I spent this past weekend cooking for a large party, which meant six- to eight-hour stretches on my feet on a hard kitchen floor. Yet at the end of it all, I had very little back and leg pain thanks to my trusty Dansko clogs.
All over California and Florida, citrus trees laden with oranges, lemons and grapefruits are bursting with color this time of year. Even if you don't live in one of these locales, there's no need to be envious — you can still bring these cheery fruits into your kitchen with these citrus-inspired accessories!
Heirloom beans are one of the prettiest ingredients in the kitchen. Speckled, spotted, red, black, and white — they have real graphic flair. This disappears, though, when they are cooked into yummy (but less pretty) beans for eating. So why not hang to a few and work them into some unusual jewelry?
Cheerful red and white check has an old-fashioned charm that can brighten up your kitchen. A classic picnic pattern, red and white gingham brings a sense of casual playfulness to any gathering and has long been a favorite for tablecloths and napkins. Gingham also has a nice, simple graphic quality to it that, if used sparingly, has a crisp, somewhat modern feel. Here's a roundup of a few red gingham items for the kitchen and dining room.
Sleeves. They are a problem in the winter. No matter how securely I think I've rolled them, the cuffs always seem to sneak down right when it's least convenient to push them back up again.
Bartenders back in the day had this problem solved. They wore sleeve garters to adjust the sleeve length on their one-size-fits-all dress shirts and to keep their cuffs out of the way while mixing drinks. These fabric-wrapped elastics are big enough to slip over your elbow while still snugly holding the shirt sleeve in place. Sounds perfect to me.
If your holiday shopping list includes cooks, gardeners, lovers of food and handmade goods, vegans, or urban/backyard homesteaders, then you may want to check out the online handmade goods store, Buy Olympia.
If you live in the Bay Area, then you are probably well aware that Chez Panisse is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend. This past week has been a flurry of dinners, interviews, events and celebrations, including the unveiling of these limited edition t-shirts designed by David Byrne, Maria Kalman (shown above), Dave Eggers, Sofia Coppola and Queen Alice herself.
I teased my mother mercilessly for years about buying Ove Gloves and displaying them proudly from hooks in her kitchen. "They're great! So handy!" she claimed, while I snickered and grabbed a potholder. And then she gave me a pair for Christmas.
We see quite a lot of pretty aprons these days. There's a cottage industry on Etsy and elsewhere, creating aprons that appeal to the Mad Men-inspired hostess. The cutest aprons I've seen lately come from an unlikely source: A perfume and fragrance company based in San Francisco.
I am not really one for dressing up on Halloween. While I admire the creative ingenuity of others who come up with great costumes, I tend to go to parties as the invisible cook. ("What, you didn't see me there? Well, I was invisible...") But here's one small trinket that seems very in keeping with the spirit of Halloween and yet good for the rest of the year too. For those of you who like a little tomato with your garlic, or who are worried about the vampires this weekend, one silver clove of garlic for your neck.