Happy New Year: Out With the Old, In With the Older

Thanks for coming back to Dagger & Dill. We hope our fall issue warmed you up like a dash of cayenne in a molasses flapjack, and that your holidays were 100% bah humbug (where “bah” stands for bespoke artisanal holidays). Here in our winter edition, it’s all about keeping spirits up — illuminating this dark season with glimmers of light like sparks popping from a fragrant applewood bonfire.

We love few things so much as the sophisticated silhouette of a rosemary topiary, the dazzling diversity of mismatched antique glassware, and the unexpected undernote of soil in a fresh slab of cornbread. The winter of our discontent? We think not. This is the winter of our timeworn, salt-cured, hand-carved splendor.

Tradition.

 


Why, Thank You

Could Dagger & Dill’s fall issue (left) have inspired the last page of Vogue’s November issue (right)? Do these statements even need question marks? Of course we don’t mind the imitation. Color us flattered, Anna Wintour.

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Speaking of things that feel familiar . . .

hipsters everywhereDoes AdWeek’s “Hipster Business Name Generator” have a crush?
We blush!


Pickle Me This

There’s not much coming up from the ground right now, so it’s time to head to your canning pantry to enjoy the fruits of your fall labor. A cold, gray day presents the perfect opportunity to open up those jars of tart, vinegary goodness. Winter is pickle season. What better time to host a party celebrating longevity?

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Invite every craftsperson you know who’s in the sunset of their lives — your grandfather’s barber; the butcher at the farmer’s market whose lined face tells the story of the South; the calligrapher who wrote the envelopes for your first birthday all those years ago; Rhonda the basketweaver. This holiday supper is for anyone who might enjoy attending a dinner party while they still can.

On the Menu 

pickled cranberry mini-burgers
pickled butternut squash fritters
pickled rabbit ravioli
pickled sweet potato cupcakes
pickled beef doughnuts
hand-churned pickle & waffle ice cream
topped with a warm molten pickle bomb
to drink: hot pickle cider in copper mugs,
pickle moonshine spritzers in paint buckets

Make your guests comfortable as they tell you how they honed their crafts. Learn from them. Offer them neck pillows made from lavender stuffed muslin, warmed over the fire. Appreciate their ink-stained fingernails and the way the veins on their hands form a map of your very own heritage.


 

spotlight on 

PINECONES

 

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Pine cones are nature’s disco balls. Multifaceted and attractive from every angle, these spiky little barkbombs say “party” without speaking a word. Lucky for us, Mother Nature made them hardy and longlasting, so they’re ready to be put to work all winter long.

Use pinecones in your Nativity scene. It's a pinecone baby Jesus!
Wait! Don’t discard those prickly little characters when you dismantle your tabletop Nativity. Carefully un-swaddle pinecone baby Jesus.

 

Add a few pinecones to your year-round arrangements of antique industrial parts.
Take those pinecones and arrange them throughout your home, mixed whimsically with antique industrial parts. The look is part warehouse chic, part rustic natural, and part Antebellum prison.

At D&D, we recommend the cedar scent of naturally harvested, organic pine cones gathered from the grounds of old mills that have been turned into recording studios. Hold one in your gloved hand, close your eyes, and you’ll swear you can hear a gospel choir.


 

Just In CASE

Got a case of the winter blues? Never fear. We’ve cased the joint to come up with the most tasteful and functional ways to give your home a fresh look. Case in point: repurposing beautiful antique cases. Sometimes, the oldest items have the newest appeal. In this case, we think you’ll agree.

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Your great-aunt’s opera glasses may not have much purpose these days, but any modern man could use a stylish case for his prescription medications and homeopathic remedies. Dust it off and place it on his weathered oak stand-up desk.

 

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Simmering root vegetables for a cassoulet? This vintage leather bar case can help. Simply remove the rusted metal drinking cups, and it’s a caddy for your collection of hand-whittled wooden spoons!

 

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For the linen enthusiast, there’s no such thing as too many places to keep plush handtowels and lace-edged bathmats. That’s why your authentic Civil War era doctors’ bag with original metal clasps and leather handles will never go out of style. Every time you dry your face, you’ll remember that someone 150 years ago bit down on a hand-forged iron nail while having his foot amputated. America.

 


Readers Ask 

D&D Answers

Q: Help! We’ve invited some indie shop-owners and fly fishing guides over for gumbo and poetry this weekend, but the forecast calls for snow, and there’s a possibility our power could go out during the party. Should we preemptively cancel?

A: Take a deep breath. Your panic is understandable but unnecessary. So you don’t have electricity? No problem. Remember, this is why you built the wood-burning stove and/or stone fire pit out back by the old barn you turned into a greenhouse. String up your tiny lanterns, light each one individually, and you’ll be just fine. And if the white stuff is really coming down, why not make the most of it? Gather fresh snow in jars, add the ingredients below, and serve an assortment of seasonal snow-cocktails:

The Gritty Gritty Bang Bang: snow + shrimp, grits, Tabasco, and vodka 

The Deer Stand: snow + venison drippings and Scotch whiskey, with a gunpowder rim

The Pancake: snow + freshly-tapped maple syrup* and bourbon, garnished with preserved crumbs from your griddle

(* If possible, try to serve this in Vermont.)

Got wolves? If unexpected wild guests show up, invite them in. Ask them about their hobbies.
Got wolves? If unexpected wild guests show up, invite them in. Ask them about their talents.

And remember, you’ll need to dress for the weather. For your feet, nestle mohair socks inside knee-high boots with pewter buckles and a thick layer of goose grease on the outside to keep them watertight. For the rest of you, alternate layers of tweed, cashmere, and waxed canvas, and you’ll be perfectly toasty. Winter weather is full of surprises. Have fun with it!

 


 Up to Date

What people of style know and have.

image via PublicDomainArchive.comEdison lightbulbs: A deliciously old-fashioned way to illuminate your home or studio office on the second floor of an old movie theater downtown, these bulbs delight the eye with their wacky zigzag filaments.

Personalized shirting: Not just monogrammed or made-to-measure, but woven with real strands of your DNA mixed into the organic cotton fibers. Because it’s your shirt.

Custom ice: Mixologists know certain ice shapes melt better with particular types of whiskey, which is why ice cubes have evolved into oversized ice spheres, ice pyramids, ice trapezoids, and ice spirals. Try drizzling a smoky single malt over a delicate ice bonsai “tree” at the bottom of a glass, toss in a single butterbean, and marvel at how the flavors harmonize.

 


Now let’s all be nice.

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Dagger & Dill is an offshoot of I Miss You When I Blink. Please enjoy responsibly.