Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn’t she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn’t a person with discipline; that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life. This is a story of how my life was saved by cake, so, of course, if sides are to be taken, I will always take the side of cake.
Decorating 101 c/o Miss Golightly
Lately I’ve been quite meh about decorating style or lack thereof. When will I replace the broken Ikea dresser? When will it become inappropriate for books to account for 70% of my possessions? That sort of thing.
Anyway, since my thoughts have been so very West Elmish, this list from HuffPo on Miss Golightly’s decorating philosophy made me smile.
1. You don’t need a real couch. Improvise with anything that provides basic seating … like a sawed-off bathtub.
2. A tiny kitchen is not a problem. Especially if you seemingly subsist off of milk served in a champagne coupe.
3. On that note, presentation counts. Again, milk in a champagne coupe. Much more dignified than an old pint glass.
4. Clutter is the sign of an established life. When your possessions are little more than a record player and a mangy cat, you can be a gal on the go.
5. Get creative with your storage. If you’re not exactly Betty Crocker in the kitchen, why not put your ballet flats in the fridge?
6. Accessorize fearlessly. If you want to have a weathervane next to your entryway, DO IT.
7. Always have your record player handy. You never know when you’ll need to score your own dramatic monologue.
8. Use a red glass lampshade. It’s a nice touch when your aforementioned monologue has to do with the “mean reds.”
9. Suitcases can also function decoratively. Even if your dainties are attractively falling out of said suitcase.
3 things I missed mentioning. 2 are important and and 1 is less so…
1. Mom. The best there’s ever been and the best there will ever be & she’s all mine.
Mom: I love your summary texts (“Ironing until water aerobics. Pai’s getting in this afternoon. I might go to JoAnn’s later. xo”). I love how you’ll talk to me forever about taxes and mousetraps. I love that there is no better person to learn from and no person I miss more. I’m the luckiest. And just so it’s on the internet, Happy Mother’s Day + 2 days.
2. Brittany. This Sunday B started a new trip around the sun.
To my person: HAPPY BELATED, bean. Sending good birthday vibes from here to Cambridge and back Guess what? As of today, it’s exactly 1 month until I fly across the pond. This is not a drill. THIS IS NOT A DRILL! There will be hugging and screaming for no less than 17 minutes – I hope you’re prepared.
3. Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream. Enough said.
My Love Don't Costa Thing
- T (age 5): Julia, what's your last name?
- Me: Costa.
- T: Like you costa-lot?
- Me: Yeah.
- T: Like for marriage?
- Me: Um...
Last night I f-f-f-inally sat down at Battersby. Three of us agreed and decided on a reserving a table for the tasting menu.
Writing it down because if I forget I’ll just die.
Pea & Yogurt Soup
Chicken Liver Pate with Mushroom & Balsamic
Rosemary Focaccia & Whipped Ricotta
Hamachi Crudo with White Soy, Yuzu, & Ginger
Housemade Pappardelle with Short Rib Ragu & Black Olives
Pike with Basil, Broccoli, & Asparagus
Braised Short Ribs and the Crispy Kale Salad with Kohlrabi, Brussels Sprouts & Peanuts
Lemon and Buttermilk Panna Cotta
Chocolate Tart with Cashew Butter & Banana Ice Cream
Key Lime Ice Cream Pie
Something red for dinner and a gin/elderflower/grapefruit/bubbles thing to start
If someone would just bring me a spoonful of that ricotta in the morning and then if someone would just bring me that pappardelle for lunch, and maybe a little of the kale salad at one point or another - if those things could just happen - I don’t think I’d ever stop smiling.