a simple elegance

August 25, 2015

AN EVENING IN THE ORCHARD

 how to properly pick a peach ::

 step one :: set your sights.

 step two :: reach, twist, and pull.

 step three :: inspect.

 step four :: place in basket. repeat.


step five :: I think step five has something to do with pie...


we've been home from our 20-month sojourn in the caribbean for about two weeks now and it's beginning to feel like a distant dream. the last two weeks have been full of to-do lists and baking and long drives to orchards and farmer's markets and it really feels like I've picked up a piece of myself out here that I had put down whilst living down there. as fun as laying on the beach is and as delicious as fresh mango tastes, it's good to be home. it's really really good. now, about that orchard...

for years now, mitch's family has summered down in this little town in montana that just so happens to be surrounded by orchards of every kind. every season seems to offer only the very best down there and year after year I think to myself that I better go pick some of that, and this year I finally did. I've been using this site called pickyourown.org to find u-picks in all of the places I've been traveling to and I really feel like I hit the nail on the head finding this one. the owners, dan and his wife, own more than 300 acres full of cherries, apples, peaches, plums, pears, and grapes. the peaches and plums were ready for picking (and eating) and we enjoyed following dan through the rows upon rows of lush and fruitful trees.  he'd stop every so often and tear a peach or a plum right in half, taste it, then hand one of us the other half to devour. they were usually so juicy we'd have them dripping down our arms before we were finished.

the neatest part of this whole experience was dan's enthusiasm and philosophy on growing things. having always wanted an orchard of my own, I found so much inspiration here. and so much inspiration for life, too. he explained it like, 'well of course there's a little science thrown in there, but it's pretty cool magic. you just plant a seed and water it and care for it and you have the best kind of candy. nature's candy.' I'm paraphrasing here, but I swear that's pretty much the gist of our conversation. and by conversation I mean me badgering him with endless questions until he had to go back to work.


^^ peat moss. all of the money from the orchard goes straight back into buying this stuff, right here. the owner said it's the best and most natural way to grow things (and that it's the secret to his green thumb success) ^^








I think dan could sense that I was seriously interested in his job, his life, ...and his lifestyle, for that matter. so before we bid adieu, he ushered us around his own personal garden. he grows all of his own produce and his wife cooks only from the garden. they're actually scheduled to open a garden-to-table cooking school here in a little while. he even let us eat straight from the vine handing us the largest variety of beans to try that I've ever seen. they were every color of the rainbow and tasted far superior to beans from a can. we picked corn off the cob and ate it raw and it was so sweet. he even sent us home with a complimentary cucumber for good measure. long story short, we left very full and very happy. and dan is officially alright in my book. the way to my heart is to feed me, after all.

if you're in the kalispell area and feel like a nice walk with all-natural hors d'oeuvres, hit up getmans' cherry red orchard. and just so you know, this was not a sponsored post in the least. we just really had a fun experience here.



and this begins the america chapters. mitch and I still sort of panic about needing to get ready to go back to the caribbean until we realize that that part of our life is over now. now I'm off to find a 9-to-5 and he's off to ace his board exams for the next few months. when did we all get so adult? well, I hope all of your weeks are off to a happy start. we've been playing so much recently, that now is the time to get junk done and that is precisely the plan today. have a great day!

love, arielle

August 05, 2015

RECIPE || SUMMER BERRY PIE & THE GBBO


in honor of great british bake off's return, I thought we'd make pie. berry pie. who's excited? this girl!

I actually made this pie for july fourth, which admittedly, was so many weeks ago, but I don't think pie is any less relevant now. in all honesty, when is pie ever really irrelevant? especially when talking about gbbo. this show became a fast favorite last year after rosie's recommendation and I've been waiting not-so-patiently for august to roll 'round again. it has everything--comedy, drama, suspense, and the most polite group of people you could ever imagine baking together under one tent. 

back to pie. my favorite part about this pie is that I used frozen berries, so the cost was relatively low. berries are in season in so many places right now, but the caribbean isn't one of them. in fact, fresh berries are horrendously expensive here. that doesn't necessarily keep me from purchasing them--they are to be savored with greek yogurt and honey--but it does keep me from baking them, you know? and before we start, can I just say..this crust recipe. amazing. I've never had better. I found it via pinterest and am seriously considering having it engraved on a plaque in my kitchen to refer to daily. be sure you give it a go this summer. now, aprons on. rolling pins at the ready. go!




ingredients


for the crust :: 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (not margarine), very cold
10 tbsp ice water
1 egg white, lightly beaten

for the filling ::

3 cups berries (I used a six berry blend from the freezer section)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter



 

method


for the crust ::

preheat your oven to 425° fahrenheit, then just do exactly what this lady says, here --> elizabeth stark via food52.

for the filling ::

combine all of the listed ingredients into a dye-proof bowl then spoon into your readied crust. create whatever top you desire. I'm sort of in love with the wide lattice that elizabeth used, but there's a gorgeous braided top crust wandering around the blogosphere that is equally as darling (yes, I said darling). after all of the rolling and cutting is finished, simply brush an eggwash over top, sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar, and pop that sweetheart in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.





and there you have it. the perfect summer treat to utilize all of those fresh or frozen berries you might have on hand. though, I wouldn't mind putting them on a shopping list, either, if you know what I mean. we took our pie out to the beach with some friends for the fourth and ate sans plates, with our hands. it felt a little barbaric, but that's just how we forgetfuls roll.

mitch and I are undergoing the moving process right now and it is incredibly daunting. I don't know why that surprises me. each of our moves has been daunting, but each time it catches me off guard all over again. we have sold so many things--rolling pin included--so as not to have to haul it all back to america that I'm really rather ready for a lackadaisical beach day. can I have it? please?

thanks for reading, you guys! and seriously, go bake some pie and then watch great british bake off tonight. you're welcome.

love, arielle 

July 29, 2015

FARMER'S MARKET STYLE


1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9 || 10

one of my most very favorite things about summer is the local community farmer's market. one where local producers remember you from week to week and there's no shortage of lemonade being sold in mason jars. it has also been one of the things I've missed most about living on this exotic, but mostly barren, caribbean island. and so I've been trying to find ways to infuse the essence of farmer's market saturdays into my day to day. I'll buy the more expensive french carrots just because they still have the dirt on them and I own my own little mason jar for afternoon lemonade hankerings and I've been dressing like I'm constantly on my way to the market. not that there is any one farmer's market uniform, but there's something about sundresses and overalls that just carry heart notes of farmer's market, don't you think? as does everything else on this list. for some reason, I just feel like overalls paired with wellies means you should have garden dirt all over you and bushels of cherries in your arms. 

now, about penhaligon's iris prima perfume. before we left for the island, mitch bought me the massage of my life and the girl used this bergamot scented oil that smelled so good I was hesitant to shower it off come next morning. don't worry, I did, but I've been looking for the most perfect bergamot perfume since and this one is a total winner. definitely give it a spritz the next time you're at the counter!

and on a total side note, I'm having the hardest time picking out a pair of wellies. I want the classic shape and a nice neutral color that will go with anything. any suggestions?? 

have a great day you guys!

love, arielle


July 27, 2015

TRAVEL DIARIES // LUCERNE DAY TWO

^^ what bliss looks like ^^
my last post on lucerne was super picture heavy and this one is really just an ode to lucerne's farmer's market. I am a sucker for a quaint, well-rounded farmer's market and lucerne's is (by far) the most quaint and well-rounded. they have vendors selling everything from garden herbs to fresh cheese to alp horns. not to mention that the vendors had every fruit and vegetable you could imagine in stock. of course, we were there at the most perfect time of year, so that was to be expected, really. I could have done some serious damage here if it hadn't been that we were catching a train directly after this and we didn't want to withdraw anymore swiss francs. we picked up strawberries, some fresh bread, and a few cupcakes for the train ride over to italy, but the cupcakes didn't make it that far. they were gone before we even left the market square. typical. and even though they were overloaded with frosting, they were vegan so we didn't even feel the slightest bit guilty eating them for breakfast. not that that would have stopped us. it really was the happiest place I've ever been and all in all, I'm pretty sure my life peaked standing in line for those strawberries so I can die peacefully now. 

happy monday everyone! mitch passed his exit exam last wednesday, so I've been seeing a lot more of him and it has been wonderful to have my partner in crime back. even if it has been a bit of an adjustment. it's like, you mean I can't just sit quietly by myself in bed and stalk other bloggers all morning?! I hope you all have a great day and I still have two more posts from our travels to write, so stay in touch for those!

love, arielle


July 23, 2015

TRAVEL DIARIES // LUCERNE DAY ONE

^^ I'm in love with all of this pretty architecture. ^^
^^ palace luzern. ^^
^^ chateau gütsch. ^^ 

now, I don’t have the most extensive imagination. not even close. I am 100% positive that there are more creative people out there than myself. but I don’t think I can imagine a more perfect, ideal, utopia than lucerne. it’s what I would imagine heaven to be like and I’m pretty sure just walking down those cobblestone streets was enough to make me self-actualized, if that's a thing.

picture a modern, but charming, little town nestled at the foot of the mountains. all of the fish available for purchase are caught from the lake you walk by and around everyday. even though you live in what feels like an urban environment, all of your neighbors make room for planting eggplants, tomatoes, and zucchinis on their rooftop balconies, windowsills, and in clever hanging contraptions featuring clay pots. the abundance of german architecture is so cute and makes you crave a different time when you knew the name of your milkman and the lady who sells you eggs. all of the people are perfectly friendly and understanding of the fact that you don’t speak any german and barely any french, but are happy to help you anyway.  can you picture it? if you can, you’re absolutely in lucerne. I have dreamt of this gorgeous place since I left and I miss it. I frequently try to coerce mitch into retiring there with me when we’re all old and wrinkly. he’s seriously considering it.


hotel seeburg.


it was out of sheer luck that we found hotel seeburg. it was our favorite travel website’s ‘deal of the day’ and after reading a few reviews, we decided it would be the perfect place for our two-night stay in lucerne. the location and the view were incomparable as was the overall feel of european simplicity that enveloped the place. there were always fresh, local fruits in the lobby and the breakfasts in the morning were large and varying. mitch and I have actually adopted their style of breakfasting because we enjoyed it so much. I cannot recommend hotel seeburg highly enough if you’re planning a trip to lucerne. they even have their own bus stop and bike rental, which may not be a big deal to some, but it was to us.


bäckerei hug.


as embarrassing as it is to admit, mitch and I stopped at this one bakery three times in the 48 hours we spent in lucerne. the fact of the matter is, once you try their strawberry tarts, there is no walking by the bäckerei hug. there is only walking into the bäckerei hug. after we received all of our spoils, we usually took them out onto the steps by the lake and proceeded to be badgered by several very hungry, very forward swans. mitch, being the generous guy he is, shared his loaf of bread with the little beggars until we saw the sign indicating that we shouldn’t feed the birds and it was all over for them after that. the gig was up.


kapellbrücke.


it would be pretty impossible to visit lucerne without visiting kapellbrücke (chapel bridge). it sort of connects the two sides of  central lucerne and acts as a beautiful landmark. I forget the exact number, but I want to say it still has 15 or 16 of the original paintings that hang in the newly rebuilt rafters and 30-something in total. I’m not a terribly historical person, but I thought it was interesting that we always associate switzerland with peace, but the paintings clearly indicate they had to fight for what is now the peaceful country we all know and love.


sunset bar.


located just across the street from our hotel lay the sunset bar, which really is the most ideal romantic spot. from here, you can see the sun just tucking down between the mountains and the city of lucerne while the waves crash against the shoreline. sadly, I don’t remember the exact words mitch and I said to each other that evening because it’s been a couple months since we spoke them (darn my tendency to procrastinate!), but I can’t imagine them being anything less than joyful. how could they not be in a setting like that, you know?


stern luzern.

this restaurant. oh my word, this restaurant. it was recommended to us by molly who writes my name is yeh and her friend recommended it to her before she traveled to lucerne. and can I just say, I cannot thank them enough?! it did not disappoint. it is, most definitely, the most deliciously simple and, admittedly, expensive meal mitch and I have ever paid for in our relatively short time married, but so so worth it. there are no pictures to prove it as mitch and I were really in more of a here-and-now mood rather than a document-for-later mood, but you trust me, don’t you? I ordered the fish of the day whose name is a german word that starts with ‘p’ that I couldn’t pronounce and have yet been able to remember. our waitress was unbelievably kind and reassured me that it was caught in the lake just the night before. mitch ordered the herby roasted whole chicken and because I always have to know who ordered better, I can say first-hand that it was a draw. they were both superb (which is my favorite word when discussing really good cuisine). for dessert, we ordered the creme brûlée and the raspberry and mint gelatin. both were very good, but mitch preferred the creme brûlée and I preferred the gelatin.

^^ the snap before we put the camera away for an evening all to ourselves. ^^


more things to do in lucerne that I highly recommend ::

soul chicken for the best fried chicken and dipping sauce you will ever have.
bachmann for that post fried chicken gelato you're craving.
 lucerne farmer’s market for the freshest fruits and vegetables you will ever taste.
 crazy cupcake café for cupcakes that taste anything but vegan but totally are.
palace luzern for views of a breathtaking lobby and patio.
chateau gütsch for if you feel like a hike and the 'lucerne from up high' shot.
rathaus brauerei for bretzel sandwiches you'll want a fork and knife to tuck into.
läderach for a whole box of chocolates that you and your and your husband share and then go into one crazy codependent sugar high.


what we hope to do next time (and there will be a next time!) ::

take a ferryboat to weggis.
wander the swiss museum of transport.
rent a paddleboat.
ride the gondola up to mount pilatus.
bring home our very home lucerne schwannen.

I don't think I can stress enough how perfect lucerne was. is. it was such a privilege to even walk those streets and I seriously encourage each of you to go if you ever get the chance! believe it or not, this was just day one of lucerne, so stay tuned for day two! thanks for reading!

love, arielle