On a particularly early morning, I found myself sitting in one of London’s east end restaurants working through details of a fast approaching and fairly high pressure event. I must have been the only person in the restaurant at that time and I distinctly remember waiting outside in the drizzle for someone to unlocked the door and let me inside. This particular space is one with the most inspired light even on this misty wooly grey morning and I took a few minutes to admire it as it fell softly over the backs of minimalist birch chairs and polished concrete floors. Being so early, the space was just a hair shy of warm, the ovens having only just begun their day’s labor and coldness from the night before still hanging around ankle level. A familiar conversation ensued soon after and I ordered a cup of black coffee – it felt perfectly austere given my surroundings and I imagined it would also be hottest thing on their early morning menu. continue reading
Some of my earliest memories are sitting with my mum, gram and aunt drinking tea; always bag in, never sugar possibly a splash of milk. There wasn’t anything fancy or particularly ceremonial about it, no sliver tea pots or cups and saucers and certainly not a crustless sandwich in sight, but still it always felt exceptional. The four of us together in one of our kitchens chatting and thumbing through recipes and design magazines with steaming hot cups of tea in hand. Overtime, these tea filled afternoons together have become a ritual; our ritual. continue reading
I believe people come into your life for a reason and on a particularly mild New England January weekend 12 amazing women came into mine. Though the time was short, we will be forever connected by a silvery thread of memory, the stunning Norman Bird Sanctuary and Paradise Farmhouse and our love to creating, making, food and photography.
I subscribe to love.
I subscribe to love with all its swiftness, fleet-of-foot, deep roots, finely feathered wings, quiet gentle tenderness, wild abandon, respectful, transcendent and humble persistence. I suppose I would say that what I really subscribe to is not love but more the spirit of love, its genuineness and possibility. When I stop to think about it, I am gobsmacked at the very many ways love is able to manifest and delighted by the differences in the kinds of loves we encounter. So I think its a wonderful idea to pause for a moment and celebrate the loves, in all their vast and varied qualities in your life.
Before the night is out many a cheerful glass of champagne will be raised to toast the arrival of the new year and fondly send off the year just past.
I love this global celebration of time. This night dedicated to reflection and optimism. Stripping away the arbitrary pressure of resolutions, there seems something very special indeed about a night where a ripple of optimism makes its way around the globe. Behind the bubbles, the sparkles and tinsel is the brightness of positivism, the buoyancy of happiness. However, Its not just about the exhilaration of looking to the year ahead, but also about finding the silver linings in the year we have just finished. In a world that constantly encourages us to reach ahead, to move forward with an ever fervered pace, I can’t help but relish the moments to glance back. To turn around to see, in plain view, the path the year has cut sprawling out behind me, twisting and winding to me to the exact spot I’m standing when the hands point to twelve. continue reading
It seems that many of my holiday traditions are wrapped up in the places from which my family hail, going back generations and to all manner of countries. Traditions and foods transplanted from our great and great-great grandparents. Though I would expect some sticky points in the translations have occurred over the years, in general, my holidays rely largely on the flavours of elsewhere.
This year,I wanted to add something to our holiday table and traditions which celebrated where we are right now; in this moment, season and of this place. Oysters are of course all about provience, about the place from which they hail. Luckily these chilly east coast waters produce some lovely varieties. Even with just a few miles between them, oysters have the ability to taste different and distinct from their neighbors. This partially explains my great affinity for them, the other being that they are simply delicious. With winter’s short days and plummeting temperatures the waters have turned truly frigid, making it the perfect time for plump New England oysters. continue reading
Balance; both the idea of it and what it actually means in practice has been rolling through my thoughts recently. Like a stone with rough pocked edges, my mind seems wanton to tumble and turn balance into something smooth and polished; digestible, achievable. continue reading
Between the dark and light of the early morning, in slippered feet I stood; flour jar and batter bowl at hand. A warm pine floor dark beneath me and cool stone countertops reflecting back the first bits of daylight. I slipped the heavy linen apron from its hook and over my head, smoothing its front, ritually pushing my hands into each of its pockets before beginning my task. Into the bowl I measured, sifted, pinched & stirred together what will, with any luck, become the start of a dark sourdough bread. It will be coaxed into existence over the next 5 days through a common sort magic, simple but deeply seeded.
On this morning and for the last few, I have been feeling an overwhelming sense of calm. I can only think that it is coming from a place of general contentedness, a feeling of some form of happiness which I have not felt for a time. What I know to be different is how good it feels to finally be back standing in a kitchen of my own after so long.
The thought that the two are connected, this contented calm and having a kitchen of my own again, hadn’t dawned on me until recently. Spurred by the comment of a friend under my image on Instagram, she wrote “one thing about being away is that you miss your own kitchen”.
And this feeling of missing ones own kitchen is something I have known rather poignantly recently. As you may know, a few months ago we, my husband and i, packed up our London life. It was sent one way around the world as we went the other. It was a great adventure, perhaps one of a life time, thought I rather hope not, but the one thing I perpetually missed, that I longed for in this unmoored period was my kitchen. I did my best to mimic some daily rhythm which felt natural to me but how well can one accomplish this in the kitchens of strangers? continue reading