So to speak. Our never ending spring break has delivered us to the edge of the holidays. 2020. Lets go out with a bang! Pile on. Yes, yes, we have all learned about the importance of simplicity. It has been the drumbeat for most of the human race for 7 months now. But there is satisfaction derived from creating something a little over the top. Indulging seems so wrong but feels awfully good!
This holiday and for the days leading up, I will be setting my table with some extra flourishes. Allow myself, family and friends a bit of luxury wrapped up in soft, yummy comfort.
How will you be setting your table?
Visit us online and browse our gorgeous selection of soft, cotton napkins. Inspiration from land to sea.
Although I, not unlike many Earthlings, have done plenty of resurfacing of all sorts over the past months, the resurfacing I write of here is the kind that happens after one goes under — like coming up for a deep gasp of air after trying to swim the length of a pool — successfully, or not. A breath so deep it hurts your chest.
It is time. Time to resurface. Become part of the contagious rhythm that finds its way into everyone’s heart and buoys us up together in a collective wave of doing. Doing good things. For each other. For the planet. For a future full of real, deliverable promise.
The animal kingdom — always a source of amusement and comfort to me — has provided an inoculation of sorts for me during what has been an isolating and frightening time. I love watching birds, hanging out with my dog, and gobbling up novels that include an appreciation for the natural world. Washington, D.C. is lucky to have Giant Pandas at the National Zoo. Mei Xiang gave birth to her cub here on August 21st. This is not her first cub. My favorite Panda of all time is actually Mei Xiang’s third cub — Bao Bao. Watching Mei Xiang care for her new cub is as awe inspiring as it gets for me. She reminds me to take it slow, don’t sweat the small stuff, and focus on loved ones. I love pandas so much, I wrote a children’s story about them a couple of years ago, Journey Home — https://martine2nourish.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/spare-time/
So, here’s to Mei Xiang. Through the magic of the Panda Cam, she has become my virtual teacher. This may be my favorite semester yet.
What a difference a week makes. Washington, DC has hunkered down and traffic intersections that normally are best avoided, stand still and quiet this morning. And a beautiful morning it is! Sunny, mild — the kind of day that inspires me to check things off the list. Each day, now, everyone around the world is waking up to a new set of normals. A new set of challenges seems to materialize by the hour, knocking all of us off our central axis. That to-do list is also metamorphosing into something driven by forces outside of my control.
During times of increased stress and anxiety, I often remind myself the need to lift my oars out of the water and just go with the flow. Allow the current to move me as swiftly or as slowly as it chooses. This is one of those times for me. I am trying to keep it simple, remain grateful for all of my blessings, and reassure my daughters that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we will all learn tremendous lessons over the coming months. In simplicity, there is abundance.
Focusing on things I can control is calming and therapeutic. Creating a warm, relaxing space for my family is how I am redirecting some of my energy. Spring cleaning, yard work, and of course yummy meals are the things along with me in my canoe right now.
To say these days are anxiety provoking might be an understatement. Save any commentary on the dearth of social, economic, and political subjects that could provide discussion material, I will turn to dinner!
Last night’s easy, economical, pantry-friendly sheet pan dinner was so comforting. Each mouthful provided a slash of fat from the chicken, a bite of brine from the olives, tiny bits of sweetness from golden raisins which were practically melted, a bright tartness from the caramelized lemons, and a welcome herbaceous note from the fresh rosemary. Chickpeas and plum tomatoes added texture and even more flavor to the pan sauce created from everything coming together bathed in olive oil and butter. 400 degrees for about 35 minutes did the trick. So good.
My friend, puff pastry. There isn’t much it can’t do. It rises to every occasion producing a crowd-pleasing result… every time. Last night I served champagne with my cute en croute. Puff pastry rolled out thinly and wrapped around a wheel of Brie that had been generously brushed with a spicy honey mustard and topped with cherry preserves not only looked festive but it tasted delicious. Simple club crackers proved to be a worthy delivery service to the lips.
With busy lives made extra busy as we close in on the holidays, dinner for one becomes more frequent. This beauty came together in no time—fresh, line caught flounder sautéed with butter, lemons and capers, roasted sweet potatoes and berries, and topped off with a kale salad dressed with my homemade buttermilk miso dressing and crunchy coconut chips.
Serving is a much discussed topic in my house during the holiday season. Our attention turns to those in need. Our attention turns to ways in which we can be of service. Life is a delicate balance. But somehow, between giving and taking, giving always feel a little more sweet.
In the spirit of serving our families this holiday, our new Serving Bowls in our much-beloved Plume pattern have arrived in time for your holiday table. Serve your family from porcelain that will last a lifetime of memories.
I welcome that the 90° heat has been replaced by more familiar autumn weather. Leaves are turning to spectacular hues of orange, red, yellow. I can’t help but adjust my kitchen output to better partner with the outdoor temperatures. Soups and stews are slowly inspiring my dinnertime thinking.
Our new Chowder Bowls are just right for this time of year. They are perfect in diameter for an individual portion, yet the generous 3-inch depth provides enough space for a hearty meal. Or, do what my friend Madison would do… fill with your favorite cereal. Order your set today or make someone very happy with a gift of their own sure-to-be treasured set.
Ah… memories of family dinners from days gone by! Luckily, I did not grow up to resent napkins because I certainly had to hear a lot about them during those family dinners. Contrarily, I love napkins! Setting my table with linen napkins for my family and guests actually makes me happy! And, incorporating unique napkins allows me to add punches and pops of color and pattern that are seasonal or simply a personal touch for a special gathering.
We have added four new beauties to our growing line of gorgeous, unique, colorful napkins for you and yours. Choose patterns inspired by the sea to the stars — there is something for everyone and every occasion. Visit us online for more information.