I do not consider myself an aficionado of many things. But I do know my jerky. The best I’ve ever had, commercially, was the various forms of biltong in South Africa, Tanzania, etc. The best homemade I’ve had was courtesy of an awesome Ranch Manager, in Texas, who’d made his own. Nothing I’ve had comes close to either, until I discovered Side Project Jerky. I’ve tried the natural flavor and the southwestern, neither is overly spiced/flavored but both are melt in your mouth fabulous. And you won’t crack a tooth trying to eat it. My only problem is with their tag line: Jerky for Gentlemen. What about the ladies? Huh? I’ll get over it – the jerky rocks. Buy it.
Growing up in a household with a non-practicing Catholic mother and a non-practicing Muslim father was fine until major Christian holidays rolled around. My mom was often into a tradition (a Christmas tree, for example) that my dad wasn’t having.
Except Easter eggs. There were never fights about Easter eggs. My mom, who is from Lithuania, would make traditional Lithuanian Easter eggs called Margučiai. She’d dye the eggs a gorgeous reddish brown by boiling them with onion skins. Then she’d sit for hours, using a razor blade to scratch Fair Isle-esque designs into the eggs.
They were really cool looking. I don’t have a picture of the ones she did, but I found this picture – same idea and technique.
A dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns is, to me, a phenomenal gift. It’s also quite expensive (but trust me, worth every penny). So, you have the dinner, you’re blissfully bombed and overfed, stumble into their store and buy decanters by Deborah Ehrlich. They cost as much as dinner, but last longer (Water Carafe, $285; Wine Decanter, $315, Magnum Decanter, $345):
While aficionados do not recommend drinking champagne from coupes, I must confess it is my favorite glass for bubbly or even a martini. I love a coupe. I also love the Coburg bar at the Connaught Hotel in London. And, coincidentally, the hotel has just introduced a set of six coupes packaged in a chic silver box. Not cheap (190 pounds/about $300) but gorgeous -
A couple years ago I interviewed chef John Delucie about the best gifts he’d ever been given. One of his answers was Omaha steaks. He admitted that at first he couldn’t believe someone would send him steaks from a company that placed cheesy ads in the back of magazines but also said that once he tried them he was hooked – the steaks were fabulous and he now often gives them as gifts.
A couple months ago someone sent me a gift certificate from Allen Brothers, a mail-order meat company that (to my knowledge) does not run cheesy ads in magazines but does make one hell of a steak. Last night my friends and I feasted on truly incredible ribeye. I mean, it was gorgeously marbled and beyond delicious and provided a tasty distraction from that damn game.
The picture doesn’t do it justice.
Warning: not a typical Rima post.
Several years ago a good friend of mine was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and died at age 34. Whiel she was undergoing treatment, etc. she pointed out that some cancers (breast) have a lot of funding for research, etc but others (esophageal) do not. Makes sense in the greater scheme of how things work, as breast cancer hits a lot of women of all ages, esophageal generally men in their 70s, 80s. A lot of cancers and diseases in general are under-funded.This is something I honestly had never thought about until she mentioned it.
Here’s what’s weird – kid’s (pediatric) cancers are among the under-funded. Some facts:
· Cancer remains the number one disease that claims the lives of children. Each year cancer kills more children under the age of 18 than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS combined.
· Pediatric cancer is referred to as an “orphan disease” because there is little or no profit to be made by the pharmaceutical companies and the reason why they ignore pediatric cancers for the most part.
· Each year in the U.S., nearly 13,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer. That’s the equivalent of two average size classrooms diagnosed each school day.
· Today about 75% of children diagnosed with cancer become long-term survivors yet in the U.S. cancer remains the leading cause of death from one year through adolescence; more than any other disease. In the early 1950s, less than 10 percent of childhood cancer patients could be cured, proof that research can and is making a difference.
I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.
Friends of mine started an organization called Cookies for Kids Cancer to raise money to fund clinical trials and attempt to make pediatric cancers a thing of the past. Simply put: they sell cookies. Sometimes via bakesales, always via their website.
My favorites are the Chocolate Almond Coconut Crunch (ps – they’re total foodies so the ingredients are first rate, ie Guitard chocolate):
Yesterday, my friends lost their son. I can’t say my appetite is raging for cookies or anything else after that news. There is nothing I can do to alleviate their pain. But I can buy cookies, support their organization and, in the case of my purchase today, make another kid (albeit a cancer-free, college-aged one) psyched to get a package.
Cost: $30/dozen. Buy them here.
Rancho Pescadero, Pescadero, Mexico, just outside Todos Santos. This place is super-chill, with only about 20 rooms, you’ve got pool, you’ve got beach, you’ve got world class surfing AND some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. All for (maximum) $295/night.
A few shots:
beds on the beach. lounge. sunsets. etc.
my room – taken from my outdoor patio/balcony. view of ocean from bed. sound of waves all day/night long.
and how much do we love that lime green mosquito net? from bali.
this chaise was my go-to “desk” spot. wrote here every morning.
every morning at around 7 a basket of coffee, fruit and a muffin is left at your door.
the water cooler