Isn't "hen" much less of a mouthful? I can't really say the word bachelorette without feeling self-conscious, or having images I would rather not think about enter my head. Thankfully this event didn't have any of the trappings that usually come to mind associated with it. In London I think of hordes of drunk girls sitting on the edge of the pavement in the rain, perhaps wearing a phallic hat, or maybe a tiara. Not to say that this is a bad thing necessarily, it's just not exactly what we were going for on Michele's Hen Night.
Blood & Sand: Luxardo cherry liqueur, whiskey, orange & vermouth
I thought I would tell you about my Francesco Maglia umbrella as its been pissing down the last couple of days. This umbrella is a thing of beauty, not just to look at, but to hold & use also. So sturdy...... whilst other umbrellas are being turned inside out this one is like a force-field & you can literally hear the wind & rain howl & spit in frustration as you nonchalantly deflect them away.
Francesco Maglia is an Italian company that has been making umbrellas since 1856, not cheap, but something you will have for a very long time & will take pride in every time you use. I felt pretty self concious the first few times I used this brolley as its that posh, infact its so posh that I have to dress down whenever I take it out.
Our Legacy is a newish brand based out of Sweden, the clothing has a very relaxed informal feel whilst being very 'Proper' at the same time. For those of you that find brands such as Nom De Guerre or A.P.C. a little uptight then this is the label for you, very classic without being too serious. This particular piece is called the 'Proper Collar Knit' it has a shawl collar with a 2 button placket & is made from 100% Grey virgin wool, ribbed at the cuffs & waist, the upper half of the sweater is in a slightly smaller square knit pattern than the bottom half - subtle but very effective.
"How long have you known Him?" asked the lovely woman as she waited patiently by the counter. "Known who?" I asked myself. Was she speaking of Jesus? Was she about to sell me something is didn't need just as moments earlier a young guy had tried to pitch me a sales opportunity that will make me a lot of extra cash outside of my "regular" job? After all, she did have a set of rolling luggage standing next to her. Could they be filled to Bibles, Gospel Tracts and tales of salvation? "Known who?" I sheepishly asked. The answer was Domenico De Marco, the proprietor and master of Di Fara Pizza in Midwood section of Brooklyn. And she, a devout monthly pilgrim from Queens about to devour her trinity of triangular slices. Shamefully I acknowledged that since moving to Brooklyn in 1985 I had never made the journey myself.
Like the other faithful, Sweetu, Brian and one and a half year old Oliver patiently waited for our order to be answered. And answered it was. Square, hot and covering in crispy peperoni. Brian has a theory that everyone wants to be healthy when ordering pizza, but ultimately, even professed vegetarians will devour the pepperoni before all other offerings. Although I have read many reviews telling me that the place has lost its worthiness and appeal, I would have to disagree with those doubters and cynics. Although the saying, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" has fallen upon deaf ears at Di Fara, there was nothing to distract me from enjoying the experience of watching Domenico create a pie. To watch him applying the chunky and perfectly balanced tomato sauce, individually hand grating the mozzarella di bufala, fior di latte and Grana Padano cheese, adding olive oil to the tray of the Sicilian rectangles to crisp the crust is pure devotion. Even the final cutting of the fresh basil with yes, gummed up scissors, was a labor of love, and a testament to joy.
As proof of our baptism by oven, I give you our empty plate and the promise of a second coming.
Novaclutch reader from England sent over the following fact:
The renowned nose-to-tail chef Fergus Hendersonwill be in New York at The Spotted Pig on November 2nd, feeding those lucky people that manage to get in. Unfortunately the exceedingly long lines at The Pig scare me off on the best of days, but perhaps if I wear my planned Black Swan Hallowe'en costume, I'll have better chances?
I had this tart when my friend Carlin made it from the New York Times for a potluck dinner. From the photo in the recipe I would never have made it. But don't be deceived by something that seems run-of-the-mill. This is a fantastic recipe that is definitely going to become a regular in my repertoire. I think you could use any berry in this crust, and almost any fruit. I shall try it out with the fall fruit and let you know.
The crust is perfect – a crumbly mix of oats and almonds is contrasted with the sharpness of the fruit, it's almost like a crunchy oat cookie crust. Plus, it's really, really easy. Which is good when you find yourself so busy you don't have time to cook, which is the situation I find myself in these days.
It was my friend Brian's birthday yesterday & I suppose I know him well enough now to just get him a scented candle...what is it with scented candles any way?? So I braved yesterdays arctic conditions & made my way over to Stuart & Wright - my neighborhood clothing shoppe, & got him this gorgeous Engineered Garments sweatshirt.
He was grinning from ear to ear all evening after opening his prezzie, & I think he's still grinning right now as he's driving upstate with his new sweatshirt on feeling like a million dollars. It's in a Heather Navy Cotton, with ribbed cuffs & waist, the collar has a nice cross-over detail, the gusset is elasticated which makes it easier to put on & also adds to the level of comfort, & finally the reverse side is in a real warm fleece-like fabric...or maybe it is fleece, dunno.
Good lord yes, we are so sorry for dropping off the face of the earth for the past week. Actually, it wasn't that dramatic, we just went to Georgia for a couple of days and have been trying to get back into a New York State of mind ever since. No, silly, not the Georgia that was recently overtaken by the Russian battalions, the one that has seemingly been overtaken by good food, great cocktails and considered living. What's more, I must say that our Georgians were a hell of a lot more friendly and welcoming to us than those in the Caucasus were to their unexpected guests.
So, we ask for just a bit more patience as we get our Yankee legs under us and download our photos and memories of the Georgia on our minds. In the meantime, please enjoy this picture that I took while walking the trails of The Inn at Serenbe with Natasha. I call it, "The Turtle, the Millipede and the Fly", you may be able to see why.
Yesterday I went to my first book club meeting. I don't know if this makes me decidedly bourgeois? If it doesn't, me bringing along a carrot cake definitely does. But so what? I enjoyed Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, talking about it and eating cake while talking about said book. The cake has about 20 ground cardamom pods in it and a good dose of honey. The cream cheese frosting has the zest of a whole orange in it. The book uses sex as its through line so I needed something to shore me up as I talked about sex with a room full of women I didn't know. I am British, after all.