These two elixirs come courtesy of my friend David Driver: multi-talented designer, musician, performer, writer, etc. They were some of the finest, most welcome presents from Christmas. A homemade gift stands out from the rest, and, with this magnificent packaging, I bet you’d be hard-pressed to dispute it. David is a genius at re-purposing nearly everything (he alone gives the term “Frugal Yankee” a good name!). I would never have guessed that these containers are actually Schweppe’s tonic water bottles. He insists that they are cheaper than Seagram’s. I haven’t yet sampled the vinegar, but I do know that it’s a concoction from the apple trees on his property. I also know, from experience, that his flu tonic will banish even the most tenacious germ. For a similar recipe, click here.
I mentioned recently that I had taken a bookbinding class. It was held at Mildred’s Complexity, which, in loose terms, is the studio portion of Mildred’s Lane. I can’t fully define the place, because it is so many things. A breeding ground for art, design, thinking, and anything else you wish to add. All of that aside, when I walked into the 2nd floor space I couldn’t believe my good luck. It is a visual feast. From the white padded floor (was it covered in felt or linen or some other material?) to the hanging clothing patterns, to the piles of stacked packages and papers and fabrics. And that just touches the surface. Anyway, I took a few quick photos of the orderly piles. Here they are. To learn more about this very unusual place, click here.
How many caps does a single household possess? As a partial answer to that question, I did a quick sweep of our apt, and the above inventory is what I found. I barely touched the fridge, my art supplies or the spice cupboard. Didn’t even open the liquor cabinet. And I excluded most duplicates. Total number of caps: 98. Fascinated by the notion of an industry which is built upon the production of a single item in all of its iterations.
I know next to nothing about this Swedish soap, except that it’s very very pretty. More than most. It’s been in production since the early 1900s. And it barely has a fragrance which, in my book, qualifies it for purchase. For more history on this soap go here.
We had a boatload of tomatoes from the garden and the farmers’ market this year, so I decided to do some proper canning of sauce. Because tomatoes fall into that danger zone of medium acidic foods, unless you have a pressure canner, you need to add some lemon juice or citric acid to the sauce in order to make the whole process safe. All the recipes I looked at (I settled on the one from this wonderful book by Ashley English) recommended using bottled lemon juice, because real lemons vary in their acidity. This could be an issue: read sickness or death. Not in my nature to mess around with that! So, I moseyed on over to the local supermarket and picked up one bottle each of lemon and lime juice (I was also canning tomatillo salsa). It wasn’t until I got home and used the lemon juice that I really looked closely at the packaging. It’s a great design. And when seated next to the bottle of lime juice, they do tell a funny story. I did a little homework and found out that the bottles were designed in 1955, and have been in continuous production by the same Swiss firm, Sidag AG. Yep, almost 60 years old. World Radio Switzerland ran a series about Swiss design and highlighted the bottles as part of their excellent programming.
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