Dad of Divas' Reviews: First-Ever WHAT'S COUNTRY NOW Issue

Saturday, February 12, 2011


“So country” is undoubtedly “so hot right now.”  Country Living uncovers What’s Country Now across décor, fashion, entertaining, cooking, travel and music – see below for a glimpse into the March issue, jam-packed with the people, products, trends, shops and restaurants that are re-creating rustic!

Country Tastes
  • The classic snow cone gets a makeover in Kansas City, Missouri, where graphic designer Lindsey Laricks makes snow cones with fresh ingredients like blackberry, ginger, agave nectar, and maple syrup. Added bonus: they come in biodegradable cups
  • Chef Steven Satterfield whips up new versions of Southern favorites at Atlanta’s Miller Union with dishes such as grits fritters with country ham and cheese, Savannah red rice and shrimp smoked sausage, and buttermilk cornbread. Though Satterfield aims to make the classics even better, there are some things he doesn’t mess with –like pickling produce at home and supporting local suppliers

Country Décor
  • Chicken wire, a familiar farm motif comes home to roost in high style. Country Living reveals fabrics, tables, frames and plant holders.
  • You can find a bit of rugged America right here in Manhattan at a shop called Canvas, where owner Andrew Corrie sells furniture pieces coming from all over the country, such as cutting boards made by Amish woodworkers in Ohio or throw pillows stitched by a women’s collaborative in New Mexico
  • Artist Kolene Spicher shares tips on adding personality to a home through simple things like building your own bookcase or personalizing your rugs by painting or stenciling your own designs onto them
  • Add some romantic worldliness to everyday storage with vintage-inspired trunks – the issue features Vagabond Vintage’s distressed-metal trio set ($395;, a Victorian-esque box by Authentic Models which has hand-turned legs, cherry slats, and loads of brass detail ($550;; enter CL20 for 20% off), or an oversized trunk that can also serve as an elegant coffee table or bench ($250,; enter Cl200F for 20% off)

Country Innovation
  • Brooklynite Robert Kalin launched, a website which allows millions of users to browse for unique goods like screen-printed accessories and re-used wood furniture while allowing artisans to earn a living selling their goods—it’s a win-win
  • New York farmer Severine von Tscharner Fleming, wanting to ensure that the agriculture profession stays strong for generations to come, founded Greenhorns, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to recruit and support young farmers all over the country

Country Lifestyle
  • Is it possible to have that second home you’ve always wanted without shelling out millions of dollars or creating a carbon footprint? Yes, thanks to Brad Kittel and his Tiny Texas Houses, who aim to save space in house construction by building homes which fit a bedroom, living-dining room, full bath, and kitchenette into an area roughly the size of a master suite
  • Country dwellers like the Fennelly family are ditching the usual family vacation for a refreshing alternative: the haycation. These getaways enable you to ‘camp out’ in wooden lodges, eat locally sourced foods like fennel sausage and peach jam, harvest all types of produce, and leave technology behind for a while

Country Fashion
  • Minnesota’s Duluth Pack carries on a 129-year tradition of handcrafted bags.  Last year they debuted exclusive goods, including totes and backpacks for fashion-forward retailers Urban Outfitters and Barney’s New York
  • The classic oxford returns with a fresh, fashion-forward strut.  March features memory foam pumps that guarantee a comfortable stroll in style ($69; or suede-detailed Keds ($50;
  • The 48-year-old clothier, Lands’ End, shakes the dust off their stalwart images with  its sassy secondary line, Canvas (available at

Country Living puts the spotlight on Brooklyn this month by revealing the borough’s country credentials in three areas: Greenpoint & Williamsburg; Atlantic Avenue, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook; and Prospect Park and Park Slope. Get a taste of small-town charm with a sampling of CL’s top finds below.

Greenpoint & Williamsburg:  casual vibes, sophisticated flavors
Ø      Moon River Chattel: it’s the ever-changing cache of antiques and vintage salvage – chandeliers, wood mantels, claw-foot tub – that keeps shoppers coming back for more

Ø      Pies–N-Thighs: light as air biscuits, tender collard green and $11 fried chicken platters keep this hippie-meets-soul-food spot packed.  And the sweet potato pie is to die for.

Ø      Eagle Street Rooftop Farm: situated on top of a warehouse, this 6,0000-square-foot space not only sells fresh veggies but also runs regular farm tours and lets visitors help out
Ø      Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop: this family-owned bakery has been around for six decades – we recommend the red velvet donuts or Peter Pan’s signature powdered donut filled with canola cream

Atlantic Avenue, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook: not your typical vendors
Ø      Brooklyn Flea: former bank-turned-market, the Brooklyn Flea comes alive on the weekends to offer shoppers everything from crafts and tableware by local artists to organic hot dogs with Asian slaw

Ø      Jalopy: a theater bar-music school hybrid, this performance space hosts live blues, jazz, and bluegrass concerts seven nights a week. You can even buy your own instruments

Ø      Brooklyn Pharmacy: go back in time and grab a seat at the old-fashioned soda counter at the Brooklyn Pharmacy for a milkshake or a frothy egg cream

Ø      Metal & Thread: this Red Hook gem sells honey combed from local hives, pinstripe quilts, and jewelry by local artisans

Prospect Park and Park Slope: balancing city with country
Ø      Four and Twenty Blackbirds: Melisa and Emily Elsen, two sisters from South Dakota, bring local, organic, and authentically American pies to the Big Apple. The strawberry balsamic, chocolate pecan, and salted caramel apple are particular crowd favorites

Ø      Foraging in Prospect Park: naturalist Ava Chen gives seasonal tours around the Park to pick berries, mushrooms, nuts, and other delicious natural goodies waiting to be uncovered

Ø      Bklyn Larder: this glorified grocery store sells mouthwatering cheeses, crusty baguettes, and, for that special weekend afternoon, delicious pistachio cake and chocolate chip cookies

Ø      Brooklyn Botanical Garden: across the street from Lefferts Historic House, this famous garden is a must-do activity in March, where you can see its magnificent magnolias begin to bloom

 All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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