Saturday, February 12, 2011

golden light on a wraparound porch

I feel so lucky to have such wonderful people working with me on this project, and Tuesday was a day that showed me just how lucky I am. I spent about 14 hours testing recipes in my kitchen, torturing my husband with the smell of food that he was not allowed to eat. I kept being interrupted by phone calls and emails and pop up meetings, but I was on a deadline and I was determined to meet it. I left for Sparta about an hour late, and about half an hour into the drive, I felt transported into another way of being.

Megan Boling of Three Centuries Farm and Brown Parcel Press graciously invited me to the farm for a photo shoot for the Heirloom website. She wanted to capture some images of the proposed menu items and some other farm images that tie together the visual presentation I want for the business.

Just being on the farm relaxed me completely. The donkey and the goats bleeted in the background as we posed food with vintage linens in the golden afternoon light of the wraparound porch. We took a walk around the farm as Megan's fiance, Brad, was feeding the animals, and at one point he walked up to me and just started pulling eggs out of his pockets for me to take home with me. I recognize how much strenuous work goes into living on a farm, but being with them on their farm makes me wish that that was the life I led. I will just have to visit often, and be grateful for their presence in my life.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

muffins baking in the morning

I have been baking for the 1000 Faces kiosk at Trappeze for a few weeks now, and I must say that it is one of the highlights of my week. I get up early in the morning, gather ingredients, brew some coffee and play around with muffins and scones and whatever else my heart desires before anyone else in my house is stirring. Shaping a round of dough and slicing it into perfect pie pieces for scones is one of the little pleasures in life. I have found a really lovely base recipe for scones that produces such a light, fluffy, almost cake-like result, that I can't help but make a few extra every time to munch on throughout the following days. My favorites have been chocolate chip with a hint of lemon zest, blueberry made with the frozen leftovers of a giant bucket of berries I bought from Jim at the end of his season, and maple pecan made with chopped up pecans from McMullan Family Farm.

I have also found a muffin base recipe that I am utterly delighted with. It calls for ricotta cheese and buttermilk, and makes what can almost be described as cheesecake combined with a muffin. It is so rich and luscious on the tongue that it almost feels like a luxury to be eating them for breakfast. Some of my favorite flavors so far have included cherry chocolate, lemon poppy seed, ginger apple walnut, and pear pecan.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

everything starts with a before

We will be refurbishsing the old Amoco sign, placing our lovely oval logo where the Amoco is and making an area where the gas prices used to go to let you know what produce is freshest each week.
This is the perspective from the corner of Chase and Boulevard. It is hard to imagine now, but in just a few months this area will be filled with the fragrance of herbs, and the sound of soft music, forks tinking on plates and happy voices.This is the view from Chase Street. We will be building an extension off of where the office used to be for the seating for the market. It will have a curved wall on the left corner and have lots of glass to let in all the light. The right garage door will be refurbished so that we can open up the dining room to the refreshing spring and fall air. The space where the left garage door is will be made into our main entryway with a new door and storefront built into the existing space. A patio will come out from the space in front of the garage doors, surrounded by planters full of herbs and covered by a wooden pergola to keep off the sun.If you stretch your imagination, you may be able to see a bocce ball court to the left of the building with benches for spectators.
This wall will be coming out and will have a lovely view from the dining room into the market space. Imagine a curved bar coming out into the dining room. The darker area to the right will be walled off and will become our kitchen.
You can see the kitchen space more clearly in this photo. The bathrooms that back up to the wall here will be removed and the kitchen area will be extended.
This back corner will house our bathrooms, with storage above them. There will be a banquet bench built in along this wall and tables running up to the front windows.

The view of what will be our dining room. Again hard to imagine, but I know that it will be lovely.