Elizabeth Enright and Maginel Wright Enright

I’ve been fighting that yuck flu that has been galloping around lately. I haven’t actually gotten it, but have felt worn, weak and a bit achy. This morning I took a gap of time to rest—hoping to rid myself of it for good—and decided to look up one of my favorite children’s authors of ALL time: Elizabeth Enright. She has that magical ability of making the daily doings of everyday story-like and enchanting; where you want to read about her characters lives again and again. She wrote Thimble Summer, Gone Away Lake, the Melendy Family books and more. The exciting thing I found today was that she wrote a book I had never found before! The Sea is All Around. Of course the only available copy is $150 dollars, so I will just have to hope they re-issue it someday. But still, it was thrilling to know there is another gem of an Elizabeth Enright book out there to eventually read.

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The next amazing thing I found was that her mother, Maginel Wright Enright, was an illustrator and Capezio ballet shoe designer. And for me, not just any illustrator, she has deeply charmed me since I was a child. In fact, one of the artists that subconsciously has influenced my own artwork greatly. I never knew who it was, I just knew the images in the back of my mind. Now I know what they are and who drew them. It was a style—she wasn’t the only one—that was typical of  victorian children’s art. Other illustrators I feel need to be mentioned are  Blanche Fisher Wright and Margaret Evans Price.  

It all starts to add up. I have another favorite author/illustrator that I found when my kids were little named Elsa Beskow.  Also Sibylle Von Olfers.  Both were from that same era and made such an impression on me. You know when you find that writing that says it for you, or that painter that paints it how you see? These ladies created a lovely world, one I’d love to crawl right into and perhaps not even ever leave.

The following is some of what I found of Maginel Wright Enright’s artwork:

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Anyway, cheers and hope everyone is having a lovely week!

                                     ~ Marica

 

PS. I thought I should also note that Maginel Wright Enright is also Frank Lloyd Wright’s sister. I ordered myself her biography and am curious if it will be any good.

 

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Step by step

From reports on Rome to winter dance performances, January was truly a jumble of fullness. I’ve been working on vegan recipes to add to our menu so there has been a bit of a scramble in the kitchen too. So far I feel confident in a new chocolate mousse made with coconut milk and deep, dark chocolate. I think the vegan crowd will consider it acceptable. I am now onto more savory options. As much as I eat meat, when I go out to dinner I notice I rarely will choose a meat option unless I trust where the meat is coming from and feel comfortable with how clean the kitchen is that it will be prepared in.  We will only be serving the most amazing meats, and our kitchen will be kept very clean, but I really do feel we need more vegan and vegetarian options. My husband keeps mentioning it as well. So right now that is on my mind, along with OLCC licensing paperwork, the bar top order (more on that next post) and all the little things that fall in-between.

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vegan mousse

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Even though we are still a good month out, spring has been peeking its bright head around the corner, and as you can see I have a stack of books that would make a bookworm proud. Though my ability to read through it may make them cringe, but hey there is no deadline . . .

 

Hope everyone is well! Happy February!

 

Cheers~

Marica

More restaurant

Little pieces getting done. I can’t tell you how much I love our crew. All these guys with their mussy hair, big hearts and goofy humor.

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We might still be a month away from opening, but it’s starting to feel different; a little more real!

 

                                   Cheers~

                                                          Marica

What a week!

Goodness gracious, what a couple weeks. There is no one place I am supposed to be, no one thing I am supposed to be doing. Instead, I am balancing two hundred tiny—some big—things that all need to happen soon. . . There has been so much fun too! We had a visit from one of my best friend’s daughters, who is almost like a niece and her best friend. I love showing people Portland. It’s such a fun city, that is still sweet and remotely humble; although I don’t know how long that will last. It’s growing a mile a minute!

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I’ve managed to fit in walks with my oldest; he prefers cold, rainy-day walks, and most of the time so do I. . .

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And then of course there is pre-restaurant work. Silly little things like pealing off the old tenant’s lettering on the door. . .

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To more dramatic things like painting with the Paiku dudes . . .

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Lastly, back at home, the fury family members never cease to be hilarious. I have way too many pictures on my phone of one snorty creature or another. . .

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Happy mid-January to everyone!

                                                        Cheers ~

                                                                          Marica

Onward and Forward

I always feel a sigh of relief when the holiday season wraps up. I hate the kids going back to school, but there is a definite release of pressure and the calm new year to make friends with.

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This is an especially exciting January. This year we are entrusting real walls with our food dream and creating a restaurant that will hopefully house customers all year at a semi continues rate. Food trucks are lovely, but winter and summer both hold their challenges from frozen pipes (and frozen customers—almost no customers) to hotbox days where you open the freezer just to cool your face down as you stand wondering what the F#%^*CK you were ever thinking. Nobody comes out for food when it’s a hundred degrees, so you just open to open and watch an empty concrete lot simmer in the sunshine. Yes, four walls, a ceiling, a floor and some good old-fashion tables accompanied by full backed chairs will surely go a long way.

Our house has made some exciting steps forward too, and our giant children are continuing to be more and more giant. I have written myself a list—still to be completed— of what I need to do this month:

 

Foodtruck:

  • Clean Floors
  • Empty and clean fridges
  • Empty of all equipment
  • Power-wash back
  • Take down signs
  • Light sand outside?
  • Scrub walls
  • Scrub steam table
  • Clean shed
  • Move fridges
  • List truck for sale

Restaurant:

  • Paint
  • Wainscot
  • Sand tables
  • Assemble tables
  • Steam clean chairs
  • Purchase dishes/cups/bowls/silverware
  • Figure out bar top
  • Make wood signs
  • Complete menu
  • Make official ordering and shopping lists for each vendor
  • Choose and hang artwork/decorate restaurant space
  • Make bathrooms wonderful/paint and decorate

House:

  • Trim door to basement
  • Install wood floor from kitchen to hall
  • Cap floor to dining room
  • Paint kitchen walls
  • Paint kitchen cabinets
  • Sand and paint bath tub
  • Organize sewing room
  • Hang kitchen doors
  • Hang bamboo on driveway gate
  • Dog door???

 

I also hope to get a little time to relax and recoup. I got some big paper, pastels and charcoal out. I figure maybe I’ll play a bit and see where that goes. I haven’t used charcoal or pastels in a long time.  In fact, I’ve been feeling artistically rusty lately. Not sure whether it’s just been a while, or if I am now past the age of being in tune and my personal flow of creativey has gone away. But that’s a post for another time. . .

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Happy January Everyone!

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A gift made my my dear friend Robin.

                                                           Cheers ~

                                                                            Marica

New Year’s Eve and a cheese ball recipe…

I was first introduced to cheese balls by my dear, dear friend Lauren. Her mother always made them during the holidays, and one year she brought one over to our house. It was a magical affair that left me deeply in love with cheese balls.

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This year I decided to attempt to make my own. I knew it was supposed to be simple, but when I looked up “cheese ball” on the internet, I couldn’t believe just how simple.

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I chose smoked cheddar, parmesan and neufchâtel cheese, because I really like bold flavors and wanted the cheese ball to have a kick.

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I rolled it in slivers of almonds. My husband recommended I toast them first, and I’m so glad as it gave them more flavor as well as a fresher texture. 

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I’m excited because this is just the first door to cheese balls. . . I have so many more ideas percolating in my head; tarragon, lemon zest, and goat cheese. . . habanero, cumin and tequila… It’s going to be fun!

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NEW YEAR CHEESE BALL RECIPE:

Mix well:

8 oz Neufchâtel cheese or cream cheese at room temperature. 

1 cup smoked cheddar or gouda grated

1/2 cup parmesan  grated

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon summer savory

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a warm pan lightly toast:

1/2 cup almond slivers

Roll the cheese ball in the almond slivers and then refrigerate until use.

 

Hope you all had a happy new year!

 

                                       Cheers ~

                                                                     Marica

Better Blogging and big projects to come!

I realized—and I have realized this before— that I feel better when I blog. It’s almost like a chance to sneak away into my own mind/space/creative (for lack of a better word) time. I am so busy that it is much more rare that I sit down to write a post, but it sure does feel good. And when I say was busy, I’m a little scared of what is to come. We are taking a big step and opening a restaurant. Our food truck has been a wonderful chance to get ourselves prepped for this, but now we feel we have outgrown our food truck kitchen and are ready to plunge into full brick and mortar mode.

The shop will be only a 2-3 minute walk from our house, which is incredible as the kids as well as my husband and I can just jaunt over there as we are needed and whenever we please. It’s small, probably seats between 38-44 guests, and the kitchen is going to be AMAZING! I have dreamed restaurant for my entire life. As a child I wanted a place called The Secret Garden, a place where customers dined amongst shrubs and flowering bushes. This place is neither secret, or a garden, but it is going to be special, and a chance to have the atmosphere and coziness that a food truck just can’t offer. The contractors say it will be ready late January to mid February. This actually gives me a whole month of time at home and time to prepare for the restaurant. I’ll add more pictures as there is more progress. IMG_2872IMG_2777IMG_2647

                          Happy Friday Everyone!

                                                              ~ Marica