Category Archives: musings

cruise with chris phelps… coming this spring!

swansoncruiseblog

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R.I.P. lilly pulitzer

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bob’s donuts

As my good friends will attest, I am passionate about Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street. I am such a connoisseur of their glazed donuts that I can tell — just by eyeballing the donuts — which of the two donut bakers were on the midnight shift making the morning’s donuts. The glazed donut is a favorite pastime/ discussion of mine– and the true litmus test of a good donut baker. Bob’s glazed donuts are fried with a delicate, light hand + an eagle eye to produce airy confections of raised dough that is light/ airy/ fluffy smothered in a layer of glazed sugar.

I first discovered Bob’s through my mother — who is now in AA for addiction to sugar — and who could always be counted on to sniff out the best donut in a 100 mile radius. For years, we fantasized about owning Bob’s, and the fun we would have. Luckily for us, our weight scales + husbands, we never did.

During the daytime hours, I don’t walk into Bob’s without thinking of my mom– it was one of the many sweet pleasures she taught me, that I treasure. Thank you, Panther.

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lovers’ finger food: heart beets

A sweet care package of Farmer Bob’s old fashioned pickled beets arrived on my dining table today.   The charming presentation alone begs for immediate attention, and the idea of delicious ruby red beets in the shape of hearts might be the most memorable + perfect present for every occasion.

The perfect Valentine surprise!

Thank you, Hailey

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obsessed with old stereos

Courtesy of Mr. Ryan Adams

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baby wine + baby champagne

I often wonder, what are other families’ rituals around the dinner table with little ones…? In our house, we take every manner of festive occasion seriously– and so do our kids. We plan dinners together, discuss at length what we’ll serve, how we’ll decorate, who will serve… For better or worse, our family operates by-committee + is loaded with colorful opinions + suggestions.

For these dinners, we serve our children Concord grape juice + sparkling apple juice disguised as ”baby wine” + “baby champagne.” They have even cherry-picked their way through my favorite collection of cordials and identified– with great pride– their own “baby wine glasses.” With these glasses, they stand up and make toasts to loved ones around the table. “Baby wine” is associated with celebration/ specialness/ time stopping. It makes appearances year-round.

I love that the ceremonies of the dinner table have meaning + purpose. I ask myself, why shouldn’t children have precious ceremonies of their own? Charming accoutrements of their own? Generosity of spirit is a learned behavior + the dinner table is the most fertile ground.

ANY THOUGHTS HERE?

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with love

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our beloved instagram

It was so much fun while it lasted.

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pbs’ ode to mister rogers

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dispatch from sf

SHOUT OUT TO ALYSSA!!!

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the mysterious wine headache

Over the many years, given my line of work– I have run into so many stories told to me primarily by women about peculiar reactions to wine… I heard stories about blinding headaches, swollen lips, splotchy rashes, tightening of the esophagus/ sinus, distended bellies, insomnia– you name it. And one of the current themes always is… “It started to happen in my late 30s/ early 40s.”

A lot of change happens in your late 30s/ early 40s I am discovering— and I thought I might share my story with you.

I LOVE Rosé wine. I love it for so many reasons: It is a sensory delight; the perfect choice day or night, in the city, country, beach or picnic; at French Laundry or Gotts Roadside Diner or the Swanson Salon.

This past 4th of July weekend, I had one glass (literally one glass) of French Rosé + shortly thereafter endured one of the longest migraine headaches of my life– lasting over 12 hours; The type of headache that even extra-strength EXCEDRIN could not quell/ wrangle/ dilute.

As I suffered through the early hours of dawn, I recalled previous other migraine headaches, and disappointingly– they all reared themselves after a convivial time involving Rosé. Any kind of Rosé: American or French— and always made by decent producers. And oddly, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to why… The night before, I had a glass from the same bottle and experience nothing different. Why was it drastically different 24 hours later???

It is only until something happens to YOU or a LOVED ONE that we get resourceful and demand answers.

So, I decided to email a small round up of brilliant minds: my doctor, acupuncturist, and a friend who is a Master of Wine. I wanted to know did sulphites or histamines– both common culprits in the realm of wine allergies/ reactions, drive my situation. Their responses addressed such topics as dehydration, lack of food consumption, hormones, intolerance of sugar/ histamines/ sulphur… Basically it all boiled down to the body chemistry of the day/ hour.

Their answers were as vague as the pages of confusing/ contradictory expert opinions shared on the internet. As with all things, I learned most from the COMMENTS sections– and in there were mostly WOMEN also trying to get to the bottom of their conditions. Within the comment section there wasn’t a single consistent scenario: Some people were affected by white wine, red wine, Rosé, beer, yeast, sulphur, sugar, American wine etc. Interestingly, Merlot was often sited as the safest varietal/ wine– causing little reaction.

The take-away gleaned throughout the countless comments was PAY ATTENTION to your body. Track yourself/ your body’s vulnerabilities– as these reactions are REAL to you, and only you.

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seared in my mind is:

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saturday night at my parents

photo credit: so!

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vineyard graveyard

photo credit: so!

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you’ve gotta have it!

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