Reset

April 6, 2020

It’s apparently going to be another long month of isolation and social distancing, daily briefings will bring more sad news than good news. I keep thinking that all of this corona madness might be a blessing in disguise of a sad sort. The challenges that we are all now facing might force us to hit the proverbial reset button. The threat of Covid-19 is bigger than any of us yet affects us all in profound ways. We interact differently, we work differently and for many we find ourselves with plenty of alone time…time to listen to that still small voice that comes from within. Thankfully those reports of knock down, drag outs over toilet paper are behind us. If you are like me you are witnessing a gentler, friendlier, less selfish and more thoughtful community. And, as long as we are all in this war against an invisible enemy, that’s a good thing. It’s always a good idea to teach by example, so there is no better time than now to be that good example. Check in on people from time to time. Sure, those that are spending a lot of time alone could benefit from a quick chat or text, but, what about those that are now home all day with their kids taking on the new job of teacher? They might even need the contact and kind word more. Thank those who are continuing to work for our benefit…at the grocers and drugstores, gas stations and especially the Doctors and healthcare workers. Thank as well the restaurants, from fast food to fine dining, who had to retool to providing drive-up and curb service in order that their employees could still enjoy a livelihood. Thank them with your support…order a pick-up or delivery order as often as you can over the next month. Finally, treat yourself. While out for provisions, picking up some flowers to brighten your environment can do wonders to ward off cabin fever. And, while you’re at it, pick up an extra bunch to treat a friend or neighbor. No need to have face to face contact, just leave by their door and text a message that a little surprise has been left. With any grace at all, the sacrifices we are forced to make now will be behind us in a month or so and, hopefully, we will all be better for the experience.

IMG_3568

 

photo:gp

 

Working from home?

April 1, 2020

It might be time to think about upgrading that kitchen chair. Even if you are pulling it up to a makeshift desk or dining room table, a new work chair can make all the difference in your productivity if not your mood. Until April 6,  Hive Modern is having a “Herman Miller Work From Home Sale” where all Herman Miller Executive and Task seating is 15% off with free delivery. The Eames Aluminum Group designed in 1958 includes an assortment of executive, management or task seating and their Aeron Chair, originally released in 1994, is an ergonomic modern classic. Or, you might find something from the Saarinen group of executive seating from Knoll more to your liking, with arms or without. We’ll be sheltering in place and working from home for the near future but nobody said it had to be uncomfortable. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eames and Aeron chair photos:  https://store.hermanmiller.com/office/office-chairs?lang=en_US&hpn=12

Saarinen Chair PhotoS: https://www.knoll.com/shop/by-category/seating/work-chairs

 

Just in Time

March 24, 2020

Just as you might be getting a little stir crazy with the ever growing ” stay in place” orders there comes a bright spot to break things up. A little ahead of schedule, and thankfully so, is the Heath Ceramics Summer Seasonal collection. With all of this Covid-19 madness who couldn’t benefit from a little bit of bright Summer color? It’s just whats needed to brighten up a gray day or our gray mood. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite as I am generally partial to neutrals. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. New glazes like Grove, Wave and Desert might be just what the doctor ordered. So, take a spin through the collection online and get inspired, treat yourself or maybe someone else who needs a lift during these unusual times. Yep…feeling better already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/summer-seasonal-2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dining alone, I’m here to help. Nothing washes over you like a big hug than a comforting bowl of pasta. And, what’s even better is when that pasta dish can be made with just a few pantry ingredients you most likely have on hand. Add in one pot and ten minutes and you’re reading to dig in. Really, it’s just that simple.

Start with a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Over medium heat melt a tablespoon of butter and add 4 oz. of orzo pasta tossing to coat. Continue to stir until pasta just starts to toast up. Add 1 cup chicken stock and a good grind of black pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for ten minutes. Set your timer and check at ten minutes, continue cooking a couple of minutes more if necessary until all of the liquid is absorbed. Plate up and dress with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. That’s it. Done and done. No need to guild the lily here, no Parmesan necessary. How easy was that? All that’s left to do is grab the remote and settle in for a little binge watching.

The original recipe from Sue Krietzman can be found here. https://food52.com/recipes/75234-sue-kreitzman-s-lemon-butter-angel-hair-pasta

While it calls for angel hair pasta, I have found it to work as well if not better with my favorite, orzo, or regular spaghetti broken into 2-3 inch pieces.. Any pasta shape can be used, just adjust the liquid and cooking time as needed.

photos: gp

Lead By Example

March 15, 2020

As this Corona Virus situation was beginning to unfold, I have to say how unbelievably impressed I was with the NBA response to keep their people and their fans safe and healthy. What followed quickly were other sports and entertainment outlets following suit. It’s a crazy, uncertain time to be sure so I think it’s important to follow their lead and lead by their example. While social distancing is going to take a little getting used to, it will be doable. We all need to take a deep breath, check in on each other and use some common sense. Hysterical runs on the big box stores for bottled water and elbowing your neighbor for that last pack of toilet paper helps no one. Panic benefits no one. We have managed through worse…we will get through this.

Let’s start by washing our hands.  

photo: gp

 

If it’s March…

March 13, 2020

it’s time for Daffodils. The birth flower for March, nothing can make a simple, more cheerful, Spring-like statement like they can. And, while they’re still available, the Heath Ceramics bud vase is perfect for displaying these shots of vibrant color. I’m thinking multiple vases grouped for mass appeal or scattered about to spread the wealth with their electricity and gentle fragrance. Better act fast, this bud vase in Zinc, from the 2019 Heath Winter Seasonal Collection, is only available until the end of this month. Could a handful of Daffs help you or a friend deal with the new uncertainty of dealing with Covid-19? It couldn’t hurt.

 

 

 

 

 

Daffodil photos: gp

Heath bud vase photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/winter-seasonal-2019

 

Look Familiar?

March 10, 2020

Imagine my surprise when I noticed the uncanny resemblance of the pattern on Knoll’s new Billow wall covering and the sample knit of my homespun newsprint yarn from several years ago. Inspired by the fiber arts and large scale knits in particular, this new release for 2020, with it’s allover organic pattern, is the perfect backdrop for any modern commercial or residential environment. While Billow is available in ten colorways, from light and bright to dark, my personal favorite is ” Inkwash” shown below. It doesn’t get any more simplequietmodern than that.

Newsprint knit photo: gp

Billow photos: https://www.knoll.com/knolltextileproductdetail/Billow

 

Simple Makeover

March 2, 2020

It might not be where you cook, but rather what you cook in that needs addressing. Before you start ripping out cabinets and knocking down walls you might take a look at that mixed and unmatched collection of pots and pans of yours. Sure, everyone means well when they pass a piece off to you and it’s sometimes fun to pick up a saucepan at a garage sale because ” it was only two dollars”, but really, isn’t it time for some grown-up cookware? I think it is. And, this matte black vitreous enamel collection from Crane Cookware will satisfy your simplequietmodern sensibilities. Designed in London and cast in France this group is free of cadmium, PFOA, PTFE and lead, is 100% Vitreous enameled, is made of 30% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable. The Saute’, frying pans and casserole have ergonomically designed handles and will move seamlessly from any cooktop to oven to table. All things considered, you might still want to redo the kitchen but it might take on a new simplicity if you start here as your inspiration.

 

photos: https://www.cranecookware.com/

 

A New Take

February 24, 2020

My favorite Winter salad usually shows up at Thanksgiving and Christmas and perhaps again at the New Year. It’s a simple combination of Frisee’, Bosc Pear, Red Onion, Blue Cheese and toasted Walnuts lightly dressed in a vinaigrette of Olive Oil, Lemon Juice and a touch of Garlic. While I love it’s combination of seasonal ingredients it seems like it’s always been allocated to the category of ” holiday “. While craving it recently, and having no luck finding Frisee’ at the market, I decided to switch it up a bit and substituted Shaved Brussels Sprouts for the greens and have it as an entree salad one night for dinner. The surprise I didn’t see coming is that it’s almost better than the original. Then a few days later I switched it up again using Honeycrisp Apple for the Pear, Maple Cayenne Glazed Walnuts and an even simpler dressing of Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar with a splash of a Maple Syrup. Again…success. Good thing there is plenty of Winter left to add this salad to the weekly rotation.

No measuring here, add as much or as little of each as you’d like. Cutting the pears or apples into small batons compliment the thinly shaved Brussels Sprouts and red onion. Keeping the blue cheese chunky and the Walnut halves quartered results in  sort of chunky chopped salad that hits all the right notes…sweet, savory, creamy and crunchy.

The simplest recipe ever for Maple Cayenne Glazed Walnuts can be found here. https://simplequietmodern.com/2013/11/30/mmmm-maplely/

photos: gp

 

 

 

I can’t wait…

February 17, 2020

for Spring to arrive or the UPS driver to deliver a pair of these to my door. From Vivobarefoot, Gobi II, a leather zero drop desert boot that satisfies my minimalist style. While I’ve always had a pair of Chukkas at the ready, these in black will take me through all day every day, work and play in barefoot comfort. A perfect segue from ice and gray skies to blue skies and green grass.

 

photos:  https://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/mens/everyday/gobi-ii-mens?colour=BlacK