We arrived to Seattle late, late Monday eve, the memory of all that glorious snow staying with us this week. Thought I would share some of those captures as well as quiet moments when I snapped away in the house as the snow fell outside.
Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. I am smiling from ear to ear typing that as it was something I heard my father say time and again. It is so true! Last year our Winter trip to Hawthorne had little to no snow involved. This year we had hoped for, and have received in spades, oodles and there is still more to come. We both love it, but for very different reasons. Mister Sive loves being out in it. The above capture him snowshoeing out the back door up into the meadow behind the house. I love being surrounded by it. If I can be by the fire or in my favorite spot reading while the snow is coming down outside, I am in heaven. For both of us, the cold & snow are big reminders of our childhood and youth–him in New York and me in the Midwest. We were so bummed to have missed the snow the other day in Seattle, but all this snow here is keeping us quite happy. Below, the moon over the Hawthorne Valley last eve, just something else.
We arrived Sunday evening. Oh how I had missed this place. The drive up the long driveway seeing the lamps illuminating the front sun porch that Bill turns on for us so the place is not dark when we arrive makes my heart sing.
The feeling of instant relaxation hits us. Our shoulders loosen up, we inhale the country air. It is a full day of travel but worth every moment. This stay is almost all holiday. Just a few days in the middle of the trip into the city buying at the show, which by now you know I love, along with the town & country contrast. And lots of rest, reading, cooking, napping, hosting family & friends. With a bit of vintage shopping for the shops for good measure. And snow! There was a good amount when we arrived and it has snowed even more the first few days. Heaven. We are taking a respite from news and enjoying the quiet. The stillness. I snapped a few images, with more to come. Oh so good to be back. Lovely to have you along.
I was again honored when the folks at Pottery Barn asked me to put together & shoot an Autumnal country lunch at Hawthorne. The piece was introduced this week-end. Click here.
The weather was just extraordinary on our stay, and the day I shot this table was no exception. The leaves falling around me as I clicked away. A super simple butternut squash soup was part of the menu. It just felt right for the time of year. The PB pumpkin bowls just perfect. Kale was the centerpiece. Floating lilies in handled hurricanes were a hit as the wind blew so there were no worries the blooms would blow over. The extra long white picnic that was a gift from friends who had a grouping of them made for their wedding, has been such a joy at the back of the house. Bailey scurrying about as I snapped away. All the goods sent by Pottery Barn (which is every item on the table short of the wine–was such a treat for me to gather & create the setting from their website) worked to set a lovely, inviting Autumnal table. Such a fun day, such a fun memory. Hope you enjoy…
We always hit the ground running when we return to Seattle from the Hudson Valley, so it is fun to look back and remember the stay. The above image from a few Octobers ago (before the front door was painted green) as I forgot to snap a photo right when we got there of the trees surrounding the house. By the time we left, the trees on both the right and the left of the house in this capture (the yellowish, reddish) were pretty much emptied of leaves. The whole dance that occurs over the 2 weeks of them changing color and then dropping is pretty poetic. Fall color is the major theme, always, for our October visits. Family, friends, dinners, a photo shoot or two, vintage buying, meetings in the city and a whole lot of resting up & re-energizing was on the agenda. The house embracing us with loving arms, like it always does. This is our 4th October stay, and over that short amount of time, the place & the house, has found a very special place in our hearts.
Flower Friday is not about a bloom but rather the symphony of leaves that have been blowing in the wind, accumulating a beautifully crazy amount in the back of the house. The variation of color inspiring on every level.
Use what you have, be creative, and enjoy the very most out of all of it–my motto for flowers, and certainly for life, as well. Flower Friday comes to you from Hawthorne where at the moment it is a spectacularly sunny, crisp Autumn October day. There is a mixture of grocery store, farmers market and things culled from the property blooms in the house–hydrangea, mums and lilies. They all make me wildly happy. I hope they bring you a bit of visual enjoyment too!
We always hit the ground running when we return back to Seattle after having been at Hawthorne for a visit. This was far & away our most relaxing, revivifying stay yet. The heat, the humidity, the rain, the glorious sunshine–all made for a memorable July/August stay. Friends, family, dinners, lunches, and an occasional nap kept the time full but oh so sweet. Hydrangea, scented geranium, rosé, tomatoes and corn all will stay in my memory as reminders of this happy time there. Bit by bit, our little farmhouse is becoming our home away from home. The rituals that slowly happen over time are falling into place. Things are added with much thought, adding a layer of our lives each time we are there. The house and our time at Hawthorne giving so much back to us. I love that you all have been with us from the very beginning of this journey of turning a house into our home.
This salad is corn-centric, as the corn in the Hudson Valley at the moment is pretty off the charts tasty. If you can get your hands on some fresh corn, give this a try. The cornbread croutons bumps up the flavor of the season even more. The fresh made Caesar dressing pulls it all together. Here we go!
Boil a pot of water and cook 2 to 3 ears of corn. Once done, pull out and set aside to cool. Then cut the kernels off the cob over a bowl. Let sit until ready to assemble. Turn oven to 400, I know, very surprising. Let it heat up. You can certainly make cornbread or muffins, but I found some stellar ones at the grocery store so those were used. Carefully cut them into good sized cubes. Put on a baking sheet, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and a good amount of pepper. Put in the oven for 10 minutes, then take out and turn them, then bake in the oven for another 10. Once done, take out to cool.
Now on to the dressing. A food processor or blender is best for this. Roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic, add to the mixer. Then a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Juice 2 good sized lemons and add that juice. Chop up 2 anchovies and add to the mix along with the yolk of a room temp egg and liberal pinches of salt & pepper. Almost there. Pulse it all. Now, with the machine running slowly pour in a half of a cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on. Lastly add a third to half of a cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano and pulse one last time. You have now made one very tasty Caesar dressing!
Tear up as much kale as you would like in a big bowl, being careful not to add any of the tough spine of the kale. Sprinkle in the corn, a little more grated Pecorino, then spoon over the dressing, adding as much or as little as you like. Top with the cornbread croutons. Serve. I like to offer more dressing in a small bowl that guests can add if they like their salad super dressed. It is a taste of Summer in a salad. Enjoy, enjoy. Mister Sive grilled barbecued chicken that worked great with this salad. Truly, just about any main dish like steak or fish would be yummy with this too.
When the kind folks at Pottery Barn asked me to style and shoot some of their Summer 2016 Collection at Hawthorne we were delighted. We knew how fun it would be to mix & match some of those new goods with things we already had–that to me has always been the beauty of PB. Their monogramming service is what I was immediately drawn to as I perused the catalog. Monogramming to me highly personalizes an outfit, a table top, a tote, so I knew it would be really cool to add it to many of the goods for the shoot. Of course green would also play a large roll, as it always does, a little ‘Ghent Green’ as our friend Catherine calls it. So we were off and running! From pillows, to napkins, to runners and glassware, the Hawthorne “H” became the running theme.
The first table set for a lunch outside in the backyard on our new oversized picnic table. Super lemony orzo pasta, a recipe from Style & Simplicity along with a tomato salad and baguette was on the menu, joined by one of our favorite rosé. The white lilacs looking stellar in the clear Pottery Barn heavy glass vases/cylinders I used in each vignette. Incredibly versatile vessels. The roped hurricanes adding a little candle action to the table along with the votives. Even in sunshine, I love a little flicker of candles. The wine glasses and napkins all adorned with an “H” which personalizes it all so. The placemats, dinnerware, silverware, and wood platters the baguettes are sitting on are all PB. It was a perfect day for an al fresco meal.
Next up was an afternoon lounging in the living room. The “H” pillows just a fun, whimsical addition to our existing PB white sectional sofa that we do everything from nap on, read on, and watch movies. So extra pillows are always handy along with a blanket to curl up with. I set out the asparagus & Gruyere tart I wrote about last week and whipped up a tea cocktail, perfect for lounging on a sunny afternoon. The PB container the perfect receptacle for serving the drink. A Diptyque candle flickered away next to a geranium we picked up earlier in the week–two of my favorites, while songs by Diana Krall filled the air.
Then a country supper. Mister Sive made corn chowder, a kale salad with strawberries and peach & blueberry cobbler. We set out a variety of cheeses on the very cool PB crisp and clean white platters so guests could get up and stretch their legs a bit and try variations of the jams and honeys with the cheeses. I used a simple bunch of yellow spray roses and filled that nifty glass vessel with lemons. The lemony yellow adding a happy brightness to it all. Again, the “H” on the glasses and the napkins pulling the monogram theme together. The plates, linen tablecloth & runner, silverware, votives and white console table, all Pottery Barn. The wine, Waterbrook Sauvignon Blanc I wrote about the other day, which we also served at the birthday party we hosted on Sunday. Yummy stuff. The votives flickering away as the sun went down with the sound of Miles Davis wafting about.
It was a fun, busy, full few days of pulling it all together for the shoot. Such an honor to be asked, and really cool to see all the fine wares in action in our beloved New York home. See the full story, posted sometime today on the Pottery Barn blog