• The Preppy Cookbook

    Music & Books  

    If you're anything like me, you don't cook...often. Or, not really at all. Cooking for one in New York, it's an uphill battle! With arguably the best restaurants in the country and whatever your little stomach can desire available at the click of a mouse (disclosing Seamless and Grub Hub addiction here), cooking is a rare feat. But I like to think that if I did, I'd have some good material to pull from.

    The latest addition to my kitchen bookshelf is Christine E. Nunn's The Preppy Cookbook. As a talented chef at Picnic, her restaurant in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Nunn shares a raft of seriously good recipes. Like The Official Preppy Handbook's Lisa Birnbach, Nunn also grew up in the wonderful world of prep. And like Lisa, she writes about that world with deep knowledge and humor.

    The cookbook is organized by stations of the Preppy Life Cycle: The Formative Years (a highlight is the Thick-as-London-Fog Pea Soup...cook once and feeds for a week), Summer and the Living is Easy (bring on the lobster rolls!), Brunch is a verb (hello Hangover Hash Browns), Luncheons and Showers, and lastly, Home for the Holidays (Nunn's Butternut Squash Lasagna reads as delectable as it probably tastes). Pick up a copy for yourself, host a cocktail party (on a Saturday night, of course), and your closest friends will never be the wiser that you "don't cook" often.

    Aug 28, 2013 | Permalink (4) View/Leave Comments

    George left a comment on 11/9/2013 at 6:21 PM:

    I have reservations that this is an attempt to capitalize on the word, “Preppy” in the title, surrounded by the cover colors. Anything for a buck. Next: The Preppy Guide to Labrador Grooming? From there, it’s over…like the “Dummies,” “Chicken Soup,” and any number of other so-called series or collections. I’ll reserve judgment of the thing until I actually read it, of course, but that’s what it feels like now. What’s that? Well, of course I’m going to buy it!

    PSP left a comment on 10/2/2013 at 6:59 PM:

    Triscuits, bloodys, toast points and the like.

    C.L.Y. left a comment on 10/2/2013 at 5:14 PM:

    “Preppy” food? What is that? I did not know such a thing ever existed!

    PSP left a comment on 10/1/2013 at 8:37 PM:

    A guy cook in NYC, other than grilling on roof, I think not.


  • August 2013 Playlist

    Music & Books  

    Listen on Spotify

    Aug 2, 2013 | Permalink (14) View/Leave Comments

    Lauren left a comment on 9/1/2013 at 1:16 PM:

    Such beautiful photos in this post! I love your blog. I just followed you on bloglovin and would love to have you follow me back!

    C.G.D left a comment on 8/24/2013 at 10:56 AM:

    @ F.E. Castleberry - Thanks for making the playlist downloadable! That was very nice of you. (:

    JDS left a comment on 8/20/2013 at 8:32 PM:

    So…I know this makes me a big dummy, but I don’t know how to download and play this in iTunes. When double-clicked in Firefox, it saves as an empty zip folder. I try to import using iTunes, but nothing to import. What am I doing wrong? Anybody want to help a nontechnical prep?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/17/2013 at 11:33 AM:

    It’s downloadable now gang. Just click the playlist image.

    Bigshaun left a comment on 8/17/2013 at 10:35 AM:

    Ahhhh, man!  Not downloadable???  What the heck?
    I was looking forward to loading this up on my Ipod classic.  Great tracks nonetheless.  No Spotify on Ipod classic.

    g. left a comment on 8/15/2013 at 8:06 AM:

    Thanks for all the excellent playlist in the past. Sorry to see they are no longer downloadable. Not a Spotify guy.

    matt left a comment on 8/14/2013 at 5:36 PM:

    I look forward to these every month.  sad to see youre not making them downloadable anymore.  loved being able to play it on my phone, in my car, ipad, etc…

    C.G.D left a comment on 8/14/2013 at 4:06 PM:

    @F.E. Castleberry - Fair enough! I do use spotify haha. It’s just nice to listen to your playlists on long drives in the car.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/14/2013 at 2:43 PM:

    A.M. Spence is right, download the web app for your desktop. It’s free. In regards to subscribing to Spotify Premium, almost anyone could afford $9.99/mo. It’s the price of one album. You’d literally never have to purchase music again.

    H.D. left a comment on 8/14/2013 at 10:12 AM:

    Modern Vampires of the City is by far their best album yet. Also glad to see you include Royals by Lorde.

    A. M. Spence left a comment on 8/14/2013 at 8:32 AM:

    @J.H. Spotify is free through a web application and a downloadable desktop app.

    J.H. left a comment on 8/13/2013 at 9:25 PM:

    I agree with C.G.D! Not everyone can afford to have fancy subscriptions or data/smartphones!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/13/2013 at 6:58 PM:

    @C.G.D.—No sir, not this time (or going forward). It’s time to embrace Spotify.

    C.G.D left a comment on 8/13/2013 at 6:49 PM:

    Not downloadable?


  • Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

    Music & Books  

    One of my favorite things to do in New York is pop into an independent bookstore and walk out with the first three titles that grab my eye. Yes, I’m knowingly overpaying for titles (thank you, Amazon) but I tell myself that I’m paying for the experience of discovery. Overnight it seems I’ve become a voracious reader. It’s the subways here. Spend two hours a day on a train and see how long it takes for your “incredibly original” band’s new album to get old. I’ll spare you the social experiment—it’s three days.

    I judge books by their covers. It may not be fair but it’s the world we live in—first impressions are everything (the occasional insufferable meth-head zombie thriller being only of little consequence to this approach). Daily Rituals: How Artists Work is beautiful—on the inside and out. Mason Currey brilliantly compiles and edits vignettes of writers, composers, painters, choreographers, playwrights, poets, philosophers, sculptor, filmmakers, and scientists on how they create (and avoid creating) their creations.

    Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley) had to have a stiff drink before she began writing. She kept a bottle of vodka by her bedside, reaching for it as soon as she woke and marking the bottle to set her limit for the day. F. Scott Fitzgerald, although, eventually concluded the contrary—”It has become increasingly plain to me that the very excellent organization of a book does not go well with liquor.” Capote couldn’t write unless he was lying in bed, and with a coffee and cigarette in hand at that. Picasso would shut himself in his studio at 2p.m. and typically paint until dusk. Hemingway wrote standing up at a typewriter resting on top of a chest-high bookshelf (and no, contrary to popular lore, he did not begin each session by sharpening twenty number-two pencils). George Gershwin composed at his piano in his pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers—a fitting uniform considering he typically worked for twelve hours or more a day.

    If you're a freelance creative, Daily Rituals is a magically inspiring read. There’s a calming sense of relief discovering your routine is not all that different from the greats who came before. Hell, you might realize you're the weird one for not being more eccentric.

    Jul 5, 2013 | Permalink (1) View/Leave Comments

    Leith left a comment on 8/5/2013 at 12:27 PM:

    “I’m paying for the experience of discovery.”  Best quote I’ve seen in awhile.  Looking forward to the read.  Love tips on new books!  http://outsidelanddiaries.blogspot.com


  • June 2013 Playlist

    Music & Books  

    Listen on Spotify

    Jun 3, 2013 | Permalink (3) View/Leave Comments

    C.G.D left a comment on 7/1/2013 at 6:23 PM:

    Great playlist! All I need now is a long drive. haha

    Leith left a comment on 6/27/2013 at 4:24 PM:

    Love this list, and love this blog.  All class!  I am especially happy to see Flaming Red on here.  My mom played Patty Griffin nonstop growing up and now I have no choice but to be nostalgic about her music.  Anyway, just wanted to leave a comment since I’ve been “lurking” for a while :)

    Alexander left a comment on 6/26/2013 at 10:52 AM:

    Great list. +1 St Lucia & Portugal.


  • The Official Preppy Handbook

    Music & Books  

    There were whispers of a limited gift edition of Lisa Birnbach's original preppy bible. Part satire, part reference guide, The Official Preppy Handbook, when published in 1980 became an instant cult classic. Given the book was published over 30 years ago, I have never actually seen a hardback copy (the few hardback gift editions went quickly). The secondary market proved not much better. After watching eBay for a couple of years for kicks, only a handful of hardback copies popped up cuffed with asking prices of $200+...until last month. Indian madras print slipcover, a linen hardback cover, and a fill-in-chart family tree make up this “completely outstanding gift edition.” While the demand has cooled in the wake of True Prep, landing a copy (for $50, no less) still made for a fun story over drinks with Birnbach last week.

    May 22, 2013 | Permalink (9) View/Leave Comments

    Derek left a comment on 9/28/2013 at 1:47 PM:

    Still have my ratty old paperback version of the original. Have to say, I thought True Prep was very, very disappointing.  She omitted/ignored pretty much any reference to southern prepdom (a healthy part of the first book).  I think it should have included color photos, seeing how it was an update from 30 years ago. The first book was over-the-top WASP-y, the second a little too self-consciously PC.  I shelved it pretty quickly.

    On another note, I used to have a Ralph Lauren windbreaker/Baracuta jacket with the exact same madras pattern as the book cover…which I sadly can’t fit into anymore.  Been looking for a replacement for years.  SO hard to find good madras these days.

    Angela left a comment on 6/11/2013 at 2:50 PM:

    I got my hardcover copy at Amazon (sans dust jacket).  I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but it was reasonable, and it’s in good shape.  Now I can mark up my ratty paperback copy. :)

    Cedric left a comment on 6/9/2013 at 10:00 PM:

    Pretty content with my paperback copy aswell, though I do wish I had a hardcover. haha, good stuff FEC!

    Casey left a comment on 6/5/2013 at 3:32 PM:

    I’m happy with my paperback copies but, oh, how I would love that family tree to give to my husband as a gag gift.

    Thomas left a comment on 6/4/2013 at 10:35 AM:

    I picked up a hardback gift edition with the madras sleeve on ebay a couple years ago for around $20. It is in excellent condition but no gift sticker on the outside sleeve. Had no idea they were going for so much. Thanks

    BMOC left a comment on 6/4/2013 at 10:20 AM:

    Have one in better than mint condition. Never even been opened. In the gift box and everything. I am shocked to know what it is worth. Thankfully I probably have at least 3 other well-worn paperback versions around the house.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 6/4/2013 at 6:58 AM:

    @PSP—This gift edition with slipcover isn’t available on Amazon. Not to mention none of the Amazon listings (which quickly escalate to $150+) have any pictures of the hardback copies for sale.

    PSP left a comment on 6/3/2013 at 6:56 PM:

    Try Amazon for $50 for this addition.  I like it much better than True Prep.  It was more optimistic.  FEC still interested in your advice for Nantucket on July 4th?

    Valerie left a comment on 6/3/2013 at 2:27 PM:

    Ten years ago, I bought mine from Ebay at $70 (which was too much). I can’t believe it’s up to $200 now. Yikes! Glad you scored on for $50.


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