HIDDEN KITCHENS: NASCAR (+ GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE)

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We all have different definitions of comfort food—the dishes that make up those meals that leave our bellies (and our hearts) full. They are the dishes you crave when you are far from home; a hankering for something familiar and soothing. For me, this includes an array of casserole dishes, fresh garden vegetables, and my Gram Perkins’ egg salad.

When Davia and Nikki of The Kitchen Sisters agreed to be our featured chefs this month as part of our ongoing Factory Café Chef Series, I started browsing through my copy of Hidden Kitchens. Soon, I found myself totally immersed in the stories I’d heard on the radio years before. I began re-telling stories to the staff at The Factory, and we were all excited about a recipe I found in the chapter about NASCAR kitchens, titled “Slap It On the Thighs Butter Bar”—aptly named, since the ingredients called for yellow cake mix, egg, margarine, powered sugar, and cream cheese. The recipe was originally from the 25th anniversary edition of the Winston Cup Racing Wives’ Auxiliary Cookbook, published in 1989. Curious to know what other comfort food recipes from the kitchens of racing existed, we tracked down a copy of the book on Ebay.

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A. CHANIN RACERBACK

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We are excited to introduce our newest machine-sewn piece—the A. Chanin Racerback Tunic. This casual top is the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe. The tunic can be worn alone (for those wanting to show off shoulders and summer skin), paired with leggings or a skirt, or can be layered underneath cardigans, blazers, or vests.

The 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey top has a fitted bust and a bit of a flare starting at the waist, which is both comfortable and forgiving. It measures 29” from shoulder and features a T-shaped back behind the shoulder blades and side vents at the hem.

Stay tuned as we continue to add even more garments from our machine-made line, further embracing our company’s commitment to sustainability, and local, hometown manufacturing. You will love the beauty, simplicity, and durability of our A. Chanin garments, designed to fit exquisitely and last a lifetime.

Purchase the A. Chanin Racerback Tunic here.

GRAVY #51 – CANNING MEMORIES

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From Gravy #51:

“Canning Memories”

By Frank X Walker

Indian Summer
meant Saturday morning courtyards
and door screens opened and waiting
for urban signs of harvest.
No new moons or first frosts,
just the welcome staccato and horn
of an old flatbed truck, overalls
and mud-caked boots.

Grandmothers who still clicked
their tongues and called up the sound
of a tractor in the daybreak,
the aroma of fresh turned earth
and the secret location of the best
blackberry patch
like they were remembering
old lovers,
planted themselves
a half squint away from the palming
and weighing of potatoes
stringbeans, kale, turnips, sweetcorn
onions and cabbage.

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THE FACTORY | THIS WEEK 5.19.2014 – 5.23.2014

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“If you look for the hardest place to find, you’ll find us. We’re down here in the corner, right on turn three, up against the fence. You’ve got to know, to know where to find this kitchen.” – Ken Enck, owner of a NASCAR-fueled hidden kitchen.

Come find our own hidden kitchen in Industrial Park this week. Explore the retail space and stay for one of our acclaimed Kitchen Sisters’ dishes. Please note that our café hours have changed for lunch service from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm; but, we have coffee and snacks available all day. Also note that due to a family illness, Jack-o-Lantern Farm CSA box deliveries were delayed this week; pick up your boxes beginning Friday, May 23.

Here is what we have going on at The Factory Store + Café this week, Monday, May 19 – Friday, May 23:

STORE
Visit our retail space on Friday for our Memorial Day Sale and save 20% on all merchandise in-store (and online).
(This excludes all Heath products, books, and music.)

Also, don’t forget about our upcoming workshops:

Two-Hour Sewing Workshop + Afternoon Tea

Friday, May 23

Studio Week @ The Factory

Monday, May 26 – Friday, May 30

Store Hours Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

TOURS
Stop by any weekday at 2:00pm for a guided tour of our space, including The Factory, the Alabama Chanin production and design studio, and Building 14.

CAFÉ
Strawberry season has arrived at The Factory, and to celebrate we are serving a Southern favorite: Strawberry Shortcake. Come enjoy some of our delicious Kitchen Sisters’ dishes such as Angelo Garro’s Wild Fennel Cakes, and top off your meal with our newest dessert.
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MAKESHIFT 2014

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MAKESHIFT began three years ago as a conversation about the intersection of the disciplines of design, craft, art, fashion, and DIY—and, on a bigger level, using this intersection as an agent of change in the world. Since then, we’ve explored making as individuals, and how making as a group can open conversations and build communities.

For MAKESHIFT 2014, we have once again partnered with Standard Talks in New York to host the conversation, and will cover a range of topics, including raw materials, craft, fashion, global communities, food, and the act of making. 2014 James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen will also participate in the discussion, helping answer the question: What can design learn from food?

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DIY MEN’S SCORPION YOKE SHIRT

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At Alabama Chanin, we have often looked to nature for stencil inspirations. Many of the first stencils I designed when I started embellishing recycled T-shirts were of bugs and animals—what I felt were constant surroundings when I made my return home to Alabama from New York over a decade ago.

Our newest DIY Men’s Kit features the Scorpion stencil, designed by Butch Anthony, on a yoked T-shirt. The yoke cut of the T-shirt helps it stand apart from the standard tee. The design and style fit easily into any man’s wardrobe.

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MAKESHIFT POP-UP SHOP + ALLISON MOORER

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We are in New York City this week for our third year of the MAKESHIFT initiative. MAKESHIFT is, at its core, a conversation about the intersections of fashion, design, craft, and food, and how each discipline can better work together to elevate those principles.

Alabama Chanin has set up shop at our friend Lisa Fox’s beautiful East Village store, lf8, for the month of May. lf8 (elevate) is also featuring the work of photographer Mary Ellen Mark, as well as a special performance piece by musician and friend Allison Moorer. Event details are as follows:

Store Hours
Tuesday – Sunday
12:00pm – 6:00pm
Closed Mondays

lf8
80 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003

The pop-up features works by Mary Ellen Mark, the Alabama Chanin collection, and one-of-a kind, indigo-dyed Alabama Chanin garments and accessories, alongside the lf8 collection. Visit in the afternoons from 2:00pm until 4:00pm through Friday, May 16 to sit with Allison Moorer and sew, talk, sing, and conspire.

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HIDDEN KITCHENS: THE FORAGER (+ WILD FENNEL CAKES)

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Foraging is the act of searching for and gathering wild food. Perhaps you remember learning about nomadic hunters and gatherers in grade school—these early societies moved from place to place, following animals, fruits, and vegetables in order to sustain life. Modern humans followed this way of life until about ten thousand years ago, when agriculture was developed.

Today, most of the world’s hunter-gatherers (or foragers) have been displaced by farmers and pastoralists. Modern foragers often look for food in their surrounding environments, and do not move from camp to camp like their predecessors. In fact, foraging has become a livelihood for some—by sourcing wild food resources for restaurants, chefs, markets, and the like.

Below, The Kitchens Sisters share their discovery of modern-day forager Angelo Garro (and his hidden kitchen).

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MAKESHIFT + ART RUBY

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Olga Rei and Valentine Uhovski are stepsiblings and creators of Art Ruby, a daily art bulletin that presents art of all disciplines to readers around the world in an approachable, open format.

Art Ruby is a hub for relevant news, exhibits, designers, and innovations in and around the art world. Olga and Valentine created the site with an objective of bringing together different disciplines under one virtual roof and creating an environment where art can be viewed, discussed, and shared. Their overarching goal is to create a space where “the multi-faceted and intricate art world doesn’t seem so intimidating.” The two are a natural fit for the MAKESHIFT discussions on intersecting multiple disciplines for the benefit of all, as they profess their desire to explore the larger relationships between and among art, fashion, and pop culture. As the internet can be a great democratizer, Olga and Valentine want to use their platform to help readers experience art every day, from anywhere in the world.
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THE TOTE BAG

THE TOTE BAG

The tote bag has almost completely replaced all other sorts of bags in my house. I have different types of bags for different purposes. There are organic canvas totes in a variety of sizes for trips to the grocery store and for holding my laptop and supplies as they are ferried between my home and office, plus smaller bags to keep Maggie’s school supplies and lunch in one place as we travel between home and school. Hers are clearly marked in case they wander off somewhere. I have wicker market baskets to hold large, heavy loads from the farmer’s market and a sizeable leather tote for when I need to carry an arm’s load of items to an event.

The tote bag has been described as the new “purse” by Style.com, Vogue, and the likes. And as the desire for sustainable living increases, the increased usage of the tote bag, particularly in place of plastic shopping bags or other disposable carrier bags, is a more than welcome sight.

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