This is just the best. Wish I’d seen it 6 years ago…
Happy New Year! Just found this photo of sand magnified 300x. Made me think of all the amazing and beautiful things I pass over every day without notice. Also made me think of how damned much time I waste looking for photos of stuff on the internet….
So, while the ketubah elves are snoozing a bit at the end of another busy year, I thought I would share some holiday joy. Latke sandwich- genius, right?
Last day of Hanukka. My head was all over the place this year- it was so crazy early and mashed together with Thanksgiving, which doesn’t lend itself to an easy portmanteau like Chistmakka. I am meh about Thanksgiving on a good year, despite its being our sort of anniversary. In fact I think the last time I did host a Thanksgiving was the year I met Cecil. We tend to be pretty lame about things like birthday’s and anniversaries. I wish I were one of those people who made an occasion out of everything, but it’s not in my DNA. (This, however is SO in my genes- yiddish curses, anyone?)
We do like to make a fuss over latkes though, because there is very little shopping involved aside from a ton of potatoes. Latkapalooza 5774 was great fun. We had a robot bouncy house, because why not, fired up ‘Big Ted’, Ed Martin’s enormous Le Creuset pot, over a propane fire outside, and let er rip. This year we also tried Sufganiyot but upped the game with dulce de leche filling. The only change for next year will be to triple the recipe. Holy cow.
So I just wrote that subject line to the friend who is hosting us for Thanksgiving and belatedly realized that could be interpreted as a salutation, as in SHE’S the Thanksgiving Ho. Not cool if I want to score a second serving of pie.
It’s finally Fall weather here in Mayberry. The 90 degree weather has cooled to a balmy 65 and my thoughts turn to winter gardens and closed-toe shoes. Yesterday was one of those idyllic low-bar days. I had a short list of accomplish-able tasks that actually got done.
I did some gardening to get the bed ready for the lettuce crop- my favorite of the year. Mena helped for a bit, picking and choosing which plants would receive her loving attention and which would wither and die. She getting old enough now that her ‘helping’ is actually helpful. I have been waiting for this for a long time. Aside from the fresh salad greens every night, the main reason we do a vegetable garden is to demonstrate a bit of the food chain to our daughter. So, you know, come the zombie apocalypse she can forage for edibles in the woods. Yeah, you go there as a parent.
So, garden in, we came inside to ice the ninja gingerbread cookies we’d baked the day before. I don’t know what Martha Stewart has sold to the devil to make her cookies so perfect, but it was probably major. Those things are tough! Mena did not notice the glops in what was a fairly epic cookie fail.
I had put dinner into the slow cooker in the afternoon, so my next task was to organize the tiny cabinet that serves as the pantry. Mena got into it and edged me out and then went on to organize all the other cupboards in the kitchen. Again- waited a long time to get to there.
I don’t know why all this was so satisfying, but it really was. Life often feels like a malfunctioning treadmill- all you can do is run like a spaz and try not to fall flat on your face. Then you get a day where what you plan and what happens are pretty much in synch, and maybe even something extra is delivered, like your kid quietly sitting with her dad after dinner to play a game while you can apply yourself to a jigsaw puzzle. And you have the presence of mind to look up for a second and appreciate the rare and beautiful moment you are lucky enough to get right now.
I hope you have a few moments this week. Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukah!
Yes, I have not posted in a dog’s age- since the summer? What the heck, time? Lots been going on at the New World Ketubah house. We started kindergarten! (one of us) We started a whole new business (another one of us, not me…yet) We acquired, through no effort of our own at all, two delicious remotely-cared-for babies, in the form of one delectable niece and one spectacular nephew who arrived within three weeks of each other. I shlepped Mena across the country to meet them a few weeks ago. She was much more interested in Bubbe’s trampoline and the age appropriate cousins who could enjoy said with her. And Fall, she got some of that good stuff too.
But what has shaken the cobwebs off to write today? (and hopefully gotten the momentum back to keep writing?) This!
There have been a flurry or articles about the confluence of Hanuka and Thanksgiving but honestly I have not gotten too excited about it until I saw one family’s Kickstarter campaign (successfully funded) to produce this awesome menorah for this special year. Thanks for getting my head into the holiday spirit Weintraub family!
I’ve had a nice little flurry of ketubah orders for couples who have been together for a long time- 20 plus years- who can finally marry legally. It’s been such fun working with them and noticing the difference between couples who are just starting out on their life together and those who have been together and already know the drill. The is an assurance these women have (most of them are women with a few guy couples thrown in) about their relationships. They have families. They know what it takes to stay together for decades and there is an easy give and take, an understanding of compromise that comes from the doing for many years. It’s that depth of feeling and experience that makes me especially gratified when my work is chosen to represent their union. I feel lucky to be doing this work at this moment and being a small part of these inspiring stories.
Here are a few fun wedding-y and some non-ketubah related fun things for your time-wasting pleasure:
This is just the coolest. I would never work this hard, but I am very lazy.
Planet cake tutorial- for, y’know, your ‘spare’ time…
Summer has once again flown by. This is a momentous season because come next week, Mena will be an official school kid- no more pre-school! Kindergarten here we come!
We just got back from three lovely weeks back east. We were up in the catskills where my family has been going since we were kids. It doesn’t feel like summer to me until I see that lake. Mena runs feral with a gang of cousins from breakfast to dinner time, when we snag her, throw her in the lake for a ‘bath’ and send her off to bed. I had hoped to do some painting or drawing or ever think about painting or drawing while I was up there but somehow three weeks is not enough time to do all the lazing about I needed to do and still be productive. I have some new ketubah designs in the hopper, but frankly it takes a whole lot of percolating to get that stuff cooked. At this point I have just accepted that that’s how I roll.
Now we’re back in Mayberry which is a pretty lovely spot itself. Neighbors are touching base, returning from their various summer adventures. Life has shifted once again and change, as always, is a constant.
I hope you’ve had a tranquil, exciting, relaxing, invigorating, replenishing, productive summer my friends.
While we were up in the Catskills, Cecil and I got the chance to steal away for a night to explore the area alone. We drove east to the Hudson River and landed in Rhinebeck, NY, home of the Beekman Arms, the oldest inn in America, supposedly. It was charming but definitely smelled about 250 years old. Rhinebeck is charming and olde-timey and we enjoyed a relaxing pint at the Liberty Public House on the main drag.
We spent the night at the Roxbury Motel, which is run by a set designer escapee from NYC. We stayed in the Star Trek Room- shiny everything- silver vinyl window shades, a warp speed ceiling (I can’t really think of another way to describe it) and all. Awe. Some.
The next day we drove back to the river to Hudson NY for a taste of civilization. We had a great locavore meal at Grazin Diner and bought a few trinkets for the house and my earlobes along Warren Street- the main drag.
This past trip we also did a day out to Storm King Art Center, an amazing 500 acre sculpture park. I was so moved and excited by the Maya Lin earthwork and the Andy Goldsworthy walls. For a while there I was sorely tempted to chuck ketubah design and take up my welding torch again. Might still.
The Hudson River valley is really a magical place, up and down. Jeri went to Grad school at Bard way way back and I got to know the area from weekends up there. I would take the Metro North train up the river- and while I think it’s a shame that the tracks monopolize the river’s edge- it’s a pretty spectacular view as a passenger. It’s an area rich in offerings and history and definitely a place that makes me a little sad to be an entire continent away. Thank goodness for frequent flyer mileage!
Here’s some fun wedding stuff I’ve scouted on the web this week- wedding tattoos anyone? Maybe an image from your ketubah? We can make that happen!
This was an editorial on a stylish fun wedding- no ketubah but still super cute.
Summer is in full swing here- the temperature in Mayberry today will reach the mid 90′s and break 100 over the weekend. I am a very sensitive flower and my window of comfort has about a five degree range and 90 is way beyond it. Cecil grea up in New Orleans and when it gets sultry like this he just smiles and loosens up.
Mena is already three weeks into day camp and is surprisingly happy with a full schedule. We have a giant kiddie pool- set up out back, so big that even on a super hot day the kids emerge blue lipped and shivering. We’ve been hanging out on the patio behind the studio and enjoying the shade of the giant cypresses with a glass of rose on ice. No wonder I’m barely getting anything done!
Here’s what we’re eating to stay cool- salt cured salmon (gravlax) that my mom has been making for ages. Here’s how I do it:
Start with a nice fresh side of salmon, preferably skin on, but I’ve done it without and it’s fine too.
Mix 1/4 cup of kosher salt with a tablespoonful of sugar and a healthy pinch of ground pepper. In lieu of sugar, a bunch of fresh dill is nice too.
Rub the salt mixture into the flesh of the fish, if you have dill, layer it on top.
Wrap the fish tightly in cling wrap and set in the fridge under weights for about 48 hrs. My method is to set the fish in a pyrex dish then top it with another slightly smaller pyrex and load a bunch of heavier stuff into that pan. I have a tiny fridge so there is no room to spare. The pyrex helps collect any expelled moisture from the fish.
After two days, remove the fish, unwrap, rinse and slice thin. It’s almost sushi-like. I like to serve it with creme fraiche (I’m fancy like that), and dill on a melba toast type cracker. A little fizzy wine and maybe an easy rustic fruit tart and we’re happy as clams!
Enjoy the weekend, loyal reader!