Letter 13: A Friday Antipasti Situation
TG: We are finally done with the most recent Mercury retrograde and I’ve gotta ask—am I the only one who got absolutely steamrolled?
CC: No. No, you are not. I’m over here like, “Does capitalism ruin everything? What are my goals? Do I need goals?” I don’t feel entirely destroyed, but certainly batted around. Still catching my breath. Etc.
TG: Oh, yes. As I just signed a two year lease and am determined to finally *nest* in my new place, capitalism is going to drive every move I make until further notice. Have you purchased anything fun lately, at least?
CC: It’s funny you ask, because yes I have. There’s an aggressively cute plant store around the corner from me that’s been tantalizing me for weeks with a three-foot ZZ plant at its outdoor tent. Yesterday, I finally succumbed and couldn’t be happier. She’s actually too big for the spot I intended her for, but she’s currently brightening up my bathroom and, as ZZ plants need minimal light, I may keep her there for a while.
Have you made any fun purchases lately, Taylore?
TG: I, too, have fallen in sweet, sweet love with a plant I constantly pass by: a ming aralia at Plantshed. She’s gorg but she’s expensive, and I need an actual desk for my place so I’m trying to resist hauling this tree home with me. As for things I can actually afford right now, yes, I have swiped my card a bunch this month in the name of pure pleasure. First was this cute lil print by John Donohue to hang in my kitchen and remind me of the pre-pandemic restaurant I miss the most, Prune. It was on my old block, and I still pass by it hoping one day the lights will be on and I’ll see smoke coming from the kitchen. I also bought a bunch of thrilling bottles from Parcelle, a NYC-based wine shop/online retailer I’m now an affiliate partner with! Once I pop those, I’ll chat about them on our Insta stories.
CC: Despite having lived in NYC for seven years, I’ve somehow never been to Prune. It haunts me to this day, especially having just read this paragraph in Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal (some of the best food writing I’ve ever read and currently $1.99 on Kindle)
An omelet is an egg’s comeuppance. There shouldn’t be anything plain or predictable about omelet fillings. The person who understands this best is a beautiful bulldog named Gabrielle Hamilton, chef of the restaurant Prune in New York City’s East Village, who cooks omelets like she’s there on the egg’s behalf, to make sure their comeuppance is paid on time and in full.
In other words, Taylore, if/when Prune opens again, we should head there immediately for omelets. And martinis? I feel like I’ve heard she had some great martinis.
TG: UGH, that caraway and sour cream omelette. And yes, the martinis were perfect, as were the New York Sours. Speaking of dining together… WE GET TO HANG NEXT WEEK, IN PERSON! For the second time ever, guys.
CC: Funny, right? How is it just the second time? We may have set the bar a little too high by starting out with Lilia. We need to figure out where we’re getting lunch! I’m so mad Yellow Rose isn’t open on Mondays.
TG: Womp, Dame too. I’m setting a billion Resy notifications in preparation. Lunch at Gem? I’ve only been once, for a tomato-themed dinner for the launch of a savory Malin + Goetz’ candle, but Flynn’s afternoon situation sounds very dreamy. [Redacted, they’re closed on Mondays, too.]
We’ll figure it out. But anyway, as you readers can probably tell, Christine and I are feeling *chatty* but not very in the zone when it comes to narrative storytelling right now. That’s why we’re serving you a hot little ‘snack plate’ of sorts this week— a word antipasti, if you will. Dig in.
CC: Let’s Talk About Burrata
There was a good several-year stretch in the late 2010s when, whenever I was introduced as a professional cheese person to someone, I was treated to a 1-3 minute homily about this great new cheese called burrata. As it’s become less trendy, this happens less, but definitely still happens.
If you are one of the three people on the planet who hasn’t had it (this tells me that you are not a trend-follower, which I respect), it’s basically like you turned a ball of mozzarella into a dumpling: A thin mozzarella shell, stuffed with stracciatella, which is basically little bits of torn up mozzarella drizzled in cream. Good burrata is fluffy and fresh and feels like you’re eating a very sexy cloud. It was invented in Italy in the 1920s and, considering it’s only been around for a century (a wee bairn in cheese time), it’s really made its way into our hearts.
The other nice thing about burrata is that each ball can be a no-stove meal in and of itself, especially if you’ve got summer produce around. Here are a few combinations I’d recommend:
Burrata, summer tomatoes, a few basil leaves, good olive oil, salt and pepper
Burrata, any grilled summer veg. For lunch today, I grilled yellow squash, sugar snap peas, and spring onions, plopped a burrata ball on top, and drizzled David Lebovitz’s Basil Vinaigrette over the whole thing.
Burrata, peaches (especially grilled), julienned basil
Burrata, sliced cherries, minced tarragon. Maybe a little saba or honey drizzled over everything, if you’re feeling fancy.
Burrata, thinly sliced fennel, halved or quartered strawberries. A drizzle of peppery olive oil + balsamic for good measure.
Some people like to put burrata on pizza or cured meats, but I find it makes everything wet and goopy in a way that I really don’t want pizza or cured meats to be wet and goopy. Burrata over in-season fruit or veggies are the move, I think, as it makes them feel uber decadent. Plus, it helps the color palate for your Instagram shot.
If you have favorite ways to eat burrata, I’d love to hear them! And, if you end up eating burrata and think of us, make sure to tag us on the Instagrams at @creamlineletter.
TG: As fate would have it, I’m making an actual antipasti tonight, because I need an excuse to inhale all the taralli in my pantry. I’m also planning a tomato risotto since ‘tis the season, a fennel salad, and roasted asparagus with duck eggs and anchovy. Maybe I’ll have a little too much wine and check in on Instagram later.
But anyway, for my contribution to the metaphorical party board, I’m throwing you some beauty reccs. While a ton of great shit I’ve been testing is still embargoed (holiday collections are already showing up to my makeshift beauty closet), a lot of goods are currently available, so here are a few things I’ve been loving.
(From left) Freck Cheekslime Lip + Cheek Tint: Cheekslime! It’s even fun to say! I’ve been mixing and matching all three newest shades of this multi-liquid depending on the occasion: blackberry-hued Jam Sesh for more a demure evening glam, and self-explanatory Orange Wine for sunny afternoons. Fever Dream, the shade pictured, reminds me of strawberry hard candy and the hyper-femme bustiers at my favorite lingerie shop in Paris.
K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask: The brand hosted some editors to test this at the lovely Spoke and Weal salon this week, and I jumped on the appointment. Partially because my hair desperately needed to be colored, but also because I’ve heard fantastic things from fellow beauty writers about K18. This mask is formulated to prevent breakage and repair damage (sustained from coloring, heat styling, and even throwing your hair up in a ponytail) by reconnecting broken keratin chains in the hair. Typically leave-ins are too heavy for my hair, but after my colorist applied it post-shampoo—it replaces your conditioner—my scalp still felt squeaky clean. My blowout looked super shiny, and they gave me a bottle to take home. Yes, it’s pricy, but since it’s replacing your current conditioner and it’s meant to be used only every 4-6 washes, it’ll take you months to actually blow through a bottle.
Megababe The Green Deo: Okay, I have done my best to make the switch to natural deodorant for years. The ol’ college try, I swear. But I just can’t stick with it! I hate that wet feeling they don’t combat, my armpits get red and irritated from the essential oils used to add fragrance, and mid-August, I’m not trying to reapply five times a day. I like my pits fresh and aluminum-filled! However. Editors have raved about Megababe’s original rose-scented formula for years now, touting it as the only formula that got them to make the switch, and this new formula is already buzzy. I also recently interviewed Megababe’s founder, Katie Sturino, and she insisted this could be The One. I want it to be! So far, and by far I mean 72 hours, I’m feeling dry and not that smelly, so we’ll see how it goes.
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Joia Refreshing Dry Shampoo: Does anyone remember that slutty candle I mentioned awhile back? Same brand, same slutty, pistachio caramel scent. Again, I mean that in the best way. Beyond that, though, I can’t believe how clean this makes my hair feel. Each day I wake up thinking I’m going to finally have to wash my hair, and this formula just keeps extending the shelf life of my waves.
Byredo Lipstick in Commuter: This came in a bag full of magical embargoed stuff (which I can’t wait to wax poetic about) and it’s holding me over until then. The formula is creamy and comfortable, and it’s a perfect day-to-night shade of summery pink for my purse. It’s also a bit of an objet d’art, no?
Trudon Le Diffuseur Cyrnos: Another sculptural delight keeping my new space looking chic. Its fragrance was inspired by Mediterranean citrus gardens, and I mean, what more could I ask for for my living room?
Urban Decay Prince Collection Liquid Highlighter: Alexa, play “Raspberry Beret.” I am shocked his estate agreed to this collab, but I am just fine with having more Prince in my everyday life. This highlighter is part of a huge, limited-edition collection (as purple and glittery as one might imagine) and it gives a pearly, dewy glow to wherever you apply it. I like to tap it on in a half-moon above my brow tails, on my temples, and the tops of my cheekbones.
A few poems to send you off into the weekend
Christine: Every Jack Gilbert poem I read ends up permanently lodged in my body. When I’m feeling kind of grey and blah (you know, like most days since the pandemic hit), I pull out his book of collected poems, flip through it, and read a poem or two. I’m immediately filled with a sort of grounding melancholy that makes me want to be present in even the drabbest moments. Here is one of my favorites.
Taylore: You know what? I’ve been looking for the exact opposite thing in poetry, lately. Things have been chaotic the past couple months, so I just want warm, gooey goodness at the moment. My pick is quick and sappy and hopeful, and it reminds me of the Jersey Shore.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone! And please hit us up on Instagram @creamlineletter, we love hearing from you.