Saturday, January 12, 2013

Green is Good, but Emerald, Really?

Oh my, what year is this? Have we entered some kind of time machine?

Perhaps it's the revival of 1950s Dorothy Draper designs that helped clinch the vote? Or maybe it's some kind of nostalgia for swinging fern bars of 1970s?

Whatever the reason, Emerald seems an odd choice to be named the new and inspirational color of the year. Come on Pantone can't you be a little more cutting edge?

Overlooking the strange choice of color, it seems Emerald is a hard color to define when it's not on a cocktail ring. Even the home page for Pantone looks unconvinced. It features 9 beautiful crisp lay-outs of various shades of green, many of which do not include Emerald.

A "lively, radiant and lush" green evokes for me a deep, dark and rich forest green, maybe with some variegation. But Emerald just doesn't work like that.

So how and why was it selected? Maybe it's not intended to be a stand alone color and works best when it's part of a mix, like a salad of baby greens? Or maybe we are entering the Land of Oz?

In 2013, I hope we can find our well-being, balance and harmony with a happier, smarter color of green.

For cool Pantone products and color systems, see

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My DIY Buche de Noel

Maybe because I was just back from a fabulous trip to Paris and all things French were on my mind. I decided to attempt a Buche de Noel for our Christmas festivities.

This choice of dessert was not out of the blue. I have had an obsession with Buche de Noel cakes at Christmas for a while now. But it had always been something I ordered, not created.


For the past few years I had been splurging on the Buche de Noel from one or another of our local bakers in search of the perfect cake. The French pastry shop came closest to heavenly, but the more recent past log cakes from the specialty bakers were tasting more like, well- logs.

So, it was with a little giddiness and much trepidation, that I convinced myself it could probably be made in-house at 973.
I'll be honest, the cake was indeed a lot of work. And, it didn't really look as artful as I would have wished for, but it was devoured by our appreciative Christmas gathering. And isn't that what counts most of all?

Who could politely resist a chocolate genoise cake rolled up in buttercream and covered in chocolate ganache, with meringue mushrooms on the side, in a spirited effort to resemble a yule log?
Happy New Year!