And then the internet delivers printed enamel joy and all is well again…
Already huge fans of Cathrineholm and the vintage leaf pattern, we were thrilled to come across the modern-day equivalent in the range from Finnish company Muurla…
So much our aesthetic, the Yellow Leaves collection is now all over the kitchen at Social Nesting HQ – so much so that there is nowhere to put a cup of coffee.
We didn’t splurge on all of it, but I could justify the choices I picked as needs – we needed a large roasting pan, we needed a small milk pan, we needed a medium pot, and more than anything, we needed more printed enamel in our lives, because frankly, who doesn’t?
The stuff is phenomenal for cooking with (so long as you watch your heat) and it cleans up a dream. And it’s lovely to look at.
While extolling the virtues of Lotta Kühlhorn and the lovely collections that we do have access to (so we shall cease to complain),
I was considering the other favourite Lotta of mine – Lotta Jansdotter – who for years has produced delicate and delicious prints that elevate everything from simple stationery to candles to über-covetable status…
And as I look into this very talented designer/illustrators work…
all I can think is “Damn…
… I gotta change my name to Lotta!”
…is a statement best reserved for others.
For anyone who knows us well knows it is. Or at least to complain about things we don’t think make sense… or to complain about perceived injustice… or to complain about when we don’t get our way.
That last one really turns our collective crank.
So when we are tortured by pinterest for showing us all these wonderful products and designs and retail happiness that is out there, only to then stab at us with the phrases ‘too late’ or ‘too expensive’ or simply ‘too bad’, that is when we sound off.
Now this is all in light of the work of Lotta Kühlhorn…
And you won’t blame us for our frustration once you peruse the collection of this very talented Swedish illustrators work…
and recognise it as right up the Social Nesting alley.
The stuff is absolutely adorable and everything we want to serve up a casual summertime meal on on the deck of our lake house in Aarhus some day. Can you see it? ‘Course you can…
Now her work for Koloni Stockholm is delightful, and fairly easily available in the UK, but, of course, it’s the merchandise above and below – made for her Japanese agent and only available in Japan – that we lust after…
but can you blame us for not wanting to pay for shipping and duty for a Swedish product to come from Japan?
Please bear with us while we find a quiet spot to complain.
I have really been tasking myself with using the materials, tools and supplies I already have instead of jumping off and buying more…
And when I have been a part of crafting that tool – thus making it all that more meaningful – well, I have just got to maximise the usage.
So out came the amazing sugru feather stamp that Christine made for me during our interview, as did glittery gold fabric paint and a heavy cotton twill fabric scrap I had kicking around just waiting for a usage. These thusly came together…
to create a bevy of gold feathers.
I then cut them out and, for added feathery authenticity, threaded the edges by pulling away individual strands,
to create a cool feathery nest of fabric feathers.
But what next?
Well, I have had a couple of branches… real, untreated, straight-from-a-forest branches that were collected on very strict instruction by my then-new boyfriend (now 13-years later husband) that have taken a variety of crafty forms in our home. And they had been purpose-free for a while, so one was just primed for a feathering.
I am proud to report that it is not all about fatteningness here at Social Nesting HQ. We occasionally knock up something that contains no cream or sugar at all – and by ‘we’, I mean my husband. He is the savoury king of the castle, whipping up everything from quinoa corn fritter to salmon & chorizo burgers with aplomb. He is also bit of a culinary magician – in two ways really…
1) He makes meals from practically nothing, and
2) He makes food so delicious, it goes from this:
And in the process, I am but the glamorous assistant, standing on the sidelines in a sparkly apron.
So he is to take full praise for this perfect late-summer supper. I don’t know about where you are, but the current changeable climate – ‘bikini & tights weather’ as I call it – has us baffled about how to dress and what to eat.
This recipe has all the bursting freshness of a summery salad with all the hearty and satisfying meatiness of autumnal comfort food.
If that is your thing, then please have at it thusly…
Summer Steak Salad
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
freshly ground pepper
500g feather steak
1 small red onion
200g sun blush tomatoes (patted dry) and their oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
200g green beans
150g bunch watercress
the leaves of 2 little gem lettuce hearts
Mince the garlic and mix with soy sauce, vegetable oil and a few turns of freshly ground pepper. Pour over the steak and leave to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the salad.
Halve and finely slice the onion and mix with the sun blush tomatoes and their oil – you will need about 2 tablespoons of oil so top with extra virgin olive oil if required. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Cook beans until tender – about 4 minutes – then plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Drain beans and get as much water off then as possible. Wash and dry the watercress and little gems thoroughly.
In a dry pan fry the steak until cooked as you like it (we go rare every time) and then set aside to rest.
Toss the salad leaves and beans with the tomato and onion mixture and lay out on a large platter. Slice the steak finely against the grain of meat. Arrange the ribbons of steak on top of the salad leaves, pour over any juices from the steak.
Now we just went at this straight off the platter with chopsticks, but feel free to be civilised human beings and use forks and plates and what not. However you go at it, it’s divine and summery-fresh but so substantial that it doesn’t feel like salad at all.