16 February 2018. Looks like we've had a bit of an over-run on the latest Fog Linen Work Catalogue #32. Starting today, and for as long as we have them, one will arrive with your order. These catalogue/look-books are a covetable item and feature Fog's latest offerings plus perennial favorites. What's more, you'll get a chance to glimpse Jenny Hallengren's and Masaki Ogawa's beautifully styled images. This paperback book measures 8.25"W x 6.25"H and is 123 pages. Text is in Japanese---not usually available in the U.S., so extra special.
22 January 2018. This week we excitedly un-boxed the Spring 2018 collection of clothing. The new hues heather, rose, mulberry, and especially saffron (above) were, and are, a relief to the eyes-muted brights, soft, and a much needed easing towards a new, warmer season. Immediate impressions were anchoring, earthy, and optimistic. Designer, Yumiko Sekine, credits the colors of Paris as inspiration. We'll take that for sure.
But, as we introduce the Spring collection, we're writing from a still Winter place. Looking out the window, mini ice bergs make their way down the Hudson River from upstate NY. It's chilly. The wind certainly hasn't given up its sharpness and the the desire to hibernate and be a bit more mindful of self-care is still in full force. With that in mind, we wanted to share a calendula salve recipe posted by Erin Boyle recently. Not only is calendula one of our favorite ingredients in all-natural skincare, but the color of the dried flowers are once again, anchoring, earthy, and optimistic. This is a wonderful salve for adults and children and we hope you'll give it a try. If anything, it's a fun and healthy project for your next snow day.
*kamilla top shown above
11 December 2017. So often, the holiday season becomes associated with stress and obligation, endless eating and drinking and socializing and shopping until you can hardly wait for it to all be over. Even the most earnest attempts at holiday mindfulness and self care can be futile against the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It can be a fun respite to refocus for a minute and learn about holiday traditions from around the world. Here are a few that caught our eye:
-In Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken is a holiday staple. Lines for food snake down the block, and people place orders for holiday spreads up to two months in advance. Fried chicken for the holidays became popular in Japan in the 1970s when the chain began advertising special holiday meals for foreigners. The trend caught on among the locals who, like many humans, can do little to resist the comforting, salty call of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
-Hogmanay is the name of the last day of the year in Scotland, as well as the celebration of the new year. As part of Hogmanay, the first person who steps over the threshold of a home after the clock strikes midnight forecasts the luck of that household for the coming year. Men with dark hair are the luckiest “first-footers” to welcome into the home. The type of luck depends on the gift this person brings--salt, coal, cake, or whiskey, to name a few.
-Old Man Bayka strides up and down the streets in Liberia on Christmas Day. Rather than doling out gifts, he asks for gifts from passersby, stoking the holiday giving spirit from a different angle.
What are the holiday traditions you’ll be savoring amidst the rush? Feel free to let us know! We’ll be here, relishing the smells of crackling fires and hot toddies, just a couple of our favorite holiday mainstays.
22 November 2017. Sophocles may have said, “no speech can stain what is noble by nature,” but we all know how well red wine can stain our holiday tablecloth.
Thanks to a super helpful article by cleaning expert Jolie Kerr in the New York Times, we learn that not all stains are created equal. Depending on what caused the stain - such as grease, dairy, starch, wine or chocolate - you want to adjust your approach. For grease stains, you want to use liquid dish soap. Lipstick on your good napkins? Rubbing alcohol is your friend. If things get really out of hand, and you find yourself with a bloodstain, use salt (but don’t rub it into any wounds).
One of our favorite tips is to never put a grease stained item in the dryer until you are sure the stain has been washed it out, as the heat of the dryer will permanently set it. Let the fabric air dry then check to see if the stain is indeed gone. If not, treat and wash it again and that just might do the trick.
Before the party gets started, make sure you have on hand salt, liquid dishwashing soap, Pine Sol, rubbing alcohol, enzyme-based stain remover and liquid stain remover, such as Shout. Check Ms. Kerr’s article to know what to use for what. With this arsenal, you should be able to treat almost any stain and keep your textiles looking fresh. This way you can ensure the memories of your joyful gathering will last, but the stains don’t have to.
Image credit goes to The Bonjon Gourmet. Alanna generously features our kitchen cloths in her food styling and for that we are so grateful. You can find the recipe to this gluten free stone fruit galette with cardamom and honey here.
19 November 2017. Some hosts live for nothing more than to bring people together and feed them well. But, they will still wake up the next morning, perhaps a little sluggish, to sticky countertops and crumpled napkins in unexpected places.
With these napkin-in-the-couch-cushion moments in mind, a host gift for the morning after might be just the thing. Perhaps your host would like nothing more than a loaf of coffee cake from a good bakery or a tin of fancier-than-Liptons tea to take the edge off. Of course, good honey, oil, and salt will never go to waste in a cook’s kitchen, nor will a kitchen cloth or a wooden spoon.
We’ve never begrudged a quality pair of socks, nor will your host, as what better to pad around the house in during the quiet moments of the morning. We’ve also taken a liking to the sheet face masks that are all the rage, and we certainly wouldn’t mind receiving a few of those, perhaps tied together with a piece of kitchen twine or stacked together on a small tray. And, who has ever turned their nose up at lovely bar of soap or tube of creamy hand lotion, the kind of self-care items we sometimes forget to use for ourselves?
As is often the case, if you’re rushing to the party, and a stop at the liquor store is what you’ve got time for, maybe head to the spirits section to see if you can spot something your host might enjoy that will last longer than one evening. Though your host might tell you, “This was no trouble at all!” your thoughtfulness will certainly convey how grateful you are for the good company, the cozy setting, and the fact that your own home gets to rest, undisturbed, for one more evening.
9 November 2017. You know when you find out about something brilliant and wonder why more people don’t know about it, and then you dig a little deeper and realize plenty of people do know but you didn’t? That’s how we feel about these dates. We saw them at a dinner party where they sat, humbly, on a plate. Before we tried them, we noticed that these dates had a sheen from sitting in a golden puddle of olive oil, and we could feel warmth radiating off of them. Leaning in, we saw tiny, crunchy crystals of salt nestled in the ripples and folds of their skin.
Dates are often humble; they’re not the superstar, they’re not an eye-catching hue, and they’re usually made to be the container for something bolder, like bacon. Sometimes they’re blended or baked into other dishes where their full-bodied sweetness bolsters the flavors of another ingredient. They fill these roles so well that it’s rare to see a date served on its own.
Medjool dates are already great candidates for eating. Their plump heaviness and soft texture make them easy to enjoy without adornment. But a gentle sauté with olive oil toasts their outsides and brings forth their earthy sweetness while encouraging the insides to soften towards melting. Savory olive oil and a dash of salt provide balance and that craveable quality.
We think these dates are perfect alone, but those aforementioned, in-the-know folks who have already been serving these as appetizers recommend pouring the dates and oil onto pillowy bed of plain yogurt such that the dates, oil, and yogurt can be scooped up with baguette. We’re gonna call it a “both/and” situation.
Warm Dates with Olive Oil and Salt: Recipe by Renee Erickson via Food52
Medjool dates (enough for 1-2 dates per person if other apps are being served)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt, flaky if possible
Heat 1/4 inch olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Fill the pan with dates and cook, turning them a few times, just until they've warmed through. (They burn easily, so keep an eye out.) Pour them onto a plate with the olive oil from the pan and sprinkle with flaky salt to taste.
24 October 2017. We're excited to introduce Fog's latest Winter collection. It will roll out online in two deliveries and feature a brand new 100% wool fabrication. Many of you are familiar with the wool/linen blend for the cooler months, but we hope you'll grow to love this new permutation. The fabric is warm, soft, and surprisingly not scratchy. The drape and weight of the wool yield structure that is modern and very wearable. For those of you who might miss the linen content, fear not. Many of the items in this Winter collection do include linen details such as the full linen lining of the Mona Coat, or the lined pockets of the Karina Tuck Pants. Designer, Yumiko Sekine chooses combinations that are in balance and ultimately highlight her two favorite materials.
Can you tell us a little about the inspiration for this collection?
I always find inspiration on the production side when I'm visiting the weaving companies and see all of the materials, wools, threads, and all of the possible colors and styles. That's where I begin creating.
The linen for Fog Linen Work is made in Lithuania. Is this true for the wool?
Yes! The woolen fabric is woven at a very old factory in Lithuania. I looked through all of the fabric samples that they had from the past and picked the 'hand' of the wool and colors from their production history.
What do you like best about the new wool?
The feel of the fabric! It's very smooth, soft, and warm. It's good quality and it's fun to mix with the linen. Using the linen for lining and other parts. The color and material work well together.
Do you have a favorite piece from this collection?
The Gemma Tuck Pants. I like the silhouette of the pants. It turned out nicely and comfortable to wear. (arriving in second delivery)
Who is this collection for?
I always design the Fog Linen Work collection for every day life--not for special occasions. But, this Winter collection turned out to be be very elegant. It's versatile and can be worn by an elegant woman for a special occasion or just every day.
*The second delivery will arrive the first or second week of November. Sign up for our mailing list to be informed!
19 October 2017. While we're lamenting the shortening hours of daylight, we're actually loving the cooler temps and the cause to add a few layers here and there. Jeans and sweaters might still be accompanied by flip flops in a last attempt to grab the suns rays, but by night-fall, while we settle in, and settle down, our toes call for our familiar, cozy sock friends.
*image by jenny hallengren
11 October 2017. We’ve noticed some summer produce still out on farmers market tables. Tomatoes, especially, are hanging on in all of their hefty, bulbous glory, and we’re thinking of ways to put these last, sweet beauties to use. We’ve found that this vinaigrette triples as a dressing for fish, greens, and grains, and it contributes the freshness of summer thanks to the bright acidity of sherry vinegar. The simplicity of the recipe means that, within minutes, you get a beautiful, tangy-smooth, light coral sauce to pour over whatever you wish (toast with a fried egg on top, for another example). Add a handful of chopped herbs, and you've already arrived at a flavorful and special meal worth savoring.
Tomato Vinaigrette: Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
1 medium tomato, peeled (if desired), seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (100 ml) olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
5 good grinds of pepper, or to taste
In a blender or food processor, puree the tomato until smooth. Add sherry vinegar. With the machine running, drizzle olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Find more cooking inspiration at Smitten Kitchen
October 5 2017. Every year, a box arrives at the shop that looks perfectly normal, cardboard and scuffed from travel. But this box is different from all other boxes. It's full of calendar cloths, the once-yearly, limited edition cloths that arrive to a waiting list and our collective bated breath. Though the kitchen cloth is the workhorse of the kitchen, the calendar cloth can live as a casual wall hanging, clipped to a piece of twine or pinned to the wall throughout the year. Each cloth features an artist's unique design that conjures a mood or sentiment to usher in the new year. This year, we welcome the work of three new artists: Rae Dunn, Isabelle Boinot, and Yuka Sakamaki. They offer us a snapshot into the simplicity of day to day life, reminding us to live well and mind the passing of each day. At the end of the year, the calendar cloth can continue to hang on the wall or it can have a Cinderella moment, changing back to a workaday cloth.
Image: Angel in Blue Sky by Yuka Sakamaki