Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012 To dos

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Stick to red wine & whiskey (neat)
  3. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without
  4. Read a new book each week
  5. Upholster our bed
  6. Get another tattoo
  7. Go to museums more often
  8. Listen to DK's music recommendations
  9. Homebrew
  10. Go camping at Hammonasset
  11. Start a fire without matches
  12. Make a quilt
  13. Go mushroom hunting
  14. Learn how to do something new
  15. Learn to relax
  16. Take more photos with film
  17. Send thank you cards
  18. Grow a plant from seed
  19. Organize a clothing swap
  20. Eat slowly
  21. Floss daily
  22. Give the benefit of the doubt
  23. Say yes more often
  24. Say no more often
  25. Open an Etsy store
  26. Buy local
  27. Take my time
  28. More tea, less coffee
  29. Stretch
  30. Brush the cats
  31. Get eight hours of sleep
  32. Attend a food swap
  33. Say hello to my neighbors
  34. More long walks
  35. Today, not tomorrow
  36. Count to 10
  37. Dress up
  38. ???
  39. !!!
  40. Be grateful
  41. Be kind
  42. Seriously, just be grateful and be kind

Yes, it took me the last three weeks to think this up.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Hunt: Bonne année

I'm kind of in disbelief about it almost being 2012. I feel like I just got used to writing "2011" on rent checks, too. What's the deal, inexorable forward march of time?

DK and I have a date for midnight at the Red Hook piers. He has a little flask of Kings County moonshine. I gotta lotta red lipstick; not bad, but probably not as good as this:

Despite being flummoxed about where 2011 went, I have a really good feeling about 2012. Good things are going to happen, trust me! (As long as the world doesn't plunge into nothingness, ahem.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Smokey salmon

So, I made smoked salmon the other day. In Brooklyn, in my apartment, on my stovetop. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Okay, you do need some special equipment, and it's a hot smoke rather than a cold, but it came out really, really well. We've been eating an ungodly amount of smoked salmon with cream cheese on bagels.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Just after we moved into our new place two months ago, I started buying rolls of vintage wallpaper. Ostensibly, I had vague plans for, you know, wallpapering something. But it's reaaaaally hard to find enough of one print for a whole room. So what I've been doing is buying one-off rolls. Which are pretty useless. And usually crumbling. And torn.

Whatever. No regrets!

The last one is my favorite, so, somewhat perversely, I decided it should go under the knife first. I cut off some strips to border my homemade cat scratcher, which maybe was a horrible waste of amazing wallpaper? I'm not sure.

I wanted to get an action shot of Milkshake scratching at it, but all she does is sit on it and purr. Silly kitty.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have too many things to be grateful for, always, to attempt a real list, but this is what comes to mind today: love, good dish towels, steady hands, leftover turkey, the lightness of being. Yes, this list is for real.

There are crazy masses of herbs growing semi-wild by my apartment. I picked two big pocketfuls of catnip and sage yesterday. Is it gross foraging in Brooklyn? DK is pretty sure that I'm going to get lead poisoning, I'm pretty sure I'll be okay, but feel free to place bets.

Picked up a cookbook at an estate sale this morning. I'm a sucker for spiral-bound community cookbooks. Throw in some nice line drawings, and I'm really a goner.

If this pie was good enough for Thomas Jefferson, then damn it, it's good enough for me.

DK found me these numbered brass thumbtacks. I really love them. And him, too. That man is terrific.

He does, however, have a really weird tic about photos and portraits of strangers. As in, he can't deal with them hanging in our apartment because he thinks it's "creepy." I guess it would be one thing if I had my own family pictures to put up, but all of my folks think cameras are the devil's plaything. I'm rambling. What I'm trying to say is, I bought this photo of a stranger on a boat, which would normally cause household tension. Luckily, it's mostly a psychedelic swirl of water damage, so DK is okay with it.

I'm not sure where to put it. We still haven't gotten around to hanging up any art (or, you know, unpacking), so it's just hanging out by the radiator now.

We're heading out for a walk now. I will try to resist picking more sage, but that's a losing battle. Other evening plans: Bundt cake! Shelving! Bad sci-fi!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wilder & wilder

A copy of Wilder Quarterly fell into my lap recently. Or, fine, I stole it from our office pile of periodicals (yes, yes, I know, I'm really into thieving lately). It's a magazine about growing, cooking, eating--all my favorite things. I first heard about it on Design*Sponge, of course, but I was unprepared for how much I would like it. It's beautifully laid out, with glorious full-bleed photographs, but the writing is clean and mostly unfussy.

There was a recipe for pear syrup, and as it just so happens, I have a terrifying number of pears in my fridge, from a rather exuberant fruit CSA share. So I got to chopping and cooking and straining and milling and restraining and sugaring and bottling.

Which makes it all sound so much more complicated than it was. My syrup turned out a little muddier than the magazine's, which looks downright lemony. Next time, I might try juicing the pears and then mixing in simple syrup, rather than cooking everything together. But I can't complain about the taste. Or really anything.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

(Rose) Hip, hip, hooray

Well, it's been a while.

What have I been up to? Nothing much. We moved to a new apartment. I quit my job. I've been stealing rose hips, and I'm not sorry. A few weeks ago, I learned how to solder; I'm really terrible at it, but I love telling people that I know how because it sounds so delightfully competent.

Let's rewind to the rose hips.
There are a bewildering number of rose bushes in a park by our new apartment, and all those bushes are now crammed with rose hips, and, last week, four pounds of those rose hips were crammed into my tote bag. I don't know. Blame Euell Gibbons.

You can make rose hip jelly, rose hip jam, rose hip tea, and rose hip syrup, which are all lovely things. Because I am who I am, I milled and crushed my hips and steeped them in vodka.

And now, the waiting game. In a few weeks, I'll strain everything and see what's what. Hopefully, something delicious and boozy.

That's basically it for me. I'm taking things as slow and steady as I can keep them. Small steps, small victories.