You are currently browsing the Ted Kennedy Watson blog archives for May, 2017

Shaved Asparagus with Irish Butter & Parmesan 

Our dinner last week at Prune, they peeled/shaved the asparagus. This is not a technique I have ever employed. Then I remembered something I had seen about the Canal House folks and that is how they prepared it for a certain dish. So, from memory of both taste and from reading, I thought I would give it a go. Turned out pretty darn tasty and will do again, for sure.

This is the time to use really thick asparagus. With a vegetable peeler, shave/peel about two-thirds of the skin off the stem. This will leave them a little naked looking, but that is what you are going for. Roast in a 400 degree oven on a sheet pan after liberally rubbing each stalk with extra virgin olive oil. Lightly sprinkle over salt to the evoo bathed asparagus. Watch ever so diligently in the oven as not to over-cook, shacking the pan several times to move things around. Take out of oven. Place now cooked asparagus on a plate, add a dollop of Irish butter, and then shower with shaved Parmesan. Yum.



Lamp Love at WK

A sensational single lamp or better yet pair of them can brighten up, yes, I said it, space they grace. I like to think of them as jewelry for the room. They can be that final piece that just makes it all sing. In addition to adding light, they can also injected a huge amount of style. We always have a large selection at the shops, where often I won’t re-order a lamp as I like to keep it rotating & fresh. I also love finding vintage options and having them refurbished, like the Italian marble pair above. So many times they will have a one-of-a-kind feel as that is the only one we will stock. Plus, for the shops as well as my advice for home, I really prefer each lamp be different. It creates that layered look/vibe I like so much. Here are a few at the moment that are spicing up displays.



Many Shades of Green

Setting a table is very much like setting up a home. There are layers and those layers develop over time. You acquire things from travels, you pick things up here & there, you are given something special as a gift. These all work their way into your life, your home, your table.

Such is the case with this table setting at Hawthorne this week. As I went about setting it, a flood of happy emotions washed over me. The ferns I cut from plants we planted in honor of Ted’s father, David. We had them at his service a few years ago. The stems went into a vintage container I found when out shopping with my friend Elizabeth when we were at an event in Connecticut. As I reached for the green drinking glasses, I remembered when CoCo presented them to us in Seattle as a gift for here shortly after we bought the house. The napkin rings a birthday gift from our friends Peg & Camilla. As I laid out the placemats, I remembered the Pottery Barn photo shoot they were initially used for. The salt and pepper cellar along with the little bone spoons were picked up at Red Chair on Warren on an always memorable shopping excursion in Hudson. The match striker a host gift from our friend Paul picked up at the same shop because he knew we were fans. The glassbaby vessels that have been collected over the years that make up a green collection used/loved both here and at The Gainsborough. 

My point with all of this is the objects that we choose to surround ourselves with in our home have many levels of meaning and memories. They make up the story of our life. Take great pleasure in that story, for it is uniquely yours. While some may just see ‘things’ they are your things that have meaning. Revel in that, and the lovely memories they bring.



Memorial Day

“Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice.” –President Barack Obama



The Joy of Double Stick Tape

I am pretty sure I have written a bit about this in the past, so please excuse me if I am repeating myself. Our friend CoCo & I have this thing where we hold up the ‘peace sign’ with our fingers to each other if we are repeating a story. If things get really bad, we do it with both hands, meaning the story has been told multiple times. Typically we are laughing so hard at this point that we are almost crying. SO, that said, I Adore, with a cap A, double stick tape. I do! It allows tons of creativity. You can try something for awhile. Move things around. You might remember I did a little collage with these vintage book pages in our bedroom at Hawthorne. We were not finding artwork or mirrors to our liking, and the empty space was just cold. That is when I pulled out the double stick tape and went to work. Well, we did find some little oil paintings that quite sing for the space, so the little collage peeled right off the wall. They then have moved to the guest room working swell over the twin beds, where they will live until we find something we like better. Which might be tomorrow or it might be quite a long time, which we are cool with. Or they just might stay there always. 



A Pretty Lovely Saturday Thought



The Last of the Lilacs

Flower Friday is about the very last bundle of lilacs of the season at Hawthorne. Caretaker Bill had warned us that the unusually warm weather had done a number on the season which just came and went. But TPS was able to gather one last armful for me to play with. They sit on the dining table and you can smell them throughout the house. The enjoyment they are bringing, immense. Upside, we have never been here when the peony bloom. Fingers crossed. The buds are still looking pretty tight but we will hope for lots more warmth and sunshine and maybe they will be dancing for us by next Friday…

A lovely week-end to you. I hope it is a grand one in your world. We are throwing a college graduation party tomorrow for our youngest niece, with friends & family from near and far. The lilacs will be enjoyed by all. Sending love from the Hudson Valley. T2+B



Move It Around

Next time you have a few minutes and you want to freshen up a shelf or two in your home, try grouping your vignette by color, shape or texture. Or some variation of those three. You will be amazed at how you see your things in a whole new light. 



I Woke Up To This

After our first night back at Hawthorne I am so excited I often wake up early to catch the sunrise in the valley from the dining room windows. I snapped this just a bit ago. But before I did that, I quickly checked my phone and was greeted with this bit of incredible loveliness in an e-mail:

for six years of the most generous, rich, unwavering, loving, eye-opening, stomach-opening, life-opening pleasure. YOU ARE SO THE BEST — and I just HOPE you know how much you are loved.

For today is the 6th anniversary/birthday (I never quite know which one to call it) of my daily blog. What incredibly kind, kind words. I find it such an honor to be able to share a bit each day with you. In this world of so much tragedy and uncertainty, I find myself looking more to the simple beauties that make up the day and doing my darndest to embrace them. It is so easy to be consumed by so much negativity swirling around. I always want to search for the good in people and things. That the win/win approach to life is real and by all means doable. That love for all and equality for all is paramount. That beauty and goodness count. My post each day is meant to be a spot of sunshine. I feel so incredibly fortunate for the life I get to lead, as I know many of you feel the same about your own, as well. But I also know not everyone does. So my hope is by my sharing something positive, it helps you to see the good in your world. I see it all as a circle. A circle of creativity, love, beauty and sharing. If I point out something good from my day, in turn I hope you notice something good about yours. Then the circle is complete. Life and the world is by no means perfect, but by golly, we can all work to make it really, really good. To embrace the goodness. 

So to you all, I say THANK YOU. It is my privilege to share with you each day. And yes Mimi, I most definitely feel the love. Merci for making my day… 



A Day at The National Stationery Show

One of my favorite days of the year. The National Stationery Show in New York City is such a treat. Creativity fills the air. I laugh like crazy at all the incredibly clever/funny cards. I run into work friends from over the years. I laugh some more. All along the way ordering up a storm of cards and wrapping paper and journals and such. Joy. Pure joy.

On my list of tasks for the day was to take over the Instagram feed for the show. Quite fun having folks stop me along the way to chat about what I was seeing at the show.

I was honored to meet a legend in the paper world, Bernard Maisner. His calligraphy has always been a personal favorite. He created a box for our beloved Louis Sherry truffles and was in their booth creating his magic. He made a Watson Kennedy sign for me. Look for that awesome gift to show up in some fun project in the near future.

Cards, cards, cards and more cards. Heaven. Such a treat to work with some of my favorite folks from some of my favorite vendors. Look for lots of new things coming our way over the next few months.