Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Wedding Gift

My good friend Alicia married her Parisian beau and I wanted to give her something that was special and unique for her.  She is not someone who I imagined swooning over creating a registry and I thought that I could gift her something handmade.  Our friendship started out as photographer (me) and model (her) and  I thought she would appreciate the gesture.  

Alicia is not a collector of things in the same way I am, but we both share a passion for food, and spent most evenings cooking together in my small apartment in Bordeaux.  Over the course of a year abroad we had many conversations about food, flavor and texture. After some reflection I decided I would make 8 jams made from some of her favorite ingredients. The first and most important being Strawberry Rhubarb...  Some jams and preserves are of the traditional variety, but I also included pickled watermelon rind, kumquats in spiced syrup and kiwi fruit.

For the presentation I embroidered linen with silk ribbon and capped the jars. A wrap of twine and yarn created the look.

I had dinner with Alicia on Friday. The meal she prepared was delicious, French in inspiration, and the conversation was even better. When I opened the fridge there were several of my jams, half empty, on the top shelf. I think it was the perfect gift I could give a friend to wish a lifetime of love and good food!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goodbye to a Best Friend...

It always happens when you are going about the most mundane tasks of your life. You stand in line at the grocery store or the post office or in this case at the AT&T shop on a Saturday afternoon. Your phone rings, you answer and you never expect the bad news. For me it was my Dad calling to tell me that he was going to put my dog to sleep this coming Monday (today). I stood there saying yes, okay, alright then, while some guy packaged up my phone. I sniffed and wiped away the swelling moisture in my eyes, trying to just make it out of the store before bursting into actual tears. I cried so hard, harder than I expected even, all the way to my parents' house to say goodbye.

Max arrived at our house one afternoon just days before Christmas when I was 12. My Mom, brother and I were coming home after a trip to the Orthodontist. The door to our house stood slightly ajar my Dad, just inside the entry, held a video camera. On the ground was a gift bag with the image of a puppy on it. I stood there wondering what was going on, when moments later a small and somewhat sleepy beagle trotted to the door in a curious prance.

Its been almost 16 years and he was still curious, exuberant, energetic and like all beagles food crazy right up until a few weeks ago when his cancer got the best of him. He was the only dog I've ever had and he will always be my Max; I can't imagine going to my parents' and him not being there. I miss him already.  

Hopefully Max is enjoying all the human food he can gobble wherever he is...  goodbye Max.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Alicia et Sylvain

Alicia et Sylvain

My friend Alicia was married this weekend in a beautiful ceremony at the Ralston Hall Mansion in Belmont. The garden, where the ceremony was held, housed this amazing bamboo grove and the reception was just steps away in the mansion itself. Everything was sparkling and dancing, friends and family, music and food. I was so happy to celebrate with her and Sylvain.  I'm still thinking about it a few days later! I wish them all the happiness and luck for their new lives together!!!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dinner at the Fremont Diner in Sonoma

Diner of artisanal grilled cheese and minted ice tea at the Fremont Diner in Sonoma.

The new look of this highway side diner is amazing!!!  Complete with picnic benches in teal blue and drinks served in glass jars, the Fremont Diner feels home spun in the best of ways .  I am wanting to try some of their jams and pickles on the next trip with a homemade biscuit!