fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Posts Tagged ‘dining’

…in my next lifetime, I’m coming back as a chef.

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

chef

If I were to put all of my interests on paper, then toss those papers into a bowl, I wouldn’t be surprised by the sight of overflow.

Various interests fuel my spirit.  An assorted, hodgepodge potpourri that span numerous topics… and pretty much, makes me, me.   Haha… this bowl that I speak of is not exclusive.  We all have them… and surely each one is as unique and as detailed as our own fingerprint.

What gets my head spinning and makes me dizzy is this…

How in the world does one master all of their passions in one lifetime?

Proficiency in each and EVERY one of your interests is impossible, eh? (Side note:  if you are an anomaly, and have mastered it all… please contact me post-haste so that I might learn from you)

I’m thinking that it goes down like this:

With our overflowing bowl of interests, we all just dibble dabble in some, learn a bit more about others and perhaps master a handful — sound about right?   Well, that seems to be my manner of attack…. and truth be told, the only way that I know how to devour the plethora of things I’d like to know, do, see, experience… etc.

Hey… now that I think about it, maybe we are meant to have this  excess — and the reality is that we just have to save somethings for later.

Hmmmm, like another lifetime?  Haha, I really do say “another lifetime” in jest.

BUT!

If that were the case… I’m claiming it now and I’m telling you that I am definitely coming back as a chef!

When it comes to my interests, cooking is easily one of my top five.

An interest that stemmed from childhood, has now matured with adulthood.  The only way I know how to describe this passion is that I view it as a succulent and luscious art form.  I am repeatedly stimulated cooking — a basic necessity that has inexhaustible creative interpretations.  It fascinates me!

For the record… never have I participated in any culinary classes or had professional lessons.  The skills that I do have, I would attribute them to a small collection of individuals, both in my past and present… and countless hours of searching Google and the Food Network.  These folks seasoned me and generated an enthusiasm for cooking that couldn’t be ignored.  As for the internet.  Haha — it will FOREVER be a resource and my constant instructor!

If I had to put my finger on it and declare just one person my cooking muse… by far it would be my late grandmother Mrs. Ruth Everett Brown.

7 years deceased and Bill Wither’s song Grandma’s Hands  (which, ironically is playing as I type) always brings her to mind.

My grandma.

A woman who was both complex and mysterious…

who never worked outside of the house and never held a driver’s license…

a woman who was dedicated to her family (especially grandchildren)…

a woman who could sing a Sunday hymn at the drop of a dime…

a woman who could grown a garden and nurture a house plant like nobody’s business…

a woman whose hand hands could mend, fix, soothe, ease anything…

AND a woman who could cook.  I mean COOK.  She. Could. COOK!  Damn… she could cook!

Reel it back in Kisha… reel it in.  Wow… interesting how nostalgia presents itself… didn’t mean to go off on a tangent.

At any rate, she was my first example.

She poured love and pride into all of her creations.  Sitting back to watch family and friends consume her breakfasts, dinners, desserts — especially her homemade rolls — filled her heart with immense joy.  Not to mention the aromas that circulated and the moans that were released while they ate… well that was a priceless recognition that would make my grandma — a woman of few smiles — grin from ear to ear!

Taking those lessons and combining them with what others have knowingly and unknowingly bestowed upon me… I’ve just got to feed this fire within.

There are just so many elements of cooking that excite me.

The planning/arrangement of your dish, the execution of the recipe, the scent of your food engulfing the room and the pleasure in achieving that tasty end result… all of the above do it for me.  But more so, I am incredibly attracted to the fellowship and bond that cooking affords.  It literally feeds the soul.  When you have something that is so satisfying… so delicious… it becomes a memory.  Everything about that dish… the place, the people who accompanied you, the presentation and the chef — it gets etched in your brain and onto your palate.

And you simply want more.  Right?

Preparing a dish for others and then the group communion as the dish is consumed — that creates a sensation inside that only one who too enjoys the craft would be able to comprehend.  I, like my grandma, revel in watching others eat what I have prepared.  I too find it flattering.  And just like her… it generates a smile like no other.

Humph…

You know what?

Waiting for whenever… or next lifetime… that is not an option.

I want it now.  So then why am I waiting?!  Although I am not completely sure how me becoming a better cook will unfold… what I do know for sure is that I am game… and I’m going for it.

Actually, I do know my first step…

According to several who have been in my kitchen, I need to update my utensils — especially my knives!

Got a favorite brand?  As always, I welcome any suggestions…

Cheers!

-k

Host and Hostess chairs: create your dining statement!

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Who says that everything has to match?

Surely not me!

As a lover of an eclectic vibe… pattern mixed with pattern, mixed with even more pattern, I tend to jump at the opportunity to infuse contrasting elements into design.  Elements that on the surface appear to be unconnected but once placed together – into a composition – they read harmonious and seem to sing.  A melody that I find both thrilling and soothing… yet others might find peculiar, perhaps even difficult to understand.

Haha… not to go off a tangent on the subjectivity of design, the point is this:  sometimes mixing things up a bit adds to the charm, interest or DRAMA of a space.  So I say… why not adopt that concept at your table?   Creating a dining space that packs a punch, generates conversation and makes a statement can be easily accomplished simply by adding unexpectedly designed Host and Hostess chairs!

A Host and Hostess what?

You know… the chairs that flank the end of your table.  Chairs traditionally reserved as seating for the Host and Hostess of the “event”… leaving all of the others chairs that surround the table for the guests.  Most often, people tend to keep the Host and Hostess chairs uniform in style… having the differentiation solely noted by the addition of arms.  Works for many… and to prevent anyone from perceiving me as judgmental, this homogeneous look can be appealing.

BUT…

Why not add another dimension to the look of the room and to the table?

Mix it up, eh?!

Make the design of the Host and Hostess chairs completely different and make them distinctive.  My vote?  I am the one who would suggest that the chairs be mildly over-the-top… border-line obnoxious with their difference.  An over sized pattern.  A bold color.  A noticeably different scale.  A different texture.  Even an added touch such as adorning it with nailhead.  Something that sets them far apart from the other chairs.  Haha… now here comes the trick.  How does one implement this look in a manner that doesn’t read chaotic or random?

Easily…

It all boils down to the virtue of design.  Design is subjective… and for the most part, there is no right or wrong — beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder!  Keeping that premise in mind as your springboard will make creating your Host and Hostess chair composition practically effortless.  Truth is, there really aren’t that many nonnegotiables with design.  If you allow your individual “design” style to be your guide, practically anything is acceptable and looks good!

Sooooooo, with that said… why not have a bit of fun?!

Take a good look at your surroundings and determine what you like.  Pay close attention and REALLY determine what attracts you.  How would you classify your style?  Any recurring colors? What type of art hangs or leans in your home?  Who utilizes your home… any parameters due to roommates, children, pets, etc.?  What type of dining space do you have… any constraints?

Once you establish your outline, the answer (or answers) for the perfect style of Host and Hostess chairs will certainly follow.  Half the battle is being confident that you are able to make the right decisions.  We are intuitive about our spaces… and we really know more than we think we do about what will work.  However… if needed, help is never far away.  Soliciting the aid of a professional designer will afford (no pun intended) an appropriate solution.

As for me…

My husband and children greatly impact my dining space.  Since we often entertain and “use” the space on the regular, my nonnegotiables stem around comfort and sturdiness.  When adding Host and Hostess chairs to the table, the goal was to make them eclectic in style, find a practical user-friendly fabric (for the husband and kids) with a memorable overly exaggerated pattern (for me).

Happy to report, mission accomplished.

Two Martha Washington/Gainsborough style chairs… traditional in silhouette and upholstered in a luscious ikat print now flank my very rustic table.  They were definitely worth the investment for I LOVE them!  Absolutely makes an impact and adds a bit of “the unexpected” all while being comfortable and incredibly user-friendly.  Haha… with each meal, we all fight over who gets to sit in them.  Like I said, mission accomplished!

Your turn!

If you haven’t already found them… time to get started, eh?  I guarantee that no matter the size of your dining table or space, a pair of unique Host and Hostess chairs will make a difference.  Mark my words… you will not be sorry!

Pssst… now you know that I am a mere email away if you would like suggestions.

I’m just saying…

Cheers!

-k