Recent Acquisitions: Spring Sprung Edition

Enamelware Bake Set by Falcon
I’ll be honest, I got these because they are pretty. Function followed form. But they work well, so we all win-win. Oven, stove top, and dishwasher safe, the chips they develop with age just add to their charm.

Black Label Preserves from Rare Bird Jam
My friends Elizabeth and Kaitlyn over at Rare Bird have launched a series of limited edition jams. Kumquat, Tarragon & Honey was up first and it exceeded even my high expectations. This is a seriously good jam. I regret buying only one jar.

The Preservation Kitchen by Paul Virant and Kate Leahy
Last summer I officially became obsessed with canning. This summer I elevate my game. I have big plans. Those plans include working my way through many of the pickles and preserves in this gorgeous cookbook with recipes from Chicago’s beloved Paul Virant.

Isot Pepper from Spices of Lezzet
Isot pepper (aka urfa biber) is the real deal. Smoky, fruity, and slightly hot this pepper can become a secret ingredient that elevates everything from grilled meat to cocktails.

Hot Pink by Adam Levin
I first read Adam Levin’s short story Hot Pink a few years ago when it was published in McSweeney’s. I immediately made everyone I know read it. It remains one of my favorite short stories. Levin has a way with words that blows my mind, he loves language. It is energizing! My fellow Chicagoan recently published a collection of short stories that is completely awesome and a great Spring read. It is worth repeating the sentence from Hot Pink that the NY Times used in their review:

  • My friend Joe Cojotejk and myself were on our way to Nancy and Tina Christamesta’s, to see if they could drive us to Sensei Mike’s housewarming barbecue in Glen Ellyn.


Wrinkled Egg by Some Local Chicken
I had never seen one of these before! I loved my little wrinkled egg and the surprise of finding it in a carton of boring smooth eggs. I don’t know how you get one, it sounds like you might need a calcium-deficient or virus-prone chicken.

32 comments to “Recent Acquisitions: Spring Sprung Edition”

  1. “Wrinkled egg by Some Local Chicken.” !!!

    This is why I like you.

    Sometimes they wrinkle when they just start laying. So maybe you had a special egg from a chickie who just started doing her thang.

  2. Thanks, Sarah! Aw, I like the idea that is might have been a newbie. She’ll get the hang of it!

  3. We’re so excited to be included & so happy you liked the new jam!

  4. Awesome list! Funny story about the jam…I was cooking at the Rare Bird Kitchen and made a tarragon chicken salad for a lunch I was catering. I went home with their tarragon thinking it was mine. Thankfully I returned it. But I still do need to get my hands on that jam.

  5. What a fun list. Fun is good! You are fun. You are good. Happy spring, Tim!

  6. i am drooling over that bake set. yay for lists! yay for canning!

  7. I bought my husband a kumquat tree for Valentine’s Day last year; wondering how many kumquats one might need for a batch of jam…
    Thanks for another great post!

  8. Oooh. That enamelware! I saw it on Design sponge a while back and have been thinking about it ever since. It’s so pretty.

  9. Donna- that is an awesome gift! Lucky man.

  10. I wait for your emails like a kid on Christmas morning! I can honestly say – everything you post is of interest to me – delightful! Thank you all to pieces!

    Oh – Not for nuthin’, but the wrinkled egg looks like something else entirely to me …

  11. Abnormal calcium deposits on egg shells are more common than most people think. They’re usually disposed of as “check eggs.” Just like people, some chickens tend to be more creative with their products than others! It doesn’t mean she’s sick though, and certainly wouldn’t be making an extra thick shell if she had a deficiency.

    I’m looking forward to trying that pepper, and you bake set is just delightful!

  12. Hey Erin,
    Good info, thanks! Though, the shell was actually quite thin. In any case, you gotta admire her style.

  13. just love enamelware & completely agree that it just gets better with age….love the rest of the list & am intrigued enough by *HotPink* to have to go & search it out

  14. I love your blog/website. Referred by a friend here in River Forest. I’d like to know who your photographer is. I am working my way, ( 5daysago blog) to that caliber, would you be able to let me know via email ? Thank you very much . (oh, i mentioned your website on my blog)

  15. Great minds! I just bought that bakeware set too. I had heard that enamel sets weren’t that durable but they were purty and I couldn’t help myself!

  16. Um. I think that your enamel baking pans need to meet these enamel ladles.

    …maybe in my kitchen.

  17. …The chicken that laid that egg was puttin’ her own spin on egg laying I’d say. ;o)

    …Great list! I’ll be wanting to add the enamelware to my kitchen arsenal, that jam too, and that pepper as well! The thought of that jam had me salivating, just sayin’. :o)

    …Have a great evening!

    …Blessings :o)

  18. That jam looks and sounds divine! We’ll be in Oak Park next Friday and I think I’ll need to run by Marion Street Cheese Market or Todd & Holland to scope out some flavors. Have you ever tried Pear Vanilla Pinot Blanc? That one peaked my interest too! Where did you pick up your black label jar? It doesn’t look like they are offered online :(

  19. Hi Molly- I got the black label jam at Dose Market. I have a feeling they might have sold out of that flavor already. I LOVE the Pear Pinot Blanc, and the cherry lime. But honestly, all of the preserves are pretty great. Marion Street Usually has the best selection of flavors…

  20. People are *still* talking about the carrot dip at work…thanks again for a great recipe! Where do you get your eggs? Need a good, consistent local source.

  21. DP- Nice! Glad to hear it. I love that stuff, too. During the summer and fall I buy eggs at the farmers market. During the winter and spring I buy them from Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park, or the downtown farm stand on Randolph. If I fail to make it to one of those two places, I get the Vital Farms eggs from Whole Foods. They are not local, but they are pasture-raised and seem to be good quality. (but they are not cheap, I once had an elderly fellow yelling at me in front of the egg case at WF that I was crazy to be paying $7 for a dozen eggs)

  22. Actually your egg is likely an early product of a young layer. I grew up on a farm where my mom always kept a wide variety of birds, so I’ve seen the gamut when it comes to eggs. My experience is that eggs like that are usually produced by layers who are just getting started — the muscles of their reproductive systems are “learning” and getting used to the job. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with the chicken at all. Enjoy!

  23. Wow, Vital Farms is local to me (Austin) and I only pay $1 less than you do! What did you say to the man who yelled at you for paying so much?

  24. Hi Melanie- The $1 must cover the bus ticket to Chicago. ; ) I just thanked the man for his advice and bought the eggs. It seemed like a funny complaint from someone who was also shopping at Whole Foods. I don’t go there for the good prices.

  25. Ha, I got a wrinkled egg once too! I also got a “rough egg” once – the shell was like sand paper. Must have been horrible to lay that one?

  26. I have similar enamel pans and I like to make apple pie in them. It always looks so beautiful and rustic and you’re right about any chips, it really does add to its charm!

  27. I love surprises in my foods and ingredients. On Friday night, at a friend’s birthday dinner, we found a baby mussel (inside its own baby shell) within the shell of a larger (and admittedly) slightly tastier mussel.

    The next morning, when peeling an orange (see your post on Bryan’s grandmother), I came across a full baby orange within a larger orange.

    Seems very spring-like: all these babies everywhere!

  28. “Wrinkled egg by some local chicken.” I confess that I was expecting that to be some clever crafty project. Instead it is clever craft by an authentic chicken. You’re the best, Tim!

  29. I’ve been lusting over the Falcon enamelware so much that I’ve bought it as a birthday present for my boyfriend just so I can have it myself! ha!

    Anna x

  30. Preservation Kitchen is fantastic! We pickled some asparagus and made the accompanying recipe on Sunday. Ah-mah-zing. I’m gunning for those pickled cherry tomatoes just as soon as Nichols farm has some!

  31. christine wellman says:

    March 14th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Tim:

    I am curious about where you got the falcon – from the mfg or from one of the us stockists
    i just got my second set from pigment: first set – largest pan had a chip in it; this second set, largest pan has a really wavy painted edge on one side
    frustrating –
    so just wondering where you got yours
    and that pimenton chicken was so good
    yours is one of the few blogs i follow – t you!

  32. Hi Christine- I got mine from Brooke Farm General Store in Brooklyn. Weird that you’re finding these manufacturing defects…the wavy edge seems especially strange. But glad you liked the chicken! : )

What do you think?