Happy weird Fourth-of-July-on-a-Wednesday week! We’re up in Maine, which is sleepy and wonderful. Our agenda for this week is pretty minimal: daily trips down to the beach; reading on the porch; and plenty of grilling. Oh, and and to see Incredibles 2 with my sister and a giant tub of popcorn.
Here’s what’s going on in my summer world:
Drinking, general: Not only are the new gen of canned wines and ciders extremely tasty, they’re also convenient—pop them in a cooler and no need for cups or a wine opener! I recently reaffirmed my love of Ramona, a grapefruit-y spritz created by star sommelier Jordan Salcito, and Wolffer Rosé Cider, which is bright and refreshing. And while we were upstate, I discovered Graft Cider, a line of funky ciders in beautifully designed cans.
Drinking, porch: Over the years, my sister and I have bought my dad every brand of fancy tonic in an attempt to get him to swap out Schweppes in his afternoon g&t. Hasn’t worked, which means it’s up to use to work our way through a backlog of Fever-Tree. My favorite is Indian tonic with Plymouth gin and double limes. (And when I was pregnant I drank tonic with lime and Angostura bitters as a fake g&t—so refreshing.)
Cooking: My dad won’t let us turn on the stove because of the heat so we’re doing lots of grilling and summery salads. Yesterday, we made this Bon Appetit marinated zucchini with ricotta and it was perfect with grilled bread; and today I’m going to make a big batch of Ottolenghi green gazpacho to snack on throughout the week. Rob has also been itching to try paella and my parents just happen to have a paella pan—this paella on the grill is on the docket for tomorrow.
Baking FYI: We’ve been swimming in strawberries lately (good problem to have) so last weekend, I pureed some of the extra ripe ones to make Nigella Lawson’s Strawberry Streusel Cake. I was so proud of the pretty layered batter as it went in the oven…and then promptly forgot about it while we ran some errands. Luckily, we didn’t burn the house down and the cake survived an extra 30 minutes of cooking time. In summary: It’s delicious and foolproof.
Reading: Everyone I know seems to be reading Pachinko and I understand why—it’s SO good. It’s set in Korea at the turn of the century and follows four generations through the years. I don’t always love sweeping historical novels because I lose track of the characters but this is remarkably zippy while also having rich detail and interesting characters. I’m flying through it and know I’ll be sad when I’m done.
Rob says: Definitely read William Finnegan’s profile of Andy Byford, the New York City Transit Authority President. It’s a portrait of a dogged technocrat fighting an impossibly complicated political and systemic battle.
Listening: While Rob already has World Cup fever, I haven’t been paying as much attention. But after listening to Freakonomics’ recent podcast about the tournament, I’m newly energized—they talk about why there’s such thing as a home field advantage (it’s not what you think); why developing nations can compete with the richest countries in the world, and more. On the sporting theme, we also started 30 for 30’s new series about Bikram Yoga and it’s fascinating.
Bonus: Listen to Kara Swisher talking with Charlotte and Dave Willner, the couple whose Facebook fundraising campaign to benefit RAICES has raised over $20 million. It’s inspiring and heartening in these crazy times.
Buying: I had been on the hunt for a pair of neutral summer sandals, and these Everlane ones fit the bill—simple, comfortable, and affordable. I picked up a pair in the taupe shade. I also recently bought the latest Birchbox Ingredient Conscious Kit, which has some of my favorite clean beauty brands. My fave product so far is the Ilia Lip Crayon in Push It—a sheer popsicle orange and great for summer.
And for Lilly: We go through a boatload of bubble bath in our household, and Babyganics was nice enough to send us a little care package of bubbles and other goodies. I love, love their SPF 50 spray because it dries quickly and non-stickily and makes it easy to reapply frequently.
On the toy front, my parents bought a set of LEGO DUPLO blocks for her and they’ve been a huge hit because she can put the pieces together and then pull them apart—endless entertainment!
Happy holiday week!
P.S. Old editions live here, except for the ones that I haven’t added yet—but I will 🙂