Archive for October, 2011

Fresh Fig tarts

photos: m&j

Fragrant, earthy, sweet and vaguely exotic – this subtle, jammy fruit makes such a light and perfect meal ender this time of year. We’ve been so lucky to have the two trees in Maryland producing quite a bumper crop for the first time this season – thank you for the inspired planting, Wright and Patsy!

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New York Times Magazine Food and Drink Issue

photos: Brad Swonetz for The New York Times, m&j, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1832) and Marcus Nilsson for The New York Times

This New York Times Magazine was read from cover to cover before either of our heads had even hit the pillows on Saturday night – such a great issue full of so many interesting tips, recipes, factoids and wonderful opinions by our favorite food writers. Some highlights; last supper wishes from a famous few, how breakfast has evolved through the ages, the party planning menu matrix, food in art, literature, cinema and the many musings of Michael Pollan, Amanda Hesser, Sam Sifton, Mark Bittman, Mimi Sheraton, Maud Newton, Bill Buford and Eric Asimov … seriously just too much to get into – plus an interview with Mad Men creator, Matthew Weiner, to boot! This one’s a keeper.

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Wayne Thiebaud food paintings

images: © Wayne Thiebaud

We love these pre-pop era paintings from the 1950s and ‘60s depicting the kind of production line style food found in diners, bakeries and cafeterias. With his heavy use of pigment, sophisticated, exaggerated colors and well-defined shadows, Wayne Thiebaud’s work looks so modern, even today.

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our very own oyster spats

photos: m&j

Like many waterfront homeowners on the Chesapeake Bay, our dock has been populated for the second year in a row with a few cages of spats (young bivalves that have just attached themselves to hard surfaces). In a new citizen stewardship program that complements Maryland’s large-scale oyster restoration efforts, waterfront property owners are now growing oyster spat in more than 5,000 cages in 12 Bay tributaries this fall. Oyster reefs are critical to the Bay’s recovery. A healthy oyster reef not only filters the Bay’s dirty waters, but also provides crucial substrate for an underwater community that furnishes valuable life support for fish and crabs. And we are more than happy to help!

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one more gorgeous tomato

photos: m&j

How are we going to live without our amazing heirlooms when tomato season finally comes to an end? Such a bummer that we have to go through this every fall … but will be such a joy when they’re back again next year!

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The Wings of the Dove

© Miramax Films, 1997

A re-screening this Iain Softley version of the beautiful, rather disturbing Henry James classic is tough going at times, as the story is not exactly an upbeat romp a la Merchant/Ivory’s A Room with a View. But well worth it if you’ve ever been to Venice and want a full hit of that lovely city in gorgeous natural light and period costume, circa 1910. Helena Bonham Carter looks like she’s made of Bernini ivory as the divisive Kate Croy. Linus Roache and  Alison Elliott succeed brilliantly as pawns in her ill-fated scheme. With Michael Gambon, Charlotte Rampling and Elizabeth McGovern. Sumptuous early 20th century costume design by Sandy Powell, Set decoration by Joanne Woollard, Art Direction by Martyn John & Andrew Sanders, Production Design by john Berard and gorgeous Cinematograpy by Eduardo Serra. But the city of Venice is the real star of this film and well worth watching to escape to, if we do say so ourselves!

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food worth traveling for

photos: Dan Saltstein, Kieran Dodds , Filip Horvat, Johan Spanner and Dave Yoder for The New York Times

This great New York Times Travel Section piece points to the sources of various unforgettable epicurean items and experiences in Europe that are worth making a special trip for … like bread and butter in Paris, Black Forest Ham in Germany, Saffron in the South of France, Almond Granita in Sicily, Pesto in Italy, Apricots in Austria, Truffles in Croatia, Cheese in Edinburgh and Snaps in Copenhagen … You had us at making a special trip for food – yum!!

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