Friday, April 30, 2010

An American Icon: Stanley Thermos

Stanley Thermos
Who knew Stanley was so iconic? Certainly when I sat down to draw the thermos we use every day for coffee, I admired its classic design. But I had no idea it was such an icon and that the feeling was so pervasive. I've had so many people squeal a little and say, "That's exactly the thermos my dad carried/carries to work." At first I thought it was a Midwest thing, but I've since had orders from Seattle and beyond, with a "That's the exact thermos we have in our office."

I did a quick Google search for Stanley this morning and lo and behold, I received confirmation of his iconic stature: You can now buy a Stanley thermos at
Design Within Reach for $42 — or the same Stanley thermos at Larry's Pistol and Pawn for $20.90. (Leading me to ask, of course, design within who's reach? But that's a-whole-nother discussion for another day.) Perhaps I should write and see if either shop would like a print to hang above their Stanley display. If you're a DWR executive, or Larry, feel free to pick up a print here in my Etsy shop! Whaddya think?

Have a wonderful weekend! If your in Flint, stop by and check out the Flint Handmade spring craft market. And I'll be back next week with some tasty treats from the kitchen — promise!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Now I Can Say I've Tried It: Ugli Fruit

I'm a sucker for citrus. As much as I like to stock up on local produce, sometimes I can't resist the call of the wild. In this case it was an ugly Ugli. Well, a Uniq ugli to be exact. When I picked this 5" baby up, it had a label on it that said Uniq, which is apparently one of the growers of Ugli fruit. The Ugli grow wild in Jamaica (really now!) and is said to be a cross citrusy cross between an orange, a tangerine and a grapefruit.

The thick skin peels away so easily revealing the unexpectedly orange insides. Super juicy and sweet like and orange with just a slight puckery tang of tart. Delicious!

Check out my other recent discoveries here, here and here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Garden Balcony Update 04.27.10

Lettuce and first radish of the season

There is a definite chill in the air today, but nonetheless, the sun is out and the balcony garden continues to grow. I ate my first radish today and had chives in my omelet. There is plenty of spinach just ripe for the picking. See? You really can grow some food for yourself — even in an apartment!

Snap peas


Our strawberry plant came back from last year —
in a window box — and is showing its first little flower.

The poppies are growing like crazy. I keep thinning them, but can't keep up!

Radishes and carrots share a half bushel basket.

Chives and dill.

Okay, so I didn't grow the chives myself. I was at Tollgate Farm in Novi recently and the chives were crowding out the walkways in the vegetable garden and creeping into every bed. A kind soul took pity on me and plopped a whole bush of them in a pot and — voila! I have a huge gallon of chives. Yippee! What are you growing at home?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cutting it up in the kitchen

Yesterday the boy and I learned how to carve it up in the kitchen. Rebecca Pelletier Doyle, an Old Pine Farm CSA member and student at Schoolcraft Culinary School, volunteered to run a workshop on cooking with chicken. Every month we receive a whole chicken from the farm and while I could, in theory, hack it up into bits, this class showed us how to do so with grace. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but we did learn how to get the most meat off the bones intact and ready for cooking. Rebecca also demonstrated a few recipes along the way.

The class started with quite a few looks like this. What the…? Huh?!

But Rebecca was very patient, giving us great tips and technique.

Somehow, we even managed to do this.

The lesson included frenching the breast, finding the oyster and lopping off wings. Need I say more?! Thanks so much to Rebecca — and to Kris of Old Pine Farm for organizing it!