Monday, September 13, 2010

Innately India

Fashion designer Tory Burch traveled to India earlier this year and, in our own tribute to India's endearments  - the colors, the fabrics, the fabulously bejeweled accessories - and because we wish we had gone,  we're throwing a little India homage right here.  You're invited, of course.

First, we'd dress the part in this pretty dress designed by our India-touring Tory...

Tory Burch India Silk maxi dress, new, size XS, on Ebay

And, since there is a slight chill in the fall air,  we'd find ourselves casually tossing over our shoulders a dreamy lightweight wool scarf like one of these from Zeba Home in Marin...the purple one... under the silver finger bracelet.  We'd take one of those, too.

Wool shawls and embroidered cotton pillows, $35.  Finger bracelet, $25.
We'd listen for your footsteps crunching on the path as you approach our charming baṅglā through precious gates of teak inlaid with colorful tin.

Zeba Home.  Pair of tin-inlaid teak doors.  44.5" w x 77" h.  $1250. Other colors available.

Gliding easily toward you, we guide you into a brightly-upholstered space scattered with colorful poufs  (we choose the blue sequined one) 

Zeba Home. Assorted Poufs.

and layered with luscious pillows.  You, we think, will seek out the reds...

Zeba Home.  Pillows of cotton, silk, satin.  $35. to $40.
 or perhaps the creamy-colored ones ...

Zeba Home. Gold with gold-thread embroiadery,  $35.  Ivory with sequins, $25.

As we settle around a low table,  you admire the sheer cotton cloths that cover it.  Naturally, you're right; they're so pretty, we think we could wear them.

Zeba Home. Sheer cotton tablecloths, $45.
After an apertif, and with a musical snap of our finger cymbals (ting!), an Indian delicacy, wafting steamy and sensuous aromas, arrives.  Some Bengali Chicken (or Tofu) Garam Masala for you?  Some more?
Destinations Dinners. Recipe Kit, $25.
We don't tell you that almost all the ingredients to make it came to us by mail in a beautiful red gift box from  Destination Dinners: Recipes From Around the Globe - items such as the pre-measured exotic spices, recipe and shopping list, table setting suggestions and... a trivia card about India, just for fun.

After all, if our dinner conversation doesn't sparkle, what will?

Finally,  we indulge in a sweetened Fruit Kebab because we know you love sweets and, before you leave, we slip you the recipe, courtesy of Petrina Verma Sarkar.

Of course, you thank us effusively.  Of course, we blush. 

Sweetened Fruit Kebabs *
3 large bananas, diced
2 cups pineapple chunks
2 apples cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups seedless grapes
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh grated coconut, on plate.

Pour the condensed milk onto a plate and chill in the refrigerator for an hour. 
Skewer the fruit into pleasing combinations.
Roll skewer in condensed milk until fully coated, then in the coconut. Coat completely. 
Chill  before serving.

* As always, best when prepared and served by someone else.

Zeba Home of Marin • 716 Fourth St. • San Rafael, CA • 415-259-6197 •

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ironing...on the rocks

For sweet-smelling clothes and linens, try this recipe for scented ironing water from San Francisco's Cole Hardware:

3 tablespoons vodka
10 to 20 drops of scented essential oil

2 cups of distilled water

Seal tightly in a jar; shake well.

Leave in a dark place for two weeks then pour into a spray bottle. 
Test first on hidden seam or hem before ironing. 
Store in refrigerator between uses.