Citrus sits especially well with me during the holidays. As does canning. The obvious next step: Moroccan Salt-Preserved lemons. After consulting recipes from Anthony Bourdain, David Lebovitz, and Epicurious, I dove into a slightly modified version of their useful recipes (yes to cinnamon and cloves; skip the bay leaves and black peppercorns), and then waited 30 days before presenting them to my curious holiday party hostesses and colleagues. What does one do with salt-preserved lemons? I steep them in hot water with a bit of honey and make tea, but they’re traditionally used in Moroccan tangines, and I imagine they’d make a delicious accompaniment to extra-sharp cheeses, too. It’s times like these that I envy those out in California. Remember this?
30 days after sealing, the lemons have softened
What’s the best organic-matter gift one can smuggle in from Amsterdam? Tulip bulbs from the floating flower market, no doubt. These are going in the ground today, and because I’m not sure what variety they are (maybe parrot?), I’m already looking forward being surprised in the spring. Thank you, FK!
homegrown and handmade
In my ongoing effort to use all of summer’s mint before winter gets it, I dried a bunch and rigged two dozen tea bags. Hang the mint upside down for two weeks. Then, when it’s so dry it crumbles, bundle 2 tbsp-doses in double-layered, extra-fine cheesecloth, and secure the pouches with kitchen twine.
1940's lloyd's of susses boardwalk high-back metal chairs, $600 each
Factory20.com is an online antiques resource based in Sterling, VA that stocks an incredible range of good, old things. They’re expensive, but judging by the looks of the site, I suspect they’re in excellent condition (or, if scuffed, scuffed in all the right places). Inquire and purchase via email, and Eric, who runs the place, will deliver your furtinure when he’s next in NYC.
early 1900's french ladies writing table, $900
1890's art nouveau mahogany side table, $1,600
dutch flaring spindle chairs, $780/pair
vintage buoys, $55 each
vintage bread crate of architectural hooks, $175
a must-see in the marais
Last week I went to Paris on whim for reasons entirely un-food-related, but my favorite find there was Izrael, a specialty spice market in the Marais off the St. Paul stop on Metro line 1. My god, what glorious edibles they have in this shop:
I bought black sel, and smokey sel, and fleur de sel in beautiful glass vials. I bought long peppercorns that look like stretched acorns. I bought violet-seasoned sugar pieces that resemble chunks of amethyst for DW. And dried button roses for cake decorating. Had I had a few more days in Paris to consume them, I would have bought bags of the stores dried fruits and deserts, too.
coming to you from austin, tx
Down in Austin, TX Lucas Brower and Jesse Kamm have started a genius company making and delivering Home Grow Micro Farms––self-watering garden boxes that yield a variety of seasonal, organic vegetables over the course of 3 months.
It works like this: You pick a box from their site’s monthly planning menu (in November, for example, you have a choice between 4 boxes; one’s filled with salad greens, another has beets and Chinese cabbage, etc.), then order it online, or by phone. Brower and Kamm deliver your box in their veggie oil-powered car, and do all of the installing for you (you need only to provide them with an outdoor water spigot, or, maybe you collect rainwater, and would prefer to hook it up to your well? Even better.). Give your box a lot of sun and reasonable TLC, and in approximately 30 days it will be ready for harvest.
Then, when 3 months has passed and you’ve eaten through your Micro Farm, Brower and Kamm will come collect the exhausted box and replace it with a newly seeded one. 1 box is only $30/month! Get your rotation right (i.e. have a new box returned and delivered every month), and you’ll have fresh, seasonal vegetables everyday, year-round.
Really, it’s so easy. It waters itself. It’s already seeded. It’s harvest without the hassle. And home-grown without a required green thumb. Get in touch with Brower here.
on sale in utility green, $49.99
Guys, I bought this jacket at full price ($98) early in the summer. It is perfect, and even more perfect on sale for $50. Don’t ask me how I know, but cargo jackets like these are going to be very popular very soon (OK, anyone who’s spent enough time on style.com can tell you that), but you have my word. If army-green’s not your thing, it comes in camp yellow, too.