The Many Surprising Uses of a Kitchen Hammer

Matthias Wandel is a clever improviser whose YouTube channel is full of good ideas. Our favorite: a kitchen hammer, something you rarely see on any “kitchen essentials” list. We use ours — a rubber mallet— for variety of general household whacks, where a hammer would be too harsh. We hadn’t thought of Wandal’s great use, done with…

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Favorite Kitchen Tool: French-Style Universal Pot Lid

On my first trip to France, I bought a classic French pot lid in a flea market. Ten inches in diameter, it is a tin-lined copper disk with a cast iron handle. Little did I know that it would become one of my most-used kitchen tools. Or that the copper lids would become really expensive. On the hunt to find an alternative, I finally found a new iteration that is affordable and incredibly useful.

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Iron-Skillet Smoked Salmon

One of my most pleasurable challenges in the kitchen has been to cook like a farmer in a city apartment, curing hams, aging cheese, making butter, and best of all, smoking food. Hungering for the flavor of wood smoke but having no fireplace, years ago I devised a way of smoking in an iron skillet. The spectacular results belie its ease: it requires no special equipment and can be easily improvised.

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Tried-and-True: Cool, Crisp Percale Sheets

Some time ago, we went on a hunt for great sheets. The sheets we love feel cool and crisp when you climb into bed. Combed or jacquard cotton won’t do it, neither does linen nor most of the million thread-count sheets we’ve tried. The only way we’ve found to guarantee ‘cool and crisp’ is with Supina cotton percale bedding from Garnet Hill. We wait for their 25% off sale, which is NOW…

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Ancient Trees: Portraits in Time, Change, Survival

“Ancient Trees: Portraits in Time” is one of the most beautiful and instantly transformative books we’ve seen in a long time. Photographer Beth Moon spent fourteen years traveling the world photographing ancient trees She describes her images as “Portraits of Change. Portraits of Survival. Portraits of Time” and interleaves them with the occasional perfect poem. It is a book we will leave open, to keep in our field of vision as we go about our day. 

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GutenTag’s Graphical Day Planner Inspired Our Own

We’ve tried numerous day/task planners in our quest for one that really works. We recently came across a graphical way to plan time that claims to liberate us from linear agendas and apps. The GutenTag Method features a clock face that you stamp into a notebook so you can graph you day around it. We found downsides and wonderful benefits once we started hacking the idea.

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