Vacation last week and an abundance of poems showing up temporarily put a halt to The Home Beete! but to quote Randy Quaid’s character at the end of Independence Day (who was quoting from some other movie I can’t quite put my finger on) — “I’m baaack!” So just a couple few things that I’ve been hoarding till I could get the pedal to the medal—or fingers to keyboard—again.
BEANS, GLORIOUS BEANS! So it turns out that even in summer, you can’t live by ice cream alone (though I’m all in favor of giving it the old college try). Take a spin through any farmer’s market or down a produce aisle, and you’ll soon find that—in summer—everything amounts to a hill of beans. Thanks to a recipe I discovered in Real Simple, green beans and their chic cousins—les haricots verts—have become my lunch/dinner staple. Just toss together some beans (ends trimmed), about a teaspoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of chopped walnuts (the original recipe actually calls for pecans), salt and pepper and then plop it all into a 400-degree oven (preferably on a cookie sheet). About six minutes in, give the whole thing a good toss, let it bake for another six minutes, then prepare to delight in deliciousness. Turns out this recipe works well with frozen green beans too (steam them lightly first) if, like me, you always underestimate the number of fresh green beans you can actually get through in one sitting.
ZINNIAS REDUX! So I’ve made no secret of the fact that I adore farmer’s market zinnias because they allow me to be frugal (yes, I did type that with a straight face) and freshly floral all at the same time. What I haven’t yet bragged about—at least I don’t think I have—are my pottery rescue efforts. Thrift stores are full of unwanted pottery, but the pieces that make me especially sad are the ones that have some sort of maker’s mark on their bottoms. While I applaud the green-ness of donating unused knick knacks, I unheart the fact that the fabulous vase someone made in that pottery class that totally changed their life is now sitting dusty and unloved in Value Village. I’ve only made two “rescues” so far, but since they had the good sense to match, I’m pretty dang pleased with myself. At any rate, if you’ve always wanted to collect pottery, but haven’t quite worked your way up to McCoy yet, this is a good way to start.
DINER’S DELIGHT! So seriously, does anyone out there actually use their dining tables? I got great use out of mine—as a general dust bunny, junk mail, and things-I’m-too-lazy-to-file collection spot. I’d so given up on the idea of a dining table that I’d even posted it on E-Bay. (I got a bid but we couldn’t work out shipping.) Cut to me perusing endless issues of Veranda, House & Garden, etc., and admiring gorgeous hallway tables set with all manner of bibelots (whatever they are) and books and objets and such. [Insert lightbulb here!] Hey, I have an unused table! Hey, I also have bibelots (whatever they are) and books and objets and such. Thus was born the dining table-turned-gallery space. This close-up is of an assortment of postcards featuring work by photographer William Eggleston and a broadsheet of one of my poems made by the photographer Christine di Thomas. Just outside of the frame are a few of my fave decorating tomes opened to show off some of my fave interiors (Please, please can someone wangle me an invite to Loulou de Falaise’s Paris apartment?) Not only do I now have a great space for a changing display of treasures, but when I do entertain, it takes just a few minutes to move the books and postcards out of the way, by which I mean I no longer have to dump all of my laundry out of the laundry basket in order to use said laundry basket to corral the piles and piles of junk taking up valuable dining space. (And no we will not mention those times I just moved those piles and piles to the far end of the table and forbid diners to look in that direction.)
More tomorrow including—wait for it—a 20×200.com shout-out!
I love fresh flowers, but I don’t love the cost. Problem solved at the Farmer’s Market where I’ve been scooping up zinnias. At $3/bouquet, two bouquets are enough for several vases. They last for weeks (the ones in the middle photo are still going strong after three weeks!), and they’re the perfect pop of summery color.
p.s. I found all of the vessels pictured at a couple of my favorite thrift store haunts for a combined total of maybe $20, including the one that’s Jonathan Adler for Umbra (on the left in the bottom pic). I’m just saying . . .