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Zinnias with Carrot Greens

Flower Friday brings a colorful bunch of zinnias mixed in with the greens of carrot tops. I am a big fan of mixing zinnias with overflowing late Summer herbs, such as rosemary. It speaks of the season to me and I quite like the contrast between the two. But I was having no luck finding rosemary at the farmers market on Saturday. I walked by a booth and one of the women working was helping a customer with a big bunch of carrots. She asked her if she wanted the long luscious carrot top greens or if she should snap them off. The customer passed on the greens and I swooped in and said, “I’ll take those if you are just going to toss them” and she kindly passed me the bundle. Done! These would work swimmingly in place of the rosemary. The leaves such a vibrant green and just so darn pretty. They got tucked here & there in the vase and the zinnias placed in around all that green goodness.



Breakfast, Farmers Market, Vintaging

Saturday mornings in the Hudson Valley for us almost always includes a stroll through the Hudson Farmers Market to pick up produce and other gems for the week. But before we start the shopping for the day, breakfast at Le Gamin. Always. They seat us at our favorite table in the corner where Bailey in her bag fits perfectly right next to me on the banquette. TPS has his usual café au lait and we watch the world walk by as we enjoy our meal.

Then a walk down famed Warren Street for a little vintage shopping. Sometimes that can be for us but most often we are looking for treasures for the shops. Top of our list this trip is vintage frames. We have close to 50 Hugo Guinness pieces arriving soon that we will need to house in vintage frames, so we are majorly on the hunt. Success! We found so many awesome really old and really beautiful ones. But not before I snapped this grand home on the street. Mister Sive calls parts of Hudson the Charleston of the North. He is so right. The photo of this home could easily have been taken there. So stunningly pretty. Every detail. You can see why we love strolling this street. Historic houses mixed in with shops and restaurants, oh my. It all is truly a visual treat for the senses.



Celery Greens for the Win

If you see a bunch of celery with their greens attached (most grocery stores take most to all off) grab it. Celery leaves can be quite wonderful to use in many dishes. You are most likely to find them still attached at farmers market stalls, as the most growers know how delicious the greens can be. Think of using them like an herb, swapping out parsley for a nice extra green kick. We found the above, which when I cut them off gave us a whole colander of the below. We found the celery at the Hudson Farmers Market several weeks ago. I washed them up, dried them off and placed them in the veg drawer in the fridge and we used them for a whole week. Mix with salad greens to elevate a simple salad. Make celery green pesto. My love for celery greens began at Prune in New York City many years ago, where chef Gabrielle Hamilton often uses them in her dishes. She made a celery salad using both the stalk and the greens along with radishes and a good amount of garlic for a sublimely pungent salad. You can also chop them up finely to add to soups or risotto for a bit of freshness. I love the challenge of coming up with creative ways to use something that so often is discarded. Once you give them a try, I think you will too.



A Stroll Through the Hudson Farmers Market

One of my very most favorite-ist things to do when we are at Hawthorne is drive into Hudson on Saturday morning and walk the farmers market. The people watching is top notch, the produce is outstanding, and we always leave with bounty for the upcoming week. This post is an ode to the farmer’s that do these markets, not just in Hudson, but all over the globe. I have such immense respect for their hard work and their ability to make what they are selling look like works or art. Because they are. Next time you walk a market, have your eye and your mind-set be like that of going to a gallery and seeing the work of an artist where every detail counts–the weave of the baskets of garlic, the leaves on the celery, the grain of the weathered wood on the bins that hold the fruit, all the varying shades of red in a cart of tomatoes. I promise you will leave feeling inspired.



Farmers Market Bounty 

Happy August 1st everyone!  The Hudson Farmers Market on Saturday was a true visual feast.  With all this heat, things have been growing like mad.  The tomatoes overflowing in so many of the stalls.  Live music wafted about as I went from vendor to vendor filling up our two L.L. Bean bags with bounty for a week of guests and entertaining.  So many of the displays like works of art. 



Seckel Pear Love

20151102-062331.jpg Whether you can them, use in a tart, pickle them, creatively use in a cocktail, or just enjoy looking at the beauties in a silver bowl, the diminutive Seckel pear is in season and if you can get your hands on a few, do. Many vendors at the Hudson Framers Market had cases of the pears, I saw them on Saturday at the Market and yesterday the grocery store had a big basket of the pears–they are out & about in force. Intensely sweet, both in taste and to enjoy visually.




Apples, Apples & More Apples

20151027-082047.jpg We arrived back to Seattle late last eve. I am sure the TSA folks must have gotten a good chuckle when they screened our checked bag. All those little white pumpkins that were on the picnic table outside, a bag of Seckel pears, a bag of acorns picked up by Mister Sive on his walks, and bag of Hawthorne Valley farm store bagels, a loaf of Mimi’s Little Ghent Farm bread along with jam and chutney she made with the Italian plums from our tree, and apples galore from the farmers market on Saturday. The piece of luggage came in just a tad under the 50 pound allotment. Comical when we opened it up, a sort of farm stand homage. Here is a look at some of those incredibly beautiful apples the Hudson Valley is famous for. Like little works of art.









Unexpected Beauty

20151025-084303.jpg There they were, bucket after bucket of them. Such unexpected beauty. Incredible stalks of flowering Brussels sprouts. We went to the Hudson Farmers Market in search of apples of a crisp, which we also found in spades, but this took the top prize for the wow factor. A big stalk came home and was our arrangement on the back porch, where we had a fire roaring the whole day. We feted my friend, author Lisa Birnbach, on the 35th anniversary of her best-selling book, The Official Preppy Handbook. She drove up from the city for the day with her partner Michael, to hang with us at Hawthorne. The flowering sprout looking over our group as we chatted & laughed the afternoon away. Beauty abounds, we just need to keep our eyes open and be on the look-out. Tonight we will roast all the Brussels sprouts from the stalk. Best 4 bucks we have spent in a good long while…





Happy Saturdahlia

It has been quite a run for the dahlias, and even though the season is not quite over, I thought a little Saturday dahlia love was in order. A Saturdahlia if you will. Thank you London designer Ashley Hicks, who I am borrowing the phrase from. It seemed perfect for the day.















A Bounty of Tomatoes

This time of year the bounty of tomatoes is something else. Tomatoes are one of those things I could photograph every day, as well as love seeing how other folks capture them on social media & magazines. There is a simple beauty to the shape, color, size and variation to each. More than taking pictures of them, I adore eating them. Just as they are, adorned with a pinch of sea salt, or mixed with a variety of things to make a healthy meal. Little works of art they are.