MLK on drawing up a blueprint for our lives

I’ve been sitting here, with loads of work to do, a mountain of unread emails, an apartment to clean (or at least make semi-presentable for people coming over) all kinds of self-care resolutions to wish I had time to fulfill… and my MLK post to write.

So what do I do? In classic procrastination style, I open up my email newsletter from NY Times Cooking, which my friend Sam Sifton writes, and which I almost always make time to read no matter what else is on my plate. The first line after ‘Good Morning’? “Here is Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, Oct. 26, 1967.” I clicked on the link, watched the speech, cried as I always do when I hear Dr King speak, and then realized that my search for a blog post was over.

So thanks, Sam, for hooking us all up with today’s content. And thank you, Dr. King, for continuing to be a beacon of light and an inspiration to us all… especially as we enter these murky and unstable times. And for speaking so eloquently to kids about what their potential can be if they take themselves seriously.

Parents, if you have kids old enough to listen, you should all sit down and watch this video today. And then let us all pay a little attention to our blueprints, make adjustments if necessary, and head out into the bright world full of determination to change what needs to be changed, to protect what needs to be protected and to treat everyone with the love and respect that we would like to have shown to us.

Amen.

And Happy Birthday, Dr. King.

Merry Christmas to all…

xmas tree 2016

Put everything else aside just for a minute and hold your loved ones close. Tell your parents you love them. Smile at a stranger. Go out of your way for someone before they ask you for a favor. And remember that the more joy you can hold in your heart, the stronger a warrior for good you will become.

And we’re going to need all the warriors we can get.

For unto us was born this day a savior. And that savior is all of us.

Only 5 days till Christmas…

christmas cookies

My mother and daughter got together over the weekend and made some holiday cookies… This was one of my favorites.

It’s been a hell of a fall.

And now, suddenly, it’s practically the 25th and, if you are anything like me, there are still all sorts of folks that you need to buy things for. Here are a few ideas that may just save you.

screwdriver key
Who doesn’t need a keychain screwdriver? (You have to order this today to get free expedited shipping, but at $9 what’s stopping you?)

stylus
Pretending that your iPad is a piece of paper is evidently all the rage these days. I’ll bet there are at least a few people on your list who would love to get their hands on one of these stylus pencils by Digital Gold.

red flower wellness kit
It’s cold and dark these days… for all sorts of reasons. A reviving wellness ritual set from Red Flower is just the thing to set anyone back on the path to sanity. Plus they are on sale right now for $50, so maybe you should get one for yourself while you’re at it!

alessi teapot
Everybody drinks tea once in a while, if not obsessively. So a teapot never fails. Especially when it looks like this Alessi “Cha” Kettle/Teapot.

globe puzzle
This is technically a toy for kids, but I can think of plenty of grownups who would be into the challenge of putting together this 3D Earth Puzzle.

Monday, Monday (on a Wednesday!) or more links about what to do with all of those damned apples…

apples

Ok so now it’s mid October, and we spent a recent weekend really living the following locavore dream:

Head down the road to a local farm with close friends and a gaggle of kids, pick waaaay too many apples, grab some produce at the farmstand, stop by the fish market on the way home for the main course, and a delicious dinner (all sourced from within 30 miles or so) is had by all.

But now it’s a week later and we still have So. Many. Apples. Every year I somehow forget that I don’t need 75 apples on my kitchen shelf, so I go crazy picking tons of apples, and then I get home and reality sets in. Because while it is totally delicious, one can only make so much curried apple soup in a fortnight.

So the next two weeks are gonna be all about apples in this house. How shall I cook them? Let me count the ways, whilst you click on the links for the recipes:

Clearly, there will be glazed apple cider donuts.

I am also thinking we should make some magic apple plum cobbler. Because any dish that has the word “magic” in it is alright by me.

For cocktail hour this time of year, one should always consider serving up a nice apple smash.

Mark Bittman helps us get healthy with this lovely apple slaw.

Ummm… did I hear you say caramel apple upside down cake?

And while we’re on the topic of bittersweet candied apples

Last but not least, before you roll into bed stuffed to the gills with deliciousness, I give you braised and bruleéd apples with ice cream. You can thank me later.

Here are some links about getting it together, posted on a Friday rather than the usual Monday. Because late is better than never.

It has been a long time since my last post. All sorts of crazy things are happening in the world (shootings, bombs in Chelsea, Donald Trump for president…) plus summer is really over and school is in full swing. It is time for my autumnal press of the restart button, when I make all kinds of resolutions about how I will be finishing the year strong. Maybe you’d like to join me…?

Here are a few of my plans:

I’m going to keep eating at home most nights with my family. And feeling really good about it after watching the video above.

I’m putting down my phone and reading more books, like The Underground Railroad by Colson Whittehead.

This year I swear to God we’re going to make the whole school/homework/activities thing less haphazard.

I’m going to keep things clean– naturally– with apple cider vinegar.

I’m going to cook more profound food from The Moon Juice Cookbook. Anything that calls itself cosmic alchemy sounds good to me!

I’m going to go see more art: like the Alma Thomas show at The Studio Museum.

I am going to start to learn how to more effectively use all of these digital tools I have lying around the house. And then I’m going to actually organize the unruly jungle that is my desktop.

#stillsummer

summer corn soup

The most delicious, and simple, corn soup you will ever make. Make some quickly before the corn goes out of season…

Just looking at this photograph makes me a bit wistful for the lazy summer days in Maine… But to be honest, the corn is better down on Long Island. So the post-Labor Day version of this soup promises to be even better than the bowl pictured above.

We had a few extra ears of corn from dinner one night, so my husband, who is extremely adept in the kitchen, invented this chowder for the next day’s lunch. I constantly thank my lucky stars that I had the good fortune to marry a man who loves to cook. And now you all can share in my good fortune.

Corn chowder á la Josh

4 ears of corn
2 Tbs butter
large spoonful of sour cream
2/3 cup milk
pinch salt
a bit of chopped dill and bacon for garnish (if you’re feeling it)

Boil the corn for 4 minutes, then cut the kernels off and toss them into a pan with all of the rest of the ingredients. Cook till the butter melts. Throw the whole thing into the blender and blend till smooth. Top with a bit of dill and some broken bits of bacon and enjoy. Makes 3 good sized bowls of soup.

Kids clothes. On sale. Now.

pink chicken

Spotted hanging on the door to the Pink Chicken shop in Amagansett this morning…

So I’m walking to the library after dropping my daughter off at camp, and I see this little piece of adorable-ness hanging outside of Pink Chicken, one of the impossibly cute shops in Amagansett. It’s enough to make me almost want to have a baby (not quite, mind you, but close)…

But what it does remind me is that now is the time to buy all of our kid’s clothes for next summer, because everything is on deep sale right about now. Here’s where I’m going to go just as soon as I finish this post:

sweet william
I am most certainly buying these leggings from Sweet William. At $14, they are practically free.

soor ploom
I NEVER pass up a chance to get something from Soor Ploom, which makes the best best best clothes for little girls. I promise to keep pestering them abut making boys clothes. So far no luck, but I won’t give up.

OTO tut
Over the Ocean is kind of like a porno site for kids clothes and accessories. We all really need to have this little ballet tutu/dress thingy for our daughters, right? Come on… think of the photos…

And then, of course, J Crew, where one should NEVER pay full price for ANYTHING as it was almost certainly go on sale at some point…

Hopefully that’s enough to get you going. Do please let me know in the comments if you see anything especially good out there…

Another thing I don’t really need but totally want, regardless…

HiFi Console by Department

HiFi Console by Department Home & Audio

So I was sorting through a pile of unopened mail and other misc papers that have piled up on my desk, and lo and behold, I come across the flyer for this most perfect incredible subtle wireless new style old school record player plus storage by Department Home & Audio in Chicago. And I fell in love.

And then I realized that there really isn’t anywhere in our apartment that I could put this.

And then I was sad.

But maybe one of you lucky souls out there has been in the market for a record player/LP storage cabinet. And now your prayers are answered.

You can thank me later.

Go see the Martin Creed show RIGHT NOW (if you haven’t already and you happen to be in NYC…)

art - kids
Martin Creed balloon

My daughter, having the time of her life, in the middle of the balloon room at the Martin Creed show uptown at the Park Avenue Armory.

The Back Door, British artist Martin Creed’s show at The Park Avenue Armory is absolutely not to be missed. Which means you have 3 more days to catch it before the building wide installation closes and fades into a memory (and lots of Instagram photos).

There are balloons, a piano that opens and shuts on it’s own, a whole range of videos, a band of musicians that wander through the space making enigmatic songs, huge curtains that move on their own and all sorts of beautiful objects that make you pause and think about all sorts of things. Plus the huge main room has been transformed into a kind of dark internal head space where the “mouth” opens every once in awhile and you can see out through the back door. Hence the title of the exhibit.

Go see the show. Take your kids, who will love the balloons and the curtain and the piano and most of the videos at the very least. And hurry before it’s gone.

To motivate you, here is one of Creed’s videos. Needless to say this was a particular favorite of my daughter’s…

And here are some photos I took of the show…

Martin Creed
The Back Door
At the Park Avenue Armory through Aug 7
643 Park Ave, NYC
tickets are $15, available online or at the door