My favorite new discovery: Health-Ade Kombucha. Of course I admit, I was drawn in by the snappy packaging from across a crowded market aisle. Thank goodness! I had always really liked the idea of kombucha, but had never found one that I actually really liked. Until now. Health-Ade is lovely and delicious and quite uplifting. It’s made in small batches in Los Angeles using organic, seasonal, local farmers’ market fruits, and is fermented entirely in glass. So far I’ve only tried The Original and California Grape, but I very much look forward to sampling Ginger Lemon, Pink Lady Apple and Cayenne Cleanse next. Yum!
After a very busy holiday season, I am just this week taking time to delight in all of the lovely gifts I received. One of my favorites: Bee’s Wrap. Handmade by women in Vermont, Bee’s Wrap is essentially a food storage alternative to plastic. It is made of organic cotton muslin coated in beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin. When warmed in your hands it molds snugly around really everything and is completely waterproof. And it can be washed and reused for up to a year. Great design, BIG love.
One of our Thanksgiving guests very kindly brought a jar of Wild Mushroom Falksalt, a brand totally new to us. This lovely Swedish salt has a truly exquisite flavor and great packaging too, a perfect gift. There are nine flavors of Falksalt, plus some seasonal varieties as well. We personally can’t wait to try Wild Garlic, Chipotle and Citron — yum!
In great anticipation of Gabrielle Hamilton’s new (and first) cookbook Prune, I was happily reminded to read her New York Times Bestselling memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter (Random House, 2011). I can’t believe I waited so long. Really. It is seriously well-written and completely engaging, and is, at once, raw and fearlessly honest, poetic and quite beautiful. One of the best books I’ve read in a while. And if you’ve not been to Prune, Hamilton’s 15-year-old gem on East 1st Street, you must go. Hands down one of our favorites.
Prune (Random House, 2014) by Gabrielle Hamilton is due to be released on November 4
Among the many highlights of the wedding we did Saturday night was the divine croquembouche made by Dominique Ansel (known to many as the inventor of the Cronut) that served as the wedding cake. It was sublime in look and taste, the best we have ever had and a true work of art. French-born (obviously) Ansel is widely considered one of the finest pastry chefs in the country, and we can attest he is one of the nicest too. We can’t wait for his first cookbook, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, due out on October 28!
Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes (Simon & Schuster, 2014)
Dominique Ansel Bakery, 189 Spring Street, NYC www.dominiqueansel.com
Another favorite blog here at THE BATON is Mimi Thorisson’s Manger. If you love food (yes), all things French (indeed), and stunning photography (of course), you too should be reading Manger. I think it is best described as one big, gorgeous, glorious feast. Thorisson’s new book A Kitchen in France, A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse is due out on October 28 — no doubt just as splendid as the blog that inspired it.
A Kitchen in France, A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson (Clarkson Potter, 2014)
At the beach in North Carolina this week we discovered the totally old school Corolla Village Bar-B-Que. The seating is entirely out-of-doors, set under trees with roaming chickens. Exactly right. And the menu, seriously straightforward. Yum!
Corolla Village Bar-B-Que, Historic Corolla Village, 1129 Corolla Village Road, Corolla, NC
|Marja Helander, Buollánoaivi, 2001, from the series Modern Nomads.
Photograph on aluminum. The Sámi Collections.
Last week I went to see Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People, a fascinating installation at Scandinavia House. I must admit, prior to this show I really didn’t know anything about this indigenous group that inhabits parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia, commonly known in the English language as Lapland. Sámi Stories presents a wonderful history of the people and examples of art and handwork by artists of Sámi descent. Highlights of the show for me were definitely the contemporary works. Photographs by Finnish artist Marja Helander and Norwegian artist Arvid Sveen, and a magnificent 78-foot-long embroidery on linen by Swedish artist Britta Marakatt-Labba.
If you’ve not been there, Scandinavia House is one very special place. Fantastic exhibitions, films and programming, a lovely Scandinavian cafe, and one of the best shops in the city.
Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People runs through August 23
I’ve been following Kinfolk, the website and quarterly print magazine, for a while now. I love the Kinfolk vibe and content and especially the always fantastic photography contained therein. The Kinfolk Table, published last fall, is part cookbook, part lifestyle manifesto, in the absolute best way. And it is lovely to look at. I really think author and Kinfolk founding editor Nathan Williams summed it all up when he wrote, “I can’t help being excited to introduce you to all the people in this book because they seem to understand that good food and community are just as important as the careers in which they work, that the rituals and traditions that bring us together are essential to balanced lives.” So very true.
The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings by Nathan Williams (Artisan, 2013)
I think the best part of Jody Williams’ gorgeous new book, Buvette: the pleasure of good food, is how seamlessly the spirit of her very special West Village gastrothèque is translated on the page. This book, like Buvette itself, has great integrity. Thoughtful design on perfect weight paper, exquisite photographs, lovely and personal narrative and of course, the most simple and beautiful recipes. And if you hadn’t heard, Buvette now has an outpost in Paris!
Buvette: the pleasure of good food by Jody Williams (Grand Central Life & Style, 2014)