Sunday, May 30, 2010

hey begonia, loveyou

On a day off I wake up incredibly cranky. By 11am I've cleaned all the dead flowers out of the apartment, dusted, tended to my plants,* planned dinner, answered emails and feel incredibly unsatisfied. What am I going to do today?? I apply sunscreen. Consider walking down to fairway to return a moldy yogurt. It's probably crowded. Forget it. It's probably full of people buying hot dogs and charcoal and elbowing each other at the olive bar. Children screaming, strollers. Maybe I could buy a bike. I peruse craigslist for all of two minutes and decide it's not worth it. I want a bike right now, this second. If I had one, I'd consider riding it to Court Street to buy some roasted artichoke hearts at Caputo's. Their probably closed anyway. Damnit!!


Eric reminds me that a day off is supposed to be lazy. We eat a boiled egg.

*lets hear it for this little begonia, a testament to my talent for coxing desperate plants back from the edge. he's thriving, and we're just so proud

Friday, May 28, 2010

final results, friday, 11:41 pm

my champagne bucket arrangement, re-shot the next day with a tripod.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


practice for the real thing coming soon..

Monday, May 24, 2010


Another Monday will be spent recovering from a long week/weekend, nursing myself back to health with 45 pieces of raisin toast* and a trip to a flower farm with Nicolette, my partner in all crimes floral and oenological.


Also I'd like to say that I finally fell for Jack last night during the series finale. But not his interview outfit - gap denim jacket, and a charm necklace...really?

*Jenna the Rudi's Organic tip was on the money.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

There was this pie a few weeks ago I have been meaning to tell you about.

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I wanted to share it with you, and tell you that despite scores of disastrous baking attempts, it seems that i can pull off a simple rhubarb pie, and yes i made the crust. my mom was a home economics teach for gosh sake.

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Speaking of baking in the family, it was actually my grandfather who was the pie maker in the family, and come to think of it rhubarb was his favorite. he had to learn how to make a pie when my grandmother either couldn't or didn't feel like it anymore. anyway we made a few pies together in our time, and I guess I didn't forget how.

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Those of you who've followed my occasional culinary pursuits may remember my disregard for weights and measures. thus i don't have a recipe for you. but i will tell you that my favorite pie crust uses half butter, half shortening and a bit of vinegar.

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I'll also tell you that I've been experiencing occasional numbness in my arms and need to stop typing now.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

coming out of the dark

gloria estefan; give me strength to get all my emails answered and flowers arranged

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

i see a darkness






from me and Neil with love

i have so many stupid photos of flowers to show you right now, but i can't seem to pull it together to post them here. so here you are. and here I am (only minutes or hours before) communicating with you. without flowers.
if you will; (not) saying it with flowers.

things have been busy. Neil is here and says hi.

we'll leave with you with this gift, Soolaimon.
you're welcome.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

up up and away


i'm ON FIRE today
BANG BANG! phone calls, emails, scheduling, meetings, flower arranging; a whirlwind of clipped stems, barking dogs and rhubarb pie crumbs in my wake. more on the pie soon.

[the above flower arrangement was a recent favorite of mine - delivered to a client staying under a pseudonym at a fancy hotel. it is a harsh realization that i will probably never have to check in under a false name. or have a reason to be flown to "the island" in a helicopter. but i will make gorgeous flowers for such characters, and love every minute of it...this had some gorgeous bearded iris, the first of the peonies, lisianthus, etc. more photos on flickr.]

Monday, May 10, 2010


Three days with my mom; power outages, flower arranging, cocktails, antiquing, cooking, plant purchasing, brunching, law and order watching, soap cutting, brownie baking. My friend Jenna, [who is about to be a mom herself] once was describing how she came to practice homeopathy...she said that everything in her life stemmed from her mothers influence. That has stuck in my head for a few years. I'm not the type to get to sentimental about these things - after all Mother's Day is a holiday that was created to sell stuff. Which is why i didn't feel bad when i didn't have any cash to pay for our brunch on Sunday. But i have been thinking about how lucky I am to have a mother who is so creative, encouraging, kind and tough. She's like the ultimate side kick, or maybe I am like hers. Either way we make good travel buddies.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

nettle me this, batman


Unfortunately there are more plants than food in my kitchen lately. Our idea of a homecooked meal comes from a leetle place called Calexico, located just south of the [Red Hook] border. I could eat a rolled quesadilla daily, complete with a side of what they refer to as "crack sauce" a questionable (albeit delicious) concoction not unlike flavored mayonaise. I like take out, and the masochist in me likes eating at work, greasy fingers tap tapping the computer, answering the telephone with a mouth full of guacamole, I don't give a RATS ASS if you can lower my electric bill, call back later!


Unfortunately I know my immune system isn't fond of days on end of greasy take out, and this time of year we have to take special care of ourselves because physical burnout looms on June's horizon. And so the carne-asada-spell was broken on my day off with a bagfull of Stinging Nettles and a warning from their purveyor "Please wear gloves when handling and cook well!!!"


Turns out stinging nettles really sting, should not be eaten raw (although I did view a handful of youtube videos documenting hippies demonstrating the art of raw ingestion). But, with 40% protein, and like zillions of chlorophyll's, these greens make it so you won't have to eat another vegetable for the rest of the week. I mean, unless you want to.


I made soup. With leeks and nettles, creme fraiche and egg yolks. Very simple, very delicious. Here's the recipe. I adapted it from this recipe. Don't overcook your nettles as I did. 10 minutes at a healthy rolling boil is probably long enough. The cheese rinds are sort of key here. If you don't have them, then I would use chicken broth cut with water instead of just water.

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 leeks, cut into rounds, washed very thoroughly
  • 1/2 pound wild nettle tops, large tough stems discarded. Use gloves, or tongs when handling.
  • 1 quart filtered water (or broth)
  • Smattering of whatever fresh herbs you have lying around. I had some chives and thyme. dill
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche, sweet cream, or half and half, or to taste
  • one medium sized cheese rind (ideally from a flavorful hard cheese like Parmesan or locatelli romano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté leeks in butter and olive oil until soft. Add water (or broth) and bring to a boil
  2. Add nettles (being careful not to touch them with your bare hands!), and water or broth
  3. Add cheese rind, cover and simmer until the nettles are very soft - 10 or 15 min
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the crème fraiche (feed the egg whites to your dog! or freeze them for future use)
  5. Puree using an immersion blender, or, in my case a teeny-tiny food processor, working in batches. Adding salt and pepper to taste
  6. Take a laddleful of soup and stir it into the egg mixture.
  7. Return the egg-nettle mixture to the soup and stir gently over very low heat (do not let it boil again)
  8. Plate soup with the fresh chopped herbs you have and a dollop of creme fraiche
and here's the next recipe I'm trying..


Yesterday in yoga my favorite teacher Tamar gave a dharma talk about potential that I am still interpreting. I got my nails painted and fixed my hair. I've been getting away with work boots and dirty jeans for way too long. I say to myself: "I have potential for glamour, damn it!"

I don't want to look at the photos from Louisiana of dead wildlife. What can we think about it?
I'd rather lounge around in bed and look at these garden roses all day.