Archive for May, 2016

FF: The Quinoa Whiskey from Corsair Distillery

quinExcept for the fact that the quinoa craze has impoverished already impoverished people, I like the fine grain a lot. I have had quinoa worked into all manner of dishes, but I have to say the best one yet is the Quinoa Whiskey I found from the fine folks at Corsair Distillery.

About the Quinoa Whiskey from Corsair Distillery:

“American whisky pot distilled from quinoa and malted barley. Quinoa is a South American grain crop grown for its seeds. Quinoa adds an earthy and nutty flavor to the whiskey. Quinoa seeds comes in red, white, and black varieties. This whiskey uses red and white quinoa grains.”

Learn more about the Quinoa Whiskey from Corsair Distillery and where you can find it here.

See all the fine spirits from Corsair Distillery here.

FF: Superior No. 12 Whisky from George Dickel

dickI prefer a good Kentucky bourbon, but when that is not available I am ok with a great Tennessee whiskey, like the Superior No. 12 Whisky I found from the fine folks at George Dickel.

About Superior No. 12 Whisky from George Dickel:

“Our 90-proof Tennessee Whisky. We blend older whiskies to achieve deep, assertive flavors with an incredibly smooth finish. Bold and brazen, this is our Superior No. 12.Concentrated flavors of rich oak and subtle vanilla lead to a long finish with hints of maple, butter and smoke. A whisky with enormous depth, range and personality – considered by many to be the gold standard of Tennessee Whisky.”

Learn more about Superior No. 12 Whisky from George Dickel here.

See all the spirits from George Dickel here.

foxI like foxes, the animal that is. Every time I have seen one in person I have been awed. I have always wanted to have one as a pet, but I understand that is never going to happened. However, I may have found the next best thing – a taxidermied fox from the fine folks at New York’s Creel and Gow.

About Creel and Gow: “Creel and Gow is incorporating and adding to the collection of Ruzzetti and Gow and has an extensive range of fascinating and exquisite objects sourced from all around the world by Paris based Jamie Creel and former Sotheby’s expert Christopher Gow, both avid collectors. It is the perfect resource to embellish one’s life with originality or find that unique gift for discerning individuals. Rare minerals, taxidermy, coral, silver shells, unusual decorative objects and exotic accessories fill this veritable cabinet of curiosities. The boutique is located in the former stables of a historic, Grovenor Atterbury’s townhouse, on the North West corner of Lexington Avenue and East 70th Street in Manhattan’s upper east side in New York. The inventory of this Cabinet de Curiosities, Wunderkammer or Kunstkammer is also available to purchase online and by mail order.”

Find the taxidermy collection from Creel and Gow here.

Creel and Gow is located at 131 East 70th Street in the great city of New York, NY – but lucky for us they also sell online.

360The demise of the record industry in the internet age is one of the more astonishing things in my lifetime. The once great labels are now shadows of themselves or a relegated wing of huge media companies as they were one for the first industries to be disrupted forever in the digital age. However, the history of the great labels is part of our collective history and no label was, or is, as legendary as Columbia Records. In his wonderful chronicle of the label, 360 Sound – The Columbia Records Story, author Sean Wilentz takes us on an amazing journey that celebrates more than a century of influence on our culture.

About 360 Sound – The Columbia Records Story by Sean Wilentz: “For 125 years, Columbia Records has remained one of the most vibrant and storied names in prerecorded sound, nurturing the careers of legends such as Bessie Smith, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé, and many more. Written by distinguished historian Sean Wilentz, 360 Sound tells the story of the label’s rich history as it interweaves threads of technical and social change with the creation of some of the greatest albums ever made. Featuring over 300 rare and revealing images from the Columbia archives, this lavishly illustrated celebration is a must-have for any serious music fan.”

What’s great about 360 Sound is that Mr. Wilentz provides us with a visual history for the all the great sound Columbia has given us. This is the perfect book to curl up with while listening to Frank or Barbra and thinking about how lucky we are to have these recordings.

360 Sound – The Columbia Records Story by Sean Wilentz is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

Living on the prairie here on the Kansas side of the Missouri River just across from the great town of Kansas City, MO – I am no stranger to prairie grass. In fact, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, in the Flint Hills of Kansas, is just about the best thing I have discovered since moving out here two years ago.

Anyway, the fine folks behind Ward Art Studio offer a great collection of original artwork created from Organic Prairie Grass Art.

ward

About the Organic Prairie Grass Art from Ward Art Studio:

“Organic Art (Prairie Grass) is made from dried cattail reeds, which have been collected, cut and hand painted with acrylic paints. The reeds are glued into a wood frame that is hidden by the mat in the final framing. We produce prairie grass art in four sizes, 18 x 60, 18 x 18, 30 x 30 and 30×60 squares. Custom sizes can be produced on request. Prices include framing.”

See the Organic Prairie Grass Art from Ward Art Studio here.

Fins all the works from Ward Art Studio here.

art1I love the work of artist Randall Cleaver who uses he background in clock repair to make the most amazing assemblages. As a novice assemblage artist myself, I find great inspiration from Mr. Cleaver’s work like his great Majestic Puppet Master from 2010 (right) made from a “heater case, mannequin hand, fabric, found objects, Plexiglas, lights, motor, clock.”

About artist Randall Cleaver:

art2

“Randall Cleaver’s work combines what has been discarded to create timekeeping artifacts. Their utility and motion involve the viewer in their complexity of forms, textures, relationships, and humor. Creating with found objects started as an inexpensive way to obtain materials, but soon, the objects themselves became a source of inspiration. Cleaver tries to give his viewer the sense that the parts were manufactured to form the object, in order that the various parts transcend what they were.”

Oh yeah, I also love his 2008 work Teatime (left), of course.

Learn more about artist Randall Cleaver here.

Find a portfolio of Randall Cleaver’s work here.

tandaEvery now and then when I am having a bad day, I like to check out the website of the fine folks at Cape Cod-based T&A Motorcars. I don’t know why, but it makes me consider what is possible.

About T&A Motorcars:

“T&A Motorcars features one of New England’s finest collections of luxury vehicles. We take immense pride in our maintenance of these classic German and British vehicles in as close to their original condition as possible. We are thrilled to be able to share with you our pride and passion.”

I especially like their 1992 Daimler hearse.

Check out T&A Motorcars online here.

feedAs long as there are kids going hungry in America…

…supporting the fine folks at Feeding America is right thing to do.

About Feeding America:

“Our mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.”

Learn more about Feeding America and how you can help feed America’s hungry children here.

It is that time of year when I am more homesick than ever and dreaming of a day bopping around some of my old New England haunts, like the amazing little city of Portsmouth, NH. Today in a little bit of a departure for my Friday Finds, I am featuring a couple of places on my list to check out on my next trip back to New Hampshire.

Papa Wolf Supply Co.

papaAbout Papa Wolf Supply Co.:

“Two friends with a shared vision founded Papa Wolf Supply Co. in 2014. For a year we occupied a humble 200 sqft. shop in Dover, NH where we were only open on Saturdays and quickly grew an online following through instagram. The majority of that success came out of our authentic involvement and commitment with our customers and manufacturers. After several successful pop-up shops we decided it was time to move the shop to Portsmouth. Excited to expand we decided to open a 1,500 sq. foot brick and mortar location in Portsmouth, NH.”

Papa Wolf Supply Co. is located at 801 Islington St. in charming Portsmouth, NH

Nahcotta Gallery

nahAbout Nahcotta Gallery:

“Nahcotta opened its doors in the bucolic, bustling city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire in May of 2000. Deb Thompson, the gallery’s owner, wanted to create a space like Nahcotta since she was a young girl, standing amid a small but beautiful boutique during a shopping venture with her family. During an adventuresome cross-country trip many years later, she made the bold decision to relocate from Boston, Massachusetts and open a gallery/boutique in Portsmouth, a city renowned for its rich cultural history, captivating waterfront views, and vibrant, progressive community.”

Nahcotta Gallery is located at 110 Congress Street in the awesome seaside hamlet of Portsmouth, NH USA.

Lucky for us, both Papa Wolf and Nahcotta sell some great products online, like this collaboration between the two – these great limited edition Enamel Camp Mugs that just scream New Hampshire to me.

nhcups

wiseI am not a “prepper” – you know, one of those people preparing for things like a Martian invasion or zombie apocalypse who hoards food, water and other supplies in an underground bunker. However, I like a lot of the things that preppers are attracted to, like long-term food storage, like the great meal packages from the fine folks at Wise Company.

About the Quality Prepared Foods of Wise Company: “Life can be unpredictable. There are certain events, momentous ones, which, you can’t avoid or prevent. But you can be prepared for whatever life brings your way, and Wise Company is here to help you face those challenges head on. Wise Company specializes in long-term food storage and dehydrated food—Wise offers healthy, real food that’s prepared in only a matter of minutes by adding a little water. Our line of freeze-dried and dehydrated entrees that are ready-made and affordable are perfect for both emergency preparedness, long-term storage and even for outdoor activities like camping and hiking. Wise provides affordable, delicious and high-quality dishes that are healthy and designed to last. From freeze-dried veggies and meats to gluten-free entrees, Wise offers a range of dependable, easy-to-make and healthy food items that will help your family prepare for their next trip to the great outdoors, or plan for nearly any possible emergency event. In addition to quality-prepared foods, Wise also carries an extensive line of emergency survival goods, which are perfect for do-it-yourself emergency kits. From fuel sources to high-end portable water filtration systems, Wise carries everything you would need for a survival or emergency kit. With Wise, we can help you to successfully prepare for emergency events of any kind.”

As someone who goes to the market just about every day I kind of like the idea of buying a full year’s worth of prepared food in advance just so I don’t have to go anywhere – even without the prospect of zombies at the door.

Learn more about the Quality Prepared Foods and other emergency supplies of Wise Company here.

barbMy late great mother, who passed away three years ago this week, loved reading biographies of the great stars of Hollywood’s golden era. So it is only fitting that this week I feature the wonderful book A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson.

Miss Stanwyck’s career spanned the early day of “talkies” to late career roles on iconic television programs. Now, her full life gets the complete biography treatment with a multi-volume set of which this is the first in the very capable hands of Ms. Wilson who clearly did the research and knows her subject well.

About A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson: “Fifteen years in the making, the first volume of the full-scale astonishing life of one of our greatest screen actresses whose career in pictures spanned four decades beginning with the coming of sound—the first to delve deeply into Stanwyck’s rich, complex life and to explore her extraordinary range of eighty-eight motion pictures, many of them iconic; her work, her world, her Hollywood through an American century. Frank Capra called her ‘The greatest emotional actress the screen has yet known.’ She was one of its most natural, timeless, and underrated stars. Now, Victoria Wilson gives us the first full-scale life of Barbara Stanwyck, whose astonishing career in movies (eighty-eight in all) spanned four decades beginning with the coming of sound, and lasted in television from its infancy in the 1950s through the 1980s—a book that delves deeply into her rich, complex life and explores her extraordinary range of motion pictures, many of them iconic. Here is her work, her world, her Hollywood.”

In this day and age when we know a ton about our movie stars and past stars are enigmas, it is always interesting to read the story of the lives of these icons we only know from their lasting legacy on the screen. I can’t think of a better subject to fit this bill than that of Miss Stanwyck and thanks to Ms. Wilson and her wonderful book I feel a little closer to my mom.

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson by is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.