Mega Tealights

These mega tealights have become one of my new favorite things.  They burn for 10 hours so you can light them at the beginning of an evening, party or dinner and know they will be lit for the duration.  The regular sized tealights never making it through a full event. The gold containers also spiffy enough to use as they are. They are fab in glassybaby.  Make great host/hostess gifts too, as always nice to have extra candles at the ready.  Available at Watson Kennedy.  



A Dreamy Saturday Thought 



A Carpet of Leaves

Flower Friday is not about a bloom but rather the symphony of leaves that have been blowing in the wind, accumulating a beautifully crazy amount in the back of the house.  The variation of color inspiring on every level. 



Sheet Pans of Root Vegetables

A roasted chicken and an assortment of root vegetables was on the menu last night, a recreation of what was on the menu yesterday for the shoot.  It looks like I was cooking for a party, but it was just us two.  These make great left-overs–reheated for breakfast with eggs, diced smaller and added to salads for lunch, purée into making soups.  So I like to make a big batch, plus we love to leave a yummy meal or two in the fridge when we depart for fab caretaker Bill.

Truly, could not be simpler.  Get the oven heated to 400 while you cut up things.  I quarter most and some I leave whole, like the carrots.  Liberal use of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper over all.  Then with clean hands really get into it by moving it all around and make sure every part is covered in oil, as this will help cook and not burn things, and give a tasty caramelized flavor to all.  Done.  Into that hot oven for half an hour, then turn all, put back in for another 15, check and pull out what is done, and continue cooking until all are to your liking.



Details of a Sunny Hudson Valley Video/Photo Shoot

Be careful of what you ask for, is something I can hear my dad say often. I had hoped for good weather for the photo/video shoot yesterday and received it in spades. My oh my, 82 degrees and stunning. The funny part is I had brought one of my all-time favorite shirts to wear, a flannel Burberry with bits of green running through it. To pull out the green of my slip-ons that pulled the whole ‘Ghent Green’ look of the house together. Please know I am laughing myself silly thinking/typing this. Minute details are what make me happiest. But a flannel shirt in 80+ degree weather was just not going to cut it. So I quickly pulled out one of the few long sleeved shirts I had pressed and away we went. I felt a tad, ok a lot, sweaty, the entire shoot. Between running around making sure things were photo ready and cooking up a storm, I was not as ‘pressed’ as I like to be. That aside, it was just a blast from start to finish. Stacey & Susanna are pros and had the entire shoot mapped out within minutes of walking around the house. Oh, one other very funny detail that must be mentioned before the video comes out which added to my sweaty-ness. Mister Sive was away spending a few days with his brothers at the Sive family farm in The Catskills. So I was flying solo, with watching Bailey and making sure she did not dart out an open door or get underfoot. Well, she most certainly did not. She would not leave my side and chose to bark if I did not pick her up. SO, not only was I a tad sweaty, ok a lot, I was also holding a dog in most of the shots. Again, I am laughing so hard tears are streaming down my face from the memory. A middle-aged gay man holding his small dog while showing you the details of how to use double stick tape to make a nifty art installation. I write this all to share some of the behind the scenes details that usually never get shared when you read/see things on people’s homes. Truly, it all could not have been more fun and I know it all turned out swell–it is just fun to share a few funny life elements that go into a photo shoot or making of a video. Stacey’s post and the video will be up at the end of November. I will write again about it all then to give you a heads up when it is running. These photos of the picnic table I set out back–with the leaves falling about as I set each spot. The whole experience was just magical, non-Burberry shirt and all.



The Beginning of a Ghent Green Table

Today a fun day awaits, as Stacey Bewkes from the video series & blog Quintessence along with author Susanna Salk are coming to Hawthorne to film a segment for an upcoming video as well as photograph the house.  The above & below the beginning stages of the table I am setting out back.  The leaves creating a carpet that I so love.  A country supper of roasted chickens stuffed with herbed chèvre along with an assortment of root vegetables is on the menu.  I will post more later this week, but thought I would give you a look at the start of the table.  It is supposed to be 80 degrees today, so a crisp Hudson Valley day it will not be.  Warm or chilly, it will be a blast.  Happy Tuesday all!



Double Stick Tape As Your Friend

I had found these old, falling apart books with these cool images of birds & botanicals at a thrift store ages ago and had thought they would be fun at Hawthorne in some way.  This is where double stick tape, a staple in my design/display arsenal always comes in handy. Framing this many would have been a bloody fortune and we were not 100% sure we would want to use them in these spots forever.  I know some folks wince at using pages from old books, but the joy in using/seeing them to me far outweighs them falling out of the book stuck in a drawer not being enjoyed.  A quick artful yet random scattering of the images and a sort of ‘wallpaper’ wall is created.  Cheers to double stick tape!



A Kind Sunday Thought

It really seems like such a basic concept that should be part of our being, always, but often in our world we are witness to just the opposite.  Spread the love, spread the joy, be kind.  I know I am preaching this to the choir, as the saying goes, because if you are reading this I know you are fabulous.  But it is just a reminder to our well-mannered, joyful tribe.  We got this!



Fresh Ground/Cracked Pepper

So often you see ‘add fresh cracked pepper’ in a recipe. Pepper that is freshly ground or cracked considerably bumps up the flavor of your pepper.  There are many ways to achieve this.  By way of mortar & pestle, putting it through a hand-cranked grinder or using an electric grinder like you would use for grinding up whole coffee beans.  However you go about it, you will be pleasantly surprised by the fresh peppery difference.



Flower Friday from Hawthorne 

Use what you have, be creative, and enjoy the very most out of all of it–my motto for flowers, and certainly for life, as well.  Flower Friday comes to you from Hawthorne where at the moment it is a spectacularly sunny, crisp Autumn October day.  There is a mixture of grocery store, farmers market and things culled from the property blooms in the house–hydrangea, mums and lilies.  They all make me wildly happy.  I hope they bring you a bit of visual enjoyment too!