Things I Love: October 2014
Welcome back, fall!
The temperatures may not have changed much here in Texas, but the days have shortened and the nesting, cozying instincts have begun to stir. Fingers crossed that November brings fire-pit weather.
And here, at the cusp of autumn, I’ve provided a list of what I love in this moment:
Guy Degrenne Teapots
I first encountered a Guy Degrenne teapot at a no-longer-extant restaurant called Bank housed in Houston’s Hotel Icon. A hot-tea aficionado, the restaurant thrilled me by offering loose-leaf teas in these perfect porcelain teapots with insulated metal covers.
That year—about ten years ago by now—I asked for a four-cup version for the holidays and haven’t had a better experience with a teapot. I still use that teapot at the office and have bought a six-cup version for the home.
I use both pots daily.
They steep loose-leaf tea without any side flavors, keep it warm for well longer than it takes me to finish either pot, and wash easily in the dishwasher. The decade-old one works as well as ever, though its insulated metal cover has gotten a little worse for my frequent wear (especially as its felt insulation keeps it from washing). If I do decide to retire it in time, I’ll replace it with a new version of the exact same pot.
Felix Doolittle Personalized Stationery
Heartbreak when my stationer decided to change business plans earlier this year, leaving me in the cold for beautiful, personalized note cards. I love to send—and receive—real mail. I need real stationery on which to do it, I say.
And so: What to do?
Fortunately, Patti Wunder at Easton Place recommended Felix Doolittle. I ordered personalized notecards and writing paper, both of which arrived artfully printed—including the envelopes—and in elegant storage boxes, contents wrapped neatly in resealable cellophane.
Shortly thereafter, I penned my first snail mail with my new treasures and loved the way the paper held ink and how the notes came together for perfectly presented, neat-and-tidy real mail.
Healthy, Hearty Oat Bars
In truth, I eat these oat bars all year long. Yet as the days shorten into ever-crisper nights, the cinnamon smell of these oat bars baking seems more right than it does at any other time.
These bars, adapted from a recipe from my beloved Victory Meals, which I’ve written about more than once on this blog (here and here, in fact), hit the spot of an afternoon and keep me going well into dinner time.
2 oz. oat bran
6 oz. extra-thick steel cut oats
1 tbsp. cinnamon
½ tbsp. nutmeg
½ tbsp. ginger
2 oz. cacao nibs
1 tsp. coconut oil
2.5 tbsp. water
Juice from ½ orange (or 2.5 tbsp. orange juice)
2 unpeeled Granny Smith apples, diced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients except the apples in a bowl and mix until well blended.
Fold the diced apples into the oat mixture.
Pour oat-and-apple mixture into a 8” x 8” parchment-lined baking pan.
Bake for 45 minutes, turning once while baking.
Allow to cool and serve warm or refrigerate and reheat before serving (also good cold or room temperature).
Makes two generous, filling servings.
What do you love this month?