Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lemon Birds

It was my birthday last Friday, and on Sunday after a matinee preview Sky wrangled friends to drink rose with me at The Other Room

There he is, dutifully filling my glass for the, um, 4th time?
photos courtesy of Kristina---you're the best, as always

I do love birthday prezzies, I must say, and Juliana, who was my roommate for several years, knows me well: bring me something for the kitchen and I purr like a kitty. And so I've been introduced to Lemon Bird Jams.

She brought me Grilled Nectarine with Balsamic Vinegar, Long Peppers and Sea Salt (!!!) and having now sampled it straight out of the jar (truth be told this is one of my favorite ways to eat jam) I am eager to rest it next to some ready cheese (Manchego I'm thinking could be delish.....but I know if I walk into Beverly Hills Cheese Shop or Say Cheese they'll give me a perfect pairing). Or glaze something and throw it on the grill.....

Of course I had to head straight to the site, where I've found flavors like Cherry with Star Anise, Peach with Rose Wine and Cinnamon, and Kumquat with Dark Chocolate and Espresso.

Uh oh. I just learned they have a jam-of-the-month club. Grapefruit with Jalapeno and Candied Ginger anyone? Apricot with Honey and Pistachio?

You can also find them on etsy and there are even a few retailers, some in CA and one in my hometown of Charleston, SC. I think I just found one of my new favorite gifts! Er, for my friends of course......with an extra jar for me every time......

One of these days I'm getting back in the kitchen and when I do it's time for some jam-making of my own. Til then I am more than content with Lemon Bird. Which would also be a cool name for a kid......

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Latest Artistic Obsession

One of the nice things about doing a play in Pasadena is I'm spending a LOT of time in a part of town I've never really gotten to know. I went to the Norton Simon Museum I think 10 years ago, and I'm ashamed to say I don't think I've been til last week when I went back. I went because I read about a Hiroshige exhibit. He was one of the masters of Japanese woodblock printing, which I have always loved. This exhibit is so very wonderful. I'm going back this week.

Though I've got a couple images to show you here, they don't do the colors justice. The blues and greens were like drinking a cool glass of water. His series 36 Views of Mt. Fuji---in which he did 36 different scenes that all have Mt. Fuji somewhere in the background but are otherwise completely different--has become one of my new most beloved things on the planet. I think I could look at them for 24 hours straight. Then he has these beautiful images of birds which were intended to go with poems.....Sigh. So beautiful. And so peaceful. Definitely one of those exhibits in which time gets a little slower, breath gets a little deeper, noises don't sound as loud anymore.

If you like what you see here dig around online for more of his stuff, or better yet, you Southern Californians, take a trip to the exhibit itself. It's up through January. If you go while the weather is warm you can ramble through the sculpture garden and see Rodin's Burghers of Calais, which is pretty a rad bonus. And incidentally, I read not too long ago The Women by TC Boyle, which is about Frank Lloyd Wright and the women in his life, and he was a huge collector of these prints. If I could collect them, I would too.

Oh, and on a side note, I was blogged about here for the new show which opens on Saturday! Previews have been going great.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just a Little Wednesday Inspiration

I'm going to geek out on acting for a moment..... If you're an actor, if you once thought about being an actor, if you're married to an actor, if you're best friends with an actor, if acting isn't your thing at all but you believe in telling the truth, being present, and letting go of the need to have people like you, then watch this.

And get to the end--that's where it gets REEEEAAAAALLLLLY good. And it is so not limited to acting, though I did get a big shot of goose bumps knowing that's what I get to go do tonight. However you express yourself, I hope this inspires you to go do some of that.

And on the mama front, here's me with my nephew Dashiell.

is he perfect or WHAT?!

He's rather inspiring in his own way--his own many adorable ways-- and so, too is his gorgeous mama.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Back from out of town; play starts previews next week; I am coming back!!!!

Hope you've been lounging in the sun or playing in the waves or hiking at sunrise.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One and the Same

I'm having blogger guilt.
I want to post a lot more than I am right now.
And I am accepting the time-space reality of the super-juicy creative life I have now and that I'm actually not home with my trusty Mac much.
I want to say THANK YOU to you for reading, for commenting, for continuing to visit here even though posts are semi-scarce. I promise there will come a day when I'm here a lot. I have big plans for this little blog.

THANK YOU readers for being the awesome people you are. It means so much to me that you're here.

What I can tell you for today is that I'll be away this weekend with the man on our one weekend trip this summer. I am onstage for all the others, but we're going to make up for it in the fall when we take some kind of big trip.......I'm planning on packing a pink boa in case I feel like doing a spontaneous strip tease.

I mentioned this a week or so ago, but I really believe there's a deep beautiful link between wanting to make a baby and all the creative work that has come into my life. The space of baby-making is about so much surrender and uncertainty. I can't see or hear or sense how my body is changing on the inside. I am doing all I can for her, feeding her well, giving her supplements, having her poked with needles on a weekly basis. I am meditating, praying, journaling, and doing practices that ground me in her rather than always being so in my head. And yet, still the body does what the body does in its own mysterious and wonderful way, and I get to surrender to that. The minute I try to control it or figure it out I just get scared. That happened a week or so ago; I was convinced I wasn't going to have a period, that I'd backslid, and then it happened. Even with my fear, it happened. Big celebration over here as you can imagine.

Creative work, artistry, is so much about the same things. Overthinking is anathema. Control is deadly. And trying to organize when the breakthroughs will happen or how long the process is supposed to take or if it'll be approved by someone else kills the very energy we need to bring the projects to fruition. And sometimes there's fear. And even if there's fear, it doesn't mean the miracle isn't right around the corner.

I've been blessed with now not 2 but 3 amazing jobs right in a row. Roles so good I'd get down on my knees and eat dirt to play them. I can't say with any authority why this is happening now. Why suddenly I'm being given these parts. But I feel very taken care of by the Universe. I know that I have been asking of myself to bring the same sense of openness and surrender into auditions that I have into my relationship with my body. I know I've been focusing more on being in the room, rather than trying to do something spectacular. I know I've been living more in my body--and asking that of myself as an actress in order to support my body's health and happiness---and less in my head.

Though a pregnancy hasn't shown up yet, unbelievable fulfillment in this creative area of my life has. I believe it's all the same energy, so when the time is right the creation of my baby will happen too. It's a really wonderful feeling. And it's what I'm choosing to believe.

So I'll see you next week; I doubt I'll be here before we take off. Happy so-far-summer.

photo by Andy Goldsworthy who always knows how to capture a mystery. If that makes any sense.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Husband Appreciation Day, Part 1

As I mentioned earlier this week, my husband Sky is a very patient man. He's more than patient. He's loving, hilarious, brilliant, sensitive and grounded in who he is. Part of Who He Is is Someone Who Likes Having Me Around. Part of Who I Am is Liking to Be Around Him. My theatre schedule is a little tough on us right now. These days I'm at rehearsal weekday nights and weekend days which is exactly when he's home. During the day he's working his tail off. We miss each other a lot--literally and emotionally. However, it's not forever and it's for a beautiful reason: I'm doing a gorgeous play at a time when I can. If the babymaking goes as planned, we both know there's going to be a good long time where I'm not doing back-to-back plays; there will be periods of time when I don't do any plays at all. And rehearsals are the toughest: once the play opens (this one runs 3 nights and one afternoon a week) the hours are considerably less. So for the next few weeks we're hanging in there with each other and making the hours we are together count.

I also want to talk about---and I'm going to in a different post---the relationship between creative work (the play) and creating a baby. They're SO connected. But later on that.....

Part of my commitment to Sky this summer is making our time together extra-juicy-special. If that means I might hop over to his office in the middle of the day, or humor him by staying in bed a little later (one of the hardest things for me! I am so awake in the morning), or make him romantic dinner on a Monday. Who says date night can't be Monday? This past week, as part of weekly Husband Appreciation Day, I replicated, for the second time, one of our favorite dishes on this earth: the chopped salad from Mozza.

Mozza is the restaurant that took LA by storm a couple of years ago when Nancy Silverton and Mario Battali teamed up. Located on a corner that saw restaurant after restaurant fail over the years, that corner is now one of the hottest in LA. And everything you've heard is true: it is f-ing delicious. And whenever we go no matter what else we get we always get the chopped salad no meat. It's a take, I'm convinced, on a greek salad as it's full of peperoncinis and oregano. Like the porcinis from last post, the ingredients are simple and the result is amazing. I made it a couple weeks ago and it was good; I made it this week and it was great. Couple little tweaks and a late-night trip to Mozza for one more tasting and I'm pretty close. I don't know what red wine vinegar they use and I'm going to ask because that's definitely a difference. As does macerating the onions and going heavier on the herbs than I initially thought. It takes barely any time to put together so there's more time for hanging out with hubby. I served this with some vinegar and chile roasted cauliflower, some good bread, and a plum torte I overcooked when I got distracted on a phone call. Oops.

Sky, if you happen to be reading this, thank you for sticking by me and I love you.

My Version of the Chopped Salad from Mozza Vegetarian Style

1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 small head radicchio
can of garbanzo beans (I'm sure they use dried; oh well)
handful of peperoncini, sliced thin
few slices good provolone cheese, cut into small squares or rectangles
couple handfuls of good-quality cherry tomatoes, halved if on the bigger side
red onion, sliced very thin (you decide how much)
plenty of dried oregano
fresh or dried thyme
red wine vinegar
little lemon juice
great olive oil
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper

Macerate the onion slices in some red wine vinegar and a little salt for at least 5 minutes and up to an hour.

Slice the lettuce and radicchio then chop so your greens are a pretty uniform, small size: like very short ribbon fragments. Place in large salad bowl
Toss in most of the can of garbanzos and the peperoncinis.
Make the dressing: whisk red wine vinegar with a little lemon juice, salt, pepper, sugar and the oregano and thyme. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking as you add. Taste for preference: dressing should be tangy but not cloyingly so.
Add dressing to the greens, etc. Mix in cherry tomatoes and provolone by hand. Taste for seasoning: salt, pepper, herbs, peperoncinis. Add as necessary.
Mix all together and top with a sprinkling of dried oregano.

Keep playing with proportions til you create the version you love. And next time you're on the corner of Highland and Melrose in LA, stop in and try the real thing.