Purity of the Turf

Friday, September 18, 2015

Big Ten football may not be terribly popular amongst doctoral musicology students (with one notable exception in our program, at least), but hardly anyone is anti-gin. Here's hoping this zippy cocktail will help earn us some new friends in Michigan!

Purity of the Turf

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz Dolin dry vermouth
1/2 oz rhubarb syrup
2 dashes orange bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice; stir until chilled. Strain over ice into an old-fashioned glass; garnish with an orange peel.

Notes: This cocktail is a rhubard-infused take on a classic Martinez (which I especially like with tequila) is fresh and spirited. To make rhubard syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan with 4 parts chopped rhubarb. Simmer until deep pink, then let cool and strain.

Image by Daniel Krieger.

To Autumn

Monday, September 14, 2015

  Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
        Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
        With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
    To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
        And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
            To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
        And still more, later flowers for the bees,
        Until they think warm days will never cease,
            For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
        Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
        Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
        Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
            Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
        Steady thy laden head across a brook;
        Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
            Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
    Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
        Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
    While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
        And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
        Among the river sallows, borne aloft
            Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
        Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
        The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
           And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 

John Keats (1795-1821) 

Image by Elisa Bricker.

Back to School

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hello from Michigan!

We've arrived, unpacked our boxes, and survived the crush of emotions, frustrations and weight-lifting that moving demands. I made it through theory and ear training placement exams, and am registered for classes, which start today. We're still very much fish out of water, but at least now we know where the Brita pitcher is, so to speak. And with September arrived and school now in session, I can't help but dream of bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils, shiny back-to-school loafers and football games in the crisp autumn air.

Tell me, what have you been up to?

We're Moving!

Monday, August 10, 2015

It's been in the works for a while, but I'm finally ready to share our big news–we're moving to Michigan!

Why would an East Coaster and her Texan leave San Francisco and relocate to the Midwest, you might ask? Since graduating with my Masters a few years ago, I've wanted to study musicology. In fact, in my first job interview, I was asked what I planned to be doing five years from then; I confidently replied that I would be enrolled in a doctoral program studying musicology. This February will mark five years from that conversation, and I'm so thrilled to say that I'm exactly where I'd hoped I would be.

For some time, John and I have felt ready to leave San Francisco, but now that we're just a few weeks from our departure date, we have mixed emotions about saying goodbye to the city where we've lived since college. We'll miss the incredible California produce and our favorite local shops. We'll be sad to say farewell to San Francisco City Hall where we tied the knot five years ago, and to the community we've built in the years since. It will break our hearts to wave goodbye to the dear friends we've made here. But despite how difficult it will be to leave, I feel so lucky to be pursuing my passion, and to have a partner who supports me in that.

I don't know quite what's in store for the future of A Crimson Kiss, but I would imagine the next few weeks will be radio silent as we trek, unpack and settle in. This will always be a place where I come to find inspiration, so while you might not see a daily post, I can promise you haven't seen the last of the loveliness in this space!

So it's onto a new adventure, a new state, a new job, a new beginning!

Photo of South Manitou Island, MI by Weber Photography

Dark & Stormy

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Dark & Stormy is a classic cocktail requiring minimal effort for a lovely, low-key afternoon.

Dark & Stormy

2 oz dark rum
4 oz ginger beer
1/2-1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice (optional)
lime wheel, for garnish

Combine rum, ginger beer and lime juice in a Collins glass with ice; garnish with lime wheel.

Notes: The trick to a truly transcendent Dark & Stormy is the right balance between the rich rum and spicy ginger beer. Gosling's Black Seal and Barritt's Ginger Beer, both from Bermuda, are the classic pairing (and in fact, Gosling's is the rum of record for this drink), but a funky dark rum and peppy ginger beer will marry beautifully as long as you're careful with your proportions. The lime isn't traditional, but it sure is tasty as far as I'm concerned. Cheers!

Image by Daniel Krieger.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

This week I'm loving taking advantage of everything San Francisco has to offer in the month of August (rosé, avocado toast, stone fruit, oh my!), a fantastic dinner with new friends, and lots of beautiful bits from around the internet. Some of my favorites are below!

Image by Jodi Miller, navy and white suite by Brown Linen Design.

A Beautiful Morning

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

 I don't often post engagement shoots, but these images by Eric Kelley were simply too gorgeous not to share. Here's hoping we all have a few mornings this beautiful.

P.S. A peek at their classic Southern celebration.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

When I saw this photo of a fabulous pair of Ferragamos, I was immediately drawn not to them, but rather to the stunning setting. My mother has a collection of blue and white Majolica pottery that hung in my childhood kitchen (painted a cheerful yellow with blue and white tile), and this lovely image took me back there immediately. A testament to the emotional impact of small details on your big day!

Image by Joielala, navy peep toes by Ferragamo.


Monday, August 3, 2015

I dashed out of my first SoulCycle class on Friday afternoon (or should I say indoctrination?) still panting and leapt into the waiting car where my dapper husband was waiting to chauffeur us across the Bay. One of my good friends and colleagues and her very talented boyfriend were putting on a pop-up at Ordinaire Wines in Oakland, and because there's nothing more appropriate than a rich Italian American meal and a few glasses of wine after a serious sweat session, we simply couldn't miss it! A few naturally-fermented sparklers were truly fantastic with the baked clams, frutti di mare, eggplant parm and veal scallopini, and the canoli John and I shared for dessert took me back to the East Coast for a moment (though the biodynamic Riesling was all California). Best of all, a ton of other colleagues showed up for the event as well, so we took over a farm table and had a blast. More than four hours after we arrived, we finally decided to call it a night and head back across the bridge for home.

John woke us up early the next morning, as he hasn't quite recovered from the change in time zones, and had a breakfast breakfast hash topped with poached eggs ready before I knew it. Naturally his early morning wake up lead to a mid-morning nap, but I took advantage of the quiet to get my inbox cleaned up and my to do list drafted. Once John was back in action, we both settled in to our favorite spots in the living room to get a little sun with our productivity. I spent the better part of the day with my head in my books, while John spent his at the guitar, and after a little late afternoon exercise, we dashed out to grab bahn mi and salad rolls at Bun Mee's Fillmore outpost. Paired with a glass of rosé and an episode or two of Mind of a Chef, it was the perfect low-key evening.

John was up equally early Sunday morning, but I had made a plan the night before–an alarm with a time of my own choosing helped me feel like I was in control of our day's start time, too. We decided, in honor of John's recent trip, to enjoy a more European breakfast–croissants, berries, and a bit of Swiss. Then we dove head first into our to dos, including Introduction to Social Media for John. His lunch with a friend meant I had the house to myself for a bit, and in my world, that means quiet time with a dense book. Having finally finished the philosophical tome I've been toting around for weeks, I was able to devote myself to music theory and ear training while John worked through some new pieces. John and I both worked up a sweat, and a piece of avocado toast tided me over when our Sunday Supper was at 8 rather than 5. We hosted my little brother for one last evening–he's moving to Colorado and we won't have the luxury of last-minute dinner plans for quite some time! Then we headed to bed, feeling satisfied both body and soul by a restorative weekend.

Tell me, what were you up to this weekend? Making a spur-of-the-moment trip, perhaps, or enjoying a glass of summer water?

Image by Mary Dougherty Photography, white peony bouquet by Bill Chisnell.

Elegant Extras

Friday, July 31, 2015

"Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life."
Charles Dickens

Image by Abby Jiu.

Blush Rose

Thursday, July 30, 2015

This week I'm delighted to have my husband home from Switzerland, crazy about all the gorgeous summer produce, and excited to share some big news very, very soon. But in the meantime, sharing some of my favorite links from this week!

Nicole & David

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A gorgeous wine country wedding at Annadel Estate Vineyard captured beautifully by KT Merry with flowers by Cherries, catering by The Girl and the Fig, paper by Aerialist Press, and planning by Melissa of MAP Events.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

 I adore this elegant shoe shot, and these classic peep toe pumps.

Blush & Berries

Monday, July 27, 2015

A weekend without my husband is a strange thing indeed, but I took advantage of the time alone to get things done and enjoy the pleasure of my own company a bit. It wasn't terribly glamorous, but it did feel good.

A friend and colleague was celebrating his birthday on Friday, so my usual companions and I put off our Indian feast and I joined my coworkers at Hopwater Distribution for a low-key celebration and a little pâté. I tumbled home early but exhausted (trans-continental phone calls are hard on my sleep schedule) and curled up with my theory textbooks before bed.

I let myself sleep in a bit on Saturday morning, but the siren song of breakfast tacos was simply too strong. Spicy homemade salsa and a cup of strong tea were the perfect accompaniments, and after cleaning up the kitchen, I dashed across town to pick up our car, which was getting its annual tune-up. On the way home, I dropped by my favorite grocery store to pick up supplies for the rest of the weekend–avocados, sweet corn, basil and early girl tomatoes. Then I cozied up with my to do list for a productive afternoon. A green salad and a little exercise kept me feeling good, and after a shower, a stroll and some reading, I cooked up a little pasta pomodoro. It and a Campari-soda made me feel like I was in the South of Italy, even though the weather was gray and cold. Then I cozied up with my latest read (and an episode of Mad Men) before falling asleep.

Early to bed means early to rise, and I was delighted to be up before anyone else in the neighborhood (or so it seemed). I made my favorite weekend breakfast–poached eggs over avocado toasted with roasted fingerlings and a cup of English Breakfast tea. After my morning devotionals–French lessons, music theory and ear training–I treated myself to a chai at my favorite coffee shop and settled into a cozy back table to read. I caught up with mom while running a few errands, then headed home to check off a few more to dos, including a long sweat session. A big green salad stuffed full of summer veggies and a teeny glass of Sauvignon Blanc made for a lovely evening, and I crawled into bed early to watch Astronaut Wives Club (I adore the 1960s!). And as for Indian food? I'll have it on Tuesday, when John gets back–I can't wait!

Tell me, what do you do when you've got the weekend all to yourself? Reconnect with girlfriends over lunch, pamper yourself and watch trashy TV, or tackle projects you don't usually have time for? I'm all ears! 

Image by Erin Hearts Court, blush garden rose and hypericum berry bouquet by Max Gill Design.

Chatham Artillery Punch

Friday, July 24, 2015

For the last several years, we've thrown a holiday party in Texas–and one of the libations always on offer is a Chatham Artillery Punch. When I saw that it was served at Leanna and Sam's wedding, I thought it was high time we finally shared a favorite family recipe! We first encountered Chatham Artillery Punch on a paper placemat at a restaurant in Savannah; the inauspicious introduction aside, this punch has become the centerpiece of our holiday celebration, but would be equally at home at a garden wedding or pool party–provided that you keep your guests away from the edge!

Chatham Artillery Punch

6 cups red wine
2 cups rum
1 cup gin
1 cup brandy
1/4 cup Bénédictine
2 cups fresh cherries
1 1/2 cups rye
6 cups strong black tea
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 bottles of Champagne

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl except Champagne. Let sit for thirty six to forty eight hours. Before serving, add chilled Champagne.

Notes: There's a lot of liquor in a good Chatham Artillery Punch; with that in mind, each item doesn't need to be the highest quality for it to have maximum impact. Chose an inexpensive Rhône or Burgundy for the wine, and a domestic sparkler instead of Champagne, but do make sure your black tea is strong to cut through all the sweetness. And from personal experience, I recommend you limit yourself to just a glass or two–cheers!


A Crimson Kiss – Timeless Events and Classic Cocktails by Ana Degenaar : Blogger