional about it.

Here’s why:

Just about all the food we enjoyed came from a farmer that we are connected to through other friends of ours who love to eat well and are wonderful cooks. (They also happen to be the parents of our lovely goddaughter.) They just knew we would love this farmer’s weekly deliveries of amazing vegetables, meats, cheeses and face-sized cookies, and made sure that we got on his client list this year.

The majority of the wine we shared was discovered on trips with other dear friends who take their wine (and food) very seriously. Each bottle we pulled reminded me of a particular vineyard trip, their smiling faces and all the good times we’ve had with them around the city, on vacations and at our own dinner tables.

The preparation of something as silly as the kale chips I put out to nibble on with cocktails would not have happened it it weren’t for a late-afternoon text to one of my very best friends who told me how to make them.* No doubt these chips will be made by our weekend guests for their own guests, because, yes, they were that good.

The connections go on almost endlessly, but I think you get where I am going here. No part of our weekend would have been quite the same if not for the generosity and good nature of others. And in that, I not only spent time with these particular friends, but felt surrounded by those friends of ours who weren’t at our table this weekend. A very good feeling indeed.

xx

* Kale Chips ala My Friend (who happens to be a chef) and Me (who likes the easy way out of a Kale Situation) :

– Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

– Rinse and dry all the kale and similar greens that came in your CSA Box.

– Cut the vein out of each leaf and then cut the remaining leaf into small pieces. (Discard the veins or put them through a juicer if you are into that sort of thing.)

– Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the cut-up leaves on the pan.

– Using a pastry brush, lightly cover the leaves with olive oil. (Don’t go nuts here…just a quick swipe will do.)

– Salt them and pop the tray into the oven for about 20 minutes or until crisp.

Enjoy!

(Photo of some of the wines tasted in Bordeaux with friends: Some Cozy Night.)

Summer Obsessions

July 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

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So, I have been on “vacation” this past week — which means that I freak out about work while 200 miles away from the office — and the weather was a little lacking. Very early into my time off, I had finished reading an Isabella Blow biography and taking endless calls from the owner of the company that is painting my hallways back home. (He does not like the color, as it is very, very dark. While an amazing painter, I don’t think he shares my vision.) I had also finished cooking almost all of the veggies my CSA sent to me, did my accounting for the month of June and a zillion other work things when I suddenly found myself in need of something mindless.

Mindless lives at Bravo. And so I dipped my toes into yet another bit of Andy Cohen Quicksand: “Million Dollar Decorators”. Just typing the show’s name makes me cringe, especially when I heard one of the decorators refer to the iconic Barcelona chair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcelona_chair) as an “Eames” chair as if they only ever designed one. (They most certainly did not, and you probably know their work, including the equally iconic Eames lounge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eames_chair). Editing mishap? I don’t know. But really, this is just wrong. Especially if said decorator wasn’t referring to the Eames lounge, which is still a stretch. Look it up and then tell me how right I am.

ANYWAY, ability to distinguish the work of Mies van der Rhoe from Charles and Ray Eames aside, I can’t stop watching this show for one reason: Mary McDonald. She was made for this medium and is awfully stylish. Aside from the masses of perfectly arranged dark hair, fabulous jewelry and ability to say that something is ugly or simply horrid out loud in front of people, she wears brightly colored nail polish on her finger nails and it looks fantastic.

So, over the past week I have become newly obsessed with trying to get that look on my paws. Not easy for me, as I always fear that my outfits and jewelry will clash with bright polish. And there there is the maintenance factor…

Fortunately, my dear friend must have had a premonition and sent me three fantastic essie colors several weeks ago: Tangerine, No Boundaries and Well Read. They have all been on the pedi-rotation since for some time now, but today I decided to Go the Full Mary, and put Tangerine on the toes AND fingers. Sadly, I am wearing an orange dress at the moment, so I can’t leave the house until I change, but I must say, I am already feeling more like I could tell somebody that something is ugly. (Lord knows I see enough of it out and about.)

So, I guess these are my two newest Summer Obsessions — join in if you like.

xx

P.S.

More information about the show can be found here: http://www.bravotv.com/million-dollar-decorators/season-1/About

P.P.S.

Tips for Brights on the Paws:

– Nails must be immaculate: No cuticles, no rough edges.

– Nails must be short and kind of squared, like a glamor girl in the twenties. Leave long and pointy to Gaga.

– Nails must be SHINY. Get yourself some Seche Vite top coat stat.

(Photo of my new polishes: Some Cozy Night. Thanks, Ms. J!)

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