To kick off my second weekend in the city, I thought I’d share my new obsession – gin and tonics. This was my aunt’s favorite drink back when I was first loosed upon the world of legal 18+ European partying the summer of my senior year (I had a Sex on the Beach and lots of Peach/Singapore/whatever Slings) and I have been amazed by it since. So minimalist, so good and you can eyeball the measurements. So perfect for this stressful summer.
While we’re on the note of being overly influenced by my German maternal aunt, she also put elderflower into everything -mint lemonade, champagne (which is technically a Hugo and was totally the IT drink in Europe in 2013…) – so it’s always been associated with that hip euro vacation when I thought I was an adult.
This article suggested you spice (sweeten?) it up with syrupy tonics (and lo and behold they recommended Jack Rudy’s Elderflower Tonic) so here is my first step towards preparing for that bar/winery/speakeasy I will one day own.
Combine, in a highball glass or a mug or a bucket, in this order:
2+ oz. gin (the possibilities in your Brooklyn wine & spirits store are endless – Back River Gin and Bluecoat are nice and we have yet to try the fancy vintage-looking California gin)
.75 oz. Elderflower Tonic (or any other tonic, be fancy, be free, it’s summer and you’ll sweat off the hard alcohol calories)
as much or as little ice as you want
-5 oz. tonic water
Enjoy! And let me know what other tasty combinations you come up with!
This was from a week back, braving the cold to go out with my lovely friend Erica. I think this post encapsulates why I love photography so much, especially natural light photography – I never stop learning. There’s always something new to explore and some new angle to look at the thing you see every day, some new technique to try. It never stops evolving (if you call me a nerd who loves school you would be correct) and that’s why I love it.
Anyway, in addition to the semi-regular philosophic musings, there’s a NYC café guide here somewhere, namely Blue Bottle Coffee (the one in Williamsburg), one of those quintessentially cool, hardwood-floors-and-ceilings-and-tables-and-gleaming-coffee-equipment joints that also happens to be a chain but doesn’t feel like one. I’ve only tried the latte (my drink of choice between the months of September – May) and it was delicious and also warm which is all I was going for. They have a few tiny bites as edible options as well as granola and oatmeal and you have to fight for table space because it is always packed. Luckily I have a huge bag and as a Russian I rarely smile at strangers. 🙂
A little update from my Valentine’s Day (really just a Sunday brunch followed by a movie which happened to coincide with the 14th). I really don’t get what the big deal is about VDay. There shouldn’t be a specific day for showing love and it’s kind of divulged into a commercialized enterprise which also includes people in relationships posting about how great they are to people who are single (and not-so-secretly call in Single Awareness Day). Hated it when I was single and my opinion hasn’t changed.
But this carmelized grapefruit topped with mint was an unexpected treat from Egg Restaurant, the Southern-style brunch place in the Kingdom of Brunch, a.k.a Williamsburg (recall Allswell). As a Southerner my boyfriend said it was good food, but not authentic so there you go, but the chicken and bacon sausage was delicious (if so, so bad for you – but no worries, they have kale). Clawing away at the grapefruit with the ridged spoon was its own adventure and so rewarding when I cleaned it out from the inside. Would recommend (the grapefruit though, didn’t quite get the grits…)
With the fall foliage at its tipping point, right when the green bursts into vibrant yellows, oranges and reds, I decided to drag invite everyone to come get brunch at D Acre Farms. It’s an all-organic farm and quaint complex in New Hampshire, about an hour from Dartmouth, and the first Sunday of every month they host a brunch of foods grown/raised on the farm. I even walked past a clump of kale that later ended up on my plate. The food was delicious – huge vats of coffee and tea in mismatched cups while you wait for your brunch of pancakes, eggs, kale, apple strudel, potatoes and pulled pork – all grown on the farm, even the pig.
Even if you skip the brunch, it’s worth a visit to see the whole farm and crawl around a bit. I’m so sad I didn’t discover it in the summer – the summer kitchen as you can see was to-die for. A haphazard and charming décor that could totally be featured on Vogue or Condé Nast Traveler with Christmas lights and a view out onto the forest. There’s an outdoor oven and a greenhouse and a washing machine powered by a bicycle. There’s a vegetable and flower garden and an outside patio and a deck overlooking the forest. It’s so crunchy and amazing, even for people like me who adore running water and take a million showers a day.
If you can’t tell, fall is my favorite season and I just can’t wait for everyone to be tired of all my pictures of falling leaves and forests ablaze.
Wanted to commemorate my favorite part of summer in New England – farmer’s markets! And yes, I know they are everywhere, but there’s something to be said about intimately knowing the land on which you live and what it produces. But I’ll stop diving into Rousseau-esque musings. My time abroad in Paris left me with a craving for cheese, which I scarf down with my wine. I should probably do an official, pretty post about it eventually…so I keep saying. I also have rediscovered meat, if only because there are so many laws in New England about the treatment of animals that it’s actually healthy and free-range and all that. Plus New Englanders know how to cook meat.
But summer berries are my most favorite ever. Strawberries are now out of season, got the last of them when I went to visit my family for the 4th of July (and forgot my camera, the horror…why is there no Steller for Samsung Galaxy?! I took so many phone pictures). Blueberries are still in season though, so I’m settled. The only thing I miss is peaches, my favorite fruit ever. It’s just not the same up North.
It’s finally cooling down in Hanover, but enjoy the rest of the summer!
Taking a break from a hectic week to post some pictures! This year I’ve begun to venture outside of Hanover and explore New England proper. There are so many cute little towns within an hour of Dartmouth – we went to Quechee, White River Junction and Woodstock, all across the border in Vermont and all less than 30 minutes away.
We first stopped over in White River Junction, a minuscule town with the most amazing Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant Tuckerbox. I won’t pretend to be a connoisseur or a food critic, but their meat is simply the best in my opinion and their Turkish coffee legitimate (according to my boyfriend, who’s been). This time I decided to snack on some desserts – the Kunefe with the pistachios and Almond pudding pictured above. My Kunefe was doused in honey and perfect and even my picky eater friend loved her pudding.
Then we just had to stop by Quechee, home of the beautiful gorge and also Simon Pearce – a glass works factory/workshop attached to a reportedly great restaurant that I have yet to try. The dining room overlooks the waterfall that’s used to make the glass, which is sold in shops all over New England (there’s one in Hanover and I will one day splurge there on something for my mom). The covered bridges are all over Vermont, they remind me of the medieval bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland, we had a beautiful view of the river from the one I photographed above.
We only waltzed around Woodstock for a bit since everything had closed by 5:30 pm (atrocious) but there’s the town crier to tell you all the fun things going on around town. Woodstock deserves its own post and I will one day get around to that, but here’s some of Vermont.
And it’s finally spring in New England, with all its’ humidity and random showers.
A few of yesterday’s snapshots. It was Nuit Blanche, where all the museums of Paris are open all night and there are many exhibitions around the city, like this one being set up in Hotel de Ville. And finally, finally the macaroons.
Last year I visited Paris for a few days and I desperately wanted to try some macaroons. I’d fallen in love with them in the States, but as an original French treat I wanted to try them in France. I was in Versailles and walked right into the Ladurée boutique they had. Right as I was about to buy some of the brightly colored gems, I was dragged away because I was late, yet again, and my transportation was leaving. So right then and there I vowed to be back soon to taste real French macaroons. Ameliorating my French, studying art history and literature and travelling to Italy during the break were only secondary appeals. It was the macaroons that brought me here under the pretense of studying abroad.
I’d initially wanted to try Ladurée but upon further research I found Pierre Hermé to be the favorite, although I definitely won’t stop there. Pierre Hermé’s creations were heavenly – my favorite of the ones I tried were the Jasmine and Ispahan.
Future lovers, take a cue!