present joys

Pastry holidays, Anne Truitt, randomized Google street views, and Valentine's schnitzel.

Nina Simone, date unknown. Jeremy Lewis instagram @lewissmag


Words by:

Joyce Chai + Michelle Jolliffe

Home-made Semla
Pastry passage of time

I made semla for the first time this past week–a Swedish bread which consists of a cardamom flecked bun, almond paste, and a generous heap of whipped cream. They're traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday prior to the season of Lent–supposedly to use up one's store of animal products like butter and eggs before fasting. I love that so many days in the year are marked by specific breads and pastries. Learning about these traditions and testing out their accompanying recipes deeply satisfies the curious baker in me.

Yield: The Journal of and Artist book cover
Breakfast read

I've been enjoying reading snippets of Anne Truitt's Yield: The Journal of an Artist each morning with sips of my coffee. The book is a collection of the artist's journal entries, filled with observations ranging from the banal to thought-provoking. This line resonated with me this week: "My deepest satisfaction now is entering into the inheritance of my own life. A realm over which time has no sway.”

hand-painted paper lanterns made in collaboration by designer Adam Charlap Hyman (of Charlap Hyman & Herrero) and his mother, painter Pilar Almon
Whimsical lanterns

A research rabbit hole led me to these hand-painted paper lanterns made in collaboration by designer Adam Charlap Hyman (of Charlap Hyman & Herrero) and his mother, painter Pilar Almon. Especially love the petite tassel detail.

Noguchi's set for a 1955 production of Shakespeare's King Lear
Artist set designs

A visit to the Brand Library, a hillside hub which houses an impressive array of of books on arts and music, is a periodical must for me. The architecture alone is worth the visit–the building's minarets and scalloped arches make for a majestic sight as you drive up Mountain Avenue. My last visit introduced me to seperate yet synchronous works by Alex Katz and Isamu Noguchi, specifically in the realm of set design. Seen above is Noguchi's set for a 1955 production of Shakespeare's King Lear.

Nina Simone, date unknown. Jeremy Lewis instagram @lewissmag
IG Fashion Lesson

I've been enjoying the IG account @lewissmag for Jeremy Lewis' thoughtful reviews of fashion designers, past and present. As someone who's marginally interested in fashion, I appreciate his esoteric assessments presented within the easy, unassuming format of Instagram stories.

Google Maps - Wonders of Street View
Wonders of Street View

A randomized joy of Google street views.

Nishiguchi Kutsushita wool socks
Cozy socks because it’s still freezing here

I was gifted a pair of wool Nishiguchi Kutsushita socks from a local shop (Edinburgh Mercantile) and they haven’t left my feet since. They are so freaking cozy and worth a purchase.

Great Pottery Throw Down Photo of Contestants Channel 4

Image via Channel 4

The Great Pottery Throw Down

The Great Pottery Throw Down has a very similar format to the Bake-Off - just replace cakes with pots and not turning your oven on with the kiln gods cracking your piece into bits. James and Lois are the clear front-runners for this season and I’m loving every second of it.

Present Joys - Crispy Chicken Schnitzel

Compliment the schnitzel both with words and sides. Spätzle, pickled red onions, and a herb-filled salad are highly recommended.

Schnitzel is for lovers

We make this recipe every year for Valentine’s and this year it was somehow extra delicious. The herby salad is a must. We also had a really nice natural wine called Gut Oggau that made the dinner even more special.

LOUD podcast cover art
Reggaeton history lesson

My dear friend Liza recently shared this podcast with me and I’m hooked. If you’ve loved reggaeton for years or if Bad Bunny has recently caught your eye, LOUD is worth a listen.

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