1.23.14 Armed & Dangerous (& January Hot Links)

Unsheathed 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
I know you're probably expecting more posts about the Oaxaca trip, and I promise those are forthcoming, but my re-entry has been a little wobbly so I'm trusting you'll bear with me. Yesterday was my birthday and the evening before I hosted a "suprise" dinner party that was the final celebration of G turning 50 earlier this month. I use the quotation marks because evidently I am not as sneaky and clever as I thought. Anyway, it was a fantastic multi-course meal at Momofuku Ssam Bar that culminated with beautifully tender and crisply lacquered rotisserie ducks presented with Bibb lettuce, scallion pancakes and all the trimmings. (Incidentally, if you live in New York, the "large format" dinners that Momofuku offers are a great value and a marvelous way to dine with a big group.)

My own birthday celebration was a bit quieter, though I was inundated with love and good wishes (especially on Facebook - one great reason to join) and I was treated to a delicious lunch at the new Gotham West Market. More on that later, as well as details on my favorite present, featured above, and an assortment of links for you to explore and enjoy.
Engraving 790 xxx
signature style
In a truly inspired move, G commissioned a local craftsman to make a special knife for me, with a forged steel blade and an antler handle. It's beautifully constructed and just the thing for an outdoorswoman to take into the woods on a foraging expedition. Perfect for collecting mushrooms and cutting wild plants and blooming branches, I'll probably never leave home without it. The best part? It's inscribed with the name of this blog. Now that's customized.
Sheathed 790 xxx
just in case
The knife even comes with its own expertly handstitched leather sheath which has a loop on the back so it can be threaded onto my belt. I'm going to feel like Legolas! (Lord of the Rings reference, for those of you not in the know.)
Carving 790 xxx
the detailing on this thing is incredible
Detail 790 xxx
the last detail
Handle 790 xxx
well handled
The handle is made from local deer antler. You often find these in the woods, shed by deer and also from skeletal remains.
Ls51 790 xxx
this is 51
Because I posted a photo of myself on the occasion of turning 50 last year, I decided to keep up the tradition. This is me after a day of horseback riding in Mexico. A little bit pink and windblown, but definitely very happy. It's a reminder to myself to keep trying new things, expanding my mind and my palate—but not my waistline (a big challenge, especially when you are eating Ivan Ramen and tapas from El Colmado at the new Gotham West Market).

Along those lines, here are some interesting links to pique your interest, spur your imagination and keep you on your toes...

These artworks are truly amazing

As are these photos

We ate grasshoppers in Oaxaca but they looked nothing like these

If you're still not reading my friend Janet's blog, this should convince you

Vaguely undignified but beautiful and amusing

These two are currently hot in the culinary world

And this pitch-perfect recipe is an indication of why (watch Ottolenghi's series here)

Simple and splendid one-pan weeknight suppers

Hipster shoes to remind you that spring will come again

After blowing my nose so much, I never want to see another hideous kleenex box

A new kind of pickle to experiment with

Hip foodcentric Instagram feeds (and follow me @laurasilverman)

Consider joining me in abandoning shampoo...forever

I'm thinking of using these beautiful magnetized wooden tiles for a kitchen backsplash

A helpful primer on vitamins and supplements (remember, every body has unique needs)

An adorable modular system for ladies in waiting

Another alternative to the "slow death" that is sitting at your desk

Speaking of death, have you seen this gripping new show?

Or this hilarious one?

That should keep you busy for a while! Enjoy your weekend. xo


Well, I was just going to pop up and say that my son was Legolas for last Halloween, but now I need to also add that next Halloween will see me strolling the avenues as an old Finnish woman (why wait, now that I think of it?), and thank you for the pluggy plug. Until Santa brings me a $350 faux velvet stability ball, I write you from my standing desk--which I adore!
Janet on January 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm —
Is your standing desk something fancy or is it, like mine, a wooden crate placed atop your regular desk?
laura on January 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm —
I test-drove the concept for a month with a box, and once I discovered that I not only could endure but actually liked it, I took the $40 plunge on a dedicated gadget called (unfortunately) an iCraze.
Janet on January 24, 2014 at 9:12 am —
Hi Laura, Just to let you know, I read a lot of blogs but yours is my absolute favorite! I love when I see a new one pop up in my inbox. Thanks for all the great January tips. Great knife pressie too. Enjoy your weekend.
Carla Benedetti on January 23, 2014 at 6:41 pm —
Carla, you clearly have great taste. Seriously, you made my day!
laura on January 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm —
I haven't known you long, Laura, but I can tell that you belong to the class of women who look better and better with age. Absolutely radiant! Thank you for your continuing link generosity. I've addressed your question on the blog - I hope you give nukazuke a try!
Prairie on January 24, 2014 at 6:42 am —
Thank you, Prairie - I can't wait to start pickling!
laura on January 24, 2014 at 7:26 am —
I'm in agreement with everyone else's comments above! Your blog is just a joy to get especially when you share your favorites. Any chance you would share the name of the craftsman who made your knife? My daughter is starting a cut flower business and I thought that would be the perfect gift for cutting branches. Thanks!
Barbara on January 24, 2014 at 9:30 am —
Barbara, let me ask my husband for the info and I will email you directly.
laura on January 24, 2014 at 10:10 am —
Absolutely amazing post! What a gorgeous gift from G. He has amazing taste...just like his wife. Just like Barbara already commented, I would also love to know the name of this craftsman.
Tanya on January 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm —
OK, I'll get back to you on that.
laura on January 24, 2014 at 5:25 pm —
Why am I not surprised that Goop/gp says "veggies"?
Robin on February 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm —
I'm afraid we are in the minority in our loathing of that "word."
laura on February 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm —