We’ve been Celebrating the Grape and enjoying Bottled Sunshine during September in observance of North Carolina’s Wine Appreciation Month.
Harvest festivals with serenades, grape stomps, and harvest-to-barrel celebrations are abundant with October’s arrival.
Taking my cue from the harvest events at North Carolina wineries this month, I pulled out my grandmother’s dishes~ Harvest Time by Johnson Brothers~ to enjoy with some wine we purchased during our tasting visits.
I harvested some Goldenrod along with clippings from some shrubs for filler~ grasses in bloom, Loropetalum and Abelia for a centerpiece.
Mums for some seasonal color and produce from the grocery store~ artichokes, apples & grapes~ are paired to fill my urn for a full-bodied arrangement for the table.
I fitted a wine bottle with a candelabra insert ~ a fun addition for the table & a keepsake bottle after the contents are gone :)
Cradling a bottle from RayLen Vineyards & Winery~ this little bird told about the upcoming mini-release party of RayLen’s newest vintage of Carolinius~ a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, with details found here.
Ripe for the picking, I found a grape-producing tablecloth & napkins ~a Ralph Lauren varietal~ at HomeGoods a couple of weeks ago~
I found a cheese pairing suggestion for one of our wines~ a Childress Barrel Select Barbera~ since I had ricotta on hand, it was a natural choice and was simple & delicious~
Ricotta with Blackberries & Lime~
3 cups fresh blackberries
2 – 3 tablespoons sugar, depending on sweetness of berries
Zest & juice of 1 lime
8 ounces whole milk ricotta
Place 1 ½ cups of the blackberries in a blender and puree with the sugar. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Add half of the zest and lime juice, stir & refrigeration a minimum of 20 minutes
Reserve the remaining blackberries and lime zest in the refrigerator.
Using a small 1- ounce ice-cream scoop, place 2 tablespoons of the ricotta in the middle of each of 4 small dessert plates or bowls. Toss the blackberry sauce with the remaining berries and spoon a quarter of the sauce around the outside of the ricotta on each plate.
Garnish with blackberries & lime zest.
Harvest Table details:
Tablecloth, Napkins & Bird Wine Caddy/HomeGoods
Dishes/Harvest Time by Johnson Brothers
Goblets/Mikasa French Countryside- Tuesday Morning
Chargers/ Pier 1
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Posted in Decor, Flowers, Food, Wine
Tagged Alphabe-Thursday, Childress Barrel Select Barbera, Foodie Friday, Fresh Cut Fridays, Harvest Time by Johnson Brothers, HomeGoods, NC Wineries, RayLen Vineyards & Winery, Ricotta with Blackberries and Lime, Seasonal Sundays, Table Top Tuesday
Since yesterday was National Dog Day and we are in the midst of the Dog Days of Summer, I thought it was timely to repost this edible book review~ inspired by Jain at Food for Thought~ a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.
This is a favorite book of mine, with a prominent place on my coffee table. I stumbled on it for several years ago (it was published in 1999). If you are a dog lover, this one is not to be missed~ full of beautiful photos of homes, dogs, collections, and quite simply, as one reviewer says: “this book is a celebration of hardcore dog enthusiasm.”
In his endearing and hilarious introduction, the author, Larry Shehan, talks about his dogs, one of which, a tricolor Collie named Zorro, who he says was “as slow-witted as he was beautiful”. (I had a cat like that :-) He and his wife add an Australian shepherd puppy, Addie, to their household who “at that early stage of growth looked more like a California sea otter than a dog.” As his household adapts to the puppy, he confessed to turning into my own worst nightmare– “a guy who carries a picture of his dog around with him in his wallet.”
A few years later, he finds a two-year-old English Setter, Buster: “His upper lip was hung up on one side of his freckled muzzle and one ear was flopped, pink side out, giving him a slightly deranged, ready-for-anything aspect.” He was hooked~ however, he describes his household as becoming dysfunctional with introduction of an exuberant, willful dog deaf to the command of “Come!”. He, his wife, his cat & Addie eventually settle in and adapt slowly:
“The secret of living with dogs is to take the wild with the sweet, and then sit back and wait for the laughs and the love.”
~ Amen :-)
My canine kitsch~ a collection of vintage chalkware dogs with no special pedigree :-)
You can find another book review a dog lover will lap up here~
A chapter on dog portraiture. . .
A “portrait” that won’t break the bank~ a canvas from Photofiddle~
“Like children they leave their toys scattered around– a rubber squeaky here or a half-gnawed bone there. These objects, along with the leashes, collars, food bowls, dog beds, and all the other paraphernalia associated with keeping a dog, turn a house into a habitat– and, late at night when the lights are out, a minefield.”
“Dogs settle into a home pretty much the way people do, gravitating to a favorite corner, window, or chair.”
No food references in this book (other than kibble :-) so I thought I’d have some Pup Cake fun, courtesy Hello, Cupcake!
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” ~ Roger Caras
Chloe wishes you sunny skies and that everyone in the path of Hurricane Irene stays safe!
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Posted in Books, Dogs, Food
Tagged Dog Days of Summer, food for thought edible review, Foodie Friday, Hello Cupcake, Laurence Sheehan, Living with Dogs, National Dog Day, photofiddle, Pup Cakes, pupcakes, Seasonal Sundays, Sweets for a Saturday
A city rich with history, Southern hospitality, and casual seaside charm~ Beaufort, South Carolina is the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands”~ discovered by the Spanish in 1514 and chartered by the British in 1711.
This year Beaufort celebrates its Tricentennial~ a special and historic birthday ~ that’s a lot of candles and a lot of cake!
A National Landmark Historic District with gracefully restored antebellum homes, centuries-old live oaks, pristine waters, and some of the best fishing anywhere~
Beaufort has a way of reeling you in. . .
While Beaufort proper is the area’s Queen Belle, attracting admirers with her pre-Civil War mansions and sail-dotted bay, the town’s outlying provinces are also must-sees. . . Port Royal, Parris Island, Hunting Island, Lady’s Island, St. Helena Island and Harbor Island (an annual summer destination for us) just to name a few. . .
Queen Beaufort’s peaceful, watery realm is abundant with wildlife and remnants of the Old South~
Beaufort County rules over & encompasses more than 200 islands~ nestled between Charleston SC and Savannah GA~ most of which remain wondrously pristine. . .
A point of local preference that sets apart the Carolinas: In Beaufort, South Carolina, the name is pronounced BYEW-fort. In North Carolina, a coastal town of great similarity with the same name is pronounced BO-fort.
And yes, it matters :-)
Beaufort has an active and enthusiastically supported Arts Council. Mermaid statues, embellished by area artists in 2006, were auctioned off to endow a fund for public art.
A few mermaids remain sprinkled throughout town. . .
You can read more about Beaufort’s Mermaids here and see a little of sculptor Kevin Palmer’s mermaid-making process here~ from wood frame to fiberglass.
Miss Beaufort, with her streaming locks of copper wire, stained-glass tail, and beauty queen banner, greets drivers as they come onto Bay Street. She happily swims near a Palmetto Tree at the Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.
A Celebratory Cupcake in honor of Beaufort’s 300th Birthday~ complete with a molded brown sugar mermaid & chocolate seashells :-)
Happy Birthday Queen Beaufort~ long may you reign!
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Posted in Boats, Travel, Water
Tagged a brown sugar molded mermaid, a celebratory cupcake for Beaufort's 300th birthday, Alphabe-Thursday, Beaufort SC, Beaufort SC Mermaids, Beaufort SC Tricentennial, Foodie Friday, mermaids, Mosaic Monday, Outdoor Wednesday, Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands, Seasonal Sundays, Sweets for a Saturday
Before weighing anchor & setting sail for the beach, I created a nautical nook on my porch . . .
I hope to return buoyed~ after enjoying a week in the sun with the sand between my toes. . .
I’m looking forward to some coastal scenery. . .
I’m filling my beach bag with a few books that will float my boat. . .
And looking forward to a week of wading thru the pages and the surf. . .
In anticipation of my voyage, I decided to set sail with Tomato Mozzarella Basil Stacks. . .
With the wind behind a Basil Leaf Sail~
A little balsamic drizzle to keep the Tomato Mozzarella Stack afloat. . .
We cast our net into the tidal pools to see what bait fish we can catch for surf fishing. . .
The results are surprising, but usually we pull in shrimp. . . which explains all the trawlers we see. . .
Easy & crowd pleasing for sailors & landlubbers alike. . . shrimp, chopped tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper~ if you’d like a recipe you can find one from Coastal Living, here.
Wishing you a week of Calm Seas & Smooth Sailing~
Sea you soon :-)
Nautical Nook Details:
Melamine Striped Plates, Bowls & Cups/ Target
Boat Appetizer Plates/ Stein Mart
Flatware & Napkins/ World Market
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