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A Last Day of August Flower Friday

On this last day of August when the blooms are abundant and the herb pots are overflowing, Flower Friday is about some of the flowers & herbs that brightened my day this week. The morning after we flew back from New York I did an early quick grocery run. The lilies catching my eye. I scattered them about in single stem vases, their heady luscious scent we are greeted with the moment we open the front door.

The big scented geranium we have in the big window at the Market shop was bursting with red blooms welcoming me back. I loves all the diffused light it gets tucked up on the ledge for all to enjoy as they shop away.

The dahlias are still going strong and I could not wait to walk about all the flower stalls at the Market and choose a bunch. The above folks got to enjoy for the day before they got packed up and headed to the island. These were the flowers used in low glasses for our mix & match Sunday supper table.

And lastly, paying homage to the flowering herbs that greeted us when we got back to WestWard. TPS snipped off a bunch of stems for me to play with. This one up in the treehouse bending and swaying as if doing a dance in honor of the season.



 

 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

We watched Won’t You Be My Neighbor? last night on pay per view. I can’t tell you how touched we both were by this film. Wow, just wow. I had heard from so many people over the last few months how much they enjoyed it, but it really was next level–I had tears through most of it. Growing up I had certainly seen bits & pieces of his show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. It resonated with me then, but this documentary digs deep into the real meaning of his message. Love. Love yourself and love others. Given the political climate and the great divide, this film could not have come at a more perfect time. I think it might be a final gift to all of us from Fred Rogers. It is a message I believe with my entire being. It seems so simple and so basic. Love your neighbor.



 

 

A Wine & Dine Beach-y Summer Vignette

As we head into Labor Day week-end a little Wine & Dine Wednesday vignette of some new goods that have arrived recently. Just in time for the holiday. I picked up the last 3 jumbo vintage hotel silver bowls from my English picker while in New York. This bowl would be awesome holding ice for bubbles or fill it with water and float flowers. Anything in this vessel will look amazing. The whale serving board whimsical and beach-y. Oyster plates are always a hit for us. The shell-encrusted candlestick a beauty. Our assortment of vintage French Baccarat coupes continues to grow. These pictured have an optic strip throughout. And lastly but certainly not least, the Palm Beach wicker tote. Use it like a purse or have it be a small picnic basket. As chic as all get out. The seasonal purist in me holds my ground in the belief that Summer ends the 22nd of September. I so often see reference to people saying it ends the day after Labor Day. Don’t believe them. Insert big smile. We are going to hold on to this glorious season for dear life and enjoy every last moment of it…



 

 

Mix & Match

Sunday supper out on the island the other day was all about mixing and matching. I often hear from folks at the shops that they don’t ‘entertain’ much because they feel like they don’t have enough of everything that matches to set a table. This makes my heart sink because that should never be a reason to not get friends together to break bread. Let creativity take the reins using what you have. For this table I really wanted to use the two new plates we found in Hudson last week. That was the driving force, then I used pairs of other blue plates to round out the table of eight. Trying to keep things in a color story helps unify the table, but is by no means necessary. I did use the same bamboo handled silverware for all as well as the same striped napkins, but those could have varied, as well. I shot this photo before I put the wine glasses out. Even though I do what I do for a profession, we don’t always have a full set of something. We only had 6 matching wine glasses, so I mixed & matched those too. End result, a table set out of love not perfection. Once friends arrive, those little details fall to the wayside and it is all about the laughter, the stories, and the sharing of a meal.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 164

Elevate simple small spuds by smashing them and adding Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cut potatoes in half, coat with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper on a sheet pan. Add to a 400 degree oven. Bake until soft and golden. Take out of oven, carefully press a fork over the top creating crevasses for the cheese to melt into. Sprinkle Parm liberally about. Pop back into oven for a few minutes to let the cheese melt.



 

 

A Princess Diana Sunday Thought



 

 

Blankets & Throws & Throws & Blankets at WK

With a slight chill in the air in the eve, the arrival of swell blankets & throws are quite well timed. I love a good throw. For a host of reasons really. At Hawthorne and at WestWard every sofa arm or back has a throw on it. We just like the coziness of it, that at any moment you might want to curl up with a book or take a quick nap. A blanket is just a reach away. I also like them for over your lap in the car or at a stadium watching a game. They even work in a pinch for an impromptu picnic blanket. The below could also be a quite jaunty bulky scarf at a moments notice. Our blanket and throw shelf at the First & Spring shop growing each day. Look for a new section of them coming to the Market location too in the coming weeks.



 

 

A Cozy Dahlia Supper

We hit the ground running yesterday, arriving back to Seattle Wednesday eve. Always nice to have a meal at the dining table our first full night back. I could not wait to get my hands on some Market dahlias, but did not get a chance to make it up there as the First & Spring shop was a hopping. Sydney worked both locations so she graciously picked up a bunch for us. The blooms are my Flower Friday pick of the week. Have a lovely, lovely last week-end of August everyone!



 

 

A Rested Mind & Body

We flew to Seattle yesterday afternoon, fully refreshed from a few weeks of rest and relaxation, mixed in with buying at the show and vintage shopping here & there. The above my rotation of books for the stay. I like to jump around and read a few at a time when we are at Hawthorne. Some I finish while others I will pick up where I left off in October. I raced right through Famous Father Girl which was written by Leonard Bernstein’s oldest daughter, Jamie. I found it fascinating and sad all at the same time.

We hit peak tomato season right on the head and tomato sandwiches were on the menu often. Bartlett House makes this seeded loaf of bread that proved awesome for making them. You need a hearty bread to stand up to all the juices of the tomato once you start in on it. The simplicity, heaven.

Folks often ask how we don’t take everything home that we see when out shopping for vintage goods for the shops. Short answer, sometimes, we do! Not really, but when something catches my eye enough that I go back to a store to buy something, then I know it was meant to be. Red Chair on Warren almost always has a gem I can’t pass up. This pair of English plates heading to WestWard this week-end and I can hardly wait to put them into action.

The plums this visit were out of this world. Above a still life from Talbott & Arding. Eaten just as they are is perfection. I also like roasting them while next to a chicken along with green olives for a simple, simple supper.

Bailey waiting by the door when TPS goes for a bike ride watching over things and waiting for his return gets me right in the heart. She is such a good traveler. You can see the limelight hydrangea a bit poking up from the windows on the right. Seems like they grew a foot while we were there. It was hot, humid, sunny then super rainy at times, which they seem to love. They were an amazing part of the enjoyment on this incredibly restful, reviving stay.

The flight back uneventful (which my Dad always joked and said was the only way to fly) until we got close to Seattle and the smoke from all the fires out West just heartbreaking. We had read all about them while in the Hudson Valley but when you see what it is like from the air, it is sobering. Sending love and safe thoughts for all battling the fires and a speedy recovery.



 

 

Corn Dutch Baby

This Wine & Dine Wednesday brings a savory fresh corn right off the cob Dutch baby. I have written in the past about making a sweet version of this with blueberries and syrup. The corn has been crazy good and plentiful this Hudson Valley stay so I thought, why not? I studded it with a few spoonful dollops of a soft cheese right when it came out of the oven to make it even more savory, but is not necessary as it is pretty darn tasty just as it is. Sauté the corn after you take it off the cob in butter with a good deal of salt so it is nicely seasoned.

A black cast iron pan/skillet from 8 to 12 inches is best, but I have also make one in a non-stick pan and it worked swell. Turn on the oven to heat up to a hot 425 degrees while you mix up this batter. In a good sized bowl add a half of a cup of flour, half of a cup of whole milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and an 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt. Mix all together. Don’t worry, fine if a tad lumpy. Set aside.

Then add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan/skillet which is on the stovetop on medium high heat. Let the butter melt being sure it is covering the entire interior surface of the bottom of the skillet. Then add the mixture to that. Working quickly, scatter the fresh sautéed corn to the mixture. It is now ready to go into the now quite hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check at 15 and if it not inflated and brown edged, cook a bit longer. It is the prettiest, puffiest darn thing right when it comes out of the oven (which makes it soufflé like) but will deflated quite quickly (which makes it pancake like) while still so yummy looking. Cut in half or quarters and serve immediately. Enjoy!