Friday, July 23, 2010

Peconic Ruggers Summer Hook In

Peconic Ruggers at Hallockville
July 24, 2010
10 AM to 4 PM

The Peconic Ruggers will demonstrate at Hallockville Museum Farm on July 24 from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Rug Hooking is a primitive folk craft with roots in North America going back to the early 19th century. Women collected scraps and remnants from old household fabrics, cut them into thin strips and weaved them through empty burlap feed sacks to create beautiful floor coverings for their homes.  The Peconic Ruggers is a craft guild dedicated to the preservation and celebration of this traditional American pastime. The Ruggers Hook-In brings together artisans from all over Long Island who share a passion for hand hooked rugs.  Visitors will learn about this fascinating art form and have an opportunity to purchase finished products, ready-made kits, patterns, and other supplies.

Call Hallockville at 631-298-5292 for additional information and directions.
The event is free and open to the general public. 

The weatherman is calling for high temperatures, but we will be out under the apple trees with the lovely breeze that always blows across the farm fields.  The Ruggers will supply lots of cool beverages and lunch is pot luck.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We're Having a Heat Wave, a Tropical Heat Wave

The weather is positively wicked this summer.  It's costing us a fortune to keep the new sod in the front yard alive.  The grass in the back yard is crispy.  The Brandywine tomatoes I planted are exploding with fruit -- last year I harvested only a handful of tomatoes.  The corn and peach crops hit the farm stands a week early.  Fred at Sang Lee, where we have a CSA share, is battling beetles in the bok choy.  The beetles are attacking my new coral bells along the front walk as well.  Some things thrive in the heat, others just disappear -- like me!

I have been holed up in the house with the A/C on.  I swear, installing central air was the wisest decision we made when we renovated the house.  I don't keep it low -- it is usually set around 75 degrees -- I just keep it cool enough to hook and cook.  Pete asked me to turn it off one day, so I did.  He came back from sailing with a neighbor and told me to put it back on!  I have been so productive, it isn't funny.  I've been finishing projects that have sat around for years and designing new rugs and kits for the upcoming fall season of shows.  I've got needle punch ideas by the dozens . . .   If we didn't have the A/C, I'd be sitting around complaining and ordering take out and going to the movies in the afternoon just to get cool . . .  

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Free at Last!

Lucille's rug has haunted me for 2 years.  It's a simple rug -- simple design, simple colors, simple outline and fill technique -- it should have taken me a couple of weeks of part time work.  But no.  I am the world's best procrastinator.  And I hate hooking other people's designs.  The first class I took back in 1991 was at a McGown school and we were forced to buy a pattern and have a teacher dye the wool and show us where to put it.  (I'm happy to report McGown schools are much more open nowadays.) Nineteen years later and that rug is still not finished.  It may never be finished.

Anyway -- Lucille has been a little anxious about her rug.  Who wouldn't be -- especially if you are in your 80s and plan on gifting the finished rug to one of your kids?  So I got on the stick last week and finished hooking and binding and then made a nice label on the computer (which I forgot to take a picture of).  Then I surprised Lucille by knocking on her door with the completed rug.  She loved it. Thank God.

In my defense I have to say that there wasn't near enough wool to finish the rug.  And because a lot of it was as is, it was impossible to find an exact match.  I had to do quite a bit of unhooking and re-hooking to get an even placement of new wool into the pattern.  I had to devise a color plan for the border as well, and match that wool to the leaves and flowers.  Every time I put my hook down to ponder a problem, I put off solving the problem for weeks -- sometimes months.  So here I am, two years later, a little embarrassed and a lot smarter about agreeing to finish other people's works.  (Read that as "Never again!")

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our 4th of July

The day dawned with clear skies -- perfect for a parade!  Clara rode Star down Southold's Main Street with our friend Barbara (riding Mackinac) and the other members of the East End Livestock and Horseman's Association.
Barbara's husband Ron led the way as flag bearer.
After the parade we snacked on clams on the half shell (freshly dug by Pete), homemade guacamole and chips and minted lemonade while we watched Edgar and his incredile Friesian do tricks.

After naps, we headed to the home of Widows Hole Oysters for a benefit organized by Patrick Connelly of Bobo restaurant in Manhattan.  Mike and Isabelle, the proprietors of WHO, have the loveliest spot in Greenport.  Their rambling shingled house overlooks both Widows Hole and Greenport Harbor, which means you can see both the Greenport and Shelter Island fire works from their lawn.

We were greeted at the garden gate with glasses of bubbly Proseco with macerated berries.  We wound our way down the path lined with luminarias.

We dined on oysters, of course, and whole striped bass roasted over wood in a fire pit dug just for the occasion.  We ate the first fresh corn of the season, crabs, sausages, grilled asparagus, carrot slaw, potato salad, mesclun salad and beautiful bread.  For dessert: fresh mixed berries with whipped cream and a shortbread cookie.

Lieb Cellars provided the wine and Greenport Harbor provided the beer.  Ted Charles and his band played jazz on the porch.  Mike and Isabelle ordered up a beautiful sunset.  The fireworks followed soon after. 

I can't remember a more perfect 4th of July.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I've Been Making Whoopie

PIES!  Seventy-five Whoopie pies, to be exact.  Actually, I made 50, and my god-daughter Natalie and her mom Anne-Marie made the rest.  We celebrated Clara's graduation from Skidmore last Saturday evening with a big party in the back yard, and the Whoopie pies were dessert.  Close to 70 neighbors and friends came to see Clara and the renovations to our house and yard -- and to eat, of course.  It was a great party, despite a few rain drops, but it was really exhausting.  I could barely function on Sunday.

I made almost all the food myself with help from Clara, Pete, and our good friends Anne-Marie and Mike and their daughters, Natalie and Charlotte.  For starters we had homemade guacamole and salsa (made by Pete and Charlotte) with regular and blue corn tortilla chips, shrimp cocktail with sauce made by Mike, crudite with my special pesto dip, store-bought hummus with pita bread, and pigs-in-a-blanket, requested by Clara.  Our neighbor, who has an oyster farm in the harbor, brought several dozen oysters which we served on the half shell with Mike's mignonette sauce.  Who needed dinner?

But dinner we had.  We bought great fried chicken from The Rotisserie in Southold.  To accompany the chicken: tuna nicoise, orzo with pesto and asparagus, tabbouleh, a big green salad, and Pete's homemade bread.  Yummy.  Then, of course, came the piles of Whoopie pies.  I wish I had taken a picture of them, but I was just a tad bit preoccupied.  We also served sliced watermelon and store-bought palmiers for non-chocolate eaters. 

What a great start to summer.  We have more fun coming up this weekend.  Clara will ride Star, her favorite horse, in the Southold 4th of July parade on Sunday, and we are attending a benefit for the Cornell Cooperative Extension's SPAT program, which works to save and replenish the shellfish in Peconic Bay.  We'll be dining on Widows Hole oysters while we listen to Teddy Charles play jazz and watch the fireworks explode over Shelter Island. Have a great 4th of July!