Perhaps it is because of all of the rain we've had, or even the persistent chill in the air at night, but for some reason, I've never before felt so excited for Spring. There are so many beautiful little birds around, and the wisteria at our house is more vibrant and fragrant than I can ever remember. I hope that you are out there enjoying a little taste of the season as well. As I write this, I know that there is snow in New York City, and thunderstorms across the middle of the country, but here in Venice, it feels like winter is behind us.
In the spirit of the season, I find it inspiring to wear brightly colored stones and shake off the grey foggy weather we have had near the beach. We have beautiful new pieces in bright and bold colors to eliminate any lingering dreariness we may be feeling from being socked in on the coast. The dramatic new earrings are beautiful in both the color and the composition, and feel like exactly what we all need right now....BEAUTY.
Another hint of brightness and certainly of beauty is our Athena slip in Rubellite pink with red lace. I have always loved pink and red, or pink and orange together. We have a few bright pieces in the store right now that feel especially right for Spring. Dresses and skirts are now catching my eye, and I've got my eye on a few next door at Pamela Barish. I wear my half-slips nearly every day under dresses and skirts. They're perfect under sheer pieces, and also feel lovely on the skin. We have them in two lengths, in silk and in cotton, and in several colors. They can even be worn out, as a skirt on their own, as some of our clients are doing. We can make custom color combinations for you, so please inquire if you have a special request.
I've recently gotten into the habit of making chicken soup on Sundays. It just seems like the perfect thing to do after a trip to the farmer's market, and the result is so delicious. I also feel that collectively, it's what we most need at the moment. A big pot of nourishing, healing, soothing soup can cure a multitude of things. It won't exactly solve everything, but I promise it will improve your outlook. I mostly improvise what I throw into the pot, but it usually looks like this....
Sunday Chicken Soup
One whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1.5 large onions, cut into quarters
one leek, cleaned and cut in half lengthwise
3-4 large carrots, cut into thirds
3-4 celery stalks, cut into thirds
one fennel bulb, cut in half
one head of garlic, cut in half
one-half bunch dill
one-half bunch parsley
one handful of black peppercorns
one handful of cherry tomatoes
2 bay leaves
juice of one lemon
one rind from a piece of aged parmesan cheese
2 tsp. pink salt
I literally just throw everything into a large pot, cover with water and then bring to a boil. After it boils, I skim the top and lower to a simmer for around 3-4 hours. At this point, I remove the chicken, all of the vegetables and the parmesan rind (these get tossed), and then strain the liquid stock through a fine meshed sieve. I keep it warm while I make the rest of the soup. I shred the cooked chicken and put aside while I sauté chopped leeks, garlic, and onions in olive oil. When they are soft and translucent, I add the warm stock. Then I add thinly sliced carrots, and cook until these are soft as well. When it's all ready, I add the shredded chicken. I like to serve this with handfuls of torn herbs, and a dollop of pesto, which is another thing that I make every Sunday with the fresh basil from the farmer's market. Depending on the season, and what is available, I will add other vegetables, such as zucchini, sugarsnap peas, or swiss chard to the broth when the carrots seem nearly done. I improvise, and make it so many different ways that it feels like more of an art-based creative process, rather than a cooking one. It isn't really ever exactly the same, but it is always delicious, and will soothe the soul.