Monday, November 30, 2009

Here is a delivery from last week - I am catching up on emails and downloading many photos today. That pretty leafy stuff in the bottom left is actually spirea! Did you know that nyc has a comparative health insurance website? It is very helpful for individuals and small businesses.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday, 9:22pm (3 days in)

In the last 72 hours we've made lots of fires, taken lots of walks, eaten turkey, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup. Two pies. I got to try on my sister's 6 inch heels. We discussed breast feeding as a family over cocktails. It's been special.

Anyway, tonight we skipped cocktail hour and went right to a dinner of turkey burritos*.
Over dinner, my father took advantage of a live audience and pontificated on global warming. Just how doomed are we, I ask?
A pop-quiz followed. It involved a carbon footprint comparative analysis between plastic and stainless steel. When I answered correctly, he ignored me. Now I'm sitting fireside perusing and Mother Jones while dad watches a video on youTube video about a man who is building a spaceship with instructions from aliens.

"That's enough of that shit!" he says.

AH! But more to the point of this blog is this latest news! We've fomulated three test batches of new soaps for release this spring - a rose, a lilac and an olive blossom...

Hope you all had a great holiday. I am especially thankful for my new balsam-filled pillow from enhabiten.

More photos of our weekend once I get home.

*I was skeptical, but they were delicious.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This was a centerpiece I made for a traveler who couldn't make it to Brooklyn to pick it up - since I had time to photograph it on Sunday, now more people can enjoy it...I used seeded eucalyptus (an entire case left from a wedding we did on Saturday) coccia, eucalyptus pods, miniature ecchevaria, ranunculus, spirea, privet and tallow berry...

Gearing up for our little Thanksgiving workshop tonight, a few orders for tomorrow - and then we're taking a week off [fist pump]...

In the next few days we'll be testing a version of our new website to those of you who have signed up for the Saipua will include a little soap discount if you help us test the software, there's still time to sign up by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

Also - Eric has been on an antiquing spree this month collecting junk - i mean ephemera! - for the shop. Just a reminder that we have more than soap and flowers....and you should come visit us when we re-open December 5!

Monday, November 23, 2009

i just got even more grouchy

maybe there is something to the 2012 portent

[via the times]

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sometimes when adults talk about other adults being "evolved" I get confused.
Then I sulk or throw a tantrum shouting "I want to be EVOLVED!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

your images are being uploaded to blogger...

[or portraits: introduction to camera bag app..]

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Handstand practice.

A city hall bouquet for a lovely lady named Sarah...the last of the tree peonies.

It's a grey morning here in Red Hook. Eric is away on business, and I get the place to myself. The coffee pot just shut off. Automatic timer. The end of an era lasting from around 9:30 - 11:10am.

The dog is sulking in the other room. Unusual. I get full command of Eric's stereo system. Dark Night of the Soul by Sparklehorse. Then Sixto Rodreguez.


Flower School Winter Schedule

Our winter schedule is up on the Little Flower School site, we still have some openings in each of the 4 new classes...this photo above is a picture of one of my favorite of Nicolette's arrangements. It corresponds to our Herbal Workshop - we're going to jump-start spring this February by teaching all about how to grow herbs, cook with them, relax with them (woo-woo are you ready?) and of course arrange flowers with them.

Her arrangement here features an herb very dear to me; purple basil...inhale, exhale.

Shit, it's still November.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

vision of love

resurfacing today...defrosted my laptop...images from weddings, life, and Sunday's little-flower-school coming soon...till then, perhaps you'll join me by downloading a little mariah this afternoon. so refreshing. like sticking a straw in a coconut.

Our classes are so much fun - this was the best idea ever...see more here. I'm amazed at how enthusiastic and talented everyone is...Nicolette and I feel so proud of everyone, it's really touching and lovely...thank you to all the November graduates! Go forth and flower!

Thursday, November 12, 2009





im so restless and cranky. everything is boring and dumb tonight.
even the menage a trois on Gossip Girl.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2 things about thanksgiving

ONE: Nicolette and I added a last minute class to our Little Flower School - a six person intensive Tuesday evening class on how to design in shallow compotes and unlikely containers using floral foam and chicken wire. All of us will make a Thanksgiving centerpiece-masterpiece-timepiece to be remembered by you and your Thanksgiving guests for all time forever. Also included in the cost of the class ($200) will be a special edition Thanksgiving Freaky Deaky Compilation Compact Disc, cooked up by yours truly. More info at

Just kidding, it's not a .edu, but it should be, because that's how legit it is.

TWO: We're taking orders for Thanksgiving flowers now, so if you'd like to have something delivered (in the 5 boroughs) or would like a little something floral to be picked up at our studio, just call (718.624.2929) or email (sarah[at]

We did a wedding at Per Se on Saturday. Joelle and I were almost knocked off our feet at how a kitchen could smell so intensely of butter. It was...sublime, even if there wasn't a shift-meal included for us...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dear Brooklyn,


Quiet, simple, excellent french. Go. This is a place that ignores trend and makes food true to form.

I ate my leftovers when I got home.

You're welcome,


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A drawing by Daniel Tammet, illustrating how he visualizes numbers. The full article on Asperger's here in the Times...


It was a day neither strange nor-normal.
1. I walked Nea to the dog park around 8:15, an unusually excellent coffee in hand, to enjoy some dog socializing - an activity that would have made me fake-vomit in years past, but which today I rather enjoy.

There, I was confronted by Richie - a rather large man, chain smoker, MTA worker, wearer of George Michael earring (hoop, cross), conspiracy theorist - you get the gist.

While my dog refused to play with the other dogs, Richie pontificated:

"I wish I had my video camera...these cops (pointing at no cops in sight) are driving around the park pulling down the Vote-Thompson posters."

As I opened my mouth, time slowed, and I painfully watched myself voicing support for Mayor Bloomberg. I'll spare you the details of the argument that ensued. Suffice it to say, Nea should have done something...dropped a stick my my feet...started a fight that required my attention.

2. We're getting a glass storefront installed this week.

3. John is visiting from Minneapolis.

4. Lunch time; I ate noodles and watched the Statue of Liberty.

5. I refilled my kombucha jars. We have to talk about that at some point.

6. Is 8:22 too early to go to bed?

7. RIP CLS, I'm taking this opportunity to brush up on Structuralism. See #6.

...the possibility of not being, the burden of mortality...

Amanda and Andrew: Bubby's, Brooklyn

The bride made the loveliest table cards which we stuck in the floral arrangements. A rust colored burlap runner and miniature white pumpkins helped to pull all the different colors we used together...

Monday, November 2, 2009


November marks the beginning of the end of our wedding season, as if you were keeping track on a scorecard or tableaux or something. Well annotate this; 4 more weddings left in 2009...which means we're doing things normal people do like showering and cooking.

This week's stats included:

Swiss Chard and Rigatoni, adapted loosely from a memory of dinner made by Russel some time ago

2 bunches of rainbow chard, washed, chopped, spun dry in a salad spinner
5 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil

heaping half cup of ricotta (the really smooth, dense kind if possible. if your using the more watery type, increase amount to 3/4 cup)

1 cup grated pecorino romano

1 pound of rigatoni

toasted pine nuts

1. put on salted water for pasta
2. in more olive oil than you would think, saute the garlic until just before it starts to brown, then toss in chard. sprinkle with salt, and let cook down for 20 min or so over med-low heat.
3. While pasta is cooking grate up the pecorino, toast the nuts
4. Drain pasta (reserve some cooking water, should you need it to thin out mixture later)
Then mix the ricotta in with the chard, lots of ground pepper, a bit of lemon zest, perhaps the smallest bit of grated nutmeg.
5. Mix the pasta with the chard/ricotta mixture and last, fold in the grated cheese, reserving a bit for garnishing the top if you choose.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soap
2 squashes
olive oil
brown sugar cider vinegar
cayenne pepper, regular pepper, salt
heavy cream or half and half
chicken stock (1 quart)
optional garnish:
creme fraiche
sage leaves

2 large bnut squashes. cut in half, seeds scooped, oiled lightly face down on baking sheet at 350 for 45 min.

2 large onion 2 large shallots (or more!) chopped, sauteing in some left over bacon grease or olive oil till very soft - 30 minutes. Then add 1/4 cup of cider vinegar and a sprinkling of brown sugar and cook onion mixture 10 min more. You would have also salted the onions when you put them into the fat.

squashes come out of oven. cool near open window.

scoop out squash, puree in processor (in batches) with onions and eventually 4 cups of chicken stock till you've got everything smooth - at this point you're using a big soup pot to collect the batches of puree.

If it's still too think, thin with water or more stock. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and add either 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half.

Then you'll want to season the sucker. I like a healthy dash of cayenne, juice from a large lemon...acidity is often overlooked, then perhaps more salt.

I made this during the day, then let it hang out and cool on the stove top; reheating later for dinner. Creme fraiche and fried sage leaf on top when you dish it out. We ate this with a salad of arugula, pear, spiced pecans and shaved fennel. Jenna brought an Apple Charlot. Hot damn, it's fall!


Dinner with Eli and Laura and Siouxsie..

David Tannis, author, A Platter of Figs may have the perfect braise recipe yet. I improvise:

2 pounds of short ribs
can of san marzano tomatoes
chicken stock
dry red wine
olive oil
8 cipolini onions
sprig of thyme

Salt and pepper ribs. Leave in refigerator for a few hours.
Then bring to room temperature before you cook...

In a large dutch oven or cast iron skillet heat a 1/2 inch of olive oil. Brown ribs on all sides, about 6-8 min per side. Turn on the fans in your apartment.

Remove ribs to plate. pour out fat in pan.

Add 1 tablespoons of butter to same pan, turn on the heat, and put 1 tablespoon of flour in the melted butter, creating a roux, if you will. Add 1 cup of tomatoes (if they are whole, puree them briefly), 1 cup of wine, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 heaping teaspoon of strong paprika, a few whole cloves. Bring this mixture to boil. Then add the ribs to the liquid, cover, and bake at 325 for 2 hours. If the liquid is not enough to cover the ribs, add more liquid - wine or stock.

After 2 hours, remove, add the cipolini's (outer skins removed) and bake 1 hour more.

What results is a mysteriously smoky delicious braise. I don't strain the sauce, because we're usually so drunk and hungry after 3 hours of waiting that there simply doesn't seem the need for it. But I also can stomach very rich food. Depends on how fatty the ribs were to begin with. If you must, remove the ribs and onions from the stew. Cool the mixture, and scrape the fat layer off. Then rewarm the liquid with the onions and ribs.

Obviously this requires a potato of sorts, we made mashed with crem fraiche (left over from the soup) and braised red cabbage.

flourless poppyseed cake is on the horizon...