6.30.14 June Hot Links & a Summer Giveaway!

Elderflower 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
Nature is orchestrating her botanical display with flawless timing, as usual. Just as the irises are fading, the peonies explode and by the time they're drooping, here come the elderflowers and milkweed blossoms! In the fields and hedgerows, wild berries are setting up and soon we will be vying for them with the birds, chipmunks and foxes. Our neighbor's enormous jasmine bushes that have (happily) grown up and over our dividing fence are in full bloom and their dazzling perfume fills every corner of our little cottage. The garden grows by leaps and bounds every night as we sleep. Carpenter ants seem to have broken ground on a demolition project inside the window frame behind our bed and their incessant gnawing is rather horrifying. (The exterminator is on his way.) It's officially summer! To celebrate, I'm sharing my latest list of obsessions and recommendations...and I've got a delicious giveaway for one lucky reader...
Milkweed 790 xxx
one man's weed...
When you were a kid, did you ever chew wild rose petals or suck the nectar from honeysuckle? I love the idea of eating flowers and have become further emboldened after my success with fried shallot blossoms and last summer's rosehip jelly. I've just finished making my first batch of elderflower cordial and another of pickled milkweed buds—stay tuned for the results.

I think of this blog as a place that advocates making and doing over buying, but sometimes I come across resources that I think are special enough to recommend. If they seem frivolous or extravagant to you, please take them with a grain of salt and know that a walk in the park is free and, in most cases, more rewarding. 

There is a super chic store in Mumbai called Bungalow Eight  that carries sophisticated home furnishings and a beautiful selection of clothing. The owner, Maithili Ahluwalia, recently had a pop-up shop at Figue, and I fell in love with some of her drapey, lightweight pieces—the kind of loose caftany garments I live in all summer long. If you're in New York City, you'll have another chance to pick up some yourself during the month of July. Contact Rymn Massand for an appointment to shop the collection on Thompson Street: rymn@rymnmassand.com

For those who like the sound of this, you can shop online for gorgeous caftans in a similar vein from Two New York.

When I'm not barefoot, I'm still living in these easy Bensimon sneakers—and I found another online sale for you! 

I finally found a water bottle that I like and can feel good about! It's glass with a silicon sleeve—yes, it's a little heavier but it never gets stinky and I don't have to worry about it getting dented or absorbing off-gassing VOCs.

I don't wear much makeup but these days I want whatever I use to be free from toxins and as natural looking as possible. The answer is RMS Beauty, a chemical-free line from elite (but totally down to earth) makeup artist RoseMarie Swift. She even makes Giselle look better! My current favorites are the Living Luminizer and the Cream Eye Shadow in Seduce.

A couple of years ago I read an article about people who live a really long time, many of them in remote parts of Turkey and Greece. Lately I heard again about how their diet often includes wild-foraged "weedlike" greens and mountain herbs brewed for tea. So it was with great delight that I discovered Daphnis and Chloe, a wonderful little company based in Greece that now has an online shop selling herbs and teas packed with essential oils and the unique nutrients derived from the Mediterranean sun, soil and sea. I've ordered a number of things and will write more about them later. In the meantime, consider placing an order for their delicious and longevity-inducing herbal infusions!

Those of you crushed by the sudden demise of Hudson Chocolates, take heart! JCoco, a Seattle-based chocolatier, can help take the sting out of that. Though not quite as over-the-top as the chocolate honeycomb (R.I.P.), JCoco's confections are imaginative and flawlessly executed. If you ever had a thing for a Nestle's Crunch, don't miss their sensational agave-quinoa-sesame bar! It comes packaged in three pieces so you are not quite as prone to eat the entire thing in one sitting.

And a few recipes to make over the coming days and weeks:
Savory Tomato Sorbet
Mexican Street Corn Dip
Cocktail Corndogs (Anson Mills + corn dogs = woof woof)
Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Gluten-free Pie Dough (sour cherries, peaches, blackberries...)
Some excellent things to make with chickpeas
Homemade 790 xxx
winner takes all
And now, for the giveaway: Just leave a comment below by midnight on Sunday 7/6 telling me what summer means to you and you'll be eligible for a handpicked selection of homemade treats from the Glutton for Life kitchen. I'll announce the randomly selected winner early next week. Possibilities include the fruit leather, elderflower cordial and lovage salt pictured above, though it will definitely be whatever is freshest and most exciting when the time comes to pack up the box!


I'm too excited to respond at the moment. Later tonight, after a cocktail or two!
Pritha on June 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm —
OK, make it good!!
laura on June 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm —
This summer will be about teaching Michael (my love) how to swim long distances. As a kid, my summer babysitter was the public pool. My girlfriends and I would swim till our fingers were prunes. But I realize now how I've taken this skill for granted. Slowing myself down enough to teach another person with (((patience))) and (((clarity))) is exactly what our relationship needs during the luxurious months of summer. We are venturing out in the ocean as much as possible with masks and fins, learning how to freestyle and breaststroke in the crystal clear waves... maybe even entering into a race from Four Tables to Waimea Bay... :)
erica on June 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm —
How divine! This is the summer that I will venture to swim across the lake to the waterfall with George at my side.
laura on June 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm —
Summer means endless perfect fresh fruit and warm delicious sunlight!
Elle on June 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm —
Summer to me used to be camp--I worked camps for about ten years, both day and overnight camps. Now it's enjoying long evenings after work stretched out with a glass of wine on the deck watching the sunset.
Rachel on June 30, 2014 at 5:59 pm —
So far summer means being chained to my desk in hotter weather than before, but I did get away to pick pounds of strawberries like a drunken bear--love eating in the summer, and love filling the freezer and pantry shelves with goodness for darker months. Gorgeous post! xo j
janet on June 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm —
summer is a chance to see your smiling face at the farmers market on Saturday mornings
Robert on June 30, 2014 at 6:36 pm —
laura on July 1, 2014 at 7:26 am —
Summer for me has meant fear of drought, after what we have experienced here in the Nebraska Sandhills the last 2 years. It looked like we might be in trouble once again, however, abundant rains started the first week of June and our hills and meadows are exploding. Now we have a new problem. Where are we going to put all of those hay bales.
Conrad Zutavern on June 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm —
What a relief to be blessed with rain! Good luck with the hay...
laura on July 1, 2014 at 7:25 am —
Summer means lots of fresh local produce (especially loving the fruits). Plus soon a mega supply of blueberries from our own yard/forest (we had our first taste last week!), we just have to brave the mosquito and tick attacks.
Jack on June 30, 2014 at 7:44 pm —
Summer to me means an enormous amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, al fresco dining, rose wine. or viogner, guests for the weekend since we live in the wine country and early morning watering of my garden. Ahh, summer!!!
cheri on June 30, 2014 at 9:17 pm —
summer to me means long long days - gardens - (ticks -ugh) but after this evening a new flock of chickens including 3 newly hatched chicks. Instant family of tick and grasshopper eaters and general all around entertainment. I've missed having chickens and when a neighbor who is moving overseas asked me if I wanted to buy some -- well -- my summer has changed!! This summer has also been very wet bringing out new 'weeds' and fungus and 'shrooms that I've never seen in drier years.
Karen on July 1, 2014 at 9:51 am —
Summer brings subtle changes to my schedule like evening hikes in my canyon, baking fruit pies, wafting acoustics from the Hollywood bowl in my living room, backyard BBQs. I long for sweeping changes like a cabin in the mountains for the month of July, or August by the sea, or a grand road trip cross country exploring as many national parks as possible. Endless dinner parties with friends. I long for these things because this summer is mainly about work, alternating between long days on set in Atlanta and endless hours in the edit room in Los Angeles. I will spend the fourth of July on location in Atlanta. Hope to find some fireworks, and a day of rest from this hectic schedule.
Maria on July 1, 2014 at 10:52 am —
summer means shedding the city, playing in dirt, breathing clean air and watching my kids wander around the woods stretching their imagination with an endless supply of sticks
jason on July 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm —
Summer is peas, then radishes then Chioggia beets then garlic then beans then tomatoes! and a few other goodies thrown in for good measure!
d on July 1, 2014 at 6:51 pm —
Ah summer. Everybody in the garden, woods and meadows is busy busy. Plants growing, flowering, luxurious bursting energy. Deer teaching their fawns, hiding out in deep hollows to outwit the coyotes, swallows encouraging their young to leave the nest and gain their amazing birth right, native bees joining honeybees on every lavender flower. Just to be a part of this natural drama, as so many generations of our ancestors witnessed, brings deep connection, gratitude and subsequently true happiness.
Hollis Blackwood on July 1, 2014 at 9:52 pm —
Summer is when the emails stop!
Jennifer on July 2, 2014 at 9:42 am —
summer is spending as much time outdoors and in nature as possible, long mt bike rides, trail runs, and time on the river; watching our small town swell with windsurfers and kite boarders from around the world; long evenings with family and friends eating and drinking outdoors; AND a few trips up to Orcas Island taking and picking our kids up to and from summer camp. Oh, and a little work is squeezed in between all the fun!
olivia on July 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm —
First and foremost summer means to me going barefoot and freeing myself from constricting my soles to socks and shoes, feeling the soft moss under my feet! The next is the planting of the garden and the joy of checking in every day and seeing its birth, this year for the first time I enjoy sitting out on the porch and just listening and watching nature in solitude. But last but not least my favorite thing is diving in the water and swimming, then drying off with the sun kissing my face!
bonnie on July 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm —
summer means- tackling my jungle garden, outdoor breakfasts with my pup, and learning to SUP!
julie on July 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm —
What a generous offer. Happy 4th.
abigail on July 3, 2014 at 6:11 pm —
Summer time and the 4th will always be bbq's at my grandmothers with all my cousins. She lived right off 12th ave in Santa Cruz. Yummy chicken and the best corn on the cob always followed by cobbler. Then off to the beach for a bonfire and watching the fireworks off the boardwalk. Summer to me is the beach and all the fresh fruit you can eat!!
Christa on July 4, 2014 at 10:29 am —
Summer in LA means getting to wear my hand dyed silk caftans every day of the week!
Heidi on July 4, 2014 at 12:22 pm —
Summer means I've got time to explore. To explore ideas and new directions in my art. I'm going to give myself a little time to do a summer intensive in deepening my ceramic work. I'm going to read like I read when I was 20…deeply and passionately and not caring about the housework. I'm going to discover some new plants for the garden. I'm going to read the real paper copy of the NYT on Sundays. I'm going to explore the new beach I found last year. I'm going to explore how to silence my mind so that I can hear what really matters directing me. I don't know why summer is the time I can do this better. Maybe because I'm not spending all my energy trying to keep warm!
Lari Washburn on July 6, 2014 at 7:26 am —
Your summer plans sound very, very enriching!
laura on July 6, 2014 at 7:36 am —
As a kid, I hated summer. Summer was that long stretch without the haven of school, without the kind teachers and smooth melamine tables. Summer was coming face to face with fighting parents, unhappy siblings, hot days and cockroach-filled apartments. But now, and so very happily there is a now. My own children drowse throughout the summer with no agenda, no judgment. My husband and I aren't always peaceful, but we manage without the violence I knew as a kid, and I'm so happy for that. We're going camping at some point, but that's later. We're city mice so we're not connected to the leaves and mushrooms and tomatoes, but here's what we do have: the ease, the leisure, the silliness, the earned boredom. Thank you lord - I now LOVE summer.
Mirena on July 12, 2014 at 9:37 pm —
So glad you made the life you deserve!! xo
laura on July 13, 2014 at 6:21 am —