PROFILE: ODE TO A YOUNG LADY… ODETTE LAKE

 

 

B60E85D7-E216-4892-9D55-5A3296EB3052

Odette Lake pictured from birth to 5 years old

I wanted to do this post on Odette’s actual Birthday, her fifth to be exact, alas it wasn’t meant to be…so I thought what better way to celebrate the end of one year and welcome a fresh new year than by celebrating the continuing adventures of this fascinating young lady.  I met Odette’s delightful parents, Cory and Stephanie Lake, a couple of years ago when Stephanie came to Chicago to launch her magnificent monograph on Bonnie Cashin, Bonnie Cashin: Chic Is Where You Find It.  We bonded at The Ritz Carlton over champagne (both Stephanie and my drink of choice) and stories of Cashin.  Both Cory (a major player in insurance) and Stephanie (not only THE authority on Cashin, she also owns and maintains the Cashin Archives and is also a superb jeweler of one of a kind pieces) both their CV’s are beyond compare and they are totally involved in their community, with the Arts, multiple philanthropy endeavors, known for their glorious entertaining, and most importantly exposing their daughter to all their interests and letting her find her own charitable causes, artistic pursuits, entertaining, (a Lake passion!) dancing, art, fashion, interior decor, her new passion…singing, and on and on.

0AE11794-4C00-424A-AC30-1D80086505A5

EC1C5A7E-97DC-4D10-954E-C071D8771697

13D9CDF5-5D35-45D9-BD6E-37A120DEA770

16EB2E4A-7D51-4E19-B7DB-A5E34B77A424

C0ACA55E-6410-404A-BD42-06AEEA505D0B

A91EE46B-4100-4301-BA00-BB7467FAA660The very, very happy family……

And with her best friend her Gaga, Kay (Stephanie’s Mother)

132B18D3-084A-422E-9FD1-6BCC93B2A47D

After our initial meeting I did a week of posts on the Lakes (check the nenasnotes Archives), they are still some of my most viewed posts. We have continued to be in touch and refer to each other as “BFF” at all times, in writing and on the phone.  I invited Stephanie to be in conversation at the August nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club which was a great success with my Club Members, only Odette’s 5th Birthday kept her from being with us in person.

6C9D4D34-CF95-4A80-BBA7-3F4AACC50D7A.jpegOne of my favorite photos, absorbing garments from the iconic Bonnie Cashion Archives at age 2.

But I digress…this post is about a very special 5 year old.  I could, indeed do an entire post on Sayings by Odette, I have, in fact, suggested a book, the words/phrases are quite memorable, instead I thought I would tell her story through photos…you know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” so prepare yourself for many thousands of words! I am including just a small portion of the photos shared with me, you can be sure there will be Parts 2, 3, 4 and so on….a fascinating young lady, and her exceptional parents, there needs to be more than one post to totally appreciate the education, excitement and enlightenment of this inquiring young mind.  Enjoy…

You have met Odette in some of my earlier posts, recently when I did my review post on The Joffrey Ballet’s new production of Swan Lake (again please check the nenasnotes Archive for the post).  I asked the Joffrey if they could send a signed toe shoe from her namesake Odette along with other memorabilia.  She was enthralled with her package, it was an early birthday surprise.

Swan Lake inspiration…..Halloween baby “Odette” and Halloween 5 year old “Odelle”

And with the Joffrey gifts, the t-shirt was her first and she slept in it the first night… and amazingly the toe shoe fit her!

One of her many ballet class outfits…very definitely under the spell of Swan Lake.

930F25CE-FE23-4B6B-BB6D-74DD937342B3

More dance class….

CF1E25FF-71CD-446C-99F5-2B1B145F7F4E

C10105D7-CD08-4BAE-B61E-9EB8165E183E

With animals…..

AA7D27AF-D7DE-412B-8E7A-641707D7DF84

D076C9B7-AB94-4395-9BB0-B06C7A895A8F

EA3B9C38-5ED1-4FFD-8DC5-E983EAD6E358

Odette’s Environment….

104FA3AC-9ACC-45FA-940F-BA142A4EC722

9B18989B-03D2-40D0-B529-351924767583

11CE0C3C-421C-455F-A144-ACB82232A0D7

38AAD0C0-BA5C-4C81-9F3F-78B0BB101438

E6E5606E-A1C6-4AE7-90F4-1E4AC21FB4BFEntertaining guests…

Closets and collections….7D528275-E4EB-4B16-9E96-C5E51185D40F

E4F390B7-A73A-4C91-AFFC-6C9159454B28

38C52202-1E5B-4A38-8B86-AB6E652201982D1EFD63-EC44-4A03-8338-D1F14793E877

Original Warhol shoe painting from Odette’s Cashin Collection…

473BE5A9-2B42-4515-B003-C3F0EA0A5DF6

A755F09E-206D-45CA-B3B8-982854781CD90EA95BE7-946F-424B-8D54-F828C7DF2DE3

0556C914-7C71-4F57-AF77-FB3E8A03F8F1

Christmas 2018….Santa knows a good girl when he sees one….

AF03F4C7-D47D-4789-9865-E49C1B543D31

49BA0661-F14D-49B0-A577-205058D9803D

B24EDCC0-BFCF-481D-9D47-AA2CDD8741B5

The caviar connoisseur….

952727AE-8EC8-4F9E-B409-0B68D99E713A

Caviar is not only one of Odette’s favorite foods, I must admit it is one of mine, actually I started enjoying this delicacy as a child as well!  I found this wonderful recipe in a Sunday New York Times article (see info on their food app below) and it will now be my go to treat to be included in my New Year’s Eve celebration to ring in 2019 and every year…and in between….enjoy!!!!

Caviar Sandwich from The New York Times
By Gabrielle Hamilton
INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup crème fraîche
3 scallions, thinly slivered on the bias, about 4 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 eggs
8 slices white sandwich bread, preferably Pepperidge Farm “Very Thin”
2 to 3 tablespoons soft butter 2 ounces caviar
2 tablespoons chives, minced
PREPARATION
FOR SCALLION CRÈME FRAÎCHE:
Step 1
In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche, scallions, black pepper and kosher salt. Stir aggressively with a rubber spatula until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the crème fraîche is smooth and spreadable. Set aside.
FOR SOFT HARD-BOILED EGGS:
Step 1
Bring a small pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Carefully lower your eggs into the boiling water using a slotted spoon, taking care not to crack the shells. Cook the eggs for 7 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a gentle boil. Remove eggs to a bowl of ice water, and cool completely. Gently crack eggs all over, peel and roughly chop. Set aside.
TO ASSEMBLE:
Step 1
Toast white bread until light golden brown. Remove from toaster, and butter each slice, as we say, wall to wall.
Step 2
Repeat with the scallion crème fraîche so that both halves of each sandwich have an even schmear.
Step 3
Spread an even layer of chopped egg on 4 slices (of the total of 8 slices) of toast.
Step 4
Evenly dot the caviar on top of the chopped egg.
Step 5
Sprinkle chives on top of the caviar.
Step 6
Place the remaining 4 slices of crème-fraîche toast on top of the egg-caviar side. Press down very gently, and slice in half on the bias. Serve at once.
YIELD 2to4 servings
TIME 30 minutes
Find Caviar Sandwich (https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019864-caviar-sandwich) on NYT Cooking.

Download The New York Times Cooking App (https://itunes.apple.com/app/id911422904) on the App Store.

A brief glimpse at the first five years…..can’t wait to see and share the next chapters….stay tuned…

CE2452C7-9ED3-4FE6-9F6C-40A157CE6257

Perhaps she an she see into her future, it can only be filled with continued wonder, excitement and enlightenment..

D79B79BE-8C6A-4C1B-B268-F5A50CDF940C

 

 

Advertisements

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS: PINK: THE HISTORY OF A PUNK, PRETTY, POWERFUL COLOR

 

22B49155-B5B5-4790-9198-0F4848E9F178.jpegThis will be a combination post….a book review, an overview of my conversation with the erudite, Valerie Steele for my monthly nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club, and additional thoughts on PINK. The book edited by Steele is the companion to the current exhibition, ending January 5th, at The Museum at FITwhere she is the Director and major guiding influencer.

A1CFEBC0-2087-49FB-8090-CF861BBD691A

The FIT exhibitions are always brilliantly mounted and worthy of your visit. There will be two exhibitions in 2019 that will be accompanied by books, more opportunities for us to hear from this unique fashion scholar (she is so much more…as you will learn in an upcoming nenasnotes Profile!)

6B8E6057-FAEE-4C8A-AF9F-FA423EDE7CE6

B3E39878-FA89-4B7B-B66A-A48A74BB3E05

Book Review and other thoughts on pink in fashion and our lives: The book is brilliantly written, edited and illustrated. Giving us insights into a color that has been in fashion for centuries.  I particularly like the layout of the book (not all the pictures accompanying this post are in the book or exhibition but are being used to illustrate my take on pink!) taking us from the courts of Europe when pink was worn by as many men (see above illustration) as women through Haute Couture Collections to Punk to Red Carpets to Pussy Hats to Real Men Wear Pink to pink ribbons fighting  breast cancer.  We learn about the introduction of Shocking Pink by Elsa Schiaparelli to the iconic Yves Saint Laurent black gown with wide shocking pink bow, a garment, that Steele shared with us in conversation, that was a major exhibition coup and one she was especially excited to include.  It is a MUST for your fashion library, but then all of Valerie Steele’s books are meant to be included there.

I have had the fabulous good fortune to have many brilliant authors join me in conversation for the monthly nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club and I must admit Valerie wasn’t an exception, we all learned so much!  I hope she enjoyed the hour as much as I did and the attendees were in rapt attention, I might even say in awe with her at ease conversation in sharing her expertise which, in my opinion, knows no bounds.  Bravo Valerie and thank you….here’s to the next book!

The reinvention of Schiaparelli, Christian Lacroix with the first collection (which I thought was brilliant, but then I am a huge fan of Lacroix!) and a more recent interpretation, love the color combination!

DFA77406-B3DD-44EC-BAEC-C03DFB59200F

1B575304-AB2C-4893-A5CD-B2EDF31C8DE3

Two photos from the exhibition……notice the Comme des Garçons (pale pink on the far right) is inspired by court gowns of the 18th century.  The book and exhibition pushes our knowledge of color, silhouette, influence and on and on…I suggest when you either read an accompany exhibition book or are fortunate enough to visit one that you look beyond the obvious, leave behind what you think you know and absorb the detail of the garments and text…clothing is history which oftens recreates itself but always defines a place in time.

F37F430D-0552-416F-8E7D-D51F2D9FEBBF

A masterwork by a master craftsman Charles James from the Costume Collections of the Chicago History Museum

Pink in major works of art as well as the fabulous scene in Funny Face with the extraordinary Kay Thompson et al singing “Think Pink” an ode to the classic Diana Vreeland proclamation “Pink is the navy blue of India!”

1754938F-4234-400F-A0D7-8D18B01B783A3AA2B026-7F64-4A04-974D-17F19230978DBarbie Pink is Red Carpet ready….and from the Valentino Haute Couture catwalk to Tracee Ellis Ross on the real runway, the Emmy’s Red Carpet, gorgeous!!!!

9768E5DE-929A-4B35-AB47-9E4EA80E5BB6Exquisite pink entryway

7C9D38C5-35C1-40BE-9D02-B07BF0641E69                                       Pink Cadillacs and Grease’s Pink Ladies

F34E3383-B16F-42A5-80AC-A4C71F74A982

 

E2FF171D-BA38-4984-868E-DD407BE2B28CReal Men Wear Pink supporting  Chicago fundraising for Breast Cancer

Carolyne Roehm in one of her designs from her new book Carolyne Roehm: Design & Style: A Common Thread

9B136684-9AF5-438C-AB63-E0044A4D67A1

Catherine Grace O’Connell Founder of Forever Fierce Revolution and a nenasnotes Profile, please check Archives.  839D3BE2-7469-4238-9312-8528641C568C

642C0A27-B51B-48BC-BEF1-C5C79F0D27E2

Shades of pink for an interior space

Some pieces courtesy of the Costume Collection of the Chicago History Museum  gathered for me by Jessica Pushor, Costume Collections Manager. You can research on their digital platform.

0D3E8FE7-2295-4D7F-987A-D193EF3C7AF2

A glorious ethereal fantasy.

3558ED37-9A94-4AEA-95FE-84153CEDC710

Of course, an exquisite rose to inspire us….

F6AC5810-168B-40B4-93CD-1CE9CF92AA94

And from the uber talented artist, Rosemary Fanti, her interpretation of me in her pink creation….a surprise gift at The Fashion Book Club.  Thrilled to include it in my Rt collection.

 

28BF6A89-7FBB-458D-8EB6-1DF52F1DD300

All photos unless otherwise noted from Pinterest photo credits unknown.

MY BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS POSTS ARE UNDRRWRIITEN BY AN ANONYMOUS SPONSOR.  PLEASE CONTACT ME AT NENASNOTES1@gmail.com FOR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNIES OR nenasnotes THE FASHION BOOK CLUB INFORMATION. 

 

COLLECTIONS: TEDDY BEARS ON PARADE

IMG_4129

Ralph Lauren Bears

I’m sure, by now, you are aware that Ralph Lauren is celebrating 50 years of trendsetting fashion and a total way of living. The name is synonymous with the word “lifestyle” and, in my opinion, no one does it better! The theme of the Michigan Avenue, Chicago windows this season is a glorious bear family and they are truly Holiday magic.

A few more from the Ralph Lauren Collection…

05B90876-66F5-4173-9900-C29AEC01E652

D82FEDAC-B142-4F86-B747-E5144DE5ED1D

This is not, however, a Ralph Lauren sponsored post but a story about teddy bears which really started with founder Margarete Steiff in 1880 who was making plush toys in Giengen, Germany.  The company is best known for its teddy bears which were invented in 1902 some of which command thousands of dollars on the secondary market  According to the Steiff website “Manufacturing is still done by hand in our factory in Germany. Steiff products are often considered family heirlooms and are passed from generation to generation. Steiff animals are made from mohair, alpaca, cashmere, 100 percent cotton velvet, 100 percent wool felt, and valuable woven plush – a material usually reserved for the high fashion industry.”

I’m sure we all have had or still have our childhood Teddy’s.  Just a little story about my kitty, Noel (guess when she arrived, yet another story for another time) her favorite “companions” were her miniature Steiff animals, in particular her teddy bear, that she would carry around in her mouth and talk to, adorable and treasured memories!

Margarete Steiff and her favorite nephew, Richard Steiff “father” of the teddy bear in 1902.  Do read the story of how “teddy” got his name on The National Park Service website, it has “something” to do with Teddy Roosevelt, but you knew that!!

47F1E337-6915-47AD-9DE1-52120B3C2864

While I was recently visiting friends I was invited to another friend’s home that is filled with many treasures (they will fill several posts in the near future) but one bedroom is the teddy bear tree and then some…the following photos I took of Earl Summers delightful teddy bear guest room….28E18148-5A55-40A2-AD70-43C6BABE7CA3

A372154D-32EE-47D2-BC4D-46F76494D216

5AF921C2-8994-47F3-8CC7-86D76A5DFD53

45404B58-A368-4790-BE73-84A525E96C5F

F52D855B-5283-4883-ACC4-734572CD16F6Aren’t they all too adorable for words….what a collection.

A precious little lady whose portrait I found on Pinterest, love her…

B68B5FA9-BE3B-41B8-BD46-8D55A62065A2

Of course, Pagebear, The Peninsula Chicago’s iconic bear….

37B226A8-466F-4F67-8D38-93A244A1F795

And then there are our Chicago Bears….go Bears….

5090EBB5-AA7D-4502-937E-3E81B20BA152

For your Holiday entertaining a perfect recipe for your drinks party….

I saved this recipe to (I don’t remember where I originally found it!) the New York Times Cooking App (one of my favorite Apps), subscribe for fabulous recipes and you can save any recipes you find on line, give yourself a gift of the App, you will thank you!!!!!  Tommy and I have added this nut recipe to our tried and true collection for gift giving, Holiday entertaining and, of course, your own snacking  really, really delicious, it is my favorite this year!

Rosemary Spiced Nuts
by PETER MCQUAID

Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11308-rosemary-spiced-nuts

INGREDIENTS

1 pound unsalted mixed nuts
1 tablespoon melted butter
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar or granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Mix nuts and butter together on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 350.  Mix the rest of the ingredients and toss with nuts and let cool.

Nena’s Note….you will want to make more than one batch, trust me!!!!!!

All photos,  unless wisenoted found on Pinterest photo credits unknown.

This is an unsponsored post, as always, unless quoted, the copy is mine for sponsorship opportunities please contact me at nenasnotes1@gmail.com

 

 

 

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS: TONY DUQUETTE’S DAWNRIDGE

 

 

79EE3272-C253-4FA9-86F9-40B7B94D9A47

I have had the pleasure of working with Hutton Wilkinson when he launched his first book written with Wendy Goodman, TONY DUQUETTE, followed by MORE IS MORE and TONY DUQUETTE AND HUTTON WILKINSON JEWELRY and when he presented his extraordinary fine jewelry collection at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago on several occasions…just gorgeous. “Discovered” by the legendary Elsie de Wolfe, Tony brought his distinctive dramatic style to the world of theater and modern interiors. (An aside, Hutton has also written a book, in two volumes, on these two totally different personalities, THE WALK TO ELSIE’S, and a children’s book,  GASPER BROWN AND THE MYSTERY OF THE GASPARILLA  SUCESSION.) The Duquette books have brought the genius of Tony Duquette to the public many of whom really only knew of his unique creativity through his stage and screen sets and costumes, as well as ballets and operas.  I fell for his sketches (aspire to own one!) years and years ago (Hutton, a book of Tony’s Sketches please!!!!!!)

From Kismet, the film, I recently saw this, hadn’t seen it in years (I’ve always adored Howard Keel’s voice), a fun campy film, but totally worth a viewing for the sets and costumes, oh my!!!!

From the film, Lovely To Look At….8800395E-2E4E-4095-8FFA-9EE86BAE393E

And a sketch for the Broadway production of Camelot….another piece of heaven…1F4ADCF4-12D5-4932-A256-14EBEEC43C37

To see this iconic man’s vision through the eyes of the man who worked with him, is maintaining his legacy and continues to honor the Duquette culture by restoring and “modernizing” his home DAWNRIDGE.  We must applaud Hutton for continuing the mystic of this unique creator. NEWS FLASH, HUTTON WILL BE WITH US, IN CONVERSATION, EARLY 2019, FOR nenasnotes THE FASHION BOOK CLUB TO DISCUSS DAWRIDGE AND WILL DO THE PROFILE QUESTIONNAIRE FOR THIS BLOG….I AM BEYOND, JUST BEYOND THRILLED!!!!!  You will immediately love his stories and enjoy sharing his brilliance!  You can tell I’m a HUGE fan!

E8FB6709-12F0-41B2-8D6C-520BC756BCE6

Tony Duquette with Hutton Wilkinson, his protégé, collaborator and now the keeper of the Tony Duquette legacy.

Now on to the book….in my opinion it is the most intimate and personal of the three “lifestyle” books, it features photos from the original homes and new photography by Tim Street-Porter of the restored/redone breathtakingly beautiful house(s) and grounds.  Hamish Bowles does the brilliant forward (himself, a busy Icon, (my favorite fashion/lifestyle guru), with all the book “forwards” he has done along with his position as International Editor-At-Large for Vogue and his own publications, does he sleep?  I wonder, would he do mine, when my book comes to fruition….just saying!!!)

Here is a quote of  part of a paragraph from Hamish (I had the joy of being “in conversation” with him for the Costume Council of The Chicago History Museum several years ago, a major thrill and true honor!) From the forward a quote talking about another idol of mine the superb designer Gilbert Adrian, in my opinion, the best of the Golden Age of Hollywood designers, Adrian also brought his talents to department stores across the country as well as his own salon…

“‘Amaze me!’ was Adrian’s injunction to Duquette, and the young artist obliged with decors for the designer’s salon and fashion shows of eclipsing fantasy and charm. Duquette was made for Tinseltown, the land of illusion, and for the director Vincente Minnelli he created movie decors as fanciful as the homes he invented for himself and his wife, the ethereal artist Elizabeth Johnstone.”

Imsges of the Duquette interiors for Adrian’s Salon (not from the book found on Pinterest credit unknown).

And from Hutton these two quotes from page 13 (by coincidence, my lucky number!)

“Before he died, (in 1999) I promised Tony that I’d try to save Dawnridge.”

“It has been our pleasure (Hutton and his wife, Ruth) to save the life of this fabled house and to continue the tradition of creative hospitality that Dawnridge is known for.  As Tony would say ‘We do these things for our pleasure, and hopefully, to inspire individuality and creativity in others through the art of living and the living arts’.  Dawnridge is a living house, constantly changing and evolving.  It is the dearest hope of mine and my wife Ruth’s—and hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul—that Dawnridge will continue to inspire, enchant, and inform for generations to come.”  Hutton, exquisitely stated!

The beginning of the book gives us a detailed understanding of Tony’s life, and, of course how Hutton became his creative partner.  The book is then organized by the three main houses and the elaborate grounds. Hutton takes us through the painstaking process of repurchasing many of the “lost” treasures of the home, the detailed drama of “reinventing” the original concept and not only enhancing it but bringing the dream into the reality of the 21st Century with its modern technology while keeping the essence and tradition of the original rooms, buildings and grounds in their transformations. I would go so far as to say an exquisite Phoenix has risen from the “ashes”.

Some photos from the book….taken from Pinterest.  I could live in any of the spaces since my motto is definitely more is more and my most favorite color is green, let alone all the Malachite, and the chandeliers, and the layering, and…………totally dreamy!  B54760E9-19C3-4156-B2EB-64754280B4E1

0644EEE6-51FD-4C1E-A25B-F51680EE979B

5854A4F8-0196-457F-BB8D-21E27EA744EF

D769FF05-3CED-4B24-B7E6-6E89A62F98A8

36F69163-B4E4-4C84-87F1-C52CA6086765

A perfect choice for your gift giving and for yourself, of course, this Holiday season….remember to patronize your local Independent Bookseller, mine is The Book Stall

This post is underwritten by an unanimous sponsor.  Contact me for details for nenasnotes sponsorship opportunities, nenasnotes1@gmail.com.

SATURDAY MUSINGS: JOFFREY BALLET CHICAGO THE NUTCRACKER

CF2AF731-3D6A-4C29-96F9-7C952FA536C9

Much like Clara (Marie in this production), in Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, I think I have been fascinated with Nutcrackers since I first saw the ballet as a little girl.  Our own Joffrey Ballet, does a superb new interpretation choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon and running through December 30th at our exquisite Auditorium Theater, as seen above in my photograph of the curtain.

DAEBF9A3-CF53-4169-AF0B-2EB9601B9898

My first, and for many years, was the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo which I adored, that was followed by the New York City Ballet choreographed by the incredible George Balanchine at Lincoln Center which I saw in NYC in 1964 and to my mind the best until I saw the Joffrey’s production when they first came to Chicago….pure magic and performed at The Rosemont Theater.  An aside, when I was at Saks Fifth Avenue we did a series of what we called Platinum Events and our Platinum clients could choose from a menu of events (I’ll go into those in another post) one of these was the opening night of the Nutcracker with a catered dinner after the performance in the Theater’s Private Room.  I did red plaid taffeta cloths to the floor, of course, on the dinner tables and along with Gerald Arpino had at least one dancer from the performance, in their costumes, at each table.  The centerpieces were elegant stunning German Nutcrackers which we’re given to each guest as their gift after dinner. The event was very private with only fifteen couples, the Store Manager with their spouse and me.  A huge success.  I have been a huge fan of The Joffrey’s Nutcracker and I must admit I was skeptical of the new version…..silly me it is beyond brilliant….is Wheeldon the new Balanchine, I am beginning to think so.  I have to compliment the genius team of Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director and Greg Cameron, President and CEO for continuing to push our extraordinary company in new directions especially with the Classics (my favorites).  Up next the world premiere of Anna Karenina, February 13th through 24th, Mark your calendars now, I know I will! Better yet get your season tickets….what a perfect Holiday gift for everyone on your list and for yourself, I’d like to find that in the toe of my stocking!

Julian Crouch bringing his incredible Nutcracker to life. Photos by Cheryl Mann.

I  wrote the following on my Instagram account immediately after the performance last week and wanted to share that “review” with you.

“I am never at a lack for words but the Joffrey Ballet Chicago’s production of Christopher Wheeldon’s The Nutcracker has rendered me speechless….it is a flawless spectacle. The dancing, the use of modern technology in a traditional beloved ballet, the costumes and the sets…WOW. On this the 200th birthday of our State, it was a perfect celebration of our history to reimagine the setting and place it in Chicago at the spectacular World’s  Columbian Exhibition of 1893.”

Fabrice Calmels as  The Great Impresano of The Fair and ensemble, Cara Marie Gary as Marie, Fabrice, Cara and Yoshihisa Aria as Franz.

Miguel Angel Bianca and Alberto Velazquez E63BDAF5-1F64-4791-86BB-F59BCF1638D1

BF45D9F9-2A73-4721-B712-EEECCD69FCCF

Dylan Gutierrez as The Rat Catcher.

2DCF2595-FAFA-41E7-AD5B-CCE2BD5CE5CC

Fernando Duarte as Mother Nutcracker

40469D52-65BE-428B-8557-10A960D236EC

Fabrice Calmels and April Daly as The Great Impresario and The Queen of the Fair

713A6A84-1229-4E44-B06C-9F71AF3D22CD

The corps de ballet as snowflakes in the Second Act.

2B636D09-D0CE-4C36-B22F-3663BFEACAF6

1554848A-1A61-4EB6-9C2B-79BFE27EB4BC

Finale…please notice the staging replicating the Auditorium interior pillars, beyond gorgeous. They also lit the ceiling for a bit of glamourous effect. The Louis Sullivan building was completed in 1889 and in addition to the theater the building housed a hotel…I’m sure guests to the World’s Fair stayed there.

The production will be at The Auditorium Theater through December 30th. Do go you will be transfixed, something we all need!!!!

Where can you find vintage collectible Nutcrackers, of course, i would suggest you check out the December Randolph Street Market on December 15 and 16. And if you more history about actual nutcrackers please go to the Randolph Street Market blog for my  November post on them (I do two posts monthly you might enjoy them give, the site a look!)

All the images were shared with me by The Joffrey Ballet and were taken by the talented  Cheryl Mann.

This is not a sponsored post.

THURSDAY MUSINGS: CHRISTMAS IN BLUE ISLAND LIGHT PARADE

E8BAD04D-A57C-4B24-B378-71AD4B67F3AE.jpeg

 

You have heard me mention my visits with my dear friends (my “adopted family”) in Blue Island, Illinois.  In fact, I have done several blog posts about “The Islands” over the past three years  I would love for you to share the fun this Saturday, December 1st for their special Annual Blue Island Light Parade and Kringle Mart.  The following is all the information you will need for a quick get away from Chicago.  You will love Blue Island’s exquisite diverse architecture and most importantly, its charming, welcoming residents….go and have fun, I know they will!!!!

“Blue Island kicks off the Christmas season on Saturday December 1st

Blue Island, IL – Plans are underway for a fun-filled, family friendly day to kick off the Holiday Season. The highlight of the day will be the Blue Island Light Parade that will take place on Saturday, December 1st at 5:30 pm. It will begin at Western Ave. and Prairie, go south to New Street.

Join Mayor Vargas at MetroSouth Park following the Parade to light the Christmas Trees in the park. Then bring the kids over to the Santa House at High and Western to take their picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus, bring your phone or camera (from 6:30 pm until 9 pm).

Earlier in the day, the Blue Island Public Library will be showing Christmas movies from 1 pm to 4 pm. There will also be a Kringle Mart under the tents in the parking lot located at High and Western from 2 pm to 9 pm. Free train rides, Kiddie Carouseland Ferris Wheel rides are also available for the kids from 2 pm to 6 pm while you shop!

You can do a little Christmas shopping or get something to eat at the annual Business Open Houses up and down Western Ave and Olde Western Ave. There will also be free horse-drawn wagon rides down Greenwood from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. Pick up is by the Kringle Mart at High and Western. The Blue Island Public Library will have their annual Open House, lighting their tree and serving refreshments following the parade as well.

Kick off the holiday season with Christmas in Blue Island! May it be bright!”

 

MONDAY MUSINGS: HOLIDAY PIES

 

8BA7BF4F-E8D2-4322-B045-811E87C4B615

I love pie!!!!!! Actually any pie but particularly Holiday pie such as pumpkin, mincemeat, pecan and…..you name it and I’ll eat it. Yum, yum, yum… Now about making the pie crust, I’m not good at it at all. Mom did the best pie crusts you would ever want to eat..I would work side by side with her (from the time I was little) and I either handled it too much or too little so, guess what I do, I buy Pillsbury piecrust, yes, I do!!!!  Now you know my secret. I do make graham cracker, vanilla wafer, and ginger snap crusts but in today’s post most of the pies are shortening crusts with decorative details. I thought you might enjoy trying one or two for your Holiday pies.  I’m including a few recipes as well  Happy Holiday’s!

AA7515DD-3336-4515-B62A-8C034AC68A00

The cartoon above from  The New Yorker….

4B3BCDB1-9135-47C0-B04C-6BC62B1AB92CD39F4E60-4C41-4E30-860A-41B5EA16C066

2BA37727-BC3A-4E16-9EBA-1E3B34AF7485

55CD3695-D2E3-432D-AE84-B8E12DB9E0E5

Suggested toppings for pumpkin pies use your own mixture for your filling, I always use Libby’s pumpkin as shown.
B11AAC5C-2404-4E47-9141-62BEE16767810727D7F6-C863-4FBC-B279-1A44CEC982339AC80321-FDE2-4A18-BE25-4C0D73248EB354881256-B3C0-45C8-B0D7-5E6396E0F8D6FDE046E5-A053-44EB-A420-FC2A3DAC1406   I always add more brandy, a bit of lemon zest and juice to the mix and use either None Such or Crosse and Blackwell. I serve with hard sauce, I make my own but you can tart up (add brandy) to store bought.  Above photos are suggested special toppings for mincemeat or fruit pies.

Two more glorious toppings…the first is one I am doing for my mince pie, I’ll share my finished pie on Instagram,

5FD05FB9-D34E-4ECE-8096-9327F4E75AB1

TOMMY’S APPLE-PUMPKIN PIE

FILLING:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon corn starch

1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon all spice

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup water

2Tablespoons butter

3 cups Granny Smith apples peeled and sliced

3/4 cup packed canned oumpkin

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg beaten

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare your own pie crust for a 9” pie.

In a skillet combine brown sugar, corn starch, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, add the vanilla, water, butter and bring to a boil stirring.  The mixture will thicken creating a caramel sauce.  Add the apples and continue cooking over medium heat for 4-5 minutes stirring constantly.  Pour mixture into the unbaked pie crust and set aside.  Whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, egg, 1/2 teaspoon, nutmeg, all spice and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Pour over the apple layer.  Bake at 375 for 50 minutes until a knife comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting.  This pie should be refrigerated.  Serve with whipped cream

TOMMY’S PECAN PIE

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Prepare your own pastry pie crust

Beat together with a beater

3 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup dark corn syrup

Mix in 1 cup pecans

Pour into pastry shell.  Bake until set and pastry is browned.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes.

4D25B38D-AA88-4B92-A767-D1204A3F6B1F

Isn’t this glorious….let’s all strive to create something fun, pretty, perhaps a bit over the top, why not it’s the Holidays, the most special time of the year!  Most of all relax and enjoy the season!

10085429-2ED4-480B-AF25-79AEB2358B38

All photos from Pinterest, photo credits unknown as is the top illustration. Above  illustration from Norman Rockwell.