Our local bakery – called Sugarbakers – makes the most beautiful cakes. I personally think of them as “old-timey,” because they remind me of my childhood birthday cakes with white buttercream frosting and plenty of scallops and swags.
Here a beautiful cake they recently made for me for a special occasion using a “stitched” Anna’s Garden pattern on the top. I think that this would make such a beautiful wedding cake (or birthday, or shower, or anniversary).
In the spirit of “The Best Of” week as we move towards New Year’s Eve, I had to recap some of the best meals of my year – and they were plenty (despite my detox).
2011 started with a trip to Blackberry Farm’s Taste of the South with an amazing array of chefs and artisans. The weekend is somewhat of a blur – perhaps because of all the wine tasting with Angie Mosier, and Charles and Kristie Abney. I remember a biodynamic wine that was a glowing, beautiful orange color. (Charles and Kristie – if you are reading, can you remind me of the name of this wine? I would love to share it with others!)
Pardis Stitt will not let you leave her house, restaurant, or presence without a “to-go” box. And I know this may come as a surprise, but one of the best meal moments of my year was eating freshly cooked homemade chips and charred onion dip from Bottega in my car, on my way home to North Alabama. The recipe for this deliciousness can be found on page 23 of Bottega Favorita: A Southern Chef’s Love Affair with Italian Food. I have not been able to replicate the perfection of that afternoon in my own kitchen – must have been the “Pardis Love” that made the difference.
I know that many of you have already read the article; however, it is just so beautiful in the printed Design and Living 2011 Issue that I can’t help sharing again.
Thank you to Sally Singer, Pilar Vilades, Alexandra Lange, and the New York Times…
Thanks to all the HEATH Ceramics team for this lovely piece on Alabama Chanin in their November Newsletter:
Slowing Down (and Sitting Down) with Alabama Chanin
Stitch and clay intersect to create modern heirlooms in our newest collection
Slow down. This may feel like an impossible pursuit, particularly in this season, but when Heath Ceramics Creative Director Catherine Bailey explained that one of the intentions of Heath’s collaboration with Owner + Designer Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin was to “celebrate slow, thoughtful design,” the word really resonated.
It’s officially launched.
From the HEATH website:
“The point of intersection between stitch and clay. A collaboration between Natalie Chanin and Heath Ceramics yields an anthology of carefully crafted modern heirlooms in a new and permanent dinnerware line.
This collection celebrates texture and a range of layering possibilities in thoughtfully curated place settings, plates and serving bowls.”
Shop our tabletop collection @ HEATH Ceramics
It is no secret that I adore Robin Petrovic and Cathy Bailey from HEATH Ceramics. My daughter Maggie loves their son Jasper – and I follow her very smart lead. (The kids have most recently been sharing the iPhone App Cookie Doodle drawings with one another.) Cathy and Robin are the kind of designers that you want to be and the kind of people you just want to stand next to. One part cool, one part super smart, one part gentle family, they are wholly open, terrifically kind, and just plain engaging. I am grateful to have them in my life as both friends and colleagues.
Our HEATH and Alabama Chanin Collaboration launched last week with additional textile pieces coming this coming week. The work includes plates and bowls in full table settings along with napkins, tablecloths and other soft tableware. Continue reading
So excited about our collaboration with HEATH Ceramics. Look for the entire collection to launch next week. Until then, a little sneak preview via the New York Times…
As reported last week, I eased off my detox and back into everyday life. Using the photo shoot for our HEATH Ceramics collaboration as a happy start-date, I indulged easily back into my old way of eating and living. After enjoying some (quite a bit of) bread, a piece of wedding cake (or 2) that we had made for the shoot, some after-work cocktails, and other earthly delights, I am happy (and surprised) to report that I miss my new way of eating.
Saturday, I went back to the farmer’s market and yesterday my girlfriends and I started our “hard core” cleanse – together and one week early. In the coming weeks, I will share some of our favorite recipes that we develop while navigating the backyard garden, the farmer’s market and Clean.
The recipe below was a favorite of Angie and Cathy this week while we were shooting – it is absolutely approved under the Clean program.
After my daughter’s first day at school, Will, a parent from her class called and cried, “We have one in the books!” I had never heard that saying but now know that after the first full week of kindergarten, we have truly put one in the books. It was a week of highs and lows, adjustments and realizations. (“I am sad. I love my new teacher, but I miss my teacher from last year, too.” Don’t we all feel that way sometimes about the things in our lives?)
Thanks to everyone who participated in our first back-to-school extravaganza and to all of the great teachers who make our children excited to get up every morning!
We still have some back-to-school sweepstakes going and those will be announced in the coming days. If you haven’t entered, get to it!
There are still a few workshop spots left in Marfa. Plan your road trip and join us.
Got questions? Post a question for Alabama Chanin in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or at EcoSalon for next Friday’s column. Go ahead, ask anything…
The best part of the week for me (aside from surviving the first full week of kindergarten): our HEATH Ceramics collaboration was being photographed in my home and two dear friends – Cathy Bailey and Angie Mosier – were here to realize the images (see our styling table in the photo above).
Launching in November… stay tuned.
One “in the books” indeed!
From Vogue Daily:
Still under the radar, West Coast-based Heath Ceramics is a Vogue editor favorite. Imagine our delight upon discovering that their new color for fall, out today, is this divine shade of red, reminding us of the fall collections (think Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Galliano). “Even though we’re in California, the warmth of red ceramic ware in winter takes the chill off our damp, foggy afternoons,” says coowner Catherine Bailey of the new shade.
Heath is a family affair (Catherine owns the company with her husband, Robin), and when asked what they will be serving in this fabulous casserole (of which only 75 were produced), the couple suggest Maryana Vollstedt’s Brussels Sprouts and Baby Onions with Mustard recipe from The Big Book of Casseroles (Chronicle).
“Our whole family loves brussels sprouts, and the bonus is that they look great in this red dish.” Another suggestion is a Baked Couscous Pudding with Raisins from John Pawson and Annie Bell’s Living and Eating (Clarkson Potter). “The recipe is simple and the texture is a great surprise in a pudding. I find the leftovers can make a great breakfast as well,” says Catherine. It is no wonder they count Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse among their clients (they collaborated on the restaurant’s dinnerware) and, as they happily admit, they have found solace creating simple, beautiful things. What’s next? A collaboration with Alabama Chanin is in the works.
Heath Ceramics large red casserole, $195; heathceramics.com.
Photo: Liam Goodman