Letter 10: Have We Met?
A little Q&A content for our new friends.
Hello! It’s letter ten! We’re so happy that you’re here with us.
We batted around a few ideas for this letter and ended up landed on the simple Q&A, which is how we originally kicked off Creamline. We’ve been on this journey together since the end of 2020, may it burn in the depths of hell forever, and it’s been a delight. As we move into springtime, more widespread vaccinations, and a world that we can envision enjoying again, we thought a little refresher get-to-know-you content might be in order.
There are a lot of new folks here (welcome!) and we though you may enjoy knowing who’s behind your bimonthly letter. And, hopefully those of you who have been with us the whole way (THANK YOU) are up for another round. Today we’re sharing our dream martinis, favorite lipsticks, bad takes, hometown comfort foods, and more. It’s a breezy little read, which hopefully you follow with your dream martini and/or or some comfort food of your own.
If you feel so inspired, please drop us a line anytime! This can be questions, comments, book recommendations, angry rebuttals to our opinions on the best delivery pizza, or just a note to say hello.
Y’all are so fucking cool and we love our little corner of the internet. Thanks for being a part of Creamline.
Christine + Taylore
A book you’re excited to read:
TG: Girlhood by Melissa Febos. She is a brilliant memoirist—this is her third—and she also happens to be one of my former undergrad and graduate professors. She does that thing where she starts reading out loud and everyone in the room becomes breathless simultaneously, and then when she’s finished, you’re just furious that you don’t sound like that.
CC: I just finished Zami, A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde and still am not over it. Immediately after finishing, I ordered her The Cancer Journals and finally picked it up from the book shop yesterday. Few writers crack me open like Lorde does. I know this may be a harder read (it’s literally called The Cancer Journals), but I just want to spend as much time with her as I can, you know?
One luxurious thing you want for your dream home:
TG: A clawfoot tub. I would take a bath every day if I could.
CC: ALSO a clawfoot tub. In the past two years since I’ve gone freelance and moved to Vermont (a state that is far too cold for me), my bath frequency has gone way up and I’ve loved it. Highly recommend the near-daily bath, Taylore.
A bad take that you firmly stand behind:
TG: Paul Giamatti could get it. I watched five seasons of Billions in two weeks; I said what I said.
CC: Papa John’s is the superior delivery pizza. I haven’t ordered their pizza in years because the founder is notoriously racist, but I really do think it’s better than Dominos, Little Caesars, and any of the other ones.
TG: I am Team Pizza Hut, if any readers want to chime in on this important discourse.
One product that’s revolutionized your hair routine:
TG: R+Co’s dry volume spray gives my flat hair some much needed lift almost every day, especially when I throw a few natural waves in with a wand. It doesn’t add texture like a lot of volume sprays do, so if you’ve got straight, fine hair like me, this is a game-changer.
CC: TBH, I was one of the pandemic head shavers and my “hair routine” these days is mostly “don’t look at it too much.” It’s kind of a mullet-y mess as it’s growing back and I just slick it back into a micro-pony most days. That said, I bleached it in January and expected the bleaching to ravage my hair like it did when I bleached it in college. It did not, and it’s all thanks to Olaplex. It’s exactly as magical as they say.
Your dream hairstyle inspo for a fully-vaxxed summer, if personal skill was not an obstacle:
TG: Megan Draper, always. I have an event coming up, and I’ve been dreaming about recreating a chiller, 2021-ified version of this look and pairing it with a ’60s style cat eye.
CC: This was easily the hardest question for me to answer, because I have no personal skill in the hair department and narrowing down my dream hairstyle took a while. It’s actually a goal for my 30s to learn, like, remedial hair styling skills.
I love this Amanda Seyfriend hair look with the big kinda breezy waves. Her hair texture seems to be similar-ish to mine too, so maybe it’s within reach!
Kitchen appliance/utensil you want to be buried with:
TG: My immersion blender. I make a big pot of soup at least once a week, and the thought of ladling multiple batches of steaming liquid into a blender and then reheating it all is a non-starter after experiencing the convenience of The Soup Dildo, as an ex coined it.
CC: THE SOUP DILDO. I laughed and then my vagina cringed a bit.
Anyway, it would be my Cuisinart PerfecTemp Electric Tea Kettle. I have tea 3-5 times a day, and each needs to be steeped at a different temperature. Most Japanese green teas should be steeped at 175ish, most puerh should be closer to 195, but jasmine is usually better at 160ish. This kettle lets me program in the temperature I want and, in a minute or so, gives me perfectly heated water. It adds an enormous amount of enjoyment to my life, simple as it is.
A dish you want to learn how to make but are intimidated by:
TG: I’ve been scheming a cassoulet for years now. The ingredient list is daunting, as is the amount of time it takes to make it, but 2021 is the year, baby.
CC: I believe in you, Taylore!
I would really like to master tamales, but every time I even think about it, my heart starts racing. I know it’s within the realm of possibility, but it just feels like it will be hard and like I’ll probably have a meltdown halfway through. I dunno. Maybe 2022 will be my year.
What you reach for when you need a lil afternoon treat:
TG: These sweet and salty crackers with extra creamy feta from the Polish market or sharp cheddar.
CC: Fresh goat cheese. I love a lil slice sprinkled with this yuzu furikake.
Your house cocktail for guests:
TG: This is a big wine household, but I always have gin and lemons, so G&Ts abound.
CC: Champagne is my house cocktail and I will not apologize.
Hometown comfort food:
TG: Indian food from anywhere on Oak Tree Road, or a Smokin’ Cowboy from Sandwich Station. It’s just sliced buffalo chicken, pepper jack cheese, bacon, and chipotle mayo, all hot and melty on a sub roll. Simple and so fucking good.
CC: A bean and cheese burrito. I could eat these every day, and often do when I’m on the West Coast. The silky smoky refried pinto beans, the salty tangy bulk yellow cheddar, scooped into a flour tortilla while still steamy, softening the tortilla in a delightful way. No rice, no meat, no other bullshit. Just a bit of salsa on top and you’re good. I have never found an East Coast equivalent of these burritos and I miss them deeply.
Your house snack for guests:
TG: I think we can both safely say we’re cheese plate people here. There’s also usually a dip of some kind: maybe whipped ricotta, or garlicky tahini yogurt with EVOO and a ton of za’atar. Expect blistered shishitos for dunking.
CC: My main move is room temperature Jasper Hill Harbison, an oozy mushroomy brie-style, with potato chips for dipping. That said, I usually entertain with my boyfriend and his move is Lidia Bastianich’s bagna cauda, served with a spread of fresh beautiful veggies. One of my favorite things in the world is raw broccoli or fennel dipped into said bagna cauda. Honestly (and don’t tell the cheese people this), if I had to choose between the bagna cauda and the cheese, I’d choose the bagna cauda.
Song you still love that everyone now hates because you play is too much:
TG: I have been subjecting my friends to “How Do You Sleep” by Sam Smith since the literal minute it came out, and with such frequency that it’s become a personality trait.
CC: Well, I guess we had to get to this at some point. I rarely will offer to be in charge of music because I am bad at it. My dopamine-seeking ADHD brain loves terrible pop songs and nostalgic favorites and it’s embarrassing but truly what I like. Asking me to be in charge of the music for the evening is like bringing Diet Coke to a fancy wine dinner. It may be funny for a bit but mostly it will be weird and disappointing.
Your balls-to-the-wall diner order:
TG: Open-faced tuna melt with sweet potato fries and extra ketchup, a cup of whatever cream-based soup of the day they’ve got, salami-studded pasta salad and those baby mozzarella balls from the salad bar, and a strawberry milkshake—extra thick.
CC: A BLT and a Diet Coke. I realize that Diet Coke is just as bad for you (if not worse for you) than regular Coke, but Diet Coke is sacred in my extended Clark family and I will not profane the Clark name, at least soda-wise. I also tend to think that diner BLTs are better than just about any other BLT because they really cook the bacon correctly, to medium-obliterated.
TG: Ok I said balls to the wall, how do you have this much self-control?
CC: I mean . . . . the BLT comes with fries, right? If not, I’m obviously ordering fries. And mayo for dipping. I dunno, next time ask me my balls to the wall Taco Bell order.
TG: I could never just pick one, so here are some faves depending on which scent family you gravitate towards:
Woody: Boy Smells Hinoki Fantôme
Floral: Diptyque Tuberose
Gourmand: Sol de Janeiro Cheirosa ‘62
Herbal: Malin + Goetz Tomato
CC: Sorry, this is a dick Vermonter answer, but it’s a beeswax candle that I buy at the farmer’s market here. I find a lot of scented candles distracting, but these just have a delicate honeyed scent to them and burn beautifully. I ALWAYS have one in my home.
A similar option can be found here.
Lipstick of the moment:
TG: Tom Ford Lip Color Lipstick in Casablanca. It’s a limited-edition release from their Valentine’s Day collection, but it’s still available at Sephora. The shade name is cinematic and sexy, and it’s the perfect versatile, cool-toned pink to keep in my purse. Apply a full coat for an elegant satin finish, or smudge it out into a stain and look effortlessly cool. You can’t lose.
CC: A longtime favorite that I’ve recently returned to is the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso. It’s AOC’s favorite, for one thing, and is such a flattering, deep red. You have to be very precise in putting it in because it’s basically paint, but when it’s on, it’s ON. If you tend to anxiously hyperfocus on all the ways your makeup might be failing you (mascara transferring, lipstick smudging, concealer creasing, etc), this is your lipstick. It will not budge.
TG: A dirty gin martini, with Hendricks or The Botanist if they have it. Or an espresso martini, but only if I’m sure it’s going to be well-balanced. The distinction between a shitty EM and a perfect one is similar to that of gas station sushi and omakase. (I can hear some of you judging me through the screen, but go order one at Hotel Delmano or work some Mr. Black into your own attempt at home and then you can call me low-brow.)
CC: Haku Vodka dirty martini, very dry. By “very dry,” I mean blow a kiss to the nearest bottle of vermouth as you pour vodka over ice. Yes, I am aware that this is just shaken vodka over ice with olive brine. Still magical.
TG: Christine, people like you scare me but I respect them.
That’s all, folks! See you next time.