Song of the Day: Harvest Moon – Neil Young – music link
I was going to write about Harvest-Fest but as I am currently sick this week with a horrible cold/flu, it’s chicken noodle soup and the couch for me. It’s been four days now, and I’m still feeling too achy and miserable to even nap or read, two of my favorite activities.
iHarvest-fest is a locally sourced dinner held in one of the neighbouring towns at their outdoor farmer’s market, with food prepared by gourmet chefs from locally grown meat and produce. I weep when I think of that tender beef and all those heirloom vegetables I am missing, the fancy goat cheese arugula salad, the artisan bread, and best of all the Pie Lady was going to provide desert. There was to be rockabilly swing music and a full harvest moon in the sky. But as I said it was to be held outdoors, and I did not think it was a sensible thing to do in my current state of health, so I sold my tickets. When you are older, you tend to become more sensible, (I have bad memories of H1N1), so I am going to write about my harvest tea instead.
Last week I had the Group of Seven Art Ladies here for tea and a viewing of my mother’s latest collection of paintings…she did 98 paintings last year, or about two per week. My mother has painted for over forty years, but she held her first exhibit last year at the age of ninety. Usually you have to be dead or famous or preferably both to get into our class A gallery, but I entered her in a contest and she was one of three local artists selected for a pop-up exhibit. One of the art ladies was her co-exhibitor and while not all are painters they are all art lovers, so I guess you could say she has a fan club now. One of the things about living to be ninety is that most of your friends have passed away, so it’s lovely that my mom has this great new group of friends. Having lived in a medical world for most of my life, one of the things I found most interesting about the art world is how happy and cheerful and positive everyone is. (Not that medical people are necessarily miserable, but it can have a high burnout rate). Creativity is joyful – what child didn’t love art class in school. One of the reasons the gallery curator gave for choosing my mom for the exhibit was that her art was reminiscent of Maude Lewis, the east coast painter whose paintings are full of color and joy, a celebration of life, although my mom’s paintings tend to be more rural based as she lived on a farm for fifty years.
Although I consider myself a foodie, I don’t particularly like to cook. I see nothing wrong with buying something if someone else can make it better than I can. But I do like to set a pretty table. I have lots of lovely things I have collected over the years, tablecloths and place-mats, many of them from April Cornell, mostly in blues, as I have four sets of blue dishes. But as it was fall, I pulled out my red Chinese-looking plates that I bought at Winners two years ago. (It fit the theme, as we did go for lunch at the Chinese restaurant first, as we would need sustenance to get through all those paintings.) As Winners is hit and miss, I was unable to get a complete set of mugs or teacups, so I am still on the hunt for things that might match the plates. I made a cherry cheesecake using the old Philadelphia cream cheese recipe from the eighties, (the one with the can of sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice to cut the sweetness, takes about ten minutes, and best made the day before to set), but bought the Presidents Choice Lemon Curd Cake, (with a small jar of McKay’s Lemon Curd from my friends store to add extra flavor), because it is better than anything I could make, so moist and lemony, and low in calories at 150 per slice. The ladies really enjoyed the the deserts and the table settings. Although younger than my mother they are of the age when people had and used good china. So few people bother today, as no one has time anymore, but sometimes it is nice to be pampered and spoiled. The lavender sachet party favors were a hit too.
It’s important to match your desert to your dishes…..no seriously, it’s just how it turned out, including the peaches. So although I was sorry to miss Harvest-fest this year, (I expect a detailed update from someone), I have fond memories of a fun afternoon spent with a lovely group of ladies.
Book of the Day: I Let You Go – Clare MacIntosh When I was sufficiently recovered enough to be able to read again, my book club selection was so suspenseful it kept my mind off my misery…..highly recommended….see Good-reads review below.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
This book was a selection of my book club, but sadly I missed the discussion. I loved it – it was so suspenseful! It kept me my mind off the misery of three days on the couch sipping chicken noodle soup and nursing a horrible cold/flu. I am not British so was unfamiliar with the book (it was a crime bestseller in 2014), or the author……or waxed jackets. A waxed jacket was mentioned so often that I looked it up on Wikipedia…….”A waxed jacket is a type of hip-length raincoat made from waxed cotton cloth, iconic of British and Irish country life. Today it is commonly worn for outdoor rural pursuits such as hunting, shooting and fishing. It is a cotton jacket made water-resistant by a paraffin-based waxing, typically with a tartan lining and a corduroy or leather collar. The main drawback of a waxed fabric is its lack of breath-ability.….” So, if you are ever on the Welsh cliffs on a cold dark and stormy night when there is a murderer about, please wear one, lest you end up sick like me! PS. I was not crazy about the spooky rather ambiguous ending, but the author’s Q&A profile on Good-reads assures us that Jenna has a happy ever after. I have the author’s second Book – I See You – on order.