Redstone, with her buttered oatmeal, tofu larb, and more. Illustration: Margalit Cutler

Ruby Redstone, marked a New York “It” girl by this very magazine, is a fashion journalist and historian known on Instagram for her bold wardrobe of mixed prints. She graces her feed with billowing ruffles, bottle-blonde hair clipped back with seashell accessories, Mary Jane flats, and bright pops of color. As she puts it, she likes to “mix a bit of antique, vintage, and contemporary, every day.” In her monthly newsletter, Old Fashioned, she takes readers on a tour of modern couture to clothes of years past, drawing parallels to the year 1200. Her historian sensibilities play into her cooking style, and since becoming a mother of two, Redstone has ramped up her shopping with frequent trips to the Union Square Greenmarket for vegetables from her favorite farmers. She has also learned to embrace her freezer: “I love a recipe that takes four days. I’ll make a big batch of stuff and freeze all of it.”

Tuesday, April 16
I start each day with a practice of blind faith: pouring a shot of Liposomal Vitamin C into a glass of cold water. It’s meant to keep you from getting sick. I’ve had it every day for years and I’m really not sure if it works, but at this point, I’m kind of scared to quit. I immediately follow this with coffee, which is black today because I’ve forgotten to get milk. Normally I hate black coffee, but today it’s mysteriously very good.

After a few moments of peace, my children are awake. My husband gives the baby her bottle, and I make our toddler the first of her several breakfasts. She usually has three. She loves to eat, which fills me with immense joy. I want her to eat the entire world

Then I make my own breakfast. I love to cook, but for my own sake, I have to set boundaries for myself in the morning. It’s too stressful to start the day with something that creates tons of dishes. Right now, I’m obsessed with oatmeal. My favorite texture is mush, so it makes sense. Today’s oatmeal has a pat of salted butter, crunchy turbinado sugar, and a spoonful of sour-cherry compote that I made last week.

I head out the door early to drop my toddler off with her grandparents downtown and go to a doctor’s appointment before a meeting at the Rose Bakery in Dover Street Market. I’m early to my meeting, an absurdly rare occurrence, so I kill some time by browsing in Kalustyan’s down the street. Kalustyan’s is one of my favorite shops in the world. I find something new and delightful every single time I step inside — and I’m there a lot. I’m seeing my friend Natalie later, and she mentioned that she’s been really into making green curry lately, so I grab her a tin of Maesri green-curry paste, plus a Panang for myself. I’m tempted by so many items, but I remember that I have to carry everything with me in my purse for the rest of the day, so I settle on chaat masala spiced peanuts for my husband, a mango lassi for the toddler, and a solid block of coconut cream, which I’ve been looking for all over, for me.

It’s the pinnacle of retail experiences when I get to visit both Kalustyan’s and Dover Street Market in one day. I love Rose Bakery, and I love it especially for meetings because how many other bakeries have good cake and Comme des Garçons? I’ve been making scones at home lately, but they haven’t been coming out quite right, so I ordered a scone of theirs for the sake of research and a matcha latte. The scone of the day is goat cheese and dried citrus, and it’s divine — the perfect ratio of dry crumble to tender pastry, and it’s neither overpoweringly sweet nor salty. It arrives warm, accompanied by a slab of butter and a heaping mountain of Concord grape jam. Concord grape is one of my top-ten favorite flavors, so I’m delighted. However, the meeting is going really well, and I can’t really focus on the scone.

The next stop is my friend Natalie’s house. We host a podcast together, and we record everything in the mini-studio she has set up in her living room. It’s great because she usually makes us lunch, something I can’t imagine would happen in a more traditional work environment. Today it’s leafy salads with gigante beans and some toasted seeds and spices. Delicious.

It’s early evening by the time I get home, and I realize that I haven’t had a single sweet treat all day. I rectify this immediately by having a little dish of chocolate nonpareils and Cadbury mini-eggs with a cup of lavender tea. I just learned that nonpareils got their name because when they were created in 17th-century France, it was believed that there would never be another candy so good — they are unparalleled, without pareil! I’m inclined to agree, though I’m more into sprinkles than most adults I know.

My husband, Gabriel, and I are passionate hosts. Tonight we’re having our friends Noah and Julia over. Noah lives around the corner from us and has dinner at ours all the time, so it’s low-pressure. Gabriel makes some tequila-based cocktails with mango pulp, and we set out the chaat masala peanuts and some potato chips. We end up leaving our guests to the cocktail hour on their own while we put our babies to bed.

I make tofu larb using Kris Yenbamroong’s recipe from the Night + Market cookbook, though I’ve made it so many times I don’t actually consult the book. Larb is the ideal dinner-party food. It’s bright, you can easily prepare it in advance, and it encourages activity at the table — lots of passing dishes around and filling up lettuce cups. The trick to the Night + Market tofu larb is to shallow-fry the tofu before chopping it into the larb, making the tofu into fatty little curds that stand up to all the lime and fish sauce. I serve the larb with a plate of romaine hearts, sliced mango and cucumber, and bunches of Thai basil and cilantro with a homemade kumquat nuoc cham I made the week before.

The kumquat nuoc cham is from a Ha’s Dac Biet recipe that I now make any time I come across kumquats. It’s a labor of love because it requires juicing tons of tiny fruits and then finely chopping their peels, but it is so worth it. It transforms a small (and expensive) container of citrus into a big batch of sunshine-bright sauce that keeps for weeks in the fridge. My sister always jokes that I live in the ultimate “ingredient household” because our fridge isn’t even full of “ingredients” — it’s just random quart containers of all my different projects.

I also make some coconut rice using a piece of the brick of coconut cream I found earlier. It’s excellent.

Noah loves sweets, so he’s always in charge of bringing dessert. For tonight, he made a blueberry cobbler. We all agree that the entire meal isn’t totally appropriate for a rainy April day, but it’s gotten us excited for summer, and we needed a little bit of that hope right now.

Wednesday, April 17
Vitamin C, water, coffee. Today’s coffee is with hazelnut milk because, like seemingly everyone with access to the internet, I’m trying to find a reasonable alternative to oat milk. I’ll tell you one thing: It’s not going to be hazelnut milk.

I throw a handful of frozen sweet cherries in with my oatmeal as it cooks, plus some sliced strawberries and peanut butter once it’s done. Oh, and a big pat of butter. Always butter.

Around noon, I make myself a cup of yerba mate and start soaking some beans for tonight’s dinner. I also make bergamot curd because I found some of the season’s last remaining bergamots hiding in a corner of Eataly on Monday. I love working from home because it means that I can be cooking in the background all day. I’m a woman of singular interests: I’m either thinking about clothing or cooking. I share a lot of my creative endeavors publicly as part of my work, and I think it feels almost sacred to have an outlet where I make things that are just for my family and me. Cooking lets me have a little bit of that every day.

Gabriel and I both work from home, which is great because we get to be with our children a lot and annoying because we end up cleaning the kitchen 500 times a day. Actually, I cook, he cleans. That’s been the deal since we got together, except now he’s really into cooking too, and I have yet to deeply embrace the cleaning aspect.

He makes lunch from last night’s leftovers: a big salad with crisped-up coconut rice, lettuce, all the remaining herbs, and a spicy kimchee dressing. At the last minute, he adds a few radishes from Lani’s Farm, perfectly tiny and sweet. We live right next to the Union Square Greenmarket, and we do almost all of our food shopping there, which has, no hyperbole, changed my life. It has allowed me to embrace shopping and cooking with the seasons to the fullest. And if you play your cards right, the Greenmarket is significantly less expensive than shopping in a Manhattan grocery store, a magical thing in and of itself.

Lunch dessert is a few chunks of Tony’s Chocolonely.

My beans have been burbling away on the stove for a few hours now. We’re all getting over a cold, and I felt like we need something really simple and nourishing, so I’m just cooking them with an entire head of garlic and some salt and pepper. I read once that beans should have a one-inch fat cap on them if you’re cooking them from dry, and I adhere to this today by pouring in an indulgent slick of olive oil. Right before we eat, I add a handful of baby kale. I serve the beans and greens topped with Parmesan, some more fat in the form of Calabrian chile oil, and a spoonful of spring-onion salsa verde I made earlier in the week. On this side, we have a hefty slice of She Wolf bread, another Greenmarket staple. We started eating this beans-on-toast meal while living in London, and now we have some variation of it at least once a week.

When I was pregnant, Gabriel thought it was nice and a little bit funny to bring me a selection of fruits and sweets on a silver tray while we hung out on the couch at night. Our baby is now four months old, and we haven’t given up the habit. It makes you feel like you’re having room service in the comfort of your own home. Tonight, we’re full from a hearty dinner, so the selection skews demure: just a few little Italian biscuits and nonpareils in a seashell-shaped dish.

Thursday, April 18
I sleep well and approach my oatmeal with a renewed sense of vigor. A scoop of the blueberry filling from Noah’s leftover cobbler, butter, and a dollop of bergamot curd. “This is really good,” I say to the baby, who is sitting across from me and does not care.

I think I love bergamot so much because it tastes like the antique version of a lemon. It’s got a dustiness to it. I dream of being invited to the Todolí Citrus Foundation to taste citrus varieties from hundreds of years ago. Maybe I’ll come up with some sort of essay about the history of lemons and clothing to justify the trip.

I’ve got back-to-back Zoom meetings this morning, which I don’t love, so breakfast dessert is in order. A handful of Cadbury mini-eggs and a hot cup of yerba mate provide a sufficient boost.

I start making lunch and realize that it will be the third time this week that I’ve had a salad instead of my usual soup — spring is really here! I chop a dainty little Savoy cabbage with some baby kale and dress it in a nutritional yeast–y vinaigrette. I put a Lani’s Farm egg fried with some garlic and chile flakes on top.

When I was a kid, I was very small and picky and nervous about food. A doctor “prescribed” that I was to eat at least two fried eggs a day accompanied by glasses of whole milk and eggnog. Obviously, this combination is repulsive, and it took me years to be able to even look at a fried egg again. Now when I choose to have one of my own volition, it makes me a little emotional.

The baby and I have some errands to run. We stop into Balthazar Bakery for one of their ginger-citrus teas, a deeply nostalgic beverage for me. My first job was in the building next door where I was an intern at Marc Jacobs, and every afternoon I had to run down and get two trays of ginger-citrus teas for all the important designers. Lately, I’ve been getting one of the teas whenever I’m nearby as an antidote to this season’s unending grayness. As a beverage, it’s warming and sweet, but it also reminds me of the reasons I fell in love with working in fashion in the first place.

My husband is out at a concert, so I’m on my own for dinner. I hate cooking for just me, not because I find it depressing but because it gets in the way of things I like to do when Gabriel’s not home, like watching Below Deck and embroidering hearts on everything we own. I make the same thing almost every time he’s out: whatever beef-stew thing we happen to have in the freezer (we made a big stash before the baby was born) warmed up with a heaping scoop of Xi’an Famous Foods chile oil and a few cracks of Sichuan pepper. I add noodles, scallions, and cilantro, then douse the whole thing in black vinegar. It’s sort of a simple approximation of the Xi’an Famous Foods cumin-lamb noodles. Every time I eat it, I think of the Sex and the City episode about “secret single behavior,” because I suppose this would be mine. Spicy beef stew, yacht-based reality TV, arts and crafts.

Friday, April 19
Every Friday, my husband and I have a coffee date at Abraço after we drop our toddler at school. The baby joins us now too, of course. We work together a lot, so Friday mornings are a nice time for us to talk about the projects we have coming up. We’ve both been coming to Abraço since we were teenagers (it was just a tiny hole-in-the-wall place back then), and it still feels special to be here together. It’s always busy and moodily dark, a coffee shop that feels like a bar, which is great if you’re looking to go on a date at 9 a.m. It’s also one of those increasingly rare New York places where strangers actually talk to each other. We almost always meet someone new when we’re there. My go-to order is their sparkling espresso con panna, which is essentially just a socially acceptable way to drink a root-beer float before noon. We also order a cinnamon-raisin scone. I guess I’m on a scone kick lately. Abraço’s are really good.

Lunch is at Natalie’s again today: salad and miso soup. I’m feeling a little anxious on my way to the train, so I pop into a deli for something to gnaw on. I settle on dinosaur-shaped Haribo gummies, which I can split with my toddler when I pick her up. They are easily the worst Haribo product I’ve ever tried — and I’ve had a lot. I think one of them is banana-flavored? The stegosaurus, maybe? Foul.

The two kids, Gabriel, and I meet my parents for an early dinner at Superiority Burger. I used to judge the people who ate dinners out at 5 p.m., but now I’m one of them. Honestly, I judge myself for it too, but I suppose we should all be so lucky as to get to grow up and relinquish some of our notions of coolness. I order the daily special drink, which is a Pandan Colada in a satisfying retro shade of pale green. Pandan is also in my pantheon of best flavors, and whatever pandan syrup or jam they’ve used to make this one doesn’t hold a candle to my favorite from Kopitiam, but it’s still tasty.

We all share some vegetable starters. I really like the beets with crushed pretzels and jalapeño cream cheese — it reminds me of a weird snack concoction I’d make when cleaning out the fridge, and I see the humor in plating it up in an artful way. There’s also some tasty rapini with plenty of garlic. I have a yuba sandwich with spicy mayo. For dessert, we order coconut cake, a passion-fruit tapioca pie, and a slice of malt loaf with labneh ice cream for the table.

I’m going to make a controversial statement here: I think Superiority Burger is totally overrated. I’m not saying it’s not good — it is! I just think that it’s a lot of money and a lot of hype for what is essentially vegan stoner food. I will say, however, that they’re always sweet to our kids, the music is good, and it’s close to our house.

In fact, I chat with my mom, absentmindedly picking at the last of the tapioca on my plate and watching my babies play with their grandfather in the park across the street, warm and full. Maybe it is a good restaurant.

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