Home Grown

September 25, 2016

It might technically be Fall, but it still feels like Summer. And, Summer’s bounty is keeping things green by the armload and basketful thanks to generous friends and neighbors. Until the leaves start to turn and the temps start to drop I’ll be good to go.

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Top to bottom:

A tangle of Limelight hydrangea and hops thinned from a friends garden and casually dropped into a simple glass vessel makes a simplequietmodern statement that will last for weeks.

Another surprise package of homegrown heirlooms included these green zebra tomatoes…a welcome addition to a panzanella or caprese.

Taking advantage of the limited availability of Romanesco it was hard to pass up those locally grown.

I planted artichokes in containers this Summer for the color and texture of the foliage alone. Until the first buds appeared I had completely forgot about the added bonus.

photos: gp

 

 

What do you get…

September 16, 2016

when you take a soft-spoken twelve-year-old and add a ukulele and a pocket full of original homegrown lyrics? You get Grace VanderWaal…the winner of America’s Got Talent. From her “golden buzzer” audition right through to the exciting photo finish she wowed each week with her talent, her charm and her originality. Congratulations, Grace! America voted and America got it right.

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If you’d like to experience the audition that started it all…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNxO9MpQ2vA

 

Near Perfect

September 11, 2016

The day started simple enough…crisp and bright with clear skies that seemed bluer than blue. Then, the unthinkable. I remember it all as clearly as if it were yesterday. Fifteen years later and the horrifying images burned into my memory still bring me to tears. Let us honor all of those in New York, in Shanksville and at the Pentagon on that day with a moment of silence, a prayer, a promise to never forget.

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1970 photo by Andrea Di Castro from http://www.stardustmoderndesign.com/2012/11/new-york-city.html#!/2012/11/new-york-city.html  flag photo:gp

 

 

Already?

August 26, 2016

Yep, it’s hard to believe, but Jaxon is turning four. And, If you thought I might finally get a picture to commemorate the occasion, think again. It’s like trying to ask a tornado to sit still and look at the camera. While he knows exactly what he’s doing…he thinks it’s pretty funny putting me through the motions. And, it is. Good picture or not, there will definitely be treats. Biscuits for him and Brown Sugar Pavlova for everyone else. Baby Hambone Jaxon 3000…Happy Birthday to you.

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Photo and recipe:http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/three-layer-berry-and-brown-sugar-pavlova-354211  I’ve made a couple of adjustments to this recipe to simplify things. As abundant as berries have been I used a combination of them all; raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. When making the meringue layers you might find it easier to pipe or spread them directly onto parchment and simply peel the parchment from the bottoms when they’re cooled rather than using the suggested pan technique. It’s a bit difficult getting those layers out of the pan, even with the parchment. The end result will be much more attractive. You may want to keep this as a “go to” celebration cake, it’s that good.

For your four legged family members, why not knock out a batch of these Buddy Biscuits? There have been no complaints here either…ever. https://simplequietmodern.com/2012/01/30/ruff-ruff/

Photos of Jax ( such as they are ) : gp

 

 

Old School…New School

August 24, 2016

Carrying a white linen handkerchief is definitely old school. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Carrying a handkerchief in a Liberty of London print? Definitely new school. And this print, Black Pepper/gray in the Tana Lawn Classic is the perfect way to shake it up. The small pattern, while not exactly a floral, comes in somewhere between a classic composition book cover and camouflage, and is equally at home in the back pocket of your jeans as it is the breast pocket of a suit jacket.

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Fabrics and DIY instructions are available at https://www.purlsoho.com/tana-lawn-classics.html

photos: gp

 

 

 

 

Putting the plan to paper,

August 20, 2016

starts with a little inspiration. This garden by Australian designer Peter Fudge totally embraces the simplequietmodern aesthetic. A beautiful composition of clipped hedges and hardscaping against the softened edges of natural treeline and massed plantings of native grasses. Dappled sunlight and gentle sounds of moving water. The perfect place to spend a late summer day. I’d start here in the morning with coffee, break here midday with lunch, nap here in the afternoon and finish here with dinner or cocktails. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Are you there yet?

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Photos:  http://peterfudgegardens.com.au/      

 

BLT – B + C

July 30, 2016

Now that Summer tomatoes are starting to pop up I’m craving a BLT. A guilty pleasure to be sure, particularly with my favorite bacon from Whole Foods. While I limit my bacon intake to twice a year, a sandwich in the Summer and with pancakes on a particularly cold and snowy Winter morning, I’m left wanting more. Then a friend reveals her secret for a BLT without the B. Cheese! That’s right. Cheese. I had to give it a go. So I baked off a couple of slices of provolone dusted with a bit of grated parmesan until they were golden at 375 degrees. Pulling them from the oven, I let them cool a few seconds and flipped, returning to the oven to brown the reverse. I kept an eye on them, as this went quickly. While they cooled, they crisped up, giving me time to set up the toast, lettuce, tomato and mayo. I assembled as I would my favorite BLT and Boom! Done. And good. I’m not missing the Oink.

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I was so excited with that successful result, I decided to treat myself another Summertime favorite, a Vernors Float. A single scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with the oldest soda in America, Vernors Original Ginger Soda, kept it short and sweet.

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Photos: gp