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Brie, Ham & Fig Jam

Combinations of flavors can make a memorable stellar sandwich. I had one recently that sparked me making these the other day. They are our Wine & Dine Wednesday pick of the week–Brie, ham and fig jam. The pungent soft cheese mixing with the salty ham with the tart, yet sweet fig jam is really quite something. I initially had it on a croissant, which added a flaky, buttery goodness. I was not finding any to my liking at the grocery store the other day so opted for rolls that were made in the bakery on the premises. Rolls of this sort always take me back to my childhood visits to my grandparents in Wisconsin, where rolls were served at almost every meal. A crusty baguette would be divine, as would a seeded bread. You are only limited by your imagination. We stock this most extraordinary black mission fig jam by INNA jam that is out of this world that I am always looking for ways to incorporate into meals. Though any good quality fig jam would do. Just be generous in your spreading of it, as you want the flavor in each bite. I did the top and the bottom of the roll so both the ham and the cheese were in contact with the fig jam. The Brie, make sure you leave it out for a bit first, so it gets a tad soft and runny, making it easier to spread. Plus, that is when the complexity of the cheese really comes through. The Black Forest ham looked best at the grocery store, so I opted for that. Choose any ham to your liking. Then prepare to be transported for a short while as you enjoy one heck of a tasty concoction.



 

 

Of Fish and Whales

The fish napkins we have had forever and the whale glasses that were a gift from artist Margot Larkin, the driving force for this sunny blue table setting. The island day so pretty it was one for the books.

The white peonies and the overflowing bucket of French lavender adding a bit of flowery-ness and off we went for a table for two. The sun creating all sorts of shadows, but worth every ray of goodness.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 154

A collection begins with one thing. Vintage dinner plates found at flea markets and estate sales are an easy thing to collect. You can mix & match designs, or really be a sleuth finding more of a certain pattern.



 

 

A Sunday Thought



 

 

WestWard in Country Living

Out now, in the July/August issue of Country Living magazine is our beloved WestWard on Vashon Island. We call it the little house that could, as this is the 6th time our sweet week-end abode has been published. Which always takes us back and laugh a bit, as we had Mister Sive’s birthday party there right after we bought it, now close to 20 years ago. It was before we did any work and showed it some major love. The place was empty. I think our friends thought we were out of our minds! We just knew from the moment we walked down the path what magic was in store. It has all been such a fun journey. The photoshoot was a blast and the spread turned out quite lovely. It was a few beautifully sunny days right after a bunch of rainy days. We are selling copies of this issue at the shops and this publication sells at most newsstands & grocery stores. Enjoy!

*The biggest challenge anytime something is written in a publication, is you are not given the chance to read it and make any corrections before it is published. You have the interview and just hope you are quoted properly and that what you said was taken in context. Most often you read design articles and it focuses on one person, even when it is a couple who owns and lives in the house. This article is very well done, but many times it says that I made a decision or I chose a certain something. For anyone that knows us well, they know all our decisions about home are a ‘we’ and always have been. Creativity flows quite freely in our household–it is one of the greatest joys we have shared over the last 30 years as a couple.



 

 

The Peonies Keep On Going

The peonies that flew back with us from Hawthorne to Seattle still going strong. The ruffly, fluffy goodness such a gift as we pass by the vase filled with them on the dining table. Quite hard to keep our eyes off of them while we sit enjoying our meals. The moment you open the front door the scent envelops you. They just had to be our Flower Friday blooms. A lovely, lovely week-end ahead to you all.



 

 

Victorinox Chocolates

I found these chocolates at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco and was completely charmed by them, thinking they would be the perfect treat added to a Father’s Day card. Clever, to say the least, these milk chocolate treats are shaped like the utilitarian Swiss army pocket knives. Extra added bonus is the chocolate is really good, with a hint of hazelnut. We carry them now year round, but thought they would be a fab dad gift too.



 

 

A Few Favorite Rosé, All Under 20 Bucks

Ahhhhhh, it is that time of year again. Nope, scratch that, as a good rosé is really quite lovely any time, but this time of year it is much more abundantly available. Rosé can range considerably in quality and price. This group hits the sweet spot for under $20 a bottle, which always make me quite happy when we are hosting a large dinner or party. All French and all the palest of pink, which always tickles me. There really are so many yummy rosé out there, but it can be overwhelming. Keep in mind AIX, Domaine de Fontsainte and Triennes. A winning trio!



 

 

Shadows and Light

Caretaker Bill sent us the above shot a few days after we left last week to show us all the peonies dancing. The image also caught that amazing Hudson Valley light it is so known for. The trees creating all sorts of shadows. The below I clicked on Sunday out on the island. The scented geraniums went crazy when we were away, filling up the tub. This West Coast edition of the shadows and light doing all sorts of lovely things on the shed and hazelnut shell laden courtyard.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 153

Much like getting dressed in the morning and setting your clothes out while you are getting ready, think of setting a table much in the same way. Pull things that you think work together and group them on a staging area. Add, subtract. Whatever strikes your fancy. Then set out adding all the things to your dining table.