Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Wednesday December 19, 2012

Ode to our Sponsors

I had every intention of writing an individual post for each, but time and writer’s block necessitates I write one big blog post.

As many of you know, I just produced and hosted my 2nd public television special – Heirloom Meals’ Christmas.  The process of conceiving, casting, filming, editing and promoting the show would not be possible without the support of my sponsors. 

Our partnership with Orvis has been amazing. I knew it made sense when I walked into their headquarters and the welcome board had the following quote:

“There is no greater gift than tradition.  It cannot be conceived in hurried afterthought, but is the living result of combined experience.  One does not create tradition, but simply adds to the living patina and embellishes that which has existed for generations._ - Paul Ferson

Orvis’ commitment to tradition, quality and their customer are the values that I respect in a company. As you watch the Christmas show, you may notice many of Orvis’ products.  Let us know if you can identify them!

Ancestry.com is a match made in heaven!  Afterall, when thinking about family lineage, food is one of the first connections we all have to our past.  It’s so fun connecting the dots of my family tree and then thinking about how my food roots evolved.  Thank you Ancestry!

Pete and Gerry’s Heirloom Eggs is a natural fit for a sponsor. They are a multigenerational family farming operation that produces heirloom eggs.  Not only are their chickens cage-free.  They are the only certified humane egg producer in the country!!  Tasting their eggs will convert you to the blue or chocolate brown colored eggshells and golden-yolked eggs forever!! 

The Inn at the Round Barn in Waitsfield, VT offers a perfect blend of classic New England charm and sophistication. The Inn was founded by Jack and Doreen Simko and their daughter, Anne Marie DeFreest.  Jack and AnneMarie are featured in the show making their Hungarian Kifli.  Great food and hospitality are the hallmarks of the Inn.

Being a cheese-aholic, Cabot Creamery Cooperative was an obvious fit to me.  It took a bit of convincing on my part to bring them on board but the combination of the family farming traditions of the co-op members and my love of their cheese tipped the scale in my favor.  I love their sharp cheddar so much it is ALWAYS in my fridge!!

I love everything about Taza Chocolate – their chocolate is the obvious reason.  But it’s their business principles that make my heart sing: company with a conscience. Taza Chocolate puts a premium on being sustainable – not just financially, but environmentally and socially too. They make 100% stone ground, organic chocolate using only the highest quality ingredients while compensating farmers fairly for their work. BRAVO!!

The Annie Selke Companies bring the lifestyle and tabletop component that complement serving an amazing family recipe!  Annie Selke’s designs are inspired by vintage fabrics and her mother’s flare. It is an honor to have Annie on board!!

When I think of cookware that represents the heirlooms of tomorrow, one company comes to mind – Le Creuset!  Their dutch ovens, roasting pans and even crockery have that made-to last-quality that all kitchenware should have. 

While Analon provides bakeware that offers easy clean-up as well being equipped with state-of-the-art Anolon SureGrip® handles for superior control.  Analon’s mission statement, in particular, resonates with my own values: “Our goal is to build public awareness about the many advantages of cooking with seasonal, locally grown food. We seek to encourage People to not only cook more frequently at home, but also to adapt a style of cooking that benefits themselves, their communities and our planet.”

And lastly, I owe a huge thanks to Centerpoint Advisors for sponsoring the closed captioning.  Closed captioning “provides a critical link to news, entertainment and other televised information for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. For individuals whose native language is not English, English language captions improve comprehension and fluency.”

Centerpoint Advisors is a wealth management firm in the Boston area.  They provide investment advice to individuals and families.  And have many multigenerational  clients.

Wednesday November 28, 2012

News:
Heirloom Meals Christmas Special

Coming soon to a public television station in your city!

You can download a list of broadcast airtimes to see where it's playing in your city.  (There may be more as the stations have been adding the show after we created this list - if you can't find your station/city - email us!)

Here's a show tease!

Christmas Show Recipes are HERE!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Monday November 19, 2012

Tabletop Tuesdays:
Tradition with a Twist By Annie Selke

This year has been about transition for me, as you may have noticed if you follow my blog, Fresh American. I’ve been renovating and moving into the house that belonged to my late mother, and now I’m just over a week away from hosting my first Thanksgiving there—where Mum, the consummate hostess, celebrated many a holiday. As a designer, I believe that every tabletop is an opportunity for a bit of sassiness and self-expression, and so lately I’ve been having fun playing with some of Mum’s vintage plates, glasses, flatware, and accessories, and mixing them up in new arrangements. It’s comforting to have those bits and pieces, and all the memories associated with them, around during the holidays. It helps me connect not only with Mum, but also with all my family and friends who are carrying on the tradition with me.

For this tablescape, I was inspired by the rich variation in neutrals—from snow to cream and chocolate—in my indigenous Vermont granite dining table, created by Adam Ross Cut Stone Company based in Albany, New York. I started with the dessert plates, which are antique Copeland Spode and once belonged to my great-grandmother. Their stunning, raised lacelike pattern are at once astonishing yet subtle. I placed these on top of the “blank canvas” of contemporary white chargers from Crate & Barrel for an instant dose of depth and dimension. Not to mention plenty of room for all the side dishes I want to serve on Thanksgiving!

Those amazing tumblers and stemware are also from my great-grandmother’s collection. With their Old World, etched grapevine pattern, they’re an exquisite addition that really elevates each setting. Mum was the keeper of fine, ironed linens—they were always perfect!—so I chose a set of her simple, elegant linen damask napkins. The silverware, Mum’s again, and monogrammed with an S for Shreve, works equally well for Selke!

I wanted the centerpiece to have an easy, organic feel, and I wanted to stick with the nuanced neutral color story. So I chose white pumpkins in two sizes and slightly different shades, and tucked white lilies and roses between them. I added the magnolia leaves to pick up the chestnut brown of the tabletop, and the eucalyptus leaves for a pop of color. (This arrangement holds itself in place pretty well, but if you’re at all concerned about disturbing it, you can insert the flower and greenery stems into water-filled picks and then into small blocks of floral foam.)

Now it’s your turn. What family tradition or heirloom are you spotlighting on your table this year? Tell me in the comments for your chance to win a two sets of Juliet embroidered napkins from Pine Cone Hill—a $96 value!

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