The Plums of New York, 1911
When we came across a print from The Plums of New York, a horticultural book published a hundred years ago, we knew we had to find the whole book. The plates are these totally bizarre and amazing photos of plums that have been printed over in color. They manage to seem really modern, beautiful and pathetic all at the same time. If you are willing to sacrifice the book, the prints make great gifts. The book is hard to find (we managed to find a copy on ebay) and expensive (but worth it). There is also a digital version of the book for you to look at HERE. The point is: old books are cool and make great gifts.
The bottom of this little apothecary bottle is etched to provide a strike-able surface. This is a pretty way to store your matches. DIY possibilities here.
Bakers twine is everywhere, and yes, it is cute. But did you know you can also get it in grey and black? Perfect for those of us who want it to be a little less cute. Great for wrapping gifts, especially homemade baked goods.
Some people want diamonds, I want cheese. And I don’t know if there is a better cheese than this bandaged cheddar made in Wisconsin by Willi Lehner. It is crazy good. I might go as far as: life changing. I don’t know if this is distributed outside of the Midwest, but you can find it at Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park.
Such pretty baking dishes that will look great on a holiday table, or a weeknight dinner table. They are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe which makes them perfect.
Melissa Yen (formerly of Vella Cafe, for those of you in Chicago) is making syrups that can be used in a variety of ways, from soda to coffee to an ice cream topping. They are available at a bunch of gourmet shops in town. With flavors like Cardamom and Rose Water and Fig-Vanilla-Black Pepper, you really can’t go wrong.
Smoked salt is good to have on hand for finishing dishes. It is great used in a vegetarian version of my mac and cheese (to replace the bacon flavor) and also nice sprinkled on some sauteed collard greens. You’ll find other applications too (ice cream?)
New magazines are popping up all over—this one I love. All about domestic life: homes, flowers, shopping, cooking. I’ve been carrying the first issue around with me and enjoying the care put into this quarterly publication.
I don’t where to find this guy, but I love him.
I like having music playing when I cook. The new Kanye West album has been on repeat for the past couple of weeks. It is astonishingly good. He is many things, but one of them is a great artist.
Is it weird to give a plant as a gift? Maybe. Perhaps this is something you buy for yourself. Oxalis Triangularis is just incredibly beautiful and rewarding to care for. Unlike many plants, this one moves—a lot. The leaves open into a swarm of butterflies in the daylight and fold into origami packages at night. Incredibly beautiful perched on your kitchen window. (I like to keep the plant sparse, as pictured. It gets less charming as it fills out.)
I’m really into home fragrances (eww, I can’t believe I just typed those words–sorry), and this spray from Diptyque is my all-time favorite. It smells like a forest: clean, fresh, pine. Expensive, but lovely.
That’s all folks! Happy giving (and getting!).