Greg told me he and Jimmy spent an exhausting but wonderful amount of time working the garden this weekend and that he had a bag of greens for me to take home. When it was time to go home and I went to retrieve the bag I almost had a heart attack – a super HUGE bag bursting with the most beautiful lettuces, greens and herbs I’d ever seen!
Arugula, mustard greens, dandylion greens, every lettuce known to man, oregano, mint and chives with their gorgeous chive flowers (perfect for sprinkling in a salad!)
Greens like this don’t need much (I was sampling them right and left just to enjoy their incredible fresh flavor) but here a couple basic vinegrettes to inspire. Don’t you dare reach for that bottle of Kraft Salad dressing – go for the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can (Metropolitan Market in Seattle always has Costa d’Oro on sale and it is amazing!)
Last night I did upon request a variation of my turkey meatballs using fresh chives and oregano instead of cilantro served alongside sauteed mustand and dandylion greens – delicious! Tonight I have some feta in the fridge and this is looking pretty good…
What’s up next? Picking Gardener Greg’s brain on what to plant and when – obviously he has a major jump on me but there’s stil time to find out the trick to how to grow amazing tomatoes!!!!
I stumbled across this video on Huffington Post and in turn into a whole new world of Jennifer L.Scott. I have to admit I’m getting pretty tired of reading about how Gwyneth Paltrow had fittings with Valentino for her Met Ball gala “punk” dress – I think I’m more into staying down to earth with someone like Jennifer. The pieces she shows are affordable, adaptable and it’s really just about a more simple concept of dressing for each season. Plus she is a ballet flats queen (and so am I!). More about Jennifer on her website jenniferlscott.com and her book Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.
And whether you like Jennifer’s style or not, I do like the idea of not having a closet full of “stuff” and nothing to wear – less can be more!
I ready about Ron Finley in the New York Times today and couldn’t have loved what this guy is doing more for gardening, health, humanity and even humor!
The title of the article is Appleseed with Attitude. Last winter Ron gave a 10 minute rousing talk about guerrilla gardening in low income neighborhoods. If you can’t figure it out from the title of this post, Ron is pretty funny and totally passionate. So much that he has formed LA Green Grounds – the website all about organizing the community to plant gardens and grown their own food. The motto is: Growing, working, teaching: changing turf into edible gardens in South Los Angeles I love this quote from the Times – “Mr. Finley estimates that the City of Los Angeles owns 26 square miles of vacant lots, an are equivalent to 20 Central Parks, with enough space for 724,838,400 tomato plants”. That is a freakin lot of tomato plants – urban gardening here we come! Ron says “if you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta!”
Ron’s edible garden is called Food Forest – watch him at the TED Conference and become inspired – the growing season is upon us no matter where you live. Something tells me Mr. Finley will probably end up meeting Michelle Obama – right? Not just cozy, pretty darned fantastic! This guys is smart…
Spring is full of pink and Queen Anne is no exception! The cherry trees are blooming all over the place making a light carpet of pink on the ground.
Kind of like a light pink snowfall!
Color coordinating? This bluejay seems to know where he looks good – although he wasn’t as cooperative as I would have liked and wouldn’t sit still on the perfect branch while I fumbled with my iphone. Damn you bluejay, damn you! Check out more gorgeous photos of cherry blossoms at the UW (University of Washington campus) on SeattleFlyerGuy blog - gorgeous!
But back to the positive side of these petals – cupcake decoration anyone? Martha Stewart would say a big YES!
Spring fashion is full of this flattering shade – yes, this dress is a bit extreme but I was inspired by a full page ad in the NY Times and it was just so pretty I could’t resist!
I am a big JCrew fan and also a big fan of their Creative Director Jenna Lyons. When I saw she was on the cover of Fast Company Magazine I wouldn’t wait to read the article. I learned some interesting things in this article including if you really want the JCrew look abandon all your socks. Sockless-ness seems to be key to their look. Not sure how this works in winter but who cares, you look great! Below Jenna’s sockless team making it work!
Talk about rise to the top, JCrew is the only place Jenna has ever worked – according to her she started out as an assistant’s assistant to someone’s assistant back in 1990. The magic really started when Mickey Drexler was fired as CEO from Gap in 2003 and joined JCrew and Jenna was allowed to blossom. Read the article here and check out Jenna’s not so shabby office below.
I enjoyed the side bar interview with Drexler – he says “America’s companies are built to destroy creativity” and my favorite “You can drown in data”. Oh yeah, working for the world’s largest on line retailer I know a little something about that…
The author asks Jenna if she would ever leave the company to start her own line but she says that’s not in the cards. Former colleague Todd Snyder says “Mickey has given her enough runway so she can really make of it what she wants. They should really call it Jenna Crew!”
Sooke has a lot of good eating options and our hotel – the Sooke Harbor House dining room was no exception! The restaurant really focuses, you guessed it, what’s locally grown and really fresh.
They have several gardens on the property as well as a farm down the road. You can actually take tours of the garden which would be especially lovely during the true growing season. Being we were there in Spring things were just getting started. The philosophy is that they have created “an edible landscape on our grounds of over 200 edible herbs, greens, edible flowers and vegetables. Our garden design focuses on producing healthy, fresh and delicious food and a garden which is both beautiful and functional”. I seem quite pleased with my entree above of a delicious and imaginative take on sole.
And a lovely puree of fennel and other greens.
There is an inspiring display in one of the hallways of the various chefs from the restaurant talking about some of their favorite dishes – very inspiring!
We also went about 20ish minutes north to a place called Point no Point Resort. It was dark by the time we got there and I wish there had been some spotlights so we could have seen outside the big windows (where through the trees would have been the water). Another potentially great place to stay and the food was really beautiful and imaginative and the setting rustic, simple and romantic!
Several of us had the salmon which Elizabeth is still raving about (that’s a scoop of horseradish cream on the side!)
We had lunch 2x at a place right on the water called the Stickleback West Coast Eatery. Perfect lunch food with a nice size deck overlooking the water and really reasonable prices.
Trip Advisor recommends several other places for lunch or dinner including Mom’s Cafe (lunch) and the Stone Pipe Grill (not the most romantic looking from the outside but who knows, could still be great!). A neighborhood market supplied happy hour material – local wine (there are more than 2 dozen wineries on Vancouver Island – who knew?). Grocery store prices were pretty expensive but nothing beats happy hour on your own patio by the sea!
All in all a really amazing weekend away with really incredible nature (and delicious food) – one of my favorite combinations! We’ll return in late June when my family gathers for another birthday on the Sunshine Coast – a day in Vancouver, a day in Whistler and then a rental house in Pender Harbor – wow, cannot wait! More soon as Spring behaves itself and makes way for a lovely Summer in Seattle!
Norwegian painter Edvard Munch once said: "Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with the beauty of sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage." Leslie Patson, a.k.a. "Miss Cozy", is passionate about making (daily) life friendlier and more comfortable - especially in these times. This blog is the diary of her journey. More about Leslie...