Discover more from The Rhubarb Society
Vol. 22 - What On Earth Is The 'Coastal Cowgirl'?
as well as the perfect roast chicken, crochet everything & serving gold eggs
Today’s Playlist - Cashmere Robes, Matcha and Sheet Masks
Happy Easter Sunday, everyone! How are we all doing? What is on the menu for today? Thank you for bearing with me and my brief absence last Sunday. Whilst I missed catching up with you all, it has been a very hectic few weeks, and the pause was needed. It was a wonderful few days of celebrations at Soho Farmhouse, followed by some recovery at The Lakes by Yoo (all covered in this Youtube video should you be feeling nosy). The good news is that it gave me time to catch up on many other areas of life and work, including The Rhubarb Society sticker drop that went live this Monday. I ordered 600 stickers, entirely worried that I’d overestimated how many would be sold, but you guys still managed to sell them out within 24 hours!!! The biggest thank you to everyone who has bought one, and we have taken your feedback into account, so there will be another drop soon for those who missed out (including a new style). I’m hoping by the time this has gone out, the team and I (aka the intern and my sister) have successfully stamped, handwritten and posted all of your orders. This week, we’ve had Ramadan, Passover and Easter occurring simultaneously, so happy Ramadan/Passover/Easter to those celebrating any of the above. In a few hours, I will be prepping an Easter Roast for eight, so I will be sharing my plans for decorations and roast chicken tips. We have also been blessed with some unfamiliar sunshine which seems to have lifted everybody’s spirits, so let’s start with a quick list of things to keep that sunny feeling going…
Another Day of Sun
Texas Sun - Leon Bridges (a current favourite on repeat for me)
Blue Crush (nothing says summer like an early noughties film about surfing with vintage Kate Bosworth)
Seeing as the ‘Coastal Cowgirl’ aesthetic is all over my TikTok, and it’s something I explore later on, it would be wrong not to mention the Penelope Chilvers Cowboy Boots
You Make Loving Fun - Fleetwood Mac (this is just the song)
M&S White Linen Trousers (to pair with your cowboy hat and oversized jumper, duh)
Sol de Janeiro Bom Dia Bright Cream (a brightening body cream that smells like summer)
This Sandro x Louis Barthelemy Printed Shirt just screams, ‘I go on expensive holidays’
Hosting For Easter
Some of you may have already seen my Fortnum’s haul of bits purchased for Easter in this TikTok video. If there are two things I love as a Taurus, it’s hosting and themes. I’m always looking for ways to bring joy via food and decorations, and in particular, I always want to improve my staple dishes. I would count a Roast as one of my staples, and after roasting many a chicken in my life, I think I’ve finally cracked how to make the best roast chicken of all time. This is the recipe I will be using until I find another way to improve it. If you decide to use this recipe, please honour me by not following it exactly and adding your own bits here and there.
Tamsin’s Roast Chicken
You will need the following;
A Whole Chicken (The best quality you can afford - I normally get mine from The Ginger Pig)
This Fortnum’s Poultry Rub has been a GAME CHANGER. I used it for the first time a few weeks ago, and the chicken got rave reviews. If you don’t have access to Fortnum’s', the mix is a blend of dried fennel seeds, lemon peel, black pepper, garlic, thyme and coriander seeds.
Maldon Sea Salt (or any flaky salt)
A Whole Garlic
Good Quality Olive Oil (or butter, but in this instance, I’m cooking for someone dairy free!)
The day before serving, unwrap your chicken (unfold the wings!) and tie its legs above itself. Thoroughly massage every bit of your chicken’s skin with your flaky sea salt. Lightly smash your whole garlic clove, slice your lemon in half and then put them in the chicken’s crevice (hole? rear end? whatever) with the lemon thyme. Lightly cover your chicken with foil and put it back in the fridge overnight. This step is important as the salt will dry out the chicken skin making it extra crispy and tasty. On the day of roasting, remove your chicken from the fridge and massage your poultry rub all over the skin with a tablespoon of olive oil or butter (this quantity might differ depending on the size of your chicken). Let your chicken come to room temperature before putting it in the oven. I start with my oven at 180C, and I leave the chicken for an hour before opening the oven and basting the chicken in its own juices. I only do this once. Again, your timings will differ depending on the size of your chicken, but in the last 15 minutes, I turn my oven up to 200C to give the skin some extra crispiness. Remember to save the remaining chicken juices for your gravy!
My two go-to’s for decorations are Amazon and Flying Tiger. I genuinely think Flying Tiger is one of the best places for fun and affordable decorations. A few weeks ago, Henry and I passed by one and decided to pop in, which is where I found some chick-hatching-from-an-egg Easter themed napkins and a fake grass table runner for today. The little chicks were from Amazon, of course. However, what’s some fake grass without a bunny? I saw this beautiful and too-pretty-to-eat bunny in Fortnum’s a few weeks back, and I knew I had to have it. She then needed some jelly carrots (of course) and some little bunny friends. I also needed something entirely ridiculous as a bit of a show stopper which is where these gold eggs filled with praline come in. They are genuine eggshells that need to be cracked open in order to scoop out the chocolatey goodness inside. I sincerely hope one of my guests assumes it’s all chocolate and bites into it whole. I also have a giant cabbage bowl I was given as a birthday gift which will be good for either the roast potatoes or all of the chocolate, but John Lewis also sells individual serving ones, which are pretty fun and not as large. When thinking about how to decorate a table, I always default to Pinterest for ideas. Here are some tablescapes I will be drawing inspiration from!
The cynic in me finds myself irritated by the endless cycle of weird trends and aesthetics that clog my social media feed at any given time. Coastal Grandmother? Vanilla Girl? Barbiecore? Dark Academia? Is this just another way to exclude particular groups? Does it just encourage excessive consumerism? Why can’t anyone just have a sense of personal style anymore and stick to it?
On the other hand, though, as a rational and somewhat fully functioning adult, I find these strange aesthetics kind of useful. As a pre-teen and teenager, I had so much fun experimenting with clothes and my own personal style. I remember finding a pair of red jeans that were too big for me, hand sewing them from the knee down so that they were skin tight, and pairing them with a vest top covered in anchors and a leather and gold chain belt, reminiscent of this iconic Chanel one. I paired the above with black leg warmers and ballet flats to wear to a non-uniform day at school, and I remember feeling so excited and thrilled by whatever I had just created. I felt so good in this (admittedly, entirely bizarre) outfit. As we get older and we become more aware of our bodies and how people perceive us, our desire to experiment dulls. We find what we feel comfortable in and stick with that. I’m all for having a personal uniform and knowing what works for your body, but I also believe that fashion should be fun and inspiring. Since being immersed in the social media world of weird aesthetics, I’ve found myself inspired by elements of said clothing subcultures, and it’s encouraged me to try something new. You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe every time a new aesthetic makes the rounds, but you can find ways to rework your existing wardrobe and add to it without upheaving your whole style.
As mentioned earlier, The Coastal Cowgirl is currently making the rounds, and whilst I have initially rolled my eyes at every iteration of the ‘Coastal’ trend, I’ve eventually realised that I can take what I need from it to inspire my wardrobe and refresh my look. So, what on earth is the ‘Coastal Cowgirl’? I assume that she’s carefree, sunkissed, and probably spends endless hours riding up and down the nearest beach with her horse named after a dead relative or a small town somewhere. She drives around in an old truck, listening to country songs, and singing at the top of her lungs along the open road before lazing on the beach next to a fire (that she started), sharing homecooked food with 50 of her closest friends as the sun goes down. However, what does this mean sartorially? It’s essentially effortless, breezy coastal cool with punchy accessories. Linen trousers and denim skirts, cowboy boots and Havaianas, thick woolly jumpers and fitted waistcoats, cowboy hats and crochet. Whilst I’m not convinced I could pull off cowboy boots, here are a few things I’ll be incorporating to embrace this look.
Bare on the Bottom, Layered on Top - Think tanned, bare legs (linen shorts or a denim skirt) paired with a cotton shirt and an oversized half zip. When it comes to jumpers, go big, fuzzy, and cosy. I’m in the market for a cosy, oversized, pink one like this. If you need a little help with the tan, I like Bondi Sands or Tan Luxe.
Switch To Linen - We’re going easy, breezy (and very crease-y) with linen. I will personally be going for white trousers and shorts (I’m about to order the Abercombie ones as they’re on sale for £39). For affordable linen shirts, you can go for H&M or Uniqlo.
Layering With Vests - You can continue your linen journey with this &Other Stories Vest. Maybe switch it up with this Ganni Denim Vest (on sale for £145). I also love this denim Reformation one that’s adjustable in the back.
Punchy Cowgirl Accessories - If you do plan to be by the sea, your cowboy hat can be a little more coastal, like this rattan one from Urban Outfitters. For something a little more elevated, there’s this rust-coloured hat with embroidery by Desert Rose. I’ve already mentioned Penelope Chilvers cowgirl boots, but should you want alternatives, there is everything from these plain black ones from Urban Outfitters, these heeled, brown, leather ones from Mango or these extra punchy metallic ones by All Saints. If boots and hats are a little out of your comfort zone, maybe try a belt instead. You can try something textured like this cowhide belt or just a classic leather western belt.
Crochet Away - Ahh, nothing says coastal like crochet. Pair a long crochet dress like this one from Arket with a belt or boots, or perhaps a crochet halterneck with a pair of jeans. For that post-swim look? Try a colourful crochet bikini with an open shirt, some linen trousers and a big cowgirl hat. Yeehaw.
Watch, Read, Listen
I originally signed up for Anima Mundi’s mailing list because I was a fan of their products, but after a few emails, I found myself obsessed with their newsletters. They are extremely in-depth and relate to all things horoscopes, herbs and beyond. This weeks one on the Libra Full Moon is particularly interesting and useful to anyone who also believes in astrology.
Should you be new to the world of roasting chicken, or should you not have access to the infamous Fortnum’s poultry rub in my recipe above, Claire Saffitz does a great fail-proof roast chicken with garlic and lemon.
Jessica Reed Kraus of House Inhabit discussing ‘Court Couture’ on the back of Gwyneth’s recent style on trial.
So, you have your cowboy hat, your linens and your beachy hair? Now you need a playlist fit for your road trip and those long summer nights spent by the sea.
Chrissy Teigen’s Watermelon and Feta salad for when you need something light and refreshing on a sunny day.
Recently, Ryuichi Sakamoto, the Oscar-winning film composer, sadly passed. This documentary gives a fantastic look into his life and legacy
And that’s all from the twenty second issue of The Rhubarb Society! If there’s anything you’re keen for me to discuss, or if you have a podcast topic you’d like me to talk about, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below, via email or in my DMs. If there’s anyone you think would be an excellent fit for The Rhubarb Society, please do extend the invitation below.