We had friends over last night, and even though the forecast was for possible rain, up came the umbrellas and out went the dining table. There is just something about dining outside that makes for a memorable evening.
It would be a simple table of white dinnerware and a big pot of shells as the centerpiece as an ode to the beach. A few snips off the scented geraniums would be the flower of choice, set in simple clear drinking glasses. A smattering of clear votive holders and clear hurricanes at both ends of the table, and we were set for a candlelit meal.
We are spending most of the week out on the island, and I am getting a start on my book. I find it such a peaceful place to write. I don’t know what it is about writing at times, but it makes me hungry. My breaks mean messing around in the kitchen trying new things. TPS had a full day in the city, so I wanted an easy dinner ready when he arrived back to WestWard, but he was not sure which ferry he would catch. It would be a sort of Italian meal that could be prepared ahead of time, and sit till he arrived. I love those sorts of meals. For dessert, I played with puff pastry sheets that I am so fond of. They make anything made in them seem special. This really was the easiest thing in the world to make, I could not wait to share it with you. I will be making this again for sure. Cherry season is in full swing, so we will have bowls of them around any chance we can.
Slice cherries, using the 2 meatiest pieces from each cherry for this recipe. I liked the uniform-ness of the rounds. Put slices in a bowl and mix with a healthy dose of sugar. This will help draw out the cherry juices, which are great in this tart. Then roll out one sheet of the puff pastry, being sure that it has defrosted but is still cold. On a plate or cutting board, spread another liberal dose of sugar. Place the pastry sheet on that, lightly rubbing the sheet so the sugar adheres. Sprinkle more sugar on the top of the sheet, as well. Place the cherries in the middle of the sugared pastry sheet, and crimp and fold the pastry to create a rustic formed wall, leaving most of the fruit exposed in the center. Brush the pastry with an egg wash. That is it! Put on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until puffy and browned. This really is the simplest thing, but it looks so cool and tastes so darn good. Enjoy!
I woke this morning to find a lovely post written by my new friend that I made on my last trip to New York, Elizabeth Moyer. We met while we were attending the Blogfest on Design. We hit it off immediately–she is kind, uber stylish, and is a lover of life and the moment. She writes the fabulous blog www.prettypinktulips.com where she shares her insights on living, giving and entertaining with style and grace. Elizabeth asked if I would answer a few questions for a post. She composed such a lovely entry, taking photos from the shops and our home. Thank you Elizabeth!
Small batch tonic, now that has a nice ring to it. New to the shelves at Watson Kennedy, and just in time for Summer g&t’s, is Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. small batch tonic. This is not your ordinary somewhat bitter tonic. This is made with lemongrass and orange peel, along with quinine, to give the mixture a very herbaceous-ness flavor. I made TPS one last night, and he said it has a very ‘green’ flavor to it. Super refreshing. And once again, I am smitten with the bottle and packaging. These fellows from Charleston have come up with a winner–what is in the bottle is as good as what is on the outside.
A book that I have been thoroughly enjoy and that has been flying off the shelves at Watson Kennedy is ‘Decorating With Books’ that is part of the House Beautiful series. I love seeing how folks incorporate books into the design of a room. It is filled with page after page of ideas and inspiration.
And of course, I adore seeing a room of a designer’s home whose work I greatly admire. The last photo above is of the home of Stephen Shubel and Woody Biggs. I can spot a room designed by Mister Shubel the second I flick through a magazine or book–comfortable, amazing attention to detail, and always a hint of gold & a slipcover or two. The type of room you just want to sit with a friend and chat. Or curl up with this book and dream away.
I am crazy for vellum. I love the look of it, the feel of it. On my last trip to New York I found a huge supply of vintage vellum envelopes in tons of different sizes. The variety of coloring from the aging process is really quite lovely when a good number of the envelopes are laid out together on a tray. We decided to sell them individually, and it is fun watching a happy customer sort through the variety, and fun to see which they choose. The vintage vellum envelopes are great for art projects, holding stamps & photographs, or just left out on a platter to be visually enjoyed.
We pulled up to the Tom Kundig designed Tye River Cabin at exactly 5:20 on Saturday evening. We knew we were in for a treat. Our friends Betsy & Eric, along with their pooch Churchill, invited us to an evening dinner to toast Mister Sive’s recently passed 50th birthday. We would stay over and make an evening and a Sunday out of it.
It was rainy on again, off again, so I pulled 2 photos of the exterior to give you an idea of the cabin. The above photo is by Tim Bies from the Olson Kundig website. The below is by Ben Benschneider (who I have had the pleasure of working with a few times) and was shot for The Seattle Times. The rest of the photos I snapped away on my iPhone.
The first photo is of the house before the concrete patios and firepit area was built. The second photo is how it looks now. The front of the cabin completely opens up to the outdoors. Oversized glass window/doors are on tracks that allow them to be pushed open. The result is a complete connection to the outdoors and the sound & view of the very active Tye River. It is just visually spectacular and peaceful rolled up into one.
You are just completely enveloped by nature.
They made an amazing celebratory dinner that we had sitting by the fire. The fireplace wraps around from the living room into the kitchen.
Black and white photography, which we love, fills the walls.
It was an incredibly relaxing and revivifying 24 hours of much laughter, good food & spirits, friendship, and many smiles. We got into the car to depart. The clock read 5:20. Exactly 24 hours. It could not have been a more perfect gift or visit.
Just back from a fab 24 hours on the Tye River. This quote seeming to be perfect after a non-stop laughing, talking and smiling day. Will fill you in on details of the trip tomorrow. A restful Sunday eve to all.
The peonies are just exploding at this point in the season, with each ruffly petal more poetic than the next. A stroll through the Market flower stalls is pure heaven if you are a peony fan. I hope the peonies are lovely for you in your part of the world. They really are such extraordinary blooms.
A big merci to all who sent congrats in many forms yesterday in regards to my book proposal being accepted. I am humbled by all the kind words, and I am now even more motivated to create one heck of a book. Thank you, thank you.
My post tomorrow is likely to be later in the day, as we will be out of cell phone range. Some dear friends invited us to stay with them tonight and host a dinner in honor of TPS’s 50th birthday. They are renting the Tom Kundig Tye River Cabin for the week-end, so many interesting photos of the house will be coming your way.
A happy Saturday to you all!
Sending much love, Ted
I begin work immediately on my book ‘Watson Kennedy: The A-to-Z of Living a More Beautiful Life’ and I am still grinning ear to ear from the news. I can’t thank all of you enough for all of the support and kind words of encouragement I received when I was working on my proposal. I look so forward to having you all along as I work on all the aspects of the book. It will be another fun journey together! The book will be published by Sterling Publishing out of New York. Sterling was founded in 1949, and has published some of my favorite books over the years. I am honored and thrilled to be working with them. Our Friday night martini will be a celebratory one this evening!
Candlelight really does make all the difference. With the dinner for Olivia about to begin, I lit the taper candles and a smattering of the green glassybaby, and the table just danced.
As I mentioned in the post yesterday, this was a week-day dinner, so we drew upon a local French restaurant to supply the main portion of the meal, a roasted chicken with frites. We went this route for a host of reasons. Olivia attended Seattle University, and her favorite place to dine was Cafe Presse, a delightful & beyond yummy French bistro right next to the campus. www.cafepresseseattle.com We thought it would be fun to incorporate something from there into the meal, as “French bistro” was the theme for the dinner. It also really freed me up from being in the kitchen for an extended period right before guests arrived. My tip number one for week-night entertaining–don’t always feel like you have to make everything. With the main portion of the meal covered, I made a quick warm French lentil dish. I also steamed some haricot vert, put a big dollop of butter on top with a few good pinches of salt, and put them on a big platter. Cafe Presse also does a lovely Bibb lettuce salad with hazelnut vinaigrette that is pretty out of this world. A baguette with some French butter, and dinner was served.
For dessert, I had cut strawberries in half and marinated them in triple sec. We served bowls of the strawberries alongside palmiers from La Panier–also an Olivia favorite. www.lapanier.com We really wanted to honor Olivia with some of her favorite Seattle things, and by incorporating them into the meal, they were meant to be small, loving gestures. After many bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling water, the evening drew to a close. It was a happy night, with just a few tears, and many, many wonderful stories & memories.