Daily nuggets of inspiration from the good folk
Organic produce. Health food. Juice bars. What images come to mind? Rustic wholesomeness, raw wood and chirpy chalkboards, most probably. Time for a change? Just what Chicago’s rather rebellious Owen+Alchemy thought too.
In Logan Square they have created a juice and wholefoods bar that is part enchanted forest, part curiosity museum, part modern herbalist’s coven. Plants hang in geometric cages, bell jars showcase ingredients and a living moss installation ups the 02 levels. All combined in a convivial atmosphere, inspired by the gnarled wooden table that dominates the space.
This sense of collaboration continues into the invigorating menu, concocted and co-curated by a circle of chefs and herbalists to cast a spell over health-conscious Chigagoans. Bet their mushroom soup’s magic too.
There have been few more chilling news stories recently than the ‘honour’ killing of Shafilea Ahmed in 2003. Suffocated by a plastic bag stuffed into her mouth, the 17-year old was murdered by her parents, in front of her young siblings.
It is this real life horror story that inspired Cosmopolitan’s limited edition February cover. The wraparound plastic sleeve smothers an image of a woman asphyxiating. It’s a shock tactic to raise awareness of honour-based abuse, with the aim of creating an annual day in memory of its predominately female victims. That’s 5,000 reported worldwide, 12 from the UK.
Killed or violently abused for bringing perceived shame to their families, this type of abuse also includes forcing a woman into marriage, often the catalyst for the cruelty to begin.
To see an end to it, get involved at #britainslostwomen and check out the petition on www.change.org to establish a day of remembrance worthy of the young women who lose their lives at the hands of their loved ones.
Bingo wings wobbling. Flushed jowls joggling. Mascara running faster than you are… If you shudder with recognition at these images, you’re probably a woman. A real one, who finds motivation the hardest part of keeping fit. And one who’s not alone.
Sport England have hit upon the insight that women worrying about how their bodies will be perceived is often the reason they’re less physically active than men. Cue their ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, with its video celebrating every last, glorious, womanly wobble.
The advert champions sisters of all ages, shapes and sizes, working out without holding back, no matter what wiggles wetly at the camera. Sports, dancing, swimming and waddling are all depicted in high-def delight, with slogans that drip with attitude such as ‘Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox’ and ‘I kick balls, deal with it’. A refreshing change from the images of unobtainable female perfection more usually associated with female sport.
And a clever example of presenting the motivating ‘why’ to consumers – not the more pedestrian ‘what’…
The times when the chocolate urge hits are usually the times when you can’t really be bothered to trudge down to the shops. What if you could, say, just download some chocolate? Like, print it out and get guzzling? All without moving from your desk / sofa / duvet? Mike TV and Willy Wonka though it was a pretty good idea. And Hershey does too.
Yes, choco-locos, your dreams have finally come true. The Hershey Company has partnered with 3D Systems to cook up CocoJet: a printer that squirts molten chocolate into delicious designs, just like a 3D printer streams filament. Only much, much tastier.
Lucky users can choose from milk, dark and white chocolate (what, no peanut butter?) and select a pre-programmed design, or delay the moment of pleasure by devising their own bespoke chocolate sculpture.
When this piece of printing genius will be released is yet to be announced. But it’s fair to say that custom confectioners must be a tad concerned that their corner of the personalised chocolate market may soon be in the sticky hands of the very happy consumer.
There’s nothing quite like the pride you put into making a bacon sandwich: the Saturday morning ritual; the selection of ingredients; the skill of assemblage. Not to mention the bacon itself – sizzling, crisp and succulent – pressed between soft slices of bread that’ve been laminated with butter and sauce (red, brown or both). Who wouldn’t want to make the most of it?
Now you can take your kitchen-counter epicureanism to aromatic new heights. Cleverly seizing the curly tails of both the current trend for DIY culinary processes and our passionate love for the rasher, are award-winning Cotswold fine food company, Ross & Ross. (Nicely curated, Tim.)
They’ve created a handy, all-you-need-to-cure-your-own-piece-of-porker-at-home kit. It comes complete with a choice of bacon curing mixes, muslin wrap and curing bags, as well as a butcher’s hook. Imagine that hanging off your Ikea utensils bar!
To be a true Hugh F-W, all you need to do now is catch your pig.