Two weekends ago now, we spent a couple days in a small cottage alongside a massive lake. A place we'd never been, but hope to return.     We ate dinner and we met friends, and it was extraordinary.   We bought fish directly from those that fished it. We spent the day with the sun in our eyes and the shoes off our feet.   We swam in that very large lake, we walked for coffee near dawn. And we spent time giggling with these two.   It was one of those weekends that felt like all the perfect parts of summer rolled into two short days. One of those weekends that July and August are made for.   Too, we came home with the Mjölk book. It's the first in a run of coming volumes inspired in part at least by those self-published books you find in Japanese boutiques. And I think by craftsmanship and design. And by passion and travel too.   And I'll tell you what, it's beautiful. Find it here. xo, n       this song this pizza truck these images (via) blood orange cocktails summer berry tarts! this bag these sandals and these apple fritters       also, these things from mjölk: this knife these little trays these coffee scoops these bowls this brush       all photos courtesy of mjolk
FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things. Today, Tim and his Apricot Crumble Pie.
    ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹ I first came across Tim's blog, Lottie + Doof by way of happenstance. I'd googled the words, favourite cake one afternoon and Tim's blogged popped up. Soon after that, Tim's favourite cake became one of my favourite cakes. I guess googling isn't really happenstance per se, but the introduction to his blog by way of cake kinda feels that way.   Since starting baking I can remember wanting to try other people's favourites. I love the idea of a family recipe or a passed down classic. I want to know the cake your grandma used to make, the recipe the baker down the road gave you or even that one from your long lost aunt.     To me, recipes are sorta like the foundation of sharing food, they get us to the table and they get us talking.     Find a little more about Tim and his recipe below. xo, n WHO? Tim Mazurek   WHAT KIND? Apricot Crumble Pie! WHERE? Here, there, anywhere. I think it would be a delicious end to a barbecue, served with glasses of iced black tea. But I've been known to eat it for breakfast, too. It is nice eaten on a porch. WHY? This is an old Ruth Reichl recipe. If you've ever seen her make it, you'll want to, too. She's so easy-breezy, ripping the apricots in half and tossing them into the pie shell without a care in the world. I try to channel her energy when making this pie, I think it improves the overall product.   BEST SERVED WITH? Best served in the summer, when apricots are flooding your local market. I like it with a little whipped cream, but it is perfect on its own. Make sure you have friends to eat it with, the pie is best in the first 24 hours.   ONE OR TWO THINGS: I love a lot about the Midwest, but I especially love fireflies. My favorite thing to do at this time of year is to walk around our neighborhood as the sun sets, eating an ice cream cone, wowed by the lights of fireflies that are all around. It is magic.     RECIPE: Apricot Pie by Ruth Reichl 1 recipe pie dough for 9-inch single crust pie (you can use your favorite) 2 pounds apricots 1 stick (4oz) butter, melted 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar 3/4 cup flour 1/3 cup sliced almonds fresh nutmeg   -Roll out your pie dough, fit it into a 9 inch pie pan, crimp the edges and put it into the freezer for at least15 minutes (I sometimes do this the day before and freeze overnight) while you preheat the oven to 425 F. -Pull the apricots apart with your fingers; do not peel them, but remove the pits. -Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Stir in the sugars, then the flour.  Add the sliced almonds and grate in some nutmeg, stir to combine. -Put the apricots into the unbaked shell.  Cover them with the sugar mixture and put the pie on the bottom rack of your oven. -Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 375 and bake for 35 or 45 minutes more, until the top is crusty and golden. -Transfer to a rack or windowsill and cool before serving.     ps: Tim and I have got to chatting since my favourite cake discovery. For a little while there we talked about about cookies and another time about a little bowl for a very special day. But I've yet to tell him that I can't get this quinine syrup off my mind. Photos in this post by Tim Mazurek
    The pictures here don't relate to my title so much but suffice to say, they came from a trip with equal beauty to that of the week before last. We arrived in the dark late Thursday to a small cottage far off the beaten track. A place near Cold Spring, New York in the Hudson River Valley. A part of the state that I hadn't been before but one so full of beauty, I'm certain I'll be back.   We awoke early Friday to a farm so quietly beautiful that it took a moment to take it all in.     On our way to breakfast we walked the wrong way down the drive and found ourselves smack in front of two spotted pigs. They ran toward us at a rate I was surprised to see ears flapping and snouts snorting. It was awesome.   We saw fields of fireflies, pastures with cows and more deer than I could reasonably count. We saw piglets and chicks and tiny wee goats.   We sat by a boathouse, we drove to the city to watch a game, we ate cookies outside and drank champagne on the back step. It was busy and tiring and pretty close to perfect.   I'll be back with pie later this week. Until then, hope things are swell. xo, n     this post these sandals and these ones too this looks fun DIY bracelets (via) i like the pizza here i'd like to spend a weekend here (via) this town looks nice there are still tickets left to my sunday suppers workshops, you should come! the hudson highlands are beautiful and this looks delicious     photos in this post are by michael graydon for, into the beguiling wild, by tara o'bradymichael graydon & me (in kinfolk magazine and including recipes) and find tara and my campfire twist bread in video, here. yum!
  FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things. Today, Jen and her Rhubarb & Cardamom Pie.       ‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹‹ Truth be told, Jen and I haven't met in person. But we've known each other near six years.     We met in what feels like the early days of online shops and blogs. But it wasn't really, online shops and blogs had been around ten years by then.   Jen is a photographer. One of those photographers that captures everyday moments with a special kind of grace. That captures the beauty in a day well worked and a meal well made.     We're set to meet in person in August and I'm really hoping they'll be pie. Find a little more about Jen and her recipe below. xo, n       WHO? Jen Causey WHAT KIND? Rhubarb Cardamom Pie WHERE? Brooklyn, NY. The perfect pie to bring to an early summer picnic or potluck with friends. WHY? Growing up, I never had rhubarb. I only discovered it a few years ago after seeing it at the farmer’s market and constantly hearing others rave about it. Once I tried it, I was hooked. Each spring, when it is in season, I stock my freezer with enough frozen rhubarb to be able to make a few treats throughout the year.   BEST SERVED WITH? Best served in spring and early summer, when rhubarb is readily available at the market. I love mine with ice cream, whipped cream, or a dollop of plain yogurt and then sprinkled with muscovado sugar.   ONE OR TWO THINGS? + Early summer is my favorite time of year. I love having picnics, sharing desserts with friends and making homemade ice cream. + I am looking forward to my new book, Brooklyn Makers, coming out this fall, chronicling a project I have been working on for the past 2 years.     RECIPE Rhubarb & Cardamom Pie by Four & Twenty Blackbirds, my favorite pie shop in Brooklyn.   ALL-BUTTER PIE CRUST 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt 1 tbs sugar 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into half-inch pieces 1 cup cold water and 1/8th cup cider vinegar on ice Stir flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add butter and coat it with flour using a spatula or bench scraper. Working quickly, cut butter into the flour with a pastry blender until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are OK; do not over-blend). Sprinkle 4tbs chilled water over the flour mixture and cut the water in with a spatula or bench scraper. When water is fully incorporated, add more water, 1-2tbs at a time, and mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with drops of chilled water if necessary to combine. Shape into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. Wrapped tightly, dough can be refrigerated for three days or frozen for one month. Roll out to fit the bottom of the rectangle pan, just to the edges, not over. Use the scrap to create about 20-25 lattice pieces to fit the pan width and length. RHUBARB CARDAMOM FILLING Combine in a large bowl: 4 to 6 cups rhubarb that has been chopped, frozen overnight and then thawed and drained of all excess liquid (freezing helps to release excess water in the rhubarb) 3 tbs lemon juice 6 dashes of Old Fashioned or Angostura Bitters 3 whole eggs, beaten In a separate bowl, sift together: 3 cups sugar 1 1/2 tbs ground cardamom 1 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 5 tbs arrowroot (or cornstarch) Combine the wet ingredients with the dry. Scoop into pie shell, with most or all of the liquid - do not make the pie too watery, but the rhubarb should be just covered in the liquid. Arrange lattice on top, crimp edges in. EGG WASH Beat together: 1 whole egg 2 tbs heavy cream or milk Brush the top of the lattice with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw (or demerara) sugar. Bake on a half sheet pan at 350°F (175°C) for 30 mins, rotate and bake for another 30-40 mins, depending on the oven strength. Look for a golden brown colour in the crust, and for the filling to be set and bubbling over.        
[vimeo][/vimeo]       For 10 days back in 2011 we made a film about my dad's role in HG. This is a story about who my father is and about how he makes HG possible. xo, n