What’s important and what’s not–as the days seem to speed by, this thought/quote has even more impact. Note to self: let the unimportant, trivial stuff that does not matter fall to the wayside. Cheers to all the goods things that have meaning for all of us being the main focus!
Quite a few years ago this Perrin Côtes du Rhône was a house wine at Le Pichet here in Seattle. It has been one of those wines that has stayed with us over time for its versatility and extraordinary value. The label has changed over the years, but luckily what is in the bottle has not. This is red house wine of the highest order. Perfect paired with many foods, great to serve at a party, and lovely to have solo when you are chatting with friends. This is also the bottle I reach for when recipes call for red wine to be added. Good wine does not have to cost a bundle, and this Perrin Réserve Côtes du Rhône is proof of that.
Tulips really are so, for lack of a better word, magical. To think of these tight buds doing a magic trick and becoming the below. Unfolding and doing the dance that I always feel so privileged to witness–the parrot tulips exploding into a riot of orange, as if to say, “Look, see what I can do.”
Farro is the oldest cultivated grain in the world. The hearty kernel also makes it a substantial base for a healthy salad. Saturdays are days I quite often make something to bring to the shop for lunch, as it is such a hopping day. We had a butternut squash in the fridge, so I thought I would roast that up, get a little creative, and see what I could come up with. I love salads where you can mix & match, using things that work well together. Here is what I added to the farro to make a filling lunch for a busy day.
Cook farro to the instructions on package. I like it not so crunchy, so I tend to cook it a bit longer than the norm to get a tad softer. Roast cut up butternut squash at 400 degrees with olive oil, salt and pepper until soft and a bit golden. Set aside. Cut up a shallot into small pieces and add to a bowl with 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let that sit and pickle for a bit. The longer the better. At least 30 minutes is best. While the farro is cooking and the shallots are pickling, take a small pan and dry roast a handful of hazelnuts until warm. This helps bring out the natural oils of the nut, really helping bring out the full flavor of the hazelnuts. Set aside. Once the farro is cooked, take off of heat and add half of the shallots and half of the rice wine vinegar they were sitting in. This will infuse into the warm farro and add quite a bit of flavor. Add a few good pinches of salt and pepper at this stage too. Let cool. Once cooled, add the butternut squash pieces, the remaining shallots, the hazelnuts, a handful of dried cherries, and finish with a good amount of crumbled feta. Mix all together. Taste. Season with more salt if you think it needs it. Also add the remaining vinegar that you pickled the shallots in, if you desire more. Done. A quite healthy and visual lunch.
A happy Monday and start of the week to you all!
We re-do the front displays at both shops after the 15th of January, turning them into a lovefest of Valentine goodness. I like having the freshness of a new display, as well as giving Valentine’s Day its due. It just adds a happiness to the air. Reds, pinks–all the Valentine finery. And the cards. Oh my stars, we sell an incredible amount of Valentine cards in the next month. The baskets are overflowing with sweet cards–above is one of my all-time favorite. We actually carry this card year round, as it is not only applicable as a Valentine. Even though Christmas was just over a month ago, it is always fun to look forward to the next holiday.
I have written about the goodness of Meyer Lemons before, but seeing them again at the Market and the grocery store in plentiful displays is prompting me to give them another shout-out. They are so good! They have such a sweetness to them, the Meyer lemon is the perfect thing to cook a myriad of things with. Last night I baked/poached a piece of cod in a shallow bath of white wine, extra virgin olive oil, Meyer lemon juice, salt & pepper. The flavor of the lemon being the prevailing ever so slight, but ever so tasty note to the fish. I also sliced a Meyer lemon and put the slices on top of the fish, to really infuse from both the top and the bottom. If you serve the cod with rice, you can spoon over some of the liquid as a bit of sauce. Super easy, super satisfying and lemony.
As I am typing the above I know I will be asked this today by readers who come into the shops. If it was Friday, why were we not having pizza and martinis? During the Winter months we switch it up a bit and head to our place on Vashon Island many Sunday mornings, as arriving in the cold, rain and dark on Saturday eve is not the most comforting of things after a long work week. So every once in awhile, we do the martini/pizza night on Saturday. We do love tradition here in the Watson Sive household…
A lovely, lovely Saturday to all of you!
There is just some quality about old paper that I find magical. We use pages from old books that are falling apart in displays at the shops all of the time. I think of it a bit like recycling, as the pages get to be enjoyed by all, instead of falling out of an unread book. The beauty of the words on yellowed old paper so lovely.
Awhile back I was in search of spiffy-ing up a few candelabra at home. I was also having challenges getting the candles to fit. That is when I stared using vintage book pages to add a bit of visual interest as a bobèche.
Main Entry: bo·beche
Pronunciation: \bō-ˈbesh, -ˈbāsh\
Etymology: French bobèche
: a usually glass collar on a candle socket to catch drippings or on a candlestick or chandelier to hold suspended glass prisms
A word of caution. Like all candles, they should never be left unattended. I always try and use really tall beeswax candles so by the end of the dinner the flames is still nowhere near the paper. Beauty with an eye towards safety. I just really like seeing the words & images on the pages and using something that would potentially be discarded and bringing it back to life.
“You should carry Kinfolk, it would be perfect here” is what I have been told more than a handful of times. I am happy to report, our order of Kinfolk magazines arrived safe & sound the other day. It really is such a special publication. ‘A Guide For Small Gatherings’ is the tag line. For those of you not familiar with it, here is what is written on the back inside cover which I think sums it up perfectly.
“Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love.”
In a nutshell, part of my life philosophy, so I think Kinfolk is going to fit right in at Watson Kennedy. Cheers to small gatherings!
1-A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.
2-A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.
A quote/thought that jumped out at me for no particular reason when I was sorting through my stack of quotes the other day, but that I quite liked.
A customer asked me the other day about starting a collection of something and how to begin doing it. My advice was to choose something they love and then start from there. Also that what they choose does not need to be grand in the least. Or it could be. Whatever brings them delight when they look at the grouping. I mentioned the champagne cork collection that began when I started collecting the corks from bottles of Veuve we enjoyed. I knew seeing the champagne corks each day would be a reminder of the joyous times when we popped open a bottle. Super easy collection to begin–from something you enjoy, like favorite shells from beach walks or concert ticket stubs. Put them in a glass bowl and let the collection begin.