Thursday, September 27, 2012

Foodie Friday

 
Welcome to the  September 28th Foodie Friday.
Even when I was a small girl, I was obsessed with kitchen design. I would roam the neighborhood with my friend Susie, boldly ringing doorbells and inviting our ten-year-old selves for home tours. Susie and I were never spurned. Nor did we ever see dishes in the sink or unmade beds. The smells of coffee and lemon furniture polish always wafted in the air. Most homeowners had something delicious bubbling on the stove and baked goods on the counters. Susie and I were offered cake and 7-Up. With our bellies and minds filled with sugar and color schemes, we'd march to the next victim and brazenly ring the bell.
This was the 1960s, a time when food-and-decor was a passion for many homeowners. But neither Susie nor I could have guessed that home tours would be available in a less intrusive manner. Here it is 2012, and home tours are available on food and decor blogs. A girl doesn't have to get out of her fuzzy pink bathrobe to discover the latest paint colors or must-haves for the kitchen (both of which seem to change with the speed of a knife passing through warm butter.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So today I am inviting you into my kitchen. The coffee is ready, and the cinnamon bars have just been drizzled with icing. Just for you.
This is the Bald Hill Farm kitchen, circa 2005, planned while I was busily writing my fifth book, Mermaids in the Basement (my friend Allison, an editor at Atticmag, graciously allowed me to fictionalize her gorgeous Alabama kitchen).
Now, all these years later, I am writing my eleventh book, and since the book centers around a cook named Teeny, kitchens are very much on my mind. 
 

 
My previous kitchen had traditional creamy white cabinets and black granite counters. I was ready for a change. White cabinetry can be a challenge if your coffee pot explodes on a regular basis. Black granite is stunning and striking, but it's high maintenance. Bald Hill's busy granite has hidden our household sins. Would I choose it again? I don't know.
 Just like the character in the Teeny Templeton mysteries, I do love copper pots.

 The desk area.
 
So now we will move to the kitchen at Rattlebridge. The early 1990s style kitchen has the same counter space but more cabinets and drawers.

 
 
AU-shaped work area is my favorite design. 
 
 
I'm completely swamped with writing and have put the Rattlebridge project on hold.
This is good because it has given me time to think about what I like in a kitchen. Time has helped me see what is, and isn't, important. I don't care about inset cabinets or overlay--I just want lots of drawers. I don't need bigness; I need function.
The cabinets may or may not be painted. But whatever happens,
this kitchen and I will get along just fine.
 


 
What are your must-haves in a kitchen?
Do the trends and dos/don'ts make you dizzy?
What's really important in your kitchen?

To add your recipe to the Foodie Friday linky party, look below for the blue Inlinkz frog (below). Add your permalink and select an image. It may take a few seconds for the entry to process. A red X on your photo allows you to delete your entry if you make an error. The Foodie Friday badge (or button--look for a picture of white cupcakes) is located on the right sidebar if you wish to add it to your FF post. If this is your first time to participate in Foodie Friday, a tutorial is available.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Foodie Friday


Welcome to Foodie Friday. 
Fall has arrived at Rattlebridge. The sky is porcelain blue, and the breeze carries the smell of woodsmoke. It's one of those warm, coolish days. I love this weather, but we're feeling too puny to enjoy it. A croupy-cold has sickened us all (and, since bad luck comes in bunches, my poor laptop died--from overuse, my agent said). 
I stood on the porch a minute, enjoying the sunshine, and gave myself a pep talk. I'm buried in work, but I do not have time to be sick. I can do this. Our family motto is:
Yes, you can. And you will.
A family tradition is to make a cup of tea and count blessings. I am using the spare laptop--not familiar with the keyboard just yet--but I managed to pull up an old, "tea-centered" post. (Also a bad weather post, but tea is always welcome.) Whether you are healthy or out-of-sorts, I hope you will enjoy it.
 

On rainy Sundays, I crave heat and light.

I'm ready for flannel, fuzzy slippers, and comfort food.
But sometimes I need more.

I need a comfort-scape.


A comfort-scape is a cousin to a tablescape, but it appeals to the emotions, engages the senses, and contains edible elements. The idea is to build a little microcosm that distracts you from abysmal weather.







Elements of a Comfort-Scape

Scented candles send ripples of light over your table and perfume the air. Within minutes
you're enveloped in a rosy cocoon.  Chances are, you'll forget to look out your window.

Gather your favorite gardening books and turn your thoughts to springtime. 
Make a list of plants you want to add to your garden: cone flowers, hydrangeas, bee balm, roses, lilacs.



Change your world view.
  A sunny attitude is contagious. As Valentine's Day approaches, pretend the world is heart-shaped.


A basket of herbs infuses the air with fresh fragrance and hope.

 Green tea has anti-oxidant properties and is a natural appetite suppressant. But any comforting beverage will work, such as coffee, hot chocolate, espresso.

Rainy days can be grim. Whimsical (or much-loved) objects create instant comfort.
I am a third generation frog collector, and I can't be sad when a frog or two sits on my table. 
Shop your house for objects that make you laugh.


Layered white tableware is preferable to layered clothing (and trudging outside to plug goat holes). White is symbolic of fresh starts and bright summer days.


Suggestions for a Rainy Day Comfort-Scape
Include elements that appeal to the five senses:



Touch: an afghan or plaid wool throw
Smell: Aromatic herbs and scented candles
Visual: white dishes and whimsical objects

Sound: A Billie Holiday CD
Taste: strawberry muffins, croissants, berries, honey, hot tea








Do you have a rainy day ritual?
What would you include in a comfort-scape?

Thanks for stopping by Rattlebridge. If you would like to join the linky party, click on the blue Inlinkz frog.
If you need more instructions, check the sidebar and click on the Foodie Friday logo. 
Have a great weekend.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Foodie Friday



 Welcome to Foodie Friday.
Are you ready for Fall?
Leaf cookie cutters and orange plates (Big Lots)
are calling my name.

Food-wise, what's calling out to you this September?
To add your recipe to the Foodie Friday linky party, look below for the blue Inlinkz frog (below). Add your permalink and select an image. It may take a few seconds for the entry to process. A red X on your photo allows you to delete your entry if you make an error. The Foodie Friday badge (or button--look for a picture of white cupcakes) is located on the right sidebar if you wish to add it to your FF post. If this is your first time to participate in Foodie Friday, a tutorial is available.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Foodie Friday

Welcome to Foodie Friday.
I'm not quite ready to let go of summer. How about you?
I made little gift bags--white chocolate starfish nestled in brown sugar.

To add your recipe to the Foodie Friday linky party, look below for the blue Inlinkz frog (below). Add your permalink and select an image. It may take a few seconds for the entry to process. A red X on your photo allows you to delete your entry if you make an error. The Foodie Friday badge (or button--look for a picture of white cupcakes) is located on the right sidebar if you wish to add it to your FF post. If this is your first time to participate in Foodie Friday, a tutorial is available.

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