An Extended Break

September 9, 2013 at 10:02 amBY Joanna and Lorien

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We’ve had a wonderful year here with you at Get Along and Go, and we’ve learned so much about this blogging adventure and ourselves.  It’s been a real honor to share with you every day, and we’ll certainly miss our conversations as we take an extended break to explore new creative projects and ideas.  We’re raising a glass to new adventures, opportunities, and discovery.  Stay tuned for more to come in the future…and until then, cheers!

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A Visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

July 8, 2013 at 11:49 amBY Lorien

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On Saturday, I was sunburned (a first for me) after an amazing day at the beach on Friday and I was having a moment of despising the heat. I was not alone, so we spent a good of amount of time thinking of different things we could go do that was in the AC (I was so desperate I even contributed the idea of going to the grocery store and hanging out in the freezer aisle, which may have been influenced by the large amounts of popsicles and fudgesicles we were eating to stay cool).

We finally came up with the idea of having an outdoor potluck brunch (frittata, mimosas, fresh veggies from a garden, homemade biscuits with whipped butter and jam) and then taking advantage of Bank of America’s free admission to museums on the first full weekend of each month (a friend who didn’t have a BOA went to the library and picked up a pass for $10. Did you know the library has several passes for different museums? I didn’t.) We headed to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which was the perfect way to spend a hot summer day.

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I loved the Blue and White Exhibit and the Samurai Exhibit, it is always special to see paintings by Monet and Van Gogh, which we did, but my favorite was the Contemporary Art Exhibit.

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A piece from the Blue and White Exhibit. It was really interesting to see and read about the global reach of blue and white, “blue and white is able to transcend cultural boundaries and be culturally specific”.

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Yes, this is a large cheese grater. This piece, Grater Divide, was about how “change something’s scale and you might change its essence’. Influenced by her experience of being an exile from Lebanon during their civil war, by enlarging the grater she transformed the cheese grater into a screen of hiding and dividing.

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This was one of my favorite pieces of the day, it unfortunately photographed very poorly. This is a portrait done using a pinhole camera. Unfortunately you see more of my iPhone then the amazing work of the artist and amazing effects of using a pinhole camera in my picture.

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There was an outstanding glass sculpture by Chihuly in the cafe, along with a touching tribute to Boston featuring all hand stitched flags from all around the world showing their support for Boston.

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The Ladyfingers Letterpress Give-Away

June 28, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna

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Hands down – this is the easiest post I’ve ever written simply because the content speaks for itself.  If you don’t know about the Ladyfingers Letterpress (and Morgan and Arley-Rose – the ladies behind the name) you certainly need to.  They are the talented couple creating so many beautifully designed invitations and stationary – and they were kind enough to allow me to interview them for Get Along and Go.  To top it off, they’re offering a special give-away to one lucky reader (details at the end of the post).

Give our readers a brief introduction to your business…What do you do, and who are you, what do you offer?
Ladyfingers Letterpress is a design + letterpress printshop, specializing in hand-drawn, custom invites and stationery. It is owned and operated by the wife + wife, designer + printmaker duo Morgan Calderini and Arley-Rose Torsone, who started the business in 2011 after having planned their own wedding and discovering the poor selection of wedding invites that were aimed towards same-sex couples. Their staff of 6 (and sometimes more) operates a studio out of the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, RI and provides one-of-a-kind wedding invitations for all couples, as well as a brand new line of social stationery that include cards for every occasion!

Is there something behind the name Ladyfingers Letterpress?  Are there any men working with you, or just ladies?
Haha, well when Morgan and I first met, we joked about having a gay bar bakery called a Gaykery, and we’d have a press set up and we’d sell stationery and you could eat and drink and hang out. Buuut we soon learned that solvents and ink are not really the best things to have around in a place where you serve food, so we scrapped that idea and stuck with the printshop. And yes, we do have ManHands on the team: our Accounts Manager Sydney vonDembowski. Wouldn’t be here without him.

You guys seem to have many different methods of printing available to you.  What different techniques do you use and do you have a favorite?
We’ve incorporated die cutting, laser cutting, hot foil stamping, 3D techniques, moving pieces, hand-stitched leather pouches, tiny books… the list goes on. Anytime someone says “I don’t know if you can do anything like that…” our ears perk up and we stay up all night trying ti figure out how to make it possible. If we can’t do it in house, we always reach out and team up with the best to make the most unique things possible.

ladyfingers_letterpress_02You have so many sharp looking hand drawn invites on instagram.  Is hand lettering a specialty of yours, or is it a style that’s particularly in fashion at the moment?  Or maybe both?
Arley speaking here: When I went to college from 2000-2004, the digital design boom was happening. Our teachers were teaching us basic design skills using Photoshop and Illustrator, while my peers were designing things solely for digital use. As someone who has always drawn, painted and made things with my hands my whole life, I knew early on that I needed to have a physical outlet to my work. I took a typography class when I was a sophomore and it changed my life, but I was too sloppy to be your typical uptight typography nerd. I hated to read because I would just stare at the characters as if they were little people who were all waiting in line to catch a bus or mingling at a party. Each one had its own personality and deep down inside I knew there was more to them than Helvetica and standard x-heights.

My sketchbooks started to fill with type. My illustrations moved from image to image-with-caption to just-plain-caption. I wanted to read text as if it was a painting, where the feeling immediately hits you first and then you see that its a still life or a landscape painting, and if you look closer you can appreciate the nuances of color and  the way the paint sit on the canvas. I started to base my graphic design work around hand-lettering. Once, as the in-house graphic designer at AS220, I hand-lettered an entire monthly calendar that included the guide to everything AS220 does. It took me a long time, but after I saw that offset printed in a rainbow roll, there was no going back.

People ask me all the time if hand-lettering is a passing fad. In my mind I reply, “Yes, and when people get bored with it, I’ll go back to carving into stone”. I guess many people don’t fully realize that all type begins with a drawing, and to me, hand-lettering gives me more freedom on the page. I am not restricted by horizontal baselines or standard point sizes. Sometimes, designing type on the computer takes longer for me than just drawing it. I couldn’t imagine having a design business that didn’t incorporate the joy and freedom that hand-lettering allows.

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Starting a business can seem so intimidating.  Do you have any advice about how to get started?  Particularly for artists and designers looking to work independently.  What five tips would you give to someone considering going on their own?
Before we both went full time, we had been doing some smaller invites for friends and family which got very little attention. Those smaller projects helped us become acclimated to working with clients and gave us time to build our website, portfolio and marketing materials along the way while we were still under the radar. For our own wedding, as designers and printmakers, we decided to do something really bold and beautiful, and totally us. We posted images of our final invitation suite on Flickr and they caught the attention of a popular blogger who featured it which basically launched our career!

The lesson we learned from this is that sometimes the work you make for yourself is often the most beautiful, original and unique. Pretend you are a client of yourself, and then ask for the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. Make it, try to share through social networks, and soon enough people will start contacting and you asking for something just as beautiful. Having this sort of portfolio piece will establish your style and unique voice among other makers.

That being said, here are our 5 tips:

1. Start small – growing organically is not only really exciting, but smart. Don’t invest in a huge studio or the most top-of-the-line equipment at first. You’ll get there, but start with what you’ve already got and make the most of it.

2. Just do it! Don’t get stuck on thinking that you need tons of money or a huge nest egg to get started. We had just spent all our money on our wedding and had only $200 in our bank account when we took out a business credit card and put everything on that. Sure, there will be some really hairy times, but staying hungry is the best motivator to succeed.

3. Get friendly with the internets – Don’t be shy about making connections online. If advertising is not in your budget, leave friendly comments on websites that may be associated with your craft and be sure to leave your name and website. Bloggers are always looking for something to post about, so you’re doing them a favor by giving them content! Be sure to read their submission guidelines before submitting and never refer to them as “Dear Blogger”. Always do your homework and be respectful of other people’s time. Also, we’ve had terrific experience in the past with trading our services for ads on blogs and high-traffic websites, you might want to try to give that a shot. Bartering is a wonderful thing!

4. Believe in yourself! Something that we struggled with at first was knowing what to charge. Modesty is a virtue… until you have bills to pay! I know it can be hard asking for money sometimes, but if you don’t ask for it, no one will give it to you. Create a budget that outlines your monthly expenses and also research what other people are charging in your field. Obviously, don’t charge at the highest rate you can find, but also don’t charge so little that you drive down the market. If you find that your demand is going up, you can adjust your prices! You can always increase them, but you should never start so high that you have to decrease them.

5. Be nice to everybody. Whether they’re a client, co-worker, intern or contractor, treat them the way you would want to be treated. I know I might sound like your mother right now, but writing thank you notes and following up is a great way to make a great impression and build lasting relationships.

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You seem to have many different methods of printing available to you.  What different techniques do you use and do you have a favorite?
We’ve incorporated die cutting, laser cutting, hot foil stamping, 3D techniques, moving pieces, hand-stitched leather pouches, tiny books… the list goes on. Anytime someone says “I don’t know if you can do anything like that…” our ears perk up and we stay up all night trying ti figure out how to make it possible. If we can’t do it in house, we always reach out and team up with the best to make the most unique things possible.

I’ve taken a look at your instagram, and Ladyfingers Letterpress looks like a busy, but completely fun workplace…what about your ‘office’ makes it so special?  For instance – the in-office hair cuts…that’s a nice perk.
There’s that cheesy quote that says “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”. We figure that if we make the workplace a respectable place while giving ourselves and our employees the room to have fun, everyone will have a better time, be happier, and make better work. It helps that some of our clients do really awesome work that we love to barter for: we’ve gotten designer sunglasses, haircuts, free advertising and delicious food! Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in trying to barter for one of our clients adorable 1 year old. This does not mean we will stop trying.

What’s on the soundtrack over at Ladyfingers Letterpress print shop?
We keep Spotify and Pandora on a pretty good rotation of Robyn, and whatever station is “hip” with our “interns” these days.

Your prints certainly make good use of fantastic colors.  We love bold colors at Get Along and Go, and I’m always matching personalities to colors….If you were a color, what would you be?
Neon Red!

Any big plans in the works for the printshop?
We’re hoping that the wholesale thing keeps up. We had a terrific response at the National Stationery show and 50 stores placed orders for our work to be in around the country. We’re excited to continue to make new ways for people to reach out and touch.. other… people… with stationery.  I guess I would say stay tuned for the release of our social stationery line which will debut on our website on June 22.

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Beautiful designs right?? Bet you would like to get your hands on some of their stationary. Well…you’re in luck because Arley-Rose and Morgan were generous enough to offer up 3 complimentary folded cards from their brand new online shop to one of our readers.  To enter to win, visit their shop, pick your three favorite designs, and come back here and tell us which you love in a comment.  We’ll announce the winner next Wednesday, July 3rd.  (to keep up with the Ladyfingers Letterpress follow them on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest) UPDATE: GIVE-AWAY IS CLOSED – WE HAVE ANNOUNCED A WINNER.  THANKS!

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Making It: Macrame Plant Holder

June 26, 2013 at 10:30 amBY Joanna

macrameI’ve been feeling all crafty recently.  I think it’s in part a response to our recent visit to the Martha Stewart headquarters to attend the Alt Summit, and in part to the warmer weather and nostalgia for summer camp activities.  Whatever the reason, I’ve found myself at Michael’s Crafts a bunch lately, and I have a number of crafty projects going at once.  It feels good to be making things.

This past weekend I taught myself how to make a very simple macrame plant hanger.  All of my plants were removed from my living room during our recent house repairs.  Bringing them back in has been a real eye opener to the fact that I have awful (really terrible) plant hangers.  Not sure how I never realized this before, but sometimes if you stare at something long enough it disappears, and it takes a little shaking up to even notice the plastic Home Depot planters you’ve been living with for years.  That being said, it was time to remedy this long standing problem I never knew I had.  I was determined to make my own plant hanger (I’m completely stubborn about buying something I think I can make myself).  I became so involved in the project I made three – and it was so super simple I thought I’d share it with you.  The materials are inexpensive and easy to find, and the entire process takes about 30 minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 x 104″ strands of macrame rope (like this, this or this)
  • wooden beads with large center holes (these are completely decorative and serve no function.  If you can’t find them, forget about it – no biggie)
  • a 2″ key ring
  1. 1. Take the 4 strands, group them in a bundle so that the ends are even.  Find the center (somewhere around 52″).  Pull the stands through the key ring and tie together in a knot near the 52″ mark, securing the key ring in the center and creating 8 52″ strands hanging from the key ring.
  2. Hang the project from the key ring on a hook for better access to the strands.
  3. Divide the strands into 4 groups of 2 (group strands adjacent to one another together) and add wooden beads to each strand.
  4. Tie each grouping in a simple knot about 10″ down from the key ring, making sure the beads are between the key ring and the knot so they are secured.
  5. Take one stand from a grouping and knot it together with a strand from it’s neighboring grouping.  This will create the ‘web’ that holds the plant in place.  Tie the knot about 10″ down from the prior knot.  Continue with all strands until you have 4 new groupings.
  6. Gather all stands and tie together in one large know about 8″ down from the second.
  7. Add plant (this was actually the trickiest part for me because my plants were getting tangled with the rope.  It took a little patience, but I was able to untangle them).

So – that’s it.  The directions may sound complicated, but I assure you they are simple once you get going.  And the finished product is just what I was hoping for.  This project is highly customizable, so have fun with the rope you use and feel free to embellish with whatever you can add to a strand of rope.

 

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New Favorite Summer Cocktail: Tarragon Lemon Fizz

June 21, 2013 at 8:00 amBY Joanna

 

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I often struggle with the more traditional summer cocktails.  Mojitos, margaritas, daiquiris…they’re all delicious, but so sweet, and that means a terrible hangover the next day.  I can hardly handle any sweetness in these days.  I’m thinking it’s a process of aging, but who knows.  Either way, I’ve been looking for a new go-to refreshing summer cocktail, and I think I’ve found my match.  I’m calling it a tarragon-lemon fizz.

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This tarragon-lemon fizz is a concoction I came up with for a recent get together with friends, and the results were surprisingly easy going down, and gentle the next day.  The ingredients are simple, inexpensive, and so great together.  Here’s what you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS: 1 bunch fresh tarragon, 2 lemons, vodka, club soda, 1/2 cup sugar.

DIRECTIONS: In a small sauce pan combine sugar with 1/2 cup water.  Stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.  Pour simple syrup mixture into a glass jar.  Add 3 sprigs of tarragon and juice from half a lemon.  Allow to cool.  Over ice combine 2 tbsp simple syrup (less or more depending on your sweet tolerance), 2 oz of vodka (I like Tito’s), 5 oz of club soda, slice of lemon and pinch of a tarragon sprig. Stir and enjoy!

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Preparing for Alt Summit: Business Cards

June 20, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna

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We’re at Alt Summit this week! It’s our second year attending and we’re psyched to return.  Last year felt like training wheels.  We were slightly overwhelmed with all the amazing talent and wealth of knowledge.  It took weeks to fully absorb everything we’d taken in…and I’m not sure we’ve even digested it all yet, but he we go again…we’re off to Alt!  One thing Lorien and I agreed on right away was our need to better present our business cards.  Given that we’re in the unique position of having two blogs that are completely different – our challenge was to simplify the delivery system this year.  Right away I thought it would be nice to package the two cards into some sort of bundle.  These kraft paper envelopes perfectly fit the bill.  After some deliberation, we decided on the message for the outside of the envelope, ‘nice to meet you’!  Really…that’s what we’re thinking when we deliver our business cards to new acquaintances.  And to add a little more interest, we thought…how can we make one of our posts come to life?  We write about cooking and gardening so much, it seemed like a no-brainer to throw in some of our favorite cucumber seeds and a quick pickle recipe (super simple).  So here you have it – our bundled business cards for Alt NYC 2013.  We hope you get to grow some cucumbers and make pickles (and if you do we’d love to see!).

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Eating the Alphabet: B

June 19, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna and Lorien

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For our second installation of this series, Lorien and I sifted through a long list of our favorite foods beginning with the letter ‘B’.  This series is really fun to work on (reminiscent of sesame street).  The ingredients are overwhelming….think of all the amazing foods beginning with ‘B’.  It wasn’t an easy choice, but we each chose a pair of ingredients and recipes we’d like to try.

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Joanna says: What would like be like without beets?? I don’t really want to know, but it wouldn’t be nearly as sweet.  I can eat a beet in just about any form, picked, roasted, mashed, baked….I’m a big fan.  Aside from staining my cutting board, beets have never left a bad impression on me.  I’ve attempted so many varieties of beet recipes, almost always resulting in delicious dish.  One beet recipe I’ve been meaning to try out, but haven’t tried on my own is Borscht.  This traditional and refreshing Ukrainian soup can be served hot or cold, but being summer, I think I’ll try out a cold version.  I found this recipe for Cold Summer Borscht straight from Alan Ginsberg.  Can’t wait to try it out.

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As much as I love a good beet…I have to say, basil is absolutely a staple in my summer diet.  One of my fave crops from the garden, basil can be used in a cocktail, in a pasta dish, endless salads, and the list goes on and on….I’ve tried my hand with so many basil recipes.  I think they’ve all been fantastic, and it must be due to the basil.  This herb is quintessential summer.  I had to dig deep to find a recipe I hadn’t tried, but I think I’ve found the perfect one on Bon AppetiteLemongrass-Basil Sherbert.  I’m already dusting off my ice cream maker.  Yum!

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Lorien says:When we did ‘Eating the Alpahbet: B’ I had a heard time choosing which foods and recipes I wanted to share, with ‘B’ I knew immediately that I wanted to share this Garlic and Herb Stuffed Brussels Sprouts recipe. Although b sprouts are not really in season, I’ve been drying to try this recipe… it just has to be good. My usual go-to recipe for cooking brussels sprouts is to coat in salt, pepper, garlic powder. Cook until crispy, almost chip like in a 350/400 degree oven. Squeeze lemon on before serving. It’s my favorite way and the easiest way to cook them, it even converted a brussels sprout hater into a brussels sprout lover.

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Choosing brownies was also a no brainer for me. Brownies are efinitely not the most chefy food, but I’m a sucker for a good, simple and delicious brownie. If there is a brownie in front of me, just like pizza or fries, I can not resist. If it’s a brownie icecream sundae, oh forget it…. While I’m exploring recipes for gluten free brownies, sometimes you just need the real thing and Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies can do you no wrong.

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{Small Business} Spotlight: Stock Culinary Goods

June 10, 2013 at 10:50 amBY Lorien

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The moment you walk into Stock Culinary Goods in Providence you feel like you’ve walked into a friends house (a friend who is one heck of a host with one heck of a house) because you automatically feel comfortable and put at ease. And if you’re like me, you are also gleefully happy about all the kitchen tools they have; everything from the essentials tools for the home cook or the expert chef to the fun accessories that make great gifts. I love the personalized notes that are included on the price tags and how many locally made items you can find. Yes, you don’t need everything in the store, but you’ll definitely want it all.

What I admire most about the store is the selection of items and how well curated the store is. The owner is clearly someone who knows her away around a kitchen, whether it’s a knife set fit for an expert or a fun pie plate, everything is something you will can use over and over again, and most importantly will want to use over and over again. You walk out of the store wanting to cook or host a party, and everything in the store seems made to help us enjoy the process of cooking that much more. So course I wanted to interview the owner, Jan, for Get Along and Go and she was kind of enough to answer some of our questions:

Can you tell us a little bit about Stock Culinary Goods?
Jan: Stock was founded as a way to bring community back to the process of buying for your kitchen. We sell products and resources that will help you conceive of, prepare and present food, but more than that, we like to think of our store as a fun and welcoming place where you can go to get inspired, ask questions, and hang out with others who value the importance of mealtime. I am constantly introducing customers to other customers and before you know it, we’re all in far reaching conversations. People who cook love to talk about it almost as much as they love to do it.

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What made you want to open Stock? What experiences of yours inspired the opening of Stock?
Jan: The dry answer is I wanted to open Stock because it wove together my interests and my recent career choices. Prior to Stock, I was the Director of Culinary Education and Food Forager for the Ocean House, a Relais and Chateaux Resort in Watch Hill. It was an amazing experience, but I live in Pawtucket and the commute was too much. Prior to that, I traveled the nation (and bits of Canada) writing about independent retail stores and restaurants for the eat.shop guides, which were a series of lush, print guidebooks that presented a curated selection of fantastic local shops and restaurants worldwide. Those honed my dedication to buying local and chef owned restaurants. But the real reason is that my husband and I haven’t thrown a party in 20 years or planned a vacation that didn’t revolve around food and cooking. We always end up in the kitchen. Now it’s like my office is the kitchen.

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I love how well curated the shop is, what are your favorite items? How do you choose which items to sell?
Jan: The curation is an interesting challenge. At first, it was easy because I opened with a small selection of things I love. And I felt strongly that an edited store would be the best approach. But after being here for a few months and listening to what people want, I have a much wider view of what to stock. It isn’t enough, in a vital, urban neighborhood like this, to be the “cooking-themed gift store on the corner. “ When a spatula breaks or a recipe calls for a jelly roll pan, I need to have those things. So I still strive to bring in a range of quality, well designed products, emphasizing American made and regionally produced as much as possible, but there’s a massive selection of everyday items too, from peelers to honey dippers to egg beaters.

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My favorite items will always be those things that are made by local craftsman. When helping people choose gifts, I love to steer them toward those things that aren’t “off the cargo boat, shipped out of the Dallas warehouse and fulfilled through the outlet in your town.” I have copper pots made by Jim Hamann from East Greenwich. I get the sweetest wood cheese presentation boards from Corwin Butterworth of Wakefield. And I carry beautiful measuring spoons from Beehive, out of Fall River, as just a few examples.

Describe your own cooking style?
Jan: I love to cook, but I am not terrifically patient. So I follow recipes if needed, but very loosely. Mostly I love to rely on a few fundamentals and just go with what’s in the kitchen. At the Ocean House, the cooks taught me to build flavor in layers makes all the difference. As far as what I cook, I do a lot of one pot and slow cooker projects because I have a big family to feed and not a lot of time to do it.

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In your own kitchen, what are the 3 tools you can’t live without and why?
Jan: This question comes up a lot, because these three items are a shock to me. If you told me ten years ago these would be my indispensable things, I would have said, no way, not for me. Well at least the first two. But I live for my electric kettle, my rice cooker and my brilliant 10” chef’s knife. I’m only proud of that last one.

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If you could dine with one chef, alive or deceased, who would it be?
Jan: She isn’t chef chef, but I would love to eat with MFK Fisher. Oh, the stories she could tell.

What do you think your secret ingredient in the kitchen is?
Jan: Salt isn’t a secret, is it?

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Where is your favorite place to dine in Rhode Island?
Jan: No can do. I have a handful. North, Farmstead, New Rivers, Flan Y Ajo, Cook & Brown bar, Chez Pascal, Nick’s, ugh, I could keep going!

What taste you always crave?
Jan: Spicy, spicy, spicy. Nothing, and I really mean this, has proven to be too spicy yet.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the events at Stock? What can we expect in the coming months?
Jan: We are always plotting fun events with some education thrown in. We’re often doing oyster shucking lessons and pairings with Campus Fine Wines. Those are a blast. We’ve got cookie decoration classes with the genius behind Eye Cookies. We get chefs in here to teach basic knife skills and sharpening. We teach classes, like ravioli making, to kids. We’ll have book clubs and author signings. It’s fun to teach new things to people, but at the end of the day, we’re really about community, appreciating food and cooking and having fun together.

Stock is located at 756 Hope Street and you can find them online at stockpvd.com. Thanks Jan!

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Gift Guide: Father’s Day

June 7, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna

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I’m always at a loss when it comes to father’s day.  My dad seems to have everything he needs, so I inevitably end up buying him gardening supplies every year.  This year I’m swearing off the garden center and trying to come up with something more unique.  I’m fairly certain my dad would like just about anything in this guide.  Some of my faves (because I’m always shopping for me really) are the 100lb coal bag from Best Made and the Things Come Apart book.

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The Grillbot seems kind of awesome too…no?  Letting a robot clean my grill for me.  I think my dad would appreciate the help.  And the Dynazap bug catcher.  Safer than harmful bug spray, and if it works, it’s well worth the price.  OK, I think I’ve found a few non-gardening related options.  What are you giving your dad?

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Garden Update: Heirloom Tomatoes

June 5, 2013 at 10:00 amBY Joanna

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I’m so excited to watch my tomato plants grow this season.  I’ve selected a diverse variety of heirlooms that I think together make the perfect tomato salad.  That’s right – I’m growing a garden based on one dish, but it is the perfect dish, right?  Add a little olive oil, sea salt and basil – it’s good to go.  And I’ll have my own personal supply.  I just love the ridiculous number of varieties that are out there, and I consistently plant too many tomatoes because I have a hard time deciding on just a few.  I’ve even started a pinterest board just for tomatoes.  Here’s what I’ve planted this year:

  • Sprite – super productive grape tomatoes.  Super sweet and they’ll grow right up to the frost
  • Red Zebra – another high producer providing a season’s supply of 2″ red and yellow striped sweet tomatoes.
  • Paul Robeson – originating in Russia these plants produce the most amazing sweet and acidic dark red/black fruit.
  • Roman Candle – sweet and meaty, these 2″ wide and 4″ long banana shaped fruits also make great sauces.
  • Speckled Roman – a paste tomato, this variety gets to 6″ long and makes a great sauce.
  • Green Zebra – lemon/lime flavored, amazing 2″ fruits are perfect for summer salads.
  • Hazel Mae – a large beefstake variety great for slicing and salads

Do you have favorites?

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