Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Monday September 06, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Thank You, Erin Russo

Labor Day = End of Summer, Reflecting & Beginning Afresh

Many of my friends are melancholy. And yes, so am I.  While the 90 degree temps last week seemed to keep summer present for a bit longer, the recent cool off, earlier sun sets and autumnal colors are augurs of the next season.  I am not quite ready.
So today, I want to reflect and write about a person who made my summer exceptional.  Her name is Erin Russo.

I advertised for a Smith College intern (remember Smith is my alma mater) and received several applications but Erin was a stand out in so many ways!!  She was smart enough to read my blog and tailor her letter as a result, she was an anthropology major and understood why I called heirloom meals "salvage anthropology for treasured family recipes," and she had a great attitude and personality.
Erin catapulted Heirloom Meals' progress in three months. We started a facebook fan page, developed an editorial calendar for the blog, booked radio show guests, successfully ran a kickstarter fundraising campaign for a new website, wrote all the content for the soon-to-be-launched website, planned and threw a fundraiser for Berkshire Grown with Sarah Gray Miller from Country Living Magazine etc.
The best part is we had fun while working hard, she was the angel I needed and became a dear friend, sister and daughter in the process.
Here are a few photos of our journey:

Erin at the Taggart House pitching in at the Close Encounters
with Music event that we catered on June 5th.

Allison Hemming and Erin in NYC at the New World Home/
Country Living Green Modular House of the Year Cocktail party on June 7th.

And now Erin's new journey:

Erin in Italy - we are awaiting her Slow Food Saturday Blog posts
when she'll share her food experience grin
And to all of you out there I want to hire Erin when she returns from Italy so let's help me continue to get fans, and raise money for the show!!
Love you ERIN!!

Monday August 30, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Whirlwind Life


It's already Monday night and I feel like I need a vacation. I have been working hard and miraculously manage to get everything checked off my "to-do" list. Of the many things I do, real estate sales is one of them and as of late, my little farmlette listing has been getting lots of actions with a deal in the works.  YIPPEE!!

My interior decorating projects are coming along as well.  It's always gratifying to see the results of months of work. Here's a peak at a partially finished room - a few more orders and deliveries and it will be complete!!

And today I had a fun excursion to White Flower Farm with Dottie Weber, a great interior decorating client and we did some damage purchasing some perennials for Dottie's "exterior" design. I manage to be a full service operation!!  Here's our loot:
But have no fear, I have not lost my heirloom meals way....while typing this blog post I have eggplant and tomatoes roasting in the oven to compose into eggplant parmesan as a side to leftover grilled hangar steak!! YUM. Until tomorrow......

Monday August 23, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Tasters at the Berkshire Grown/Country Living Fair

The Berkshire Grown/Country Living Event was M-A-G-I-C-A-L!!

Here's a short video summarizing the evening by one of the guests!!  Thank you Glen Ellen!!

I am exhausted and about to hop on the train to NYC - more to come - PROMISE!!

Love you ALL!!!

Monday August 16, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Peachy Keen Martinis

This week I am all about preparations for the Berkshire Grown fundraiser honoring Sarah Gray Miller of Country Living Magazine. I have my lists, my schedule and I am in motion.

I have contacted the farms and purveyors with my orders, rented tables and chairs, sewed my table runners and have begun the preparations.  It's a frenzy of activity around here!!

Yesterday I made peach nectar and lemon simple syrup for the cocktails.

Peach Nectar for our Peachy Keen Martini’s
I wanted to serve a “special” cocktail for this event.  With the gorgeous and delicious local peaches that are currently in season, I decided to concoct some peach nectar to be mixed with Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka. What better to way to celebrate local everything!!
10 Ripe Peaches from Maynard Farm
3 cups water
Boil a large pot of water and put the peaches in the water for about 5 minutes until the skin is ready to peel off. Remove the peaches into a cold water bath to stop the cooking process. The skin should easily peel off the peach.  Slice and remove pit.  In batches, put 2 cups of sliced peaches and 1 cup of water in a blender until smooth.  Strain and store in refrigerator until the PARTY!!
Simple Lemon Syrup
I am addicted to limonata.  But I just bought a Sodastream carbonator and thought, why not make limonata for vodka and limonatas or just limonata.  Here’s my recipe:
4 cups organic cane sugar
4 cups water
Zest of a couple of lemons
3 cups fresh lemon juice
Simple syrup is simple - it’s one part sugar to one part water. Cook sugar, water and lemon zest over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and water boils. Remove and  let cool.  Add lemon juice and store in refrigerator until the PARTY!!  I tried about 1/2 cup  of syrup with the liter bottle that comes with the Sodastream and it seemed to do the trick - YUM!!

Monday August 09, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Summer Table Cloth for 30

We've got lots cooking but not in the kitchen....
I am in full gear on the preparations for the Country Living Magazine / Berkshire Grown event at my house on August 22nd!!  And I know the devil is in the details.

Menu planning is in full swing. I spent Sunday afternoon making my lists!! We are expecting 30+ guests to share in an authentic farm to table dinner. We'll tell all about the menu and the cooking prep as we get closer to the event.  Right now - it's all about the table setting....

I was agonizing over finding just the right "tablewear" and just when I was in deep despair I remembered that I have a treasure trove of fabrics in my closet ... and lucky me - do I have the PERFECT fabric for a table runner.  Goes to show you that the instincts to buy cool/unique fabric for some future project really do pay off.  The sales receipt was still attached - I bought the fabric in 2002.

We are busy as beavers working on the "deets." You are going to wish you were a guest!!

Monday August 02, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Time Flies

Musings about life, happenings and such.
How did August sneak up on us? Wasn't it just days ago that there were buds on the trees and seedlings in the ground? Is it true that I have harvested my garlic and it now hangs drying in my kitchen?

And, am I dreaming that all of my amazing friends, family and fans successfully sponsored my project on kickstarter so I can build a proper website? Am I really planning an event for Berkshire Grown that will honor Sarah Gray Miller of Country Living Magazine at my house on August 22nd? Was Farmer Val ever really here at Boulderwood? She's gone, and seemingly without a trace.
Time marches on for sure. The beauty of life is that there is always something that reminds me of friends and family - be it a scent, a meal and in this case, a plant.  So this post is dedicated to the memory of Mike Halko - master garderner, tomato grower and dear family friend. Until this year, the only place I had ever seen a "cigarette" plant was when Mike delivered it to our house each summer and then took it back to his greenhouse each winter.  I found this at Ward's this June and it's been flourishing in my old sap bucket all summer.  Truly the only cigarette anyone should ever have!! Thank you Mike!!

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