So this glorious lily that was grown on Vashon Island I snapped as we were departing the other day, will be the post today. There is just something about a single lily stem that fills up an entire space it inhabits, both in scent and in presence. We were watching a movie the other evening and the scent just wafted over the room. In a simple Ball jar, but really any vase or bottle would do. You really get so see the beauty of the stem and the blooms with it being a single stem.
Gin will replace vino for this Wine Wednesday post. Not a bad swap if you are a gin fan. Tastings can be a fun way to start a gathering or party. A few weeks ago out on the island we did a tasting with dear friends and it was a fun thing to kick off a Sunday afternoon of relaxing, sharing stories and dining. Just put out a few different bottles of gin. We thought we would also add a variety of tonic options too, as they can really change the taste of a gin & tonic. Next lime and cucumber slices. I started on a cucumber kick in the last year with gin, particularly Hendrick’s, as the flavor of the cuc really enhances the flavor of the drink. Next a big bucket of ice and glasses and off you go. You can make them for your guests, or it be a self-serve station. Interesting to mix & match gin and tonic options. Watch the conversations and stories begin to flow.
I am up early and flying to Las Vegas this morning. Yes, you read that right. Las Vegas. Can’t really think of a place I am less suited for, but the city is now home to one of the largest furniture markets in the states. They have added a gifts & decorative accessories show to the mix, so I thought I would check it out. Actually, I am really excited for a few days of focused buying for Watson Kennedy. So off I go. Will post about it all in the coming days. Oh, and it is only supposed to be 106 degrees today. I think I see a G&T in my future…
Every once in awhile a magazine cover will just stop me in my tracks. This current issue of Martha Stewart Living did just that. What a beautifully visual tableau, right down to the bits of basil strewn about. The issue is pretty stellar, as well. It has been part of my reading this week-end. The home of designers Roman and Williams in Montauk was a special treat. Each issue is always filled with so many recipes and ideas on every page I find myself making notes and pulling out pages for reminders. I find design/food magazines to be such an inspiration. Some might say print is dead, but I could not disagree more. I still always feel that bit of glee when I reach into the mailbox and pull out the newest issue of the slew of magazines we receive each month.
A happy Tuesday to you in your neck of the woods.
Summer brings such divine tomatoes. For the easiest dinner, roast small tomatoes in a 400 degree oven in a baking dish with lots of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper until the tomatoes have begun to pop and release their sweet juices. Toss with your favorite type of just cooked pasta and mix in a bunch of fresh torn up basil leaves. If so inclined, add a dusting of fresh Parmesan. Fini.
Last Sunday was a bit overcast and a tad chilly, so the color red seemed to be calling me when I set the table. The linen tablecloth had been folded up, so I liken it to a linen suit in how wrinkled it looked. Fitting for the season. With an iron nowhere to be found, wrinkly it would be. I think that is where age mellows you. 15 years ago it would have unsettled me a bit. Now I embrace the wrinkles. Insert big smile.
You know I always like to try and add something vintage or a bit of ephemera to the table. It just adds visual interest. I like the thought of someone thinking/asking, “Why in the heck is there a pool ball on the table?” which gets the conversation rolling. The red dahlias dancing about the table in much the same way the white dahlias did the Sunday before. The red adding such warmth on a cool day. All set for friends and laughter and an outdoor supper.
I will be signing books today at Ravenna Gardens in University Village from 2 to 4. It is supposed to be a gloriously sunny Summer day today, so if you are out & about and in the area, please stop in. One of the very fun things about these signings is it has re-connected me to folks I have know for years but have lost contact with. Gillian Matthews, the owner of Ravenna Gardens, was a customer of mine ages ago when I had my wholesale showroom, and she was the owner of Made in Washington. It is a delight to see all these familiar faces from over the years. Hope to see you there!
Happy Saturday all.
I almost always know or at least have an idea of what I am going to write about/post in the morning before my head hits the pillow the night before. But not always. Last night was such a night that I was just wrapping my head around ideas and TPS said “I made that Spaghetti Carbonara and wrote about it for you, why not use that?” Which he did in January, which was so delicious and so lovely that he wrote out the recipe to be used on the blog and shared with you all. Which I stored away and promptly forgot about. Easily as tasty in July. Today’s post, courtesy of Mister Sive.
Spaghetti Carbonara is a core comfort food in the Watson Sive household. I think this may have been one of the dishes that “sealed the deal” with my husband. Simple, tasty, and hearty, it has a terrific combination of smoky bacon (need we say more?), the sweetness of peas, and the warmth of pasta and eggs.
1 pound bacon
1 pound spaghetti
1 regular sized package frozen peas
1/2 cup loosely grated Parmesan
lots of fresh pepper
salt to taste
Dice the bacon small and cook in a skillet over medium heat. Drain off the fat as you go along, and try to time the cooking so the bacon is still warm for assembly.
Break the eggs into a large pasta or mixing bowl and loosely mix with a fork.
Empty the frozen peas into a colander.
Cook the pasta to just a tad over al dente. Ideally, in a two stage pasta pot with an integral strainer, so you can drain the pasta and save the hot pasta water. Dip the frozen peas into the pasta water to flash cook (this is all they’ll need; if cooked longer, they become too soft.)
Immediately toss the hot pasta in the eggs, cooking them, and quickly add the other ingredients. Let sit for a minute for the eggs to complete cook and the flavors to merge.
Serve in pasta bowls, top with a touch more pepper, grab a glass of hearty red, and all will be well in the world.
The other week I snapped away a few images of “things” that caught my eye at the Market shop. Stuff, ephemera, objects, things, bits & bobs–whatever words you like best. Obviously, and I smile as I type this, you know I like all of those words, and what they are quite a bit. Just a few bowls, jars, boxes and platters of things pleasing to the eye.
This sunny (or cloudy like the above) time of year is a perfect time to have a rosé tasting. By no means does this need to be formal or fancy. There are just so many good rosé wines out there, that it is fun to try a variety with guests at your next dinner or party. Just pick up several different bottles and have them out when guests arrive. It is a pleasurable way to spark conversation, and it is a stellar way to choose a new crowd favorite. We did this last Sunday out on the island and it was a festive way to get the afternoon rolling before dinner was served. This is also a great time to use bottles that were given as gifts. A lovely remembrance of a gift from a friend shared with other friends. The love multiples. For the above wines, the Bandol was the crowd favorite, with the AIX coming in a close second. But all were hugely enjoyed measured by the stories and laughs had along the way.
We are so pleased to have the beautifully sensuous & sumptuous line, Antica Farmacista, now gracing the shelves at Watson Kennedy. Very Italian influenced, the company is actually based right here in Seattle. Which I love. Not only here in Seattle, but about a block from the Market shop. Which I love even more. Antica Farmacista was established in 2003, and was the first company to introduce the home ambiance reed diffuser in the United States. They have expanded the line tremendously since then. Think liquid hand soap, lotions, and candles. All of which are now stocked on our shelves. It really is such a pretty, pretty line. With outstanding scents. Plus, you know I love great packaging. Antica has that in spades. All ready to be wrapped up and given as a gift.