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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.



 

 

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.



 

 

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.



 

 

Peonies & Tulips

They took center stage. The peonies and the tulips snuggling right up next to one another. From there, the rest of the table was super easy to set. Red became the color story and we were off and running with a table for deux. These were the first peonies of the season for us, the lone bucket at one of my favorite flower stalls at the Market a happy sight. They sat perky at the shop on Saturday for all to enjoy, made the ferry trip over, made the ferry trip back, and are now in the city on the dining table to be enjoyed like crazy this week. A peony might seem dainty, but quite the opposite. 



 

 

A Big Galvanized Bucket of Geraniums 

Flower Friday brings us an overflowing bucket of white geraniums. As the photo shoot came to a close last evening, and we packed up to leave, these made me so gleeful as I looked back while heading up the staircase to the car. Many flowers & plants get purchased for the shoot, as you are not sure how and where they will fit in. I am happy to report that we used every single bloom and pot in some shot. The geraniums proved tricky, as there were quite a few pots of them. I woke up yesterday morning and my mind raced right to an oversized galvanized bucket we had up in the shed. It would be the perfect vessel for all of them to snuggle up next to one another. They completed the shot of the dining table just perfectly. Can’t wait for you all to see it when the magazine comes out. A lovely, lovely week-end to each and everyone of you dear readers around the globe. Sending much, much love, Ted



 

 

Prep Days

The last few days have been a buzz of activity at our beloved WestWard. Country Living magazine asked if they could shoot our place with an entertaining bent, since they know how much we like hosting a dinner party. So it has been a cleaning, planting, playing with flowers few days to get everything ready. Prep days. In a few hours a group of talented folks from around the country will descend on our beach place for a 2 day shoot. The entire process of a photo shoot is quite something else. The level of detail, the smallest detail, is of great consideration–which if you are a regular reader of my blog, is a concept near & dear to my heart. It will be such fun! I call WestWard ‘the little house that could’ as this will be the 6th time it has been featured in a publication or design show. It is just filled with things we love, our #1 design advice, always. Extra added bonus, fingers crossed, the weather forecast is for 2 days of sun! More details to follow in the coming months…



 

 

Green & Blue 

They always stop me in my tracks. The above tulips with the big green streaks, just stunning. There was one bucket of them at the Alm Hills Gardens stall in the Market on Saturday morning, so I snatched up the better part of them for our week-end out on the island.

Things tend to be pretty red, white and blue out there, but this time green took the front seat. I have always been a lover of blue and green together. Think the sky and grass and off we go. I pulled a bunch of blue plates, bowls, silverware and glassybaby and we were set. The combo has a freshness to it. As the rain pours down outside as I type, I will longingly think of this as a Springtime combination. With a little sunshine tossed in too!



 

 

Italian Parsley In A Pinch

It is rare I am not inspired by the flowers when I make a quick dash in to do a little grocery shopping. But it was the case this week-end, so the Italian parsley we already had sitting on the counter at the house was called into action for this heavily blue table setting. The lacy greens adding a nice color balance. Add an assortment of shells from past beach walks and we were on our way to Sunday supper at WestWard.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 136

Objects from travels as well as things that are gifts from friends are a reminder of your past. Surrounding yourself with them in your home creates a layered feel that becomes a look back into your history as your eye glances over them.