Design

Four Fun Things

Eric ripert salmon

Is anyone else obsessed with chef Eric Ripert’s Instagram right now? During normal times Ripert is a Michelin-starred chef and owner of New York’s Le Bernardin. But these days, he’s just like the rest of us, stuck at home and cooking for his family night after night. (After night, after night!) But, like most chefs, generosity is in his blood, and he’s been instagramming the most wonderful home cooking video tutorials for all of his fans to enjoy. From an unpretentious potato-leek soup, to a dramatic banana flambé, and everything in between, his videos (and his cooking) are not in any way slick or produced, which makes them all the more charming. Last night we made his salmon and red wine sauce, using only his videos as a guide and it was perfect. I’m telling you, there’s nothing I want more than for him to go back to work, but for now, it’s a silver lining I will accept with pleasure. — Jenny

cheree berry paper notecards

My friend Liz sent me a Mother’s Day card on this beautiful colorful stationery. It stood out so cheerfully among a stack of bills, and now I want to send little notes to everyone I love (and miss!). — Joanna

To be honest, I was a little afraid to read Stray, a memoir about growing up in a family touched by tragedy and addiction. Would it be too dark? Too sad? Too hard? When I finally sat down to read it, I flew through it in one day. “You’re really into that book, huh?” said my boyfriend, who couldn’t help but notice how engrossed I was. It was just as dark and sad and hard as I expected, but also brilliant and gorgeous and moving and true. When I reached the final page, I cried — tears of catharsis and also pride for the author for writing this wonderfully courageous book. Deeply, enthusiastically recommended. – Caroline

jcrew sale

Quick head’s up: If you’re looking for summer staples, J. Crew is offering up to 60% off your purchase with code HISUMMER. I especially love these everyday sandals and soft shorts. Go forth! — Joanna

P.S. More fun things, and what classic movies have you not seen?

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  1. Awww :) I love that happy stationery! And you! The stationery is called Note of Many Colors after the Dolly Parton song Coat of Many Colors, which of course sold me. Love you friend. xoxo

  2. Allison says...

    My favorite local bookstore in my neighborhood could use a boost! East City Bookshop in Washington, DC has lovely staff, a welcoming atmosphere, and wonderful recommendations. If you are in DC they are doing contact less pickup at Mr. Henry’s, and they are also shipping books wherever you may be. Check them out, CoJ Community!

    • Sophie says...

      Second this!! East City Bookshop is the loveliest bookstore. They have the friendliest staff and their recommendations never fail. I live outside the city, so I placed an order for shipping and it arrived promptly with the sweetest card and bookmark.

  3. May says...

    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the quality of JCrew’s clothing has taken a nose-dive in recent years? I know it’s far from a luxury brand but at least sew the seams decently and use fabric that doesn’t pill after two washes.

  4. Lee says...

    Pre-ordered Stray and anxiously awaiting its arrival. Loved Danler’s first book and hoping this one is just as good.

  5. jane says...

    Fyi, only one of those links to Eric Ripart actually open – the other two require an account. Would love to see all of them since they’re posted!

  6. Jessica says...

    My family has been making a dish (short pasta with sausage and broccoli) regularly for several weeks now after watching a home cooking video by Chef David Nayfeld of Che Fico in San Francisco. We get what we can at the farmers market but even when we can’t get fresh green garlic or spring onions, it is always still delicious with pantry substitutions! I love all the chefs doing home cooking videos right now. (And extra love for Che Fico for giving away thousands of meals to those in need, no questions asked.)

  7. Abbey says...

    Thanks for suggesting Eric Ripert’s IG. I can’t wait to try something! In related aspirational-cooking-made-achievable news… have any of you been following Massimo Botturo’s “Kitchen Quarantine” IG? He and his daughter make these videos that are just bursting with enthusiasm for their at-home cooking. Italy is re-opening and I’m sure Botturo will be busy again, but what a joy to have had a glimpse into their Kitchen Quarantine :)

  8. Suzanne says...

    Since the “stay at home” order started, I gathered up all my leftover postcards from vacations (I am a postcard hoarder, but it has come in handy!) and have been mailing them to friends near and far. My kids are doing a few too. I call it my “postcard campaign” and it has been well-received. So many people are shocked to find something fun in between the bills and junk mail. Getting a text that says “thank you for the mail” has been equally fun for me. I will have to continue this even after quarantine ends.

    • Jo says...

      My friend from the uk just sent me a postcard she’s had since we were on a trip together 20 years ago in China! It was so special to receive. I haven’t hoarded postcards, but am now making them out of old photos to send to friends instead

  9. Heather says...

    Thanks for the tip about Eric Ripert Jenny. His frozen pizza dinner totally won me over too. Celebrity chefs – they’re just like us! We’ve loved cooking and supporting our favourite spots through take out right now, but are definitely missing the simple pleasure of going out to eat. Can’t wait to try the salmon with some grilled asparagus or a zippy salad on the side (with all of your awesome salad ideas – of course). We’ll put out the fancy napkins and throw on some jazz and pretend we’re at a schmancy fancy restaurant for date night. Wishing everyone at the COJ Team well and sending virtual hugs!

  10. Ali says...

    Thanks for the Eric Ripert tip. Ive also been following Noma (Rene Redzepi) and each week during the lockdown some of their staff make dinner for the rest of the staff and their families. Its pretty fun knowing I’m having the same thing for dinner as the best chefs in the world. Also, while they get ready to open back up, they’ve turned into a burger bar. I love seeing the creativity coming out of the hospitality industry right now, doing their best to turn lemons into lemonade!

    • niece of a selfless public library reference librarian named Rita says...

      I want to plug your local library too, which hopefully has online ebooks for digital reading. Many local libraries must justify their funding through number of patron “visits” and there likely will be budget cuts soon thanks to decline in tax revenues. Libraries are a vital part of the social infrastructure of our communities that serve all. We desperately need to keep them functioning.

  11. Michelle says...

    You already do this with some book links, but would really love for you guys to link us to non-Amazon book sites! Now more than ever where we spend our dollars count, and it seems particularly unnecessary to give to a trillionaire (a thing so unfathomable that spellcheck doesn’t even recognize it) who refuses to treat his workers with basic human dignity.

    Thanks for all you do! xx

    • Emily says...

      yes! Please consider making bookshop.org your go-to book link : )

    • Lauren says...

      Yes, please!!! We should be doing everything we can to support the businesses that we want standing on the other side of this mess. Independent bookstores are at the top of the list for me (and after reading coj for years, I’m guessing the coj contributors as well!)

    • Joaquina says...

      What I do is use local bookstores in my current city and my hometown, to order books online. If you can not find one near you, please consider ordering from Palabras in Phoenix, AZ or Changing Hands in Tempe, AZ!

      CoJ gets many comments pleading for independent bookstore links but my guess is using Amazon links generates money. And that money is needed to keep this blog’s staff working and insured.

      Like you and so many others, I am disgusted by Bezos’s business tactics so I refuse to use Amazon.

    • May says...

      Yes! Yes to this!!

    • freya says...

      YES – especially given how they’ve treated their employees through this virus. PLEASE link to and support independent bookstores.

  12. Agnès says...

    Thank you for these fun links, I love the stationary. here in France, we’re out of quarantine, even in red zone (where the virus is still circulating, like here in Paris), and it’s almost our life back. But no schools yet for most children (like mine), and it’s been a little complicated to organize playdates in the neighbourhood; parents are scared and parks are still closed. But we’ve managed to organize a daily playdate and 2 o 3 children from our son’s classe are showing up. We’re even starting a library because libraries are closed. Playing with other children is everything. With patience and solidarity, we’ll manage. Fear is fierce, but life is strong.

    • freya says...

      I love that: “Fear is fierce, but life is strong”. Sending best wishes to you from NYC.

  13. Megan says...

    Love Eric Ripert’s IG – his lentils (without salmon as I didn’t have any) were the best I’ve ever made!

  14. Loren says...

    I can’t work remotely and have lots of time on my hands, so I posted on Facebook and offered anyone who wanted a handwritten letter. People have been delighted to take me up on it. So far I have written about 25, and have been finally making a serious dent in the collection of stationary I have accumulated over the years. I never know what I am going to say until I sit down and think about the person I am writing to. I found myself telling someone I don’t know very well how deeply he touched me when he told me the story of adopting his son. Another person got an a blow by blow description of my experience dealing with the NYS Department of Labor. Someone else got a list of all the things I would like to do when lockdown is over. A few of the people who wanted letters are friends I talk to all the time and I found that I was able to say some sweet things that I wouldn’t ordinarily say in our quotidian messaging. I don’t know if letter writing is something I will continue doing after the lockdown is over, but it is a lovely way to connect with people I care about and to brighten their day. Also: Let’s buy stamps and support the USPS!

    • Megan says...

      Oh, Loren, this is so lovely!

    • Megan says...

      I love this idea so much, thank you for sharing it. Also, totally with you on supporting the PO. Buying stamps by the roll!

  15. Rayne says...

    I love his simple scrambled eggs! I watched it about ten times!

  16. Sarah Malcom says...

    Speaking of NY chefs, very curious if COJ will address the recent Allison Roman news…I think this would be a fascinating topic for (respectful) discussion here

    • Loren says...

      I am FURIOUS that the Times put Alison Roman’s column on hiatus. I am seriously thinking of canceling my subscription and one of my friends, a well known food writer who writes for them from time to time, canceled hers yesterday. Ms. Roman did absolutely nothing wrong, nothing she said was racist, and she should not have apologized for speaking her mind about what was important to her. If She is permanently consigned to a life of meekness or silence because of the ridiculous backlash, which in my opinion is simply a woman being told to shut up and be more ladylike, it will be a tremendous loss to everyone.

    • Samantha says...

      Loren, I’m not sure I agree.
      Roman maybe didn’t say anything outright racist, but she called out two women of color, and bashes Chrissy Teigen for having a product line- but in the previous answer, talks about how she has a product partnership coming out: “I have a collaboration coming out with [the cookware startup] Material, a capsule collection. It’s limited edition, a few tools that I designed that are based on tools that I use that aren’t in production anywhere — vintage spoons and very specific things that are one-offs that I found at antique markets that they have made for me.”

      She also says, “But at the same time, I do need to figure out how to turn this into money. Straight up.”

      Is that not exactly what Kondo and Teigen are doing? It is hard to not see this as Roman, a white woman saying she needs to make money, while at the same time criticizing two Asian women for doing the same thing.

      I read her Twitter apology, and I think it was heartfelt and genuine. I don’t think her column should be canceled indefinitely, but she needs to have some consequences for her words. Otherwise, she is continuing to benefit from white privilege.

      The interview is here, for anyone that hasn’t read it: https://newconsumer.com/2020/05/alison-roman-interview/

  17. April says...

    the shorts are excluded from the promo! whomppp!

  18. Annie says...

    Hi CoJ team! For book recommendations, I would love if you linked to Books are Magic, Bookshop, or even my local nonprofit bookstore, Blue Manatee Literacy Project (https://shop.bluemanatee.org/), for book recommendations. I know I’m trying to diversify my spending away from Amazon as much as possible and expect others may be as well. Thank you!

    • Denise says...

      Maybe a post where people can comment with local booksellers?

    • Annie says...

      Awesome idea, Denise! I would love this. Then anytime a book reco is made CoJ could link back to the ‘master list’ so people could easily support local!

    • Lauren says...

      I love the idea of a post celebrating our favorite local bookstores.

      But if that’s too large of a lift something as simple as switching the link from amazon to bookshop.org is a really simple thing to take a step in the right direction.

    • Abbey says...

      Great suggestion! Linking to bookshop.org (instead of amazon) would be a major improvement and would make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Thank you in advance! ;)

  19. RS says...

    I went to art school with Cheree—she’s so talented, and was always so fun to be around too. As is evident by her cheerful stationery.

  20. Cynthia says...

    What fun stationary!

  21. Amy says...

    That salmon looks amazing!

  22. Abby says...

    Yes!!! Eric Ripert posted on Instagram his frozen pizza dinner in quarantine… I nearly cried!! He’s just like us!! Love.

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      That’s when he officially won me over. Love him!

  23. Anon says...

    Hello, does the JCrew discount code work for European customers?