I am not a Karl Lagerfeld fan per say, but I love these photos from The Selby of his studio in Paris. Actually, more to the point I love the books/bookcases. Whenever I think of the perfect library, it is the one Henry Higgins has in “My Fair Lady” – you know the one with the fireplace and two floors of bookcases. From the looks of it Lagerfeld has a two floor library. Just imagine the collection!
Some days I feel like the luckiest gal in the world. Take the other day when my friends Mary Jo and Michael told me about a culinary adventure they have organized in Tuscany for this fall, and then invited me along! Mary Jo and Michael own the Hartstone Inn, a lovely bed and breakfast in downtown Camden a stone’s throw from the harbor. I have written about the inn, their culinary events, and the times Michael took me mushroom hunting. Now I get to write about our adventures in Southern Tuscany!! Every year they travel to a different continent for a few weeks, so this trip is a way for them to marry their love of terrific food, culinary adventures and great company. For information visit their website, where I believe details will be posted soon.
Our “home away from home” will be a historic villa, perched in the center of the region’s rolling hills, surrounded by olive orchards and vineyards. We will explore scenic villages, drink the region’s full-flavored red wines, get lessons in farm life, pet pigs (I know this may sound odd, but I absolutely love pigs and one farm on the itinerary is known for their pet Cinta Senese pigs), sample locally made jams and preserves, participate in Michael’s hands-on cooking classes (he taught me to make homemade pasta, I cannot even begin to imagine the whirlwind of culinary lessons I will encounter while in Italy for a week), and do you really want me to tell you what is on the menu for dinner? Okay! A few of the dishes Michael has planned for regionally minded dinners include Porcini Mushroom Ravioli with a Sage-Brown Butter, Seafood Risotto with Shaved White Truffles, melt in your mouth Sweet Potato Tortellini with Carmelized Onions and Olive Oil, Baked Artichokes with Aged Pecorino and Italian Herbs, Pizzas (of course), and cakes, baked pears, fritters, and tortes. I will have no problem consuming all of this, because I will be getting up early every morning to walk the area’s rustic roads and see the sights.
Think about joining Michael, Mary Jo, and I on this epic culinary adventure!!!
One year ago I entered the Blogosphere with a few thoughts and a couple cameras. I have been completely overcome by the response this little project has received. According to my ever faithful web guy the visitor numbers are real (sometimes I call him just to check the reality of the situation), yes 700 or so people are spending time with Delicious Musings a day. Really!? This is when I do a little dance (think, and I cannot believe I am sharing this with you dear readers, but here goes – think Chicago Bears mid-80s touchdown dance yup that is me in my living room). I probably check those numbers every couple months, more to make sure I am still on track that people still like what I am writing and/or rambling about. My musings as they are.
The comments have slowly started to trickle in on a more consistent basis, but it is the people I meet (sometimes complete strangers) and the emails or Facebook messages that make my heart big. Just yesterday a really big London based blogger told me she began following my blog. It is hard to imagine, and wonderful to experience.
Thank you so much to each and every person who has read this blog. Thank you for allowing me to open up my life just a little to you. Thank you for being generous with your time, for believing in me, and for the encouragement.
Yesterday I did a little celebrating in advance of the “big” day with my friend Margaret, who also happens to have a terrific blog. Jon, an amazing photographer (took the contact photo of me on the sk public relations site), is helping me get my act together image wise. Wait till you see what I/he has in store! Soon, soon, soon…
A toast to you and me dear readers. May the next year be every bit as fun with more food, travel, thoughts, and images. (This is homemade beer a friend sent, it was delicious!)
For the past two decades Jim Brown, owner of Windsor Chairmakers, has been crafting furniture one piece at a time, from his workshop on coastal Route 1 in Lincolnville, Maine. Each piece he creates becomes an heirloom, the centerpiece of a room, a permanent part of one’s home and life. Comfortable and beautiful his pieces serve a function.
When thinking about your next meal. Think about where you are going to enjoy it. If, like me, you prefer to eat meals outside as much as possible (something Maine’s long winters do not allow as much of as I would like), consider this – Jim’s dining tables give the feeling not only of warmth and history, but the sensation you are sitting in an orchard. They are simple, but divine. Smooth surfaces of black walnut, wild black cherry, or tiger maple (the wood often seen on the back of violins).
Make sure to stop by and say hello to Nance and Jim if you find yourself driving on Rt. 1 between Belfast and Camden. Unfortunately their adorable cows have moved on to another farm (they were such fun to feed apples to), but the showroom is as gorgeous as ever and the studio a swarm of talented craftsmen carving, sanding, and finishing.
Photo by Jessica Gellweiler and Steven Gerlich courtesy of Windsor Chairmakers.
More and more I am thinking about what I consume, purchase, have around the house, in my car, and even in my purse. I have begun asking myself what do I really need, what is wonderful to have for comfort, what if I had to pack a small U-Haul at the end of the day would I leave behind, and what is going into a landfill. This past weekend I began my annual editing process, sorting through stuff to find the goodies forgotten from last summer and the stuff just taking up space in the garage (i.e. a s’mores maker and paper shredder – the latter of which I have not used in the three years since I purchased it). The paper shredder a friend has spoken for, but the s’mores maker is yours if you email me and we can figure out postage. A few boxes and bags later I feel better, but there is still more editing to do. It is clear, for instance, I never need to purchase another T-shirt or fleece (those just accumulate living in Maine) and books should be borrowed from the library (except for kitchen books on occasion).
It is so easy to accumulate stuff in our lives, but sometimes that stuff can detach us from our community and ourselves. My goal is to have only those items I appreciate and use on a pretty regular basis. Things I conscientiously choose to have in my life, which are sustainable and bring me joy. A bookcase made by a boatbuilder friend, an antique table with stories of rooms past, handcrafted boots purchased in Italy, handmade pottery, and a few precious photographs from some incredibly talented professional photographer friends. These are items that bring something positive to my life and my home.
Spent the morning in Boothbay Harbor, Maine at the 37th Fishermen’s Festival. As well as being a lot of fun, it is an opportunity to meet and honor some of the men and women who spend their days aboard commercial fishing boats in Penobscot Bay from now through December catching the state’s treasured lobster Homarus americanus. The town is one of my favorite spots to spend time. I try to take everyone who visits me in Maine to Boothbay Harbor even if just for a lobster roll and stroll around town. Thanks much to Captain Clyde for letting me hang out on his boat during the Lobster Trap Hauling competition and to Deb and Robbie for giving me prime shooting space during the Bait Shoveling Race. I should probably also thank the anonymous source who saved me from kneeling in fish gut juice, thank you!!!