I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Turkey Plates Plates of Turkey - Happy Thanksgiving to All

click photos to see details/ enlarge, pls

Hi! Happy Thanksgiving! We are having a stormy day today, oh it is so dark! The wet dunes are showing nice Fall colors though.

I am setting my table and doing some cooking so tomorrow I can loll around and be thankful, lol.

I wanted to show you my turkey plates and platters.

These are mostly English Staffordshire transferware. Most are repros / new, except the large serving platters.

The big platters are my favorites. Sometimes you need a big platter, or even two (or six?).

I have a girlfriend who says the platters are just incredibly tacky but I like them. I love the tiny New England farm scenes and the borders with Autumn fruits, berries, brambles. Some are hand tinted, like the one below.

I didn't intend to collect a set of Thanksgiving Turkey plates. I bought them over the years because they are nice brown/ polychrome fall themed pieces.


I have extra sepia plates, too, in case I have lots of guests. This is a New England saltbox farmhouse with the Eastham, Cape Cod, Mass, windmill perhaps in the background?

For many years I didn't do much at all for this holiday. It was rather a sad day as my family were always elsewhere for various reasons. A few memorable Thanksgivings in Cape Cod, yes. My dad loved showing us where the Pilgrims first came ashore, on First Encounter Beach in, I think, Eastham or Wellfleet. Corn Hill where our not-so-nice ancestors stole the natives' cache of winter corn. Plymouth Rock, of course. And one awesome year we watched the Macy's parade from my office windows, on 34th Street, NYC.
But many years I was home alone with my doggy.

But life changes and now the holiday is spent with children and friends. A few years ago my daughter asked me to use the Turkey plates. 

I was so surprised she liked, or even noticed them. Or...maybe I asked her what she thought? Who knows but now I look forward to setting my table with them each year.

This is a smaller German plate. I use it under the gravy boat. I like the blue and gilt rim.

Maybe some flea market day, I'll discover an all-blue turkey platter! Or that rarity, a black version. Something to look for on Sunday at the flea when folks don't want to be bothered putting stuff away

Have a wonderful holiday! The turkey and fixings will taste delicious whether served on granny's Haviland china or on paper plates. What counts is sharing a meal with the ones you love.



.....gone to the beach



Sunday, November 24, 2013


Hello! Planning Thanksgiving here....

I love bittersweet, the wonderful brown wind-y brambles, the orange husks, the brilliant red berries.

Some places bittersweet is considered an invasive pest, but  like most plants here at the beach it just barely hangs onto life in a few places on the verge of the marsh....

 I waited til a windy day blew the leaves away. And on a sunny day last week I ventured out to cut  bittersweet for my Thanksgiving table...

Even my outfit ''went with": new tissue wool scarf and this wonderful felted wool hat, all in grey and bittersweet red.

 The hat looks handmade but like the scarf, it came from Marshall's and says made in Italy. It is very cozy; I hope to find a grey and black version too.

I wore heavy cargo pants, too, and boots and bug spray, armed myself with a good pair of nippers, and I hiked off to the marsh.

Last year there were no berries, so this time I was very happy to find a nice crop.

Waded into the scary brush and chopped a big armload.

Now normally I wouldn't harvest large amounts of a native plant, even though this set of vines is not in a park but at the edge of a public highway. But I think in this case, it is okay because again: invasive and not native? And I do leave most of the vines, because I know the birds like the berries.

I am planning to use an heirloom hand woven tablecloth (rough grey-ish linen. It ws maybe a bath towel!? Or a sheet?) that was part of my Swiss great-grandmother's trousseau when she came to America. Her ''hope chest'' linens were shipped here in a huge wicker basket trunk. Some of the linens are much fancier, tablecloths edged in handmade Swiss lace---but I love this homespun piece with its tiny red monogram and faggotted seaming.
And in contrast I will use a mercury glass beaded table mat, and an array of mercury glass candle holders/ votives. Intertwined with be a garland of the bittersweet.

 I think that is all, I will keep it simple since we need room for our harvest feast. I hope the bittersweet, which I have stashed out on my deck survives today's gale winds! (I sprayed it with clear lacquer, which is supposed to act as a fixative.)

I am hiding indoors today, polishing silver and unearthing the Spode turkey plates. What are you all up to on this very frigid windy day?



.....gone to the beach

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Harvest Market

Hello! Wednesdays are still farmers market days here.

And the crowds are less, as it is admittedly chilly. Good for me who is impatient when there's nowhere to park.

The vendors are few but they have lovely late fall produce. Big bags of baby spinach!

It seems too early for Christmas trees! But I love the idea that the local tree growers are bringing their trees to us.

This is the time for cabbage-y type cold weather crops:

And for root veggies...

Look at these turnips, big as a softball. I must try mashed turnips sometime?

I love the colored beets and turnips. No clue what one does with them.

All types of winter squash. Here a few acorn squash for my Thanksgiving menu:

And look how green everything is! Sweet tender fall lettuces...

Peppers and tomatillos and weird giant stalks of brussels sprouts.

Trader Joe's flyer says to roast the entire stalk. Hmmm. But then where will the turkey go?


I got these amazing colorful broccoli. [edit: correction, these are cauliflowers].

The green one just blows me away.

How can we eat this? It looks like a cactus or an undersea coral.

I plan to steam them and serve with a retro Velveeta cheese sauce! May add some chicken fingers that night, for the kids. For me the veggies are plenty!

This is a current favorite at my house: marinated goat cheese [olive oil/ tarragon/ flavored pepper/ a garlic clove]. I put it in the little Weck flat canning jar and smoosh it up.  [any jar or plastic tub works].

Spread on a fresh baguette.
The cheese guy wasn't at the market so I picked up supermarket goat cheese, which is fine. You can try a few brands to see which you like the best, my fave is Trader Joe's chevre, not sure of the brand name.

I also picked up some deep pinky-red tiny roses at the supermarket. They'll be a sweet constrast to me new autumn neutrals, a pretty punch of happy color.

Tonight is lazy night because I am helping my daughter bake for her Autumn bake sale. Making BLTs on 10 grain croissants and pre-made [okay, okay--canned!] corn chowder.

Easy meal for a windy November night while the house fills with the scent of pumpkin pound cake and pumpkin-cranberry scones.

Back to the baking! Have a lovely evening!



gone to the beach....