I’m one of those weird people that enjoy vacuuming. My favorite flowers are peonies…or stargazer lilies, depending on my mood. Roses are good too. I am twenty-something (I’ll be damned if I’m going to update this every year and when I pass 30 no one gets to know anyway) and hate being called ma’am. I also hate being carded. I once got carded for sitting in the exit row of an airplane. Yeah, you have to be 15. The stewardess looked mildly surprised when she read my ID. I have a serious clothes addiction and need to be physically restrained in certain stores. I collect music. My laptop has a 40 GB hard drive and, until very recently, 35.9 GB of that was taken up by said collection. Currently my desert island mixed tape would include Mumford and Sons, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, Ali Farke Toure and Paul Simon. I am a middle child and have all the appropriate complexes. Family gatherings are conducted in French, Italian, Bulgarian and English, often all at once, often in the same sentence. I grew up on an island in the Pacific Northwest, and if you even mention Twilight I will lose it. I mean in a bad way. But I’m told my little brother looks like Rob Pattinson. I am a country girl at heart but have lived in big cities long enough to appreciate a choice on Friday night. I know more useless Star Wars trivia than I would care to admit. I would rather be camping, kayaking or hiking. I love to run and have participated in 5ks, 8ks, 10ks, two half marathons, and one 200 mile relay. Oh, and Ultimate Frisbee is too a sport.
…to Dizzy Swallows
Dizzy is my place to share, reflect and remember. It will be filled with the things I love, make, admire, experience and find. I hope that these things inspire, excite and enrich the lives of my friends, family and readers.
…to my art
I can’t remember not painting and drawing. Honestly. My mother still has watercolors I made in kindergarten. When I was 10, I started to paint a rainforest on the bathroom walls of my childhood home. It’s still there. I was introduced to oils when I was 12 and never looked back. I feel useless and testy if I’ve been away from the easel too long. When I paint, the world disappears and hours slip away unnoticed. Much of my work is figurative. I find that painting the human form, particularly portraits, creates a bridge between me, the model and the viewer. We all share this beautiful, strange human condition and yet we are each alone in our own bodies. I am fascinated by the topography of the body, the skin. Our bodies hold our history. I admire the work of Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, John Singer Sargent, Bo Bartlett, Jacob Collins, and Nelson Shanks (among others). I paint almost exclusively from my own photographs and from life whenever possible. Photography has been a part of me since high school when I discovered the calm, water-filled serenity of the darkroom. I will never cease to be amazed by light.
…to my recipes
I have a somewhat eclectic culinary heritage, passed down from my French, Italian and Eastern European family. I learned much of what I know about food from my mother, who introduced my sister and I to the kitchen at a very young age. The rest I’ve acquired through long hours of my own gastronomic exploration.
My cooking style is unapologetically domestic. I love home-cooking for its ability to bring unbridled, hedonistic joy to friends, family and myself, naturally. There is something deeply satisfying about feeding your loved ones. In my life, food has played a central role in family, community and many of my most cherished memories. The recipes I share on dizzy swallows are intended to allow room for spontaneity and personal preference. That said, there are times when a recipe must be meticulously honored and I will duly note those as such. Purity, freshness and enjoyment are paramount in my kitchen.