Flea Market

I finally made it to the Long Beach Flea Market last week.
I adore these markets, though I don’t let myself go too often for fear of buying in excess. A book here, a vase there, and before I know it, I could very well be a hoarder. Thank goodness A&E’s Hoarders alerted me to this phenomena; I never knew knickknacks could morph into a health hazard.

ANYWAY, since I am not typing this post from under a mound of collectible Tupperware and porcelain cats, I declare myself unscathed from this flea market trip.

There were so many charming, and sometimes odd (i.e. random top hat head, below), things to see that even though I wasn’t buying, I had a blast walking around and finding inspiration in the quirky, beautiful wares. I left with a few small trinkets and a lot great DIY ideas. A lovely way to pass a sunny Sunday morning.

How great is this collection of thermoses? Perfect for stylish school work lunches or as kitchen decoration.

Fire King Jadeite dishes

A table with a metal bin inserted in the middle for cold drinks- genius! I could also imagine using the metal insert as a planter for herbs or succulents.

Salt and pepper shakers. The baby bok choy (at least, that’s what I am imagining it to be) in the lower right hand corner is one of my favs.

An antique baby bathtub and stand. Again, the possibilities are endless! Fill with ice and drinks for a party, use as linen or towel storage, wash your delicates… or small dog in it. A true multi-tasker.


Adventures at Sea

This past weekend, the lovely Emily and Westbrook, Captain and First Mate of the Pistachio, invited Matthew and me for a sailing trip to Catalina Island.
It was one of the better weekends I’ve had in a very long time; great company, beautiful sights, and although the island is a mere 22 miles off the coast of L.A., I felt much much further away.

Due to high winds on Saturday, we made it to Catalina in just five hours and were anchored and cracking open our first beers by sunset. The rest of the weekend flew by, with much ocean swimming, a gorgeous hike with Emily and Westbrook’s two dogs Puglsey and Reggie, and some competitive Yahtzee.

With the four of us (well, six including our canine friends) sleeping under one tiny roof, quarters were tight, but that was half the fun. It was like ocean camping, and a good reminder of how very little you actually need.

Emily and Westbrook live full time on the boat, and at times, I truthfully don’t know how they do it. But it’s weekends like these that show me why. Less closet space seems like a small sacrifice to make for being able to live somewhere that can take you anywhere. Emily has a blog documenting her boat-life, called Pistachio At Sea, which you can read here.
So thank you again, Pistachio, for such a memorable trip. Until next time!!

The Crawfish Boil- A Louisiana Springtime Ritual

Mudbugs, crawfish, crawdaddys.. whatever you call the little suckers, anyone who has spent time in Louisiana has inevitably come across these crustaceans in famous dishes like Crawfish Monica, Crawfish Etouffee, or at it’s most elemental, at a Crawfish Boil.

I went to my first boil while living in New Orleans and fell instantly in love with not only the strange shellfish, but the ceremony surrounding the boil. A crawfish boil is one of those food-centered gatherings that ends up not really being just about the food. Like ignoring the turkey on Thanksgiving in favor of football and sides, a crawfish boil is about laughing and drinking and prepping and stirring and peeling together. A messy, spicy, inebriated group of people getting together and making food.

So even when living in L.A., the farthest city in both spirit and looks from the swamps of southern Louisiana, we find a way to have a boil.
Luckily for me, I’m friends with a very enthusiastic deep South transplant here in LA who ordered a whooping 60 pound of crawfish for us to feast on.

Along with andouille sausage, corn, heaps of potatoes, mushrooms, lemons, artichokes, onion, loads of garlic, and numerous bags of Zatarain’s, we plunged the live crawfish into the pot.

After the crawfish are cooked, they’re dumped out on a communal, newspaper-covered table where everyone gathers around to peel, eat, and for the very dedicated, suck the heads. More on that here.

Turns out 60 pounds of mudbugs is too much for our humble stomachs to handle, but over a couple of Bloody Marys (with pickled okra, yum!), we managed to peel the entire batch.

The fruit our labor:

I can’t wait to use up the leftovers and have already started scouring recipes for a dish worthy of our hard-earned crawfish meat.
I’m thinking Etouffee, bisque, or Monica will be just the thing to cure my mid-week blues.

Even if I can’t still live in the coolest city in America, on a Sunday afternoon like this, I can at least pretend I do.

Nerd Alert

I adore libraries.
I love the quiet, the orderly rows of neatly stacked hardbacks, and the classic green desk lamps that slump over long wooden tables.
And in the case of the New York Public Library, I love the architecture.

Here are a few photos I took last time I visited this Big Apple landmark:

Good Morning, Sunshine

My favorite way to start off the morning, aside from a brimming cup of New Orleans Community Coffee, is with a walk through the garden.
Saying that last bit aloud confirms why I often feel like I’m 25 going on 50, but just looking at these photos I took over the weekend is enough for me to set my alarm an hour earlier so I don’t miss the best part of the day, a sunshiny morning.