You may have guessed already, but I love food. I also enjoy a good read. Mondays just so happen to be days I spend doing a lot of research on what I’m going to eat next. Since I was already there myself, I thought I'd share some of my favorite food blogs. AND since I am sharing those, I thought I’d throw in some of my favorite food-related books too!
So, here are my Monday Muses to inspire you today and hopefully many Mondays to come.
Orangette has been one of my favorite blogs for the past few years. Molly Wizenberg also wrote "A Homemade Life," which happens to be one of my favorite food books! The way she blends life and relationships with the simplicity of preparing a meal together is beautiful.
Molly Yeh takes a young, fresh approach to baking that I really enjoy. Her blog “my name is yeh,” is so fun and playful. The recipes are legit. We made the Cheeto-Crusted Jalapeno Poppers for the Super Bowl and they were every bit as amazing as they sound!
Lucky Peach is always a good time. I love following them on Instagram. Okay, now I’m hungry again.
I recently discovered The Vanilla Bean Blog. I really like what she has to say and her photographs are so good.
If you are looking for a good food-book, The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher changed my life and so did Fresh off the Boat by Eddie Huang. It is also fun to get lost in Huang’s World.
Here's to making Monday's more a-musing! Cheers!
This week Argonaut has been testing doughnuts. That's right, DOUGHNUTS. Very soon we will be offering cake doughnuts as a special Sunday treat (by very soon, I mean tomorrow!). You will be able to swing by for one or pre-order them by the dozen!
Noah recently reminded me that our second date was spent attempting croissants. A large feat when neither of us had really baked anything before that, that hadn't first come out of a box. Needless to say, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
There was an afternoon dedicated to the task, which promptly turned into a couple days... I remember a lot of laughter and even more butter. These goodies didn't really look like much but let me tell you, they were delicious. From then on, I was hooked. Hooked on baking and (maybe) a certain someone. Wink, wink.
I love baking, in part because it makes people happy. Even just the thought. I don't (necessarily) need to eat the final product- just looking at that little baked treat brings joy. It's that childish grin inside us all- you can't help but smile and think "yum!"
Let us know if we can provide doughnuts for your Sunday treat or simply stop in and grab one to go.
A week ago, we visited the Blue Star Roastery in Twisp. It was so great to see the place where our beans are handled with such care. Dan, the Roaster, showed us the roasting space and, much to our delight, they happened to be roasting while we were there! He told us about the different beans and how each varietal had to be handled a different way, bringing out the best flavor profile unique to each bean. There is a grace in allowing the bean show its full range of flavor, respecting what it is meant to taste like in the end.
Last night, we had friends from Seattle over for a little BBQ and my friend Erika asked me, “What do you love about having Argonaut in the space that it is in? Compared to if it was in a larger space, like a normal coffee shop.” I think this is a great question!
A few years ago, I spent a month in Rome on a study abroad trip. I did a lot of coffee drinking and even more people watching. In Rome, there are many espresso bars where being a Barista is a profession. Fancy Italian Businessmen walk in, order their espressos, sip them (never sitting down) and go back to their jobs. It is not that they are not enjoying their coffee or the experience but, it is meant to be a speedy transaction. One that the Baristas take very seriously. The thing is, this experience is purely about the coffee and nothing else. It isn’t about the conversation it isn’t about the space, it is about espresso.
I love Argonaut’s intrinsic connection to this history in that the space is small. Just like Dan, we hope to use Argonaut’s space for what it is and bring out the beauty and purpose of its location. We may not have as long a history in the tradition of espresso, compared to the Italians, but I can assure you I am a Barista for life and the most important thing to me is bringing you delicious espresso.
Happy Wednesday, people!
My favorite book from childhood is called “Roxaboxen” by Alice McLerran. Have you heard of it?
It is about a town called Roxaboxen. This imaginary village was made of rocks and sticks and boxes. It was created by all the neighborhood children. Everyone had a job or purpose for being there. They traded pebbles for money, rode around on horses, built their homes and even elected a mayor. When school was in session no one went to Roxaboxen but it was always there. Even when they all grew up, it was there.
Now, I know that this town was imaginary and it is just about some kids playing make-believe. BUT... recently, I have been thinking about the power of being able to imagine your dreams- to have a vision. It is vital to the process of producing something worthwhile. Without a vision, you are void of anything to create. You are staring at a blank canvas with nothing to paint.
In our time together, Noah and I spend much of it talking about business ventures. It is one of our favorite things to discuss. Some days, it seems, all we do is dream up the next one.
At Argonaut, this February, we’ve been diving deep into our brand. When we began this business journey our aesthetic was not as succinct as it is now. This didn’t just happen out of thin air, we didn’t just wake up and know what our brand was. It took time imagining it- seeing it, visualizing who Argonaut is and how to communicate that through an image, through a font, a color, a photograph. And we are not done imagining it. We will continue to develop and grow our brand.
To become good at anything, you must practice. I’m glad I had such a great childhood, one that was (for the most part) burden-less and carefree. One where I was allowed the opportunity and encouraged to imagine. One where I built homes out of sticks, traded rocks for small treasures, and ran around riding invisible horses. One that gave me lots of practice imagining my dreams.
May your imagination take you to wondrous places. Never stop dreaming.
*All illustrations are by Barbara Cooney and from "Roxaboxen."