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Facing Away from the Mirrors

The room where I teach at a private health club is a small multi-purpose room. It’s not precisely ideal–it’s home to several tall stacks of plastic chairs being stored there, for one thing. It has a wall of mirrors, for another. I know that many yoga studios do have mirrors, but I’m against them, personally. On the first day I began teaching there, I had to decide how to orient the room, and deliberately placed myself at the wall opposite the mirrors, so the students face me with their backs to their reflections. I wondered if that would arouse comment, and sure enough, yesterday one of my new students asked why we didn’t face the mirrors, as they had with their previous yoga teacher. I was glad to have the opportunity to explain. . . . → Read More: Facing Away from the Mirrors

Hand-Painted Awfulness

I hate to be mean, but this may in fact be the ugliest piece of furniture I’ve ever seen. The company calls this little item a “Belvedere Bombay Chest”. (And here I thought the term was bombe, from the French.) By their own admission, the makers have applied no fewer than five decorative techniques to create this mind-bogglingly awful thing: “marbleized painted top, decoupaged flowers, gesso stripes, mirror mosaic front, and seashell encrusted foot board.” Not to mention the opalescent drawer pulls, silver rococo carvings and gilt bun feet. Wow. It’s so over-the-top awful it achieves a kind of legendary quality. . . . → Read More: Hand-Painted Awfulness

Old-Fashioned Applesauce with Old-Fashioned Gizmos

My husband Mark loves homemade applesauce. And so do I. You might not think there would be a great difference between the kind you buy in a jar and homemade, but trust me, there really is. Maybe it’s because with something as simple as applesauce, which is really just apples and a bit of sugar cooked down, the pure flavor of the raw materials really comes through. The hardest part of making applesauce is the preparation. Peeling twenty or thirty apples by hand is no joke! Modern kitchen equipment is no help at all here. What you want is something that is nineteenth century technology—an apple peeler gizmo like the one in the photo above. It makes short work of peeling and coring apples. With one of these the job may still be messy, but at least it will be quick. . . . → Read More: Old-Fashioned Applesauce with Old-Fashioned Gizmos