Felix Doolittle Sketches

Best ever Blueberry Sorbet… with Vodka!

by lorendoolittle

blueberrycluster

Illustration by Felix Doolittle

I still remember my first sorbet experience in Paris many years ago – it was a revelation of flavor. Thankfully, our son shares that sentiment. So, when we were invited to a friend’s farm a little over an hour away, we knew what the happy outcome would be – nothing less than the best blueberry sorbet in the world! The small orchard of 50+ blueberry bushes were laden with billions of blueberries. We were in blueberry nirvana.  Here’s what blueberry nirvana looks like:

Blueberries ready to be picked

Ripening blueberriesBluesIMG_0238

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Surrounded by blueberries and bees buzzingWe picked an enormous quantity of blueberries  practically from just two bushes!!(Thank you Suzanne and Andy!) As we headed to the car with that heavy sweet load, we were delighted by this wildflower field. The flowers just seem like they’re floating, don’t they?!

Meadow !

Great sorbet is like eating an explosion of intensity of a particular fruit.  A great sorbet mimics the original picking experience itself and the headiness of each fruit – they’re both truly an epiphany. I know. I just finished the last scoop of the quart, and I am floating in nirvana now!

Best ever Blueberry Sorbet

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Our family LOVES this recipe! It contains 8 CUPS of blueberries. That’s 8 CUPS of blueberry-ness! I made Suzanne and Andy a batch as a thank you for inviting us to pick their blueberries, and these were her words she wrote me after trying it:

amazing!

spectacular!

divine!

holy!!

I found the original recipe on AboutFood.com, but I’ve added some notes so that you get it right and awesome — the first time around.

About the alcohol: don’t think it’s the-more-the-merrier here because your sorbet won’t freeze.  Adding alcohol to a sorbet reduces the size of the ice crystals which produces a finer and smoother tasting sorbet.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar – – Taste your berries before deciding how much sugar to add. If they’re sweet, reduce the sugar. We used less than 1/2 a cup.
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
 PREPARATION

Blend the blueberries, water, and lemon juice on high until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the berries and juice to a large saucepan, and stir in the sugar. Bring the berry mixture just to a boil and immediately remove it from the heat. Allow the berries to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes, and then press them through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the berry solids, and add the vodka to the remainder.

Allow the mixture to cool in the refrigerator until very cold or overnight. This is a key to a successful sorbet: your “mix” must be very cold.

Then freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t leave your sorbet in the ice cream unit when it’s done. Eat some of course, because this is when it is at it’s absolute yummiest, and then transfer what’s left to another container. See container ideas below. If your sorbet is hard when you remove it from the freezer, let it stand for several minutes at room temperature, and use a fork to scrape the sorbet like a granita.

Makes 8 servings, but who’s to say!

Best ever Blueberry Sorbet IMG_9738IMG_9753IMG_9744

Would you like to order these labels with the bear? Go to our Oval Kitchen Labels and order ANY of the illustrations.  Continue personalizing the labels, and on the last page of checkout, write in the Customer Notes that you’d like to do an image swap for the “Blueberry Hill” illustration.

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Many people were also interested in the paper quart ice cream container especially if you plan on gifting a pint or quart of your creation. I got mine from a local ice cream store, but you can also get them on Amazon.

And this sweet image can be found on Small Note Cards, or on our small round Chef’s Medallions.

blueberry-1

What’s your favorite sorbet to make?

Felix Doolittle

The Sanctuary of Space

by lorendoolittle

Sanctuary

When I first started the Where do you write? project, I didn’t ask for the writer to really write. I had to take the photos over again. You could tell that they were modeling writing a letter. You could really see that they were not engaged in the real thing. So, it brought up the question, why can you tell? After some thought and conversation with participants, I’ve seen that a writer truly enters a different space when they’re writing a letter. Wherever they are, there is a sanctuary of space around the writer.  Or is it a space of sanctuary?

Where do you write? Barbara

Where do you write? Kat

Thank you Barbara and Kat!

Want to be part of the project? Have someone photograph you where you write and send it to me. Live close-ish to Boston, and want to be photographed? Email me for both at at loren@felixdoolittle.com.

Where do you write?

Felix Doolittle

Where do you write?

by lorendoolittle

When we write a note or letter, we often seek out a special place to write, whether it’s the shores of a nearby pond, a cafe, or the front porch. I’ve been asking friends of Felix Doolittle where they choose to go when they write. Here are the spots they shared….

Where do you write - Lindsey 1

Where do you write? The front porch

Where do you write? Where the light is the best

Where do you write? Michael

Where do you choose to write?

Send us a photo of you in your favorite spot to write, or just the spot itself, and we’ll include it an upcoming post.

In the meantime, find your own special spot to write, and enjoy

 20% off our signature personalized Note Cards through Monday, July 7, 2014

(There’s a whole new summertime collection!)

Felix Doolittle

Felix shares his life lessons

by lorendoolittle

While we were at the National Stationery Show, Rick Tocquigny of Blog Talk Radio stopped by our booth, looked at Felix’s work, was charmed, and asked if he could interview Felix.

You can listen to that interview here.

radio I think Rick made some very intuitive comments and asked some excellent questions of Felix including, “Are you smiling while you paint?” Felix 3 IMG_4627Felix 2IMG_4623 Felix Fu of Felix Doolittle The answer is a resounding, “YES!”

Pi Day at Felix Doolittle

Front row: Jenny, Veronica, Lindsey, and me Back row: Ying, Cara, Gabriel, Jorge, Faye, and Felix

That’s all of us on Pi Day back on March 14th… you know… 3.14 = Pi.  We celebrated with edible pi-es, and Felix drew watercolor Pi tattoos, goatees, and cut out mustaches for himself and the guys. I guess some guys just want to have fun!

Hope you’ll find time to listen to the LIVE interview. It’s interesting. There is no after-the-interview editing so it’s really fresh and real. And as a bonus, there’s some important words of wisdom about life lessons learned!

Enjoy! Let us know your thoughts below.

Felix Doolittle

Camp stationery. Yes, your kids will really write to you.

by lorendoolittle

Summer camp

OK, so it may not be their most preferred form of getting in touch with you, but most sleep-away camps don’t allow electronics. Imagine that! Not only that, YOU will also have to take the time to write them. And the beauty of it all is that you will both have memorable correspondence from that time in your lives. Some things are sure to be humorous, some difficult, but for certain, they will become keepsakes.  Handwriting is like that. Handwritten letters and postcards are especially so.

Hello! Folded Note Cards - Ice and Cream

That’s where Felix Doolittle comes in — papers that are fun and magical and meaningful to write on for a very wide range of ages!  Our Hello! Folded Note Cards have great choices for children that kids will love, and parents will love receiving. There are plenty of images for boys and girls… and their parents too!

Hello! Folded Note Cards

Hello Folded Note Card | Happy Day

Hello! Folded Note Cards and their boxes

 

Camp Postcards, which I love, sport plenty of room to draw and color on the front. (Don’t forget to pack the kids pencils, colored pencils, markers, and for those special few – watercolors!) There’s room on the back for a small note – which will be good for some! – while the front affords the space to draw (or write about) an experience.

Camp Postcards

Camp Postcard

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And now something for the moms and dads, favorite aunts and uncles. May we suggest our fun Hello! Single Cards, or our Stationery Boutique (non-personalized) Note Cards, or personalized Writing Papers and Note Cards.

Hello! Single Cards

Hello Single Card infinity

Hello! Single Cards

Ikootan - Meadow | Hello! Single Card

Happy days of summer at camp, and happy letter writing!

&

Enjoy

20% off 

Hello! Folded Note Cards

(All 40 different illustration sets)

through June 9th 

See the full collection here!

Camp 3

Felix Doolittle

 

The harvest begins! A medley of rhubarb recipes

by lorendoolittle

Rhubarb stalks and label The first time you see a rhubarb plant is memorable. It’s striking. Giant tropical-sized leaves shading bright magenta stalks. I first came across rhubarb accidentally – chasing a soccer ball in a friend’s backyard. The ball had rolled under the canopy of leaves when I came across those magenta stalks one after the other rising out of the ground, so stalwart, so powerfully …magenta! Rhubarb Rhubarb is one of the quirkier gifts of Spring – those stalks a thing of rugged beauty, are the perfect foil for Spring fruits, their tartness adding dimension and maturity to pies, cobblers, and all manner of bubbling fruit delights, as well as jams, preserves and chutneys.  Here’s a medley of recipes of what to do with those fabulous pink stalks. Oh, and one word of warning: you only cook the stalks. The leaves, those great big leaves are poisonous. Sounds like a perfect plant for Rappaccini’s daughter‘s garden — more about this fascinating story by Hawthorne here. But I digress. Back to rhubarb recipes. Rhubarb and strawberries   the jam! Rhubarb-Berry Jam by David Lebovits

5 one cup (250ml) jars

Even though strawberries are the classic accompaniment with rhubarb, I find more assertive berries, like raspberries, to be better. I used a mix of many this time around, with black and red currants, raspberries, blackberries, and diced strawberries, just because I had some on hand. So use whatever you wish, and frozen berries work just as well. Because rhubarb doesn’t have much pectin, and I don’t use commercial pectin, I’ll often add apple juice which helps the jam to set nicely.

  • 3 pounds (1.25kg) rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch (2cm) pieces
  • 2 cups (250g) packed mixed berries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup (250ml) water or apple juice
  • 5 1/2 cups (1kg, plus 100g) sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: 1 tablespoon kirsch

1. In a large pot, mix the rhubarb, berries, and the water or apple juice. Cook, covered, stirring frequently over moderate heat, until the rhubarb is cooked through and thoroughly tender. It should take about 15 minutes.

Put a small plate in the freezer.

2. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and salt, and cook, uncovered, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the surface, until the jam is thick and passes the wrinkle test.

To do so, place a small spoonful of the jam on the frozen plate. Return it to the freezer and check it a few minutes later; if the jam wrinkles when nudged, it’s done. You can also use a candy thermometer; jam jells at approximately 220F (104C).

3. Stir in the kirsch, if using, then ladle the jam into clean jars, cover, and store in the refrigerator.

Note: I don’t process most jams since I eat them within a few months and keep them in the refrigerator. If you wish to process them, check out Practical Canning Tips.

Rhubarb Chutney

3 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped (about 1 ½ cups)

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup coarsely chopped red pepper

1/3 cup dried cherries, cranberries or raisins

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh rhubarb, cut into ½ “ pieces

In a saucepan combine all ingredients except rhubarb. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rhubarb. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for additional 5 minutes to 10 minutes until thickened. Let cool. To store, cover and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months. Makes 2 ¾ cups. rhubarb panna cotta Rhubarb & strawberry panna cotta by Mimi Thorisson

This delightful dessert is so incredibly easy to make! I always keep pretty yogurt pots, either in terracotta or glass – they come in very handy for this treat. Make sure to prepare these well in advance, as they do need time to set, at least 1/2 day or overnight in the refrigerator. The gelatin I use comes by pack of 9 sheets weighing 17 g – so 5 sheets is approximately 10 g. The rhubarb & strawberries compote is a perfect match – I usually make a double dose of compote, as I love having some for breakfast or mixed in my porridge bowl. Enjoy!

For the panna cotta (makes about 8 small jars)

750 ml full-cream/whole milk

250 ml heavy cream

1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise

150 g/ 2/3 cup granulated sugar 5 gelatin sheets – (10 g)

Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water. In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream, vanilla beans and sugar on a medium heat. Bring to a soft simmer, take off the heat and add the gelatin sheets (squeeze off excess water). Stir with a whisk until completely dissolved. Set aside. Fill the ramekins 3/4 full. Leave to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until set (at least half a day).

For the rhubarb and strawberries compote

250 g/ ½ pound rhubarb, chopped

150 g/ 1/3 pound strawberries, halved

65 g/ 1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Rinse rhubarb and strawberries. Cut the rough ends of the rhubarb and slice into small chunks. Halve the strawberries. Place fruits in a saucepan, add the sugar, lemon juice and water. Turn the heat on medium and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 to 12 minutes. Leave to cool, store in a glass jar with a lid, and store in the refrigerator. To serve: When the panna cottas are set, fill the panna cotta jars with the rhubarb & strawberries compote.

strawberries

To celebrate all the new produce popping out of the earth at the sun’s bequest, we’ve put all our kitchen labels on sale.

20% off 

Chef Medallions, Canning Labels, and Oval Kitchen Labels 

through May 12, 2014

Giveaway!

We’ll giveaway one set of the kitchen labels of your choice (either Chef Medallions, Canning Labels, or Oval Kitchen Labels). It’s easy to enter too. Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite rhubarb recipe, and/or include a link (if it can be found online). We’ll pick the winner from the entrants randomly on Wednesday, May 14th.

Photo credits: The rhubarb plant, Rhubarb and Strawberry Panna Cotta.  Recipe and their intro by David Lebovits, Mimi Thorisson, and BH&G respectively. Other photos: Felix Doolittle.

A special thanks to Cara Lichtenstein’s mother for making the Rhubarb Chutney!

Felix Doolittle

New Delftware Monongram Return Address Labels and a BIG giveaway!

by lorendoolittle

2014-04_body_ras_sale Felix created a new Delftware-inspired alphabet for Return Address Labels. See how gorgeous your letter looks here.

All our Return Address Labels are 20% off

through Monday, April 28th.

Delftware alphabet

Delftware inspired

Delftware refers to the pottery originally created in Delft in the Netherlands with shades of cobalt blue paint.  From a photographer’s standpoint, it reminds me of the early cyanotype photographic prints. From Felix’s standpoint, they represent something beautiful and classic to be inspired by to create a new monogram alphabet.  You can a win a set of them, the Return Address Labels, for yourself below!

A big giveaway contest on Facebook

In celebration of National Letter and Card Writing Month AND our 10 year anniversary, we’re running a big giveaway on Facebook.  We’re giving away a set of 100 labels  of the winners favorite letter of the new Delftware labels AND a set of personalized Note Cards. It’s easy to enter – the link to Facebook is right here.  Consider liking our page while you’re there!  The contest ends on Monday, April 28th at noon, est.  I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, the 30th.

Delftware J vertical

Good luck!

Felix Doolittle

photo credit: Felix Doolittle, and Delftware pottery pieces from Holland.com

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