Hi Hannah! Tell us about you.
A few years ago, I founded Sweets & Bitters, which started as a blog and a series of mini-cookbooks (there are events now too), because I wanted to teach people to make beautiful food for real life. A lot of food media is so aspirational that it's inaccessible, and I want to show people things they feel like they could really do, without dumbing it down. I do a lot of the same kinds of work––food styling, writing, and recipe development––as a freelancer. I'm almost thirty, and starting to find my way with work.
A Farm in the City
I live in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, but I'm a farmgirl at heart. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest with chickens, goats, sheep, bees, a huge vegetable garden and fruit trees. I've brought a little of that to my life in the city by keeping chickens and growing veggies wherever I can––right now that's a community garden next to my house.
What's a typical "weekend" for you?
Since I work for myself and freelance, I'm often working from home and forget to take a "weekend." There's always something to work on, and I love what I do. But suddenly I realize it's been weeks since I took a break and I really need one. Sometimes my weekend is on Sunday, but it may as well be a Tuesday––it's just whenever I declare a day off. I feel lucky to have an unconventional schedule and be able to go out to eat or travel during off-times when everyone else is working.
"I like to get outside and be active...at my own pace."
I love to be at home cooking, reading and gardening. My boyfriend and I might bike to the farmers market (I know, too precious, too Brooklyn) where I'll get inspired by some vegetable I've never tried and plan a whole meal around it. I like to get outside and be active, but at my own pace. I just bought a pair of pink suede roller skates, and I've been going to the outdoor rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park. If I really need deep relaxation I go to the Korean Spa and spend hours in the soaking tubs and saunas; I can completely forget about everything else there, and come home 5 hours later feeling like I went away for the whole weekend.
A More Involved Breakfast
If I'm lucky, my boyfriend, who is more of an early riser, will be making Belgian waffles when I get up. Or maybe on his way back from the gym, at like 7am, he stopped by the bakery to pick up rolls and we can make egg sandwiches. The weekend is a time for a more involved breakfast than my usual bowl of yogurt and fruit. Later, I might try some cooking project I've had in mind or make something with my farmers market haul. If I'm burnt out form a week of recipe testing and food styling, we'll eat at the Korean restaurant across the street from the (aforementioned) spa.
I get the New York Times delivered on the weekends (subscribing was one of the first grown-up feeling things I did for myself during college, and I habit I've kept up). I might not get around to reading it until Wednesday, but nothing feels more like Sunday than a real newspaper and a cup of coffee. I've always got NPR on, and the Weekend Edition theme song makes me feel warm and nostalgic for my parents kitchen when I was little. I even like Car Talk now (I used to cringe when my dad would listen to it), and I really look forward to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! I'll also listen to the Dinner Party Download podcast.
The ideal end to a weekend? A vegetable-centric home cooked meal (by me or someone else) shared with a few close friends, a few glasses of pretty good wine, and not having to do the dishes.