For all of my friends living in the south, I thought you might find these pictures pretty... Remember the previous post, where I wrote that I am dreaming of a Spring time garden? My imagination is having to work a little harder today! I wonder what next week will bring....more snow??
It is snowing at the Jersey Shore....again. Being Mrs. Obvious, I have to say this is the snowiest winter in my memory! Yes, it is beautiful and yes it is also a royal pain in the neck! So, that is what's going on outside.
More interesting, what is happening in the house? Well today, I am seeing green. Boy, that word ...green...it has so many meanings!! We try to be green, as in being kind to the earth...recycling and composting. We try not to be green, as in jealous. We want to have lots of green as in money! Of course green can also refer to how new something is or how little someone knows about something. Whoa, I think I was having a George Carlin moment! While making dinner last night, I was seeing green and it was making me hungry. Contemplating how lucky we are to be able to eat fresh greens in the middle of the winter. Enjoying fresh citrus complements of the imports from South America. Today is a good day to peruse the seed catalogs that have been finding their way to our mail box and make a plan for what will be growing in the garden in just a few months. Visions of glorious big red juicy heirloom tomatoes are in my thoughts and the fact that it is only another month and a half (or so) till we can start planting the peas and looking for crocus. Mother Nature may be throwing us a snowball today, but look at all of her blessings that we have to look forward to!
Do I sound optimistic? Am I pushing the season a little bit? Are you as tired of this frigid cold winter weather as I am? Call it cabin fever, but I am a little tired of spending my days indoors. This morning, I was looking at my wall of cookbooks, and came to the realization that it was very messy and probably could use a good dusting too. This picture was taken last year...all of those books tossed on top of others were annoying me. Maybe the title of this post should be " Playing in the cookbooks" because that is exactly what I did this morning. The neatened, tidier wall of cookbooks made me feel slightly accomplished. Spending time sorting and organizing made me happy! I organized the books into sections by author and chef, geographical area, and one area of food network. I wasn't even aware that I had so many food network books...they have honestly never been cracked open by me. All of the books in that pile were found at yard sales last summer. It is hard for me to walk away from a brand new cookbook when there is a price tag of a dollar or under. Included in this mosaic are some of my all time favorite cookbooks too. The Saveur cookbooks because I think Colman Andrews is a culinary genius and the magazine hasn't been quite the same since he left. The Chez Panisse books because I also think that Alice Waters is brilliant. The Maida Heatter cookbooks are the ones I learned to bake sweets from and I have never been disappointed by one of her recipes. A surprising find buried under many other books were the Quilt Country Cookbooks by Marcia Adams. Both were found at yard sales, and stuck in different parts of the bookcase. I spent a little time looking through these lovely books and will try a few of the recipes. One of my favorite areas is this group are the New York City restaurant cookbooks. All wonderful memories from a long time ago. The Cookery was a restaurant in Greenwich Village that my parents would take us to every now and then. I was so excited when I found that book. I have loving memories of meals at Mama Leone's, The Russian Tea Room, and the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station. Some other New York restaurants I would love to find a cookbook from are La Fonda del Sol, The Sign of the Dove, Rincon de Espana. Those old restaurants never disappointed me. What are your favorite cookbooks? Do you have any that you would consider souvenirs or are they just for the recipes?
So maybe I didn't get so much cleaning up done today, but this was a fun start!
This is the time of year when I start to think about redecorating...moving furniture, repurposing what we already have and otherwise just changing everything in the house. We have had a lot of snow and I have spent a lot of time inside. Since we are in the midst of a bit of a renovation, every other room in the house is full of bits and pieces from said room. The desire to clear the decks is coming on strong. Collections seem to find their way into our house, and although they are lovely collections, put together thoughtfully and with purpose, sometimes they need to move on to someone elses home. That said, I have decided to sell some of my aluminum pieces. Vintage to the 40's and 50's, the Everlast Bali Bamboo barware set includes 6 tumblers, a pitcher and a very collectible ice bucket with a mercury glass lining. They can be found on ebay.
The second collection that I have decided to part ways with is this group of pressed glass and cut crystal. Some with thistle motifs, some cake plates on pedestals, and some compotes. The collector in me loves the hunt for the prettiest and the best, while the minimalist (and I use that adjective lightly) side of me wants to see a little space on the shelves of my house. So, every year, a little before Spring cleaning...I know, but well, I have had enough of Winter already...I decide what will stay, what will go, and what I might make room for in the coming Estate sale, yard sale, and flea marketing season. So I will keep most of my cookbook collection, and the rest of the hammered aluminum, and the milk glass will stay. In addition, I will keep the baskets and decorating books, the American folk art, and the many sets of dishes. I will also keep the cat and the husband and the kids. If you would like to see more pictures of what will be for sale, just drop me an email or find me on facebook.
The routine of the morning is to find my way to the kitchen, bleary eyed, and turn on the coffee maker. I don't think that I would trade my morning cup of coffee for anything. On gazing out the window, I saw the most beautiful fog, just sitting on the snow. The misty cool gray is such a welcome sight. It is easy on the eyes and calming to my spirit. It is such a nice diversion from the glitz and glam of the last few weeks. The bright reds and greens, the razzle, dazzle tinsel of the parties...now it is time for the neutral colors. The soft opportunities to look around without distraction and see the simple beauty of the world.
Our house is back to its state of preholiday simplicity...not really simple, just so much less color and clutter. The neutral palette of natural wood, sea shells, the silvery gray of the aluminum collection...it all makes me so happy. On the subject of collections, and specifically collecting aluminum, I don't know is you noticed that I have a link to The Aluminist on the side of my blog. My friend Dannie Woodard has been writing about aluminum for longer than I have been collecting it. She has written two books on the subject, both having been a big help to me when I first started collecting. She now has an interesting and informative blog. Her last post was about aluminum caddies...the kind that you would use to hold magazines or newspapers. Since I have been trying to collect one tray in each motif made by Arthur Armour, I found that I could fit 8 trays in one magazine holder. A different use for the caddy, but perhaps an appropriate one? Each of the trays is about 9" x 14" and although I love to display them on the hutch, I now have 24 trays, all the same size as the one I am showing with the snowflakes, however each tray has a different motif (picture) on it. I know of 29, and hope to find the other 5 this year. If you have ever considered collecting these vintage pieces, click on over to Dannie's blog....she is a wealth of information and as passionate about it as I am.
Getting back to the theme of neutral decor, I will be taking my cue from Mother Nature for a while. Putting together the colors that we are naturally enjoying in this season. As we all know though, Spring is just around the corner and with the advent of warmer weather, fickle Mother Nature will give us a completely different palette to play with.
This post is being linked to Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday, Little Red House for Mosaic Monday, and Smiling Sallies for Blue Monday, because if you look carefully, you will find my favorite turquoise blue in some of the pictures. Please stop by their blogs and check out the other lovely Monday posts.