Things I Love

My roommate introduced me to a blog, JJJJound, that I really enjoy.  It’s basically a photo blog with no page breaks, no internal hyperlinks, or anything else.  It just has a long vertical series of photographs that stretches almost to infinity.  These are photos ranging from the mundane to the artistic; they represent art for art’s sake to artistry in products.  It is this last aspect of the blog that I love.  I love beautiful things, but especially if they’re also practical.

This being a wine blog, it’s not too much of a leap to surmise that I love food (which I do).  Thus, this particular page will be devoted to things like food, coffee, and other beverages that I enjoy.  However, it will also cover products like wineglasses, books, articles of clothing, and whatever else catches my fancy.  When it comes down to it, everyone likes nice things.

October 20, 2011: Wild Planet Wild Sardines in EVOO with Lemon

Full Box

Okay, so I’m a bit ashamed to admit this, but I freaking love sardines.  It started when I was a kid when my mom would buy me tins of Crown Prince sardines.  Neither of my other siblings liked sardines, but for some reason the sight of small, tightly-packed oily fish gets my heart going.

These are probably the best sardines I’ve had in my life.  Apparently, they’re good for the environment because they’re sustainably caught along the California coast (and we all know that if it’s from California it’s sustainable… like suburban sprawl).  But the real question you’re wondering (besides “why am I reading about canned sardines on a wine blog?”) is “how do they taste?”

Excellent.  They taste really good.  But I love these because of their texture: they are firm, meaty, and slightly flaky.  They are not greasy or slimy, and they have been scaled and cleaned really freaking well.  They are pretty much pure protein.  I really like the kind with lemon because (1) each can comes with a cute small slice of lemon on top of the fish! and (2) it is so freaking flavorful.  I would use bread to sop up the oil.  Or, I would use sardines and oil in a pasta dish with white wine.

Buy them!  They’re like $2.19 a can at Whole Foods (which is actually an extremely reasonable price for sardines anywhere!).

October 20, 2011: Long Hiatuses

Apparently.  But I promise I’ll be better about updating this page!

August 4, 2010: The Banana Republic Heritage Toggle Coat

After a four-month hiatus of posting things I love, one might be tempted to assume I have run out of things I love.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  I love many, many things.  I just don’t have time (or, rather, I just spend my time doing other things, like getting drunk.)

It might be strange to post about a piece of winter wear here in the brutal, humid hotness of the Delawarean summer, but I was thinking about how much I love buying winter coats.  It’s a nice Christmas gift to myself, and it’s a nice tradition–one I cherish all the more because it will probably stop as soon as I move back to California.

That being said, my last winter coat was this toggle coat from Banana Republic’s Heritage line.  Previously, I had thought toggles were for preps or Paddington Bear, but when I got the coat through the mail–man!  It’s nice and thick (it’s my warmest coat), and the toggles, which are rope, provide a nice contrast to the dark navy color of the wool.  I can’t wait to have to wear it again… although it probably looks better on this guy instead of on me!

April 2, 2010: Tramontina Gourmet Cast Iron Covered Casserole

Truth be told, I really do love the Le Creuset casseroles, but they’re priced quite out of my budget.  Luckily, Tramontina makes a casserole that’s very similar.  The price is about $100 retail, but I got this one on sale for like $39.  Actually, I got it for less, since I traded in some of my LexisNexis points for it (along with other kitchen items like a Microplane lemon zester and a stainless steel roasting rack).

It’s not Le Creuset, and it’s probably not the same level of craftsmanship.  However, this 6.5-quart casserole is perfect for things like mushroom cream chicken and lamb shanks.  I love it.  Unfortunately, everyone else seems to as well because it’s currently sold out on Amazon!

March 28, 2010: The Mypressi Twist

I love espresso; I love cappuccinos.  I would love to make them at home, but I don’t want to spend a thousand dollars on a machine I’ll use every once in a while for a beverage I can get a much better version of for a lower price at a cafe.  I am also not a fan of those espresso pods–that’s basically like coffee syrup!

Which is why I’m intrigued by the Mypressi Twist.  It’s a handheld device that looks like the portafilter (or group handle) of a conventional espresso machine.  You add nearly-boiling water to a chamber in the top of the Twist, as well as real ground coffee beans.  The pressure comes from a nitrogen cartridge in the handle: each cartridge makes about eight shots of espresso.

Apparently, it makes excellent espresso, much better than many of the home options out there.  It’s not as good as espresso pulled from, say, a La Marzocco, but that should be the case, given that a commercial machine is many thousands of dollars more expensive than the $169.00 Twist.

February 14, 2010: The Zippo Gold Floral Flush Emblem Lighter

Smoking cigarettes for me was a “phase.”  I did it a little bit in college, then a lot more when I was in the working world, and then a little bit again in law school.  I haven’t smoked a cigarette in a very long time.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I should never buy a lighter.  I think every person should have a lighter on them when they go on a night about the town.  What better lighter than a Zippo?

The polished chrome Zippos are always going to be classics, but it seems like everyone has one.  Thus, I present this version, which seems a throwback to another era, like Robert Hass meets art deco.

February 12, 2010: The “Black Cat Project” Cappuccino Cup from Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea

I’ve raved about Intelligentsia Coffee in the past.  This Chicago-based coffee importer/roaster/benign caffeine conglomerate also offers fancy coffee-brewing equipment, such as syphon brewers and Chemex pots.  They recently introduced these sexy cappuccino cup and saucer combos, for sale at their retail locations and online.  Note the red star at the bottom of the bowl; you might  be able to glimpse just a tiny bit of the orange band at the outside bottom of the cup as well.

The “Black Cat Project” is Intelligentsia’s initiative to educate people about the finer art of espresso brewing.  It’s named after their signature espresso blend, which in fact makes a helluva cappuccino and a stellar latte.

(Thank you to Intelligentsia for the picture above.)

February 11, 2010: Crane & Co. Thank You Notes

I love to write letters, and I love stationery.  I generally write letters on 8.5 x 11 college-ruled paper, but when it comes to thank you notes they have to make an impression.  Therefore, I love the thank you notes from Crane & Co.  I have at least two types of thank you notes: one for the gentlemen and one for the ladies.

The one on top is a “Kate Spade Cherry Blossom Thank You Note.”  Designed for Crane by Kate Spade, these are printed with all the vibrancy of spring and are especially appropriate for DC.  The inside of the envelope is a dark chocolate brown.

The one on the bottom is a “Letterpress Leopard Thank You Note.”  It is heavy cardstock with absolutely no adornment inside or out except for the “THANK YOU” in all capitals on the front.  The inside of the envelope, however, has a subtle leopard print pattern which provides a nice and quirky contrast to the austerity of the note.

(Thank you to Crane & Co. for the pictures.)

February 10, 2010: Little Flower Candy Co. Sea Salt Caramels

The combination of sweet and salty is a sublime one.  This little bag of caramels from Pasadena’s Little Flower Candy Co. is a little bag of heaven.  Each caramel has the perfect balance of elasticity and resistance; is sweet but not sugary due an incredible depth of flavor (like the bass in a love song); is salty but just so.  They are great with a cup of coffee, with loved ones, and with cool gray summer mornings.

(Thanks to the Phillie Foodie for this picture.)

6 Responses to “Things I Love”

  1. Sarah February 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Joon, you are one of the things I love!

  2. James February 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Joon, you are one of the things I love! And my love is worth more because I am a man.

    On a serious note: I like what you’re doing with the content of this site. This is a great idea, and wine of the week is even better! Keep up the great work, law talkin guy.

    • vinicultured February 10, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

      That’s funny: “law talkin guy” is what my parents call me. In English.

      All kidding aside, thank you! I’m hoping to take this blog–and therefore myself ;)–more seriously.

  3. Rushab March 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    First off, I’ll join the crowd and let you know Joon, that you are one of things I love too!

    Anyway, the Mypressi looks intriguing. I wonder how the shots it pulls compare to say, a worn out Gaggia Classic? It does look like it would be a lot easier to clean! And yes pods do suck.

    • vinicultured April 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

      Thanks Rushab! If I had my druthers I would take the Gaggia–though I wouldn’t be utilizing it to its full potential because I’d only be pulling like one or two shots of espresso a day, if that. =)

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