The line-790-xxx
photo courtesy of the line hotel

12.8.14 The Sun, the Moon & Thou

I was born in Los Angeles. In Van Nuys, to be precise, which is in the valley and not very glamorous. Flying towards LAX, you gaze out over the vast urban sprawl punctuated with gawky palms, framed by stately blue hills and filmed with a dull yellow haze and you realize just how unsustainable it all is. Between the fault lines, the fracking, the pollution and the drought, can this desert dream really be long for this world? And yet, once you're on the ground, you are blinded by the sunshine and beguiled by the balmy air and you want it to go on forever. I have a soft spot for the City of Angels, even though it was here that my husband died of cancer and grief invaded my bones. I don't return with the same frequency I once did, but my visits always include sweet reunions with dear friends and family, hikes in the canyons and hills, and as many new food experiences as I can cram in. This time, we started out with a few days at The Line Hotel, a new boutique hotel in Koreatown where we had a room with a view (above).

Before we get into that, though, I'm a bit late announcing the winner of my giveaway copy of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving. It's Jonathan Epstein! Please email your address to me at gluttonforlife@gmail.com. I can't wait to send you this wonderful gift.
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Tagged — holiday
Caviar-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

12.24.13 Deck the Halls (& the Final Giveaway)

And so we've come to the final installment of the Glutton for Life Grand Holiday Gift Extravaganza. There were nesting bowls; there were caramels; there was the Shizzle with its own salt cellar; there was a collection of 7 cookbooks; there were homemade preserves, which, by the way, are going to Nikki! (Please send your mailing address to gluttonforlife@gmail.com, Nikki, so I can get these jars out to you asap.) And now, there are these very beautiful spoons, handcrafted in mother-of-pearl with carved silver accents, that are just the thing to spoon up a little caviar. This time it's a very quick turnaround, so if you'd like to be in the running to win these, just leave a comment below by midnight on 12/26 telling me how you plan to ring in 2014. I'll announce the winner in my last post of the year on the 27th. With the solstice behind us, the countdown to the year's end feels imminent and time is of the essence.
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Tagged — holiday
Bowls-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

12.4.13 My Gift to You

Dearest ones, I'm afraid I've been neglecting you, but it's only so I can take care of myself, so I'm pretty sure you approve. At this time of year, I am usually a bundle of nerves (discreetly packaged under a cool exterior) as I quietly curse myself for biting off more than I can chew. But this year, this year of health coaching and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, I achieved something resembling balance. Sometimes I am still very uncomfortable accomplishing less, but I am sitting still for that and letting it happen. And I feel better. I do. One thing I had to relinquish this year was the pop-up shop on my blog. (Sob.) I developed some very beautiful things, including a whole line of ceramics with my beloved and talented friend Mirena Kim, who is starting to get some of the attention she deserves. I also worked with spice wizard Lior Lev Sercarz on a custom blend just for Glutton for Life. But there's always next year, right? And, in the meantime, I'm going to be giving away some very choice items every week between now and Christmas. That makes this a great time to subscribe, if you haven't already, so you'll get an email alert when a new post goes up. (Sign up next to the little heart at the top of the page.)
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Tagged — holiday
George brainerd-790-xxx
photo by george b. brained

8.2.13 At Liberty

August is here and so I bid you farewell as I embark on my annual semi-retreat from the internet. Five weeks! Of course I've got a list of projects as long as my arm—pickling okra, making jam, a whole stack of clothes to dye, a short story to write, a new segment on our local radio station WJFF and something with which I need your help. Something very near and dear to my heart. This blog launched in 2010 and I have gradually built a small but choice following, for which I am very grateful. The thing is, I can't help wondering why my work doesn't engage the sort of wider audience that seems to flock elsewhere in droves. So I would really like to know how this blog might serve you better. More of this? Less of that? To find out what you like best and what new terrain I should explore, I'm putting together a survey that I'll be sending out to subscribers. If you haven't yet subscribed, please do so by simply entering your email address at the very top of the site next to the heart. (While you're at it, you can also connect with me on Facebook; Instagram - @laurasilverman; and Twitter - @glutton4life) Guess how I'll be luring you into participating?
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Tagged — holiday
Age of aquarius-790-xxx
embrace the new

12.21.12 New Age (& A Spicy Giveaway)

It's the winter solstice today. 12.21.12 is a date that's been the subject of much speculation. Apparently, the ancient Mayans predicted that this day would mark the end of our age— but must this really be interpreted as meaning the end of the world? I choose to believe the highly intriguing theory that this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius! On this day, our sun and the earth cross the Milky Way galactic plane, an event that occurs once every 26,000 years. The axis of rotation of the Earth does not remain constant but wobbles in the same way that a spinning top does. This wobble has a rotation period of around 26,000 years. For a period of approximately 2,000 years, the earth's rotational axis, or north-south pole, points to a different constellation in the sky, each one corresponding to a sign of the zodiac. After 26,000 years the whole zodiac is traversed. So we are about to transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. And with it comes greater freedom, equality, cooperation, collaboration and global consciousness. Reason will prevail over emotional reactions. We should prepare for greatness. As an Aquarian, I am elated to be living through this time. I think it calls for a celebration.
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Tagged — holiday
Beach-790-xxx
photo by ray metzker

8.6.12 The Living Is Easy

I almost forgot: Every August I take a vacation from the blog. So the time has come. I hate to leave you, but rules is rules. It's a good opportunity for me to regroup and recharge, and perhaps for you to dig into the archive and discover lots of new things (like posts from the past three summers!). I'll be back right after Labor Day with the faintest of tan lines and renewed vigor for all manner of projects, in and out of the kitchen. But before I go, here are a few ideas to inspire you to make the most of these last sun-drenched and carefree days of the season.
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Tagged — holiday
Christmas-eve-790-xxx
photos by george billard

12.26.11 Fête Accompli

'Twas the night before Christmas and we were invited to spend it at Beaver Dam. You may remember it as the gorgeous house to which we fled last winter during the DBR (Dreaded Bathroom Renovation). Or perhaps you recall an impromptu potluck there about which I posted this fall. For Christmas Eve it had been splendidly decked out for the season, lit by candles and smelling of pine and woodsmoke from a blazing fire. Such hospitality! Dear friends, delicious food and wine, beautifully wrapped presents: it was an outpouring of love.I awoke this morning to learn of a terrible tragedy that befell a family on Christmas morning, and I feel it is even more crucial to appreciate the good times we have together. This time of year is an especially good opportunity to express to your loved ones how much they mean to you. Don't wait.
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Tagged — holiday
Feet-up-1-790-xxx
kicking it

12.23.11 R&R

You've earned it. The right to put your feet up. To zone out. To nap. To sit in front of the fire reading that book that's been tempting you for months. To try a new recipe, listen to music, have a long, meandering chat with a loved one. To trawl the interwebs for loot. To watch silly YouTube videos, favorite movies and fabulous TV shows. To stuff your face. To get drunk or high, or both. To go for a run, a ride, a hike. To pray, to celebrate, to review the past year and meditate on the future. To be grateful for what and whom you have. Remember, even though the kids are melting down and your mother-in-law is irritating and your sister is crying and your husband is gone: This is your time. Carve out some space for yourself and do exactly as you please.Here are some links I've been compiling for you. May they bring you pleasure, inspiration, knowledge and fun, as you sip some delicious wine (or sparkling cider) and dream of what's to come.
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Tagged — holiday
Party-790-xxx
photo by gluttonforlife

12.14.11 Party On (& Caramels for All)

What a week. Did I mention I am making my first personal appearance for Glutton for Life? My dear friend Peter, he of Best Made fame, asked to me to participate in one of three evenings he is hosting at the Warby Parker Holiday Spectacle Bazaar, a SoHo pop-up happening (for lack of a better word) featuring stuff to eat, drink, buy, see and learn. It was initially pitched to me as a hands-on workshop for a couple dozen people, where I could talk about whatever I wanted—oh, and there's a whiskey sponsor. So mixing cocktails seemed like a no-brainer. Then, to put my own little upstate spin on things, I decided to use foraged ingredients. This seemed to pique everyone's interest. Done deal. Then, I find out they're expecting upwards of 100 people. And I stop to consider that the dead of winter might not be the very best time to forage for ingredients. Um, time to regroup.
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Tagged — holiday
Wrapped-caramels-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

12.8.11 Candy Land (Caramel Giveaway)

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Around here, that's signaled by the annual frenzy of caramel-making that kicks in right after Thanksgiving. A gorgeous snowfall helps, and the strains of Misa Criolla, a traditional peasant mass, and Handel's Messiah are never far behind. Joanne, the lady at our local post office, was in awe of how many packages we mailed out today (around 100, some we hand-deliver) and was curious about how the tradition got started. I actually started making the legendary caramels in the late '90s to give to clients, but the line between clients and friends has blurred over the years, and the word has spread far and wide. It's not just that they are deliciously addictive, but that they are made by hand and with love, and that they appear year after year around the same time. This notion of tradition is so important to us, especially around the holidays. It's rather poignant for me because, with both my parents dead and no children in our house, traditions can seem a bit, well, pointless. Sometimes I am gripped with the sad realization that there will be no one to carry on what I do, but then I rally and realize that's all the more reason for me to do whatever I can, in the best way possible, right here and right now—and to share it with as many people as I can, including you.
Snow-790-xxx
what a glorious sight to see first thing today

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Tagged — holiday
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