I know the calendar might say that it is Summer, but the dahlias in the Market are my visual indicator. The whites variety being the most abundant this Saturday. They worked great atop a vintage cloth that we bought ages ago and forgot about, finding it in a drawer recently–love when that happens! I left them tall and used taller clear drinking glasses so they could do their long, leggy dance down the middle of the table.
Happy to report the arrival of a new bath, body care & home line I am quite excited about that is now gracing our shelves. YARD ETC is crafted in Sweden by folks who are major garden enthusiasts. Hence, all the yummy garden-y scents. Like dog rose, oak moss, green tomato and lemon nettle. Yum, yum, yum. Liquid hand soap, bar soap, hand balm and a nifty candle in a cool looking tin. All beautifully packaged so it all looks swell left out on the counter for all to enjoy. Equally lovely to give as a gift or to become your new favorite. At both shops, and soon to be added to the Watson Kennedy website.
My, oh my, oh my. Dreamy, dreamy, dreamy. I was wrong, peony season has not quite ended. Which is such a good thing. Yesterday on my Saturday Market stroll, there were still a few buckets left of some pretty awesome peony. The above color almost unreal. But there they were, in all of their gloriousness. Wow.
A lovely Sunday to you all in your part of the globe!
Yesterday was a hugely emotional day for me/us. I have usually steered clear of writing about politics and religion, as the topics are more than covered in the daily papers and on a continuous stream of television. But this seems so very different, so very personal. The Supreme Court decision yesterday effected us personally, greatly. To quote President Obama, “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”
Yesterday made the day we got married in a little garden overlooking the Hudson River in Nyack, New York, even more meaningful. We are now afforded the same rights as all married couples throughout our country. I must admit, growing up in a small town in the Midwest, I never dreamt I would see this day. Being gay was something to hide. It was made fun of, ridiculed. The kids who were thought to be gay were taunted, bullied. I was able to hide who I was behind the success of being an athlete. My hope is that where we are headed means more acceptance for all. Our differences are what make this country so exceptional. The God that I know is one of absolute love for all. It seems so strange to read/hear about the hate focused on this, when really all it is, is just accepting love.
Very excited to report that our beloved WestWard is featured in the current issue of flower magazine. Our dining table that we bring out on the deck for the season made the cover, which tickled me to no end. The hydrangea a gift from our friend Peg from her yard. Shot last Summer by the incredibly talented Australian photographer Claire Takacs, she captured the relaxed easy spirit of our week-end home. It was an incredibly beautiful sunny & hot Summer day, with Bailey in heaven with all the activity of a photo shoot. Issues arrived yesterday at both shops, with both stacks almost depleted within the day. More are on the way. Click here for a little taste of the article. Flower magazine has become one of my new favorite publications. It fuels my love of flowers in many forms. We will be carrying the magazine now at Watson Kennedy, beyond this issue. I think it has found a happy home.
To spread the flower love, I would like to give-away 5 subscriptions to the magazine for a year. Leave a comment with your favorite flower, and a description of why you love it. Lengthy or not. Short and sweet is fine too. Next Friday I will choose the 5. Get creative. I love the idea of reading about your favorite blooms.
Magazines are always such inspiration to me. Filled with visual ideas about design, food, flowers, entertaining, gifts–I always get a jolt of creative energy when perusing the pages. The July issue of Architectural Digest is one such gem. Country houses are the prevailing theme, and it is filled with page after page of creative ideas. I am always particularly fond of seeing the homes of creative folks I admire. I find them to be the most inspiring, as I think they create spaces that are truly unique to their vision. I have been a fan of the ethereal work of Victoria Hagan for more than 20 years. She creates highly livable spaces in a light and airy fashion. Her home on Nantucket is just beyond. A true statement of her vision and her design work. The Maine home of Martha Stewart is another gloriously visual feast. Her historic Seal Harbor estate is so handsome and woodsy and grand all at the same time. Not three descriptors you see describing a home in the same sentence often. Then there is Clove Brook Farm by fellow Hudson Valley resident, ceramists Christopher Spitzmiller, in Millbrook. Long a fan of his beautiful lamps, it was fun to see inside his stylish home. Albert Hadley was his mentor, and you can see the influence of Mister Hadley throughout each room, which I loved. The issue is just jam packed with inspiration & ideas. Our home is so important to our well-being. Whether that be a dorm room, a studio apartment, a city home, a country home, an estate–it is our sanctuary, our nest, our refuge. It should bring us happiness, contentment, cradle us in the good and bad times. It is our home.
Now that Summer is here, extra time can be spent with friends hanging outside enjoying the sunshine. This ‘Wine Wednesday’ post is not so much about a particular bottle of wine, but about an idea to enjoy with guests. Next gathering, purchase a few bottles of rosé and host a tasting. Open up a variety of bottles, put out a good number of glasses, and have your guests try them and chat about each wine. We like to pour just a taste of each wine, chat about it, then move onto the next. When done, each person can then fill their glass with the one they enjoyed the most. It is a fun thing to do right as folks arrive, as it gets the conversations flowing. It also gives you a heads up as to which wine guests like best. Also a smart way to test run bottles if you know you are in need of buying many of one type for a large party or event. Tastings like these are also a great way to open individual bottles that have been host gifts that you have been waiting to try. It is a fun way to share them with your friends, as well as an informal, non-stuffy way to try certain bottles and see what you like best. This is by no means exclusive to rosé, the season now just seems right for it. Champagne is another fab thing to do a tasting with.
Cheers to spending time with friends this Summer enjoying the season!
One plate/bowl meals on a lazy Sunday evening can be easy and super satisfying. Such was the case last night. We had guests to dinner on Friday eve, busy work days for us both on Saturday, and no island guests this week-end, so we came out to WestWard Sunday morning–hence the desire for a casual dinner. A super chill day ended with supper out on the deck sitting in the Adirondack chairs with a glass of wine watching the boats sail by. Spending a ton of time cooking was just not in the cards. That is where scallops come in. They cook nice and quickly. They have a ‘specialness’ quality to even a simple meal. But they can also get dressed up for company. Here is the tasty one plate meal I whipped up in no time.
Oven set to 400. Of course. Take out scallops and pat them dry with a paper towel and salt and pepper them quite liberally. I found small scallops at the grocer, but any size will do. Set them aside while you get things ready and this will take the chill off of them. Next cut up a head of cauliflower. Break up the florets (I know they are called florets for broccoli, assuming the same for cauliflower?) to quite small pieces onto a baking sheet. The smaller the better. I especially like all the little bits that break off. Use them all. The smaller pieces get even more caramelized. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Mix around. Put into now hot oven. While these cook away, make a pot of rice. Any rice you like. We love jasmine rice, so that is what I made. But basmati, wild or brown would be excellent too. Things are now humming along. Shake the pan of cauliflower. Now finely chop up 2 cloves of garlic and a good amount of parsley. Check the cauliflower again. You want the pieces nice and caramelized. If done, take out and take off of baking sheet to help stop the cooking process. Set on a plate but do not cover. This will steam the cauliflower and you don’t want that as it will get them soggy. I know, I have made this mistake before. The cauliflower does not need to be hot when you serve it, so it is fine just sitting at the ready.
Have a sip of wine. Check the rice. Now you are ready to cook the scallops. Put a knob of butter in a sauté pan and let melt on medium high heat. Add that finely minced garlic you so carefully chopped up. Cook for about 30 seconds and then add the scallops. They will cook quite quickly. 3 to 4 minutes max. Move them around as they cook. If they are larger, they will take a bit longer. Once done take off the heat, add some of the chopped parsley and squeeze a lemon over all. The lemon juice will mix with the butter and garlic and parsley and help make a nice little sauce.
On the plate, add a big spoonful of rice. Next a smattering of the cauliflower and then top all that with the scallops. Lastly, a dusting of more parsley. So easy, one plate, and you are off to eat.
A happy Father’s Day to all of the men out there reading that are celebrated on this fine day. The sweet woman who bags my groceries the other day sent me off with farewell Father’s Day wishes, which I thought was so kind, even though I don’t have children. It is just nice to have a day to reflect on our own father, whether you get to spend time with them today, speak with them by phone, or just get to bask in the memory of them. It is lovely to have a day to honor Dad. As well as ring in the official change of the season. I wish for you just the very best Summer ahead. Bought my very first dahlia of the season yesterday, which I loved the symbolism of. They are such Summer flowers, thriving in the sun & heat, producing such gorgeously creative blooms.
Happy Sunday everyone!