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Best recipes celebrating the taste of fall
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Our most charming pumpkin décor ideas
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With a focus on cakes, pies, and breads, Victoria presents a culinary tour de force with the most mouthwatering offerings from sweet to savory. This kitchen companion will guide you through a season of entertaining.
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“AUTUMN MORNINGS: SUNSHINE AND CRISP AIR, BIRDS AND CALMNESS, YEAR’S END AND DAY’S BEGINNINGS.”
PHOTOGRAPHY GEORGIANNA LANE.
October 2017 • Volume 11, Issue 6
41 Echoes from the Bayou
13 15 17 25
Lovingly curated antiques are set against a café au lait palette, where a ﬁnely honed sense of traditional style intersects with casual elegance.
49 A Textile Revival Drawing creative inspiration from her roots, the founder of B. Viz Design blends Southern and European styles for a signature look.
57 Pumpkin Promenade Where mountain vistas and scenic valleys unfold, Gordon Skagit Farms, of Mount Vernon, Washington, offers a breathtaking array of pumpkin varieties.
65 Capturing Beauty with Brushstrokes The home of Thomas Cole, a painter who committed to canvas the exuberance of the American wilderness, reﬂects his spirit and vision.
71 Wrapped in Tradition Comfortably soft woolen blankets, yarns, and apparel ﬁll the Swans Island Company’s farmhouse, where mill-spun goods and silky alpaca products await purchase.
31 77 83 85 97
Writer-in-Residence Small-town giving Artist-in-Residence Beauty and provender Favorite Things All that shimmers Touring Purple mountain majesty: A Hudson Valley tour Cooking and Entertaining A harvest bounty Collectibles In celebration of simplicity On Our Bookshelf What makes a home From Our Table A golden touch of olive oil Chimes An everlasting summer
IN EVERY ISSUE 7 9 11 89 93 95
Dear Friends Victoria Online Reader-to-Reader Recipe Index In the Next Issue Where to Shop and Buy
ON OUR COVER A charming pumpkin and oral bouquet makes the perfect fall centerpiece. Photography Stephanie Welbourne Steele. Styling Melissa Sturdivant Smith.
Volume 11, Issue 6
Phyllis Hoffman DePiano
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Dear Friends O
ctober arrives with the bluest of skies; leaves in shades of red, russet, and yellow; and the sort of crispness in the air that signals an end to summer. What a wonderful time of year!
With the coming of the gathering season, pumpkins appear at every farm stand and grocery market. So my fascination with these plump orbs continues. In recent years, we have seen the introduction of pumpkins with skins that range from pure white to pale green to gray-blue to wonderful striped varieties. I like ﬁnding these newcomers in home décor, but the well-loved golden orange continues to signal autumn for me. Browse the pages of our delightful pumpkin story, beginning on page 57, to ﬁnd new ideas for creating seasonal vignettes in your home. Decorating is easy with the bounty of the harvest at your ﬁngertips. Celebrate October with a festive gathering of friends, and treat them to the delectable foods featured in “Infused with Olive Oil” (From Our Table) or “Celebrating the Harvest” (Cooking and Entertaining). You will ﬁnd a selection of recipes created in our test kitchen to highlight olives and olive oil, plus a very special menu ﬁlled with tributes to many of fall’s best ﬂavors. I hope the stories in this issue will bring pleasure to your days.
7 Victoria October 2017
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Visit our website to read this issue’s online stories and to ﬁnd more of the content you love.
Take a closer look at some of our favorite October features: Golden Threads Behind the scenes at B. Viz Design, Rebecca Vizard’s atelier reﬂects her inspirations through a lovingly curated collection of treasured textile remnants.
Pumpkins on Parade In homes brimming with the bounty of the season, lovely ﬂorals and vibrant pumpkins lend natural splendor to interiors and exteriors.
A Festive Gathering From appetizer to dessert, our harvest feast offers a banquet of plenty for your fall table, when the idyllic autumnal beauty rewards entertaining en plein air.
Brushed with Artistic Heritage Inﬂuential Hudson Valley painter Thomas Cole’s legacy is memorialized not only through his masterworks, but also through his home and museum.
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9 Victoria October 2017
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Our Newest Classic Victoria Classics’ Fall Baking issue presents the ﬁnest in autumn recipes. With a delectable selection of cakes, pies, and breads, this is an issue you will want to keep at hand all season long!
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from the editors of TeaTime magazine thdays, engagements, and anniversaries are just occasions that call for a celebration. Ten festive menus designed for each milestone commemoration provide a myriad of recipes from the editors of TeaTime magazine. Tips on how to properly set up tea to accommodate a small or a large guest list will make a host’s duties easier. An expert tea-pairing guide, along with a tea-steeping primer, makes it simple to choose and prepare the perfect pot of tea to accompany the variety of delicacies in this 136-page book. With 97 recipes, Teatime Parties offers a range of scones, savories, and sweets for any celebratory tea.
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R E A DE R -T O - R E A DE R
A Return to Loveliness For decades, Victoria has served its readers as a treasured guide for classic elegance and traditional style, featuring the most charming and perennial décor, antiques, and table settings. In this issue, our readers share what Victoria means to them and the ways it has inﬂuenced both their lives and surroundings. Victoria has always fed my soul, from its very beginning. Thank you for bringing this wonderful magazine back to life and making it better than ever! Your latest issue was sublime; I never wanted it to end! Page after page of beautiful homes, gardens, and antiques just sang to me. Now, in the autumn of my life, I ﬁnd I must downsize, which means getting rid of many cherished antiques and collections. Fortunately, Victoria has shown me how to incorporate what I will keep into a warm, cozy, and welcoming—though smaller—home. For that and all else, I thank you. KATHLEEN THOMPSON Standish, Maine
When my husband-to-be
table. I can do that, I think, and I do! Great and doable, lovely things. I am transported, energized, happy—an ordinary person, an ordinary life, enhanced by extraordinary things to lift the spirits high and create a happy, inspirational atmosphere in my own home. I’m looking forward to my next Victoria. It is always a tremendous joy to receive. MARLYS JENSEN Rochester, Minnesota
Thank you for creating a product that keeps
the declining sensibilities of beauty, order, and civility alive. I love sharing it with my tween daughters as an alternative to the overall crassness of our culture. transported—an
took me to an empty wooded lot “I am he owned, to my surprise, at the ordinary person, an ordinary front of the property was a NORA EDINGER charming old mailbox with the Wheeling, West Virginia life, enhanced by extraordinary red flag raised. Inside was the things to lift the spirits high and I’ve been an avid reader current issue of Victoria that he had purchased for me. That of Victoria since 1995. My older create a happy, inspirational sealed the deal! A marriage was daughter first subscribed to atmosphere in my own home.” it, and when she married and about to happen, and a house was certainly going to be built. moved out of state, I continued —Marlys Jensen Victoria was my inspiration for with it. Home decorating has decorating our new home and planting and gardening been my favorite section. The beautiful décor is breathin our lush yard. Victoria will always be my favorite inspi- taking. I also love to read about the travels to so many ration for all things beautiful and creative as I continue parts of the world. I get such joy and contentment from to decorate my life. Thank you, Victoria magazine. reading Victoria. ELLEN CRAFT Tinley Park, Illinois
Each issue of Victoria has been my favorite at the time. I reopen them often and feel transported. I want to step into the picture—a ﬁre in the ﬁreplace, a lovely teapot, a beautiful cup and saucer ﬁlled with tea, fresh ﬂowers, pretty yarn and knitting needles on the coffee table, and an inviting rocking chair beside it. I am there, in my mind. On to the next page—lovely lace pillows on the bed, beautiful soaps, and lace-trimmed cloths on the bedside 11 Victoria October 2017
GLORIA VÁSQUEZ San Benito, Texas
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! The winter holidays are a time for warm and cheerful gatherings of friends and family, a time for sharing and spinning yarns by the hearth. Do you have any storytelling traditions or treasured tales worth the retelling, year after year? We would love for you to share your stories with us. Send correspondence to email@example.com or Victoria Reader-to-Reader, 1900 International Park Drive, Suite 50, Birmingham, AL 35243; you can also submit online at victoriamag.com/ calling-readers/. Victoria reserves the right to edit any letters published.
W R I T E R - I N - R E S I D E NC E PHYLLIS THEROUX
13 Victoria October 2017
W R I T E R - I N - R E S I D E NC E PHYLLIS THEROUX
PHOTOGRAPHY MARCY BLACK SIMPSON.
ot long ago, while waiting for my groceries was only one solution—to throw myself upon the to be charged at Cross Brothers Market, I mercy of the community. But here, too, my timing remembered that I didn’t bring any money was off. for the newspaper I wanted to pick up at the nearby For the past year, I had been out of town a lot. 7-Eleven. Tommy Willis was packing my bags. I was aware that I had been treating my neighbors “Do you think,” I asked him, “you could add like a stack of unpaid bills—something I would get ﬁfty cents to my bill so I could get one?” Tommy around to when I had the time. The church, from shook his head. “We can’t do that,” he said, but he which I needed to borrow tables, had not seen me simultaneously reached into his back pocket, took in the pew for several months. The neighbor, whose a dollar bill from his wallet, and handed it to me. truck I needed to haul tables home, had been shut That was the same day the manager of Henry in with an ill wife, and I had not found a moment Clay Appliances kept the store open late so I could in my very important life to drop in on him. run down with my TV to get it adjusted before the As I mentally made a list of all the things I evening news. In fact, he was waiting for me on the would need—including inventory—to pull the yard curb so he could carry the set inside. sale together, I was aware that my ability to ask was Driving home with my ﬁxed (for free) TV, I weakened by my recent history of not giving. Still, found myself thinking that living in a small town Monica was depending upon me, which meant that is like being in a good marriage with bad moments. I had to swallow my pride and depend on others. I Sometimes, when feeling isolated or misunder- made telephone calls, explained my predicament, stood, I wonder whatever possessed me to commit and as the day of the yard sale arrived, the invisible myself to locating here. Other net of human connections that times I am humbled by how rouruns beneath the surface of the “As the day of the tinely people go out of their way town held fast. to make sure life isn’t any harder People—many of whom I did yard sale arrived, the than it has to be—and my comnot even know but who had heard mitment deepens. Several months invisible net of human of the sale through others—conago, I fell in love again. everything from Oriental connections that runs tributed The occasion was a phone call rugs to napkin rings. Even Don from a young woman I had taught beneath the surface of Jones, who hides things from his when she was a ﬁfth-grader in wife so he can sell them at his the town held fast.” an inner-city elementary school. own yard sales, came over with Now twenty years old, Monica had a box of antique records and overcome all the odds to get herself a job and into a car trunk full of weights, which were snapped college. Her next goal, she reported, was to save up up by a local wrestler. My neighbor with the ill wife enough for a secondhand car to drive herself from had their son carry over two metal ﬁle cabinets. And work to classes. But Monica was a soft touch, and 12-year-old Annie Sprinkel cleaned her room of all every time she got a few dollars ahead, somebody her toys and had her own concession stand. close to her needed it more than she did. She spent all day making $11, all but $3 of I hung up the phone and tried to think of how which she gave to Monica. A lot of people, when I could put my hands on the extra money. Then, they saw the sign, “A Car Scholarship Yard Sale,” while folding a quilt that has never looked right on over the front door, told me to “keep the change.” any of my beds, I got an idea. I would give Monica There was one contribution of $100 and one a car scholarship yard sale. I called her back and mishap. The clothesline was so loaded down with announced my plan. “I can’t believe anybody’s everything from Halloween costumes to fur coats thinking about me,” she exclaimed. “Somebody is,” that it snapped—and everybody at the yard sale I replied. But after hanging up the phone I thought had to rush to hold it aloft until it could be retied. about something else. Monica got her car, and I got another look Yard sales require inventory, and several at my community and what it means to be a part months before, I had gone on a massive home- of it. By deﬁnition, a good neighbor is somebody cleaning spree and sent every unwanted pot, place who notices when the web that holds a community mat, and knickknack to Goodwill. Except for the together develops a hole—and does something to quilt, which had survived the purge by hiding out repair it. But in this instance, it was the community in a guest room closet, I had nothing to sell. There that repaired the hole in me. victoriamag.com 14
A R T I S T- I N - R E S I D E NC E CAROLYNE ROEHM
Beauty and PROVENDER It could be said that gardening, like painting and photography, is as much an art as it is a passion. And nature’s abundant variety offers a seemingly limitless palette to the gardener, providing not just visual appeal, but life-sustaining nourishment. TEXT CYNTHIA REESER CONSTANTINO
15 Victoria October 2017
IMAGES REPRINTED FROM AT HOME IN THE GARDEN. COPYRIGHT © 2015 BY CAROLYNE ROEHM.
arolyne Roehm will tell you that the gardening gene skipped her mother, who, when she pointed out the overabundance in Carolyne’s vegetable garden, made it clear that her talents lay in other areas. Her mother’s suggestion— not only to donate the surfeit to the community, but also to tailor the gardens to provide plenty for the local food banks and soup kitchen—made good sense, and not just in a recession. “My garden, Mom decreed, would contribute to them all,” Carolyne writes in At Home in the Garden. With a new director at its helm, the yield turned from “froufrou—i.e., small batches of gourmet greens [to] abundant lettuces and vegetables that would be of better use to hungry families.” Even in Carolyne’s vegetable plots, charm and symmetry ﬁnd balance with practical utility: cabbages, squash, and herbs share turf with boxwood topiary and rambling, violet-blossomed clematis. In this garden, texture and color in stunning array are designed to nurture both body and mind.
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FAV O R I T E T H I N G S
Flashes of gold and copper reďŹ‚ect the warmth of the landscape, while polished silver surfaces provide a cool contrast to the seasonâ€™s burnished hues. At home, combining these treasures cultivates a lustrous look with enduring allure.
17 Victoria October 2017
Mixing metals to glorious effect, Oneida Golden Michelangelo stainless ﬂatware features accents in eighteen-karat gold. An elaborate pattern complements the gilt borders of Ceylan ﬁne china. Opposite, above: Compose a sanctuary of silken textures. Atop Legna Classic sheets, The Purists’ Allegro coverlet invites relaxation amid an Elisabeth York throw and pillows. Zestt blankets transform a corner chair into a cozy nook. Below left: Arranged on a Reed & Barton tray with Henry Handwork embroidered towels, Lady Primrose Royal Extract toiletries delight.
FAV O R I T E T H I N G S For her eponymous line, artisan Ellie Mathias creates limited-edition jewelry from new and vintage elements. Displaying swirling bracelets and cameo bobby pins are Ankole Designs bowls—luminous vessels pressed from Ankole-Watusi cow horns, a bounty salvaged from the beef industry in East Africa. Miss Ellie ﬁnery also rests on Venetian-inspired L’Objet Alchimie plates. Opposite, above left: Sample a fresh fragrance, or stock up on a favorite with gentle Caldrea cleaning essentials.
19 Victoria October 2017
Above: Woven into the heritage of Kinross Cashmere garments is a commitment to the time-honored standards of European cashmere production. Below: Grace and versatility meet in Carrie Dunham fashion accessories. Add a coordinating cover to a handled clutch, adjust or remove the strap of an envelope variety, or present a different side with a fold-over option.
FAV O R I T E T H I N G S
Clockwise from left: Slip into a modal tank and a Cozychic Lite shawl and culottesâ€”a leisureperfect ensemble from Barefoot Dreamsâ€”and escape from the cares of the day amid the Mediterranean fragrance of a Carthusia diffuser and candle. Adorning this serene space are framed Grecian-style intaglios from Starling Designs by Carol Crist. Opposite: When teatime beckons, enhance the ceremony with beautiful accoutrements, including Busatti linens. Formally educated painter and sculptor Ben Caldwell now garners acclaim for his Ben & Lael metal pieces, such as this custom-made copper tea strainer. Sip a steaming Harney & Sons blend, sweetened naturally with The Honey Hutch offerings, in an exquisite Robert Haviland & C. Parlon teacup.
21 Victoria October 2017
FAV O R I T E T H I N G S
“[T]HERE IS A HARMONY IN AUTUMN, AND A LUSTER IN ITS SKY.” —Percy Bysshe Shelley Left: In her ﬁrst book, How They Decorated, P. Gaye Tapp introduces readers to sixteen iconic women, viewed through the homes they inhabited. Interior designer Marshall Watson showcases his signature European aesthetic in his ﬁrst release, The Art of Elegance. Above: Constructed to stand on end, perhaps tucked among cookbooks, The Soiree by Picnic Time is actually a gourmet cheese board. The sleek silhouettes, hammered exteriors, and ruddy patina of wares from Shiraleah and The Decorizer bring contemporary rustic charm to the kitchen.
23 Victoria October 2017
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25 Victoria October 2017
Purple Mountain Majesty: A Hudson Valley Tour With the nearby Catskill Mountains ablaze in Octoberâ€™s most vibrant hues, the history-wrapped town of Kingston, New York, bestows its own colorful and cordial welcome with a picturesque waterside location along the Hudson River. PHOTOGRAPHY KATE SEARS
Above left: Tucked among the shops in the Kingston Rondout historic waterfront district, Milne, Inc. mixes vintage, industrial, and antique elements with modern design. Above right: Hudson River Cruises offers breathtaking views of the areaâ€™s shoreline. Left center, right center, and opposite: Former art director Kelli Galloway parlayed her love of botanicals into a thriving ďŹ‚oral studio, whimsically named Hops Petunia. Below left: The Rondout Lighthouse is one of three such beacons guiding boats along the river.
27 Victoria October 2017
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SAUGERTIES LIGHTHOUSE CONSERVANCY.
Left and above: Half an hour upriver from Kingston, the Saugerties Lighthouse has steadfastly kept sailors on course for well over a century. There is also a cozy, two-room bed-and-breakfast on-site. Below: A short drive to the north lies Olana, the sweeping estate of Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church.
29 Victoria October 2017
Clockwise from above left: Autumn is the perfect time for a tree-shaded stroll through uptown Kingston or the surrounding countryside. Combine two favorite pastimes—cuisine and antiquing—with a visit to Outdated: An Antique Café, a popular destination. Enjoy organic, vegetarian dishes, like wafﬂes with farm-fresh fruit, while admiring the shop’s eclectic offerings.
Harvest Harvest BOUNTY
As the afternoon sun begins to soften—gilding every leaf over hill and dale—gather loved ones for an alfresco fête. A pastoral setting provides an idyllic escape for experiencing the delights of fall.
TEXT MELISSA LESTER PHOTOGRAPHY MARCY BLACK SIMPSON STYLING MELISSA STURDIVANT SMITH RECIPE DEVELOPMENT AND FOOD STYLING REBECCA TREADWELL SPRADLING
31 Victoria October 2017
COOK I NG A N D E N T E RTA I N I NG
Stables offer a picturesque backdrop for our party. Although the scenery needs no adornment, seasonal decorations give the occasion a festive air. Tucked among pumpkins, garlands, and bouquets, an assortment of candelabra and lanterns promises an ambient glow when twilight falls. Thoughtful touches include cozy blankets, artist Julie Wearâ€™s American Wildlife china, and framed etchings.
Clockwise from below right: Encourage guests to explore the property with popcorn and beverage in hand. Velvety mushroom ragu complements Sweet Potato Polenta, a smooth cornmeal mixture cooked until crisp. Savory and sour meet in a glazed pork loin stuffed with fennel, Granny Smith apples, and spinach. Opposite: Counter an evening chill with the warmth of Roasted Onion Soup, garnished with fried shallots.
33 Victoria October 2017
COOK I NG A N D E N T E RTA I N I NG
Equestrienne, outdoor enthusiast, lover of natureâ€”each can enjoy this serene environment. Arranged for comfort, the tableau bids all to linger long past sunset, witnessing together the burnished landscape melting into endless starry skies.
35 Victoria October 2017
COOK I NG A N D E N T E RTA I N I NG
“THE ESSENTIAL JOY OF BEING WITH HORSES IS THAT IT BRINGS US IN CONTACT WITH THE RARE ELEMENTS OF GRACE, BEAUTY, SPIRIT, AND FIRE.” —Sharon Ralls Lemon
Below right: Honey, balsamic vinegar, and toasted hazelnuts coat tender Brussels sprouts, lending intriguing complexity to the earthy greens. Opposite: Culminate the celebration with Roasted Butternut Squash Tart, where a thick cinnamon-molasses crust is crowned with a whipped cream-cheese ďŹ lling, slices of the vibrant gourd, and walnuts. SEE RECIPE INDEX, PAGE 89, FOR RECIPE INFORMATION.
37 Victoria October 2017
COOK I NG A N D E N T E RTA I N I NG
SEE MORE ON THE WEB at victoriamag.com
39 Victoria October 2017
® O C T O B E R 2 01 7
“ONE CROWDED HOUR OF GLORIOUS LIFE IS WORTH AN AGE WITHOUT A NAME.” —Thomas Osbert Mordaunt
PHOTOGRAPHY KATE SEARS.
41 Victoria October 2017
from the BAYOU
After more than thirty years in Louisiana, Larry and Linda Porche retired to another state, but the coupleâ€™s state of mind remains planted among the live oaks and historic mansions of their beloved New Orleans. PHOTOGRAPHY MARCY BLACK SIMPSON
43 Victoria October 2017
hen Linda Porche moved several hours away from her former hometown, the sense of casual elegance she had come to embrace in New Orleans seemed to settle into the bones of her new house. Creamy neutrals—a palette she calls café au lait—showcase furnishings curated during three decades in Louisiana. Clockwise from above left: Intricate motifs highlight a French hutch perfect for storing collectibles. With its exquisite border of ﬂoral urns and laurels, the classic Noritake pattern Penelope remains a favorite for Linda, who learned the art of formal entertaining in the Crescent City. Wrought iron doors usher guests into the foyer, opposite, where slate tiles laid on the diagonal and trimmed with Brazilian mahogany create a welcoming impression. Anchoring the vignette is a tiger maple chest with an inlay of mahogany and satinwood. Oil paintings ﬂank a circa-1880 gilded pine mirror, and handcarved walking sticks add a personal touch.
Clockwise from above: A fourth-generation heirloom, this English grandfather clockâ€”made in 1848 by Mary Mitchell and later restored by the Smithsonian Institutionâ€”now stands sentinel just outside the Porchesâ€™ living room. Fresh bounty commemorates the season. In the kitchen, copper pieces remind the family of past gardens, once brimming with fruits and vegetables to be gathered and preserved. Opposite: A crystal chandelier casts a warm glow on the beveled glass doors of a custom-built, thirteen-foot-wide china cabinet.
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Left: With its spacious layout accommodating sleeping quarters, a sitting area, and a treasured spot for correspondence, the master bedroom offers a serene retreat. Writing letters is a daily pleasure for Linda, who positioned a Chippendale desk at the foot of the bed with a ladies chair of burled walnut. Above and opposite: Linda rescued this 1920s table, originally created by a New Orleans woodworker, from a friend’s veranda in 1979. The reﬁnished piece served as the Porches’ breakfast table for many years but now displays special keepsakes, including a French lace and mother-of-pearl tasseled fan, weathered books, and framed photographs. V 47 Victoria October 2017
Baskets ﬁlled with textile remnants line the walls of B. Viz Design’s Louisiana studio, where snippets of gold-thread embroidery and lengths of velvety fabric—elements of a work in progress—are beginning to take shape. TEXT KAREN CALLAWAY PHOTOGRAPHY MAC JAMIESON STYLING MELISSA STURDIVANT SMITH
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Among the exquisite items Rebecca Vizard has collected through the years is this antique cream cape with goldwork embellishment, worn on special occasions. Opposite: The designer's tools of the trade are every bit as elegant as her finished projects.
t the end of a gravel road, with a cotton ﬁeld on one side and a pecan orchard on the other, sits a farmhouse that appears to have been there for centuries, although it was built in the 1980s. A massive live oak tree reaches skyward, partially obscuring the façade, while Lake Bruin stretches out in back, shimmering in the early October sun. This peaceful setting seems an unlikely spot for the headquarters of a bustling textile company that ships its products the world over, and yet, indeed, it is. After several years of living in New Orleans, designer Rebecca Vizard and her husband, Michael, built a home on her grandfather’s property in the Delta community where she was raised. Even as a child, she had an appreciation for pieces from the past. “Whenever I saw an antique textile, I was always curious how it was made,” she 51 Victoria October 2017
Inspired by the red lampshades prevalent in Parisian interiors, the living room walls are painted the same muted scarlet found in the bark of crepe myrtles growing on the property. The wine-cork chandelier is from a B. Viz Design project that helps create jobs in Rebeccaâ€™s small town of St. Joseph.
says. “And I always liked history, so even then, I liked to daydream about what was going on in the world when the piece was made.” Happily, Rebecca, known to friends as Becky, found a way to turn this interest into a business making beautiful, one-of-a-kind pillows bearing the B. Viz Design name. Working from her home studio and drawing from an extensive inventory of weathered tapestries, toiles, and suzanis collected while traveling the globe, she painstakingly arranges and rearranges elements, such as Belgian goldwork or recycled galons, until she is pleased with the composition. After she has measured, cut, and ﬁlled out a spec sheet, she places the components into a bag and passes it along to one of several seamstresses One serendipitous discovery inside an armoire in a Comfort, Texas, antique shop yielded a treasure trove of old vestments. Rebecca’s home evinces her longtime love of eye-catching textiles. Opposite: Neat stacks of folded fabric and carefully clipped embroidery appliqués give the studio a golden aura. 53 Victoria October 2017
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Clockwise from left: Beautifully designed pillows await new homes. A Belgian linen coverlet in neutral hues dresses the master suite bed. Destined for a pillow is this salvaged fragment from an ecclesiastical vestment. Opposite: An antique cloth drapes the table in the airy breakfast room.
“PILLOWS ARE THE JEWELRY FOR A ROOM, AND THEY HAVE TO BE PERFECT.” —Rebecca Vizard in her community to stitch. Rebecca is quick to point out that these remnants are not museum-quality pieces but, rather, torn or damaged textiles that, with a bit of tender loving care, are given new life. The entrepreneur’s residence is a reﬂection of her roots, with her travels and the landscape outside her own door offering ample inspiration. Each room is an inviting blend of Southern sensibilities and European sophistication, of sit-a-spell comfort and art-gallery aesthetics. It is a home ﬁlled with character—much like Rebecca herself. “Seeing everyone in this tiny Delta town, where job opportunities are few, beneﬁt from this business really has changed my life and my heart,” she explains. “The whole experience has been much more gratifying than I could ever have imagined.” V victoriamag.com 56
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PROMENADE Harbingers of autumn, shapely gourds remain a symbol of abundance. Nearly as enjoyable as gathering treasures from the gardens of a local provider is taking these riches home to organize in stunning seasonal displays. TEXT MELISSA LESTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAC JAMIESON, GEORGIANNA LANE, AND STEPHANIE WELBOURNE STEELE
“MANY PEOPLE SHOWCASE THEIR PUMPKINS LIKE ART OBJECTS OF PORCELAIN OR POTTERY.” —Eddie Gordon atching guests choose pumpkins is nothing short of fascinating, says Eddie Gordon, co-owner of Gordon Skagit Farms in Mount Vernon, Washington. His family’s 240-acre property unfolds across the picturesque Skagit Valley, an arid basin surrounded by a distant ring of snowcapped mountains. The ground is fertile for crops, including more than seventy varieties of gourds. October promises a month-long celebration in this bucolic setting, with bounty brimming from vines in the ﬁeld and piled high in elaborate vignettes. “It’s a special 59 Victoria October 2017
Compose an easy centerpiece atop a rustic pedestal. Opposite, clockwise from below: Attached to a wreath using a wired ďŹ‚oral pick, lightweight gourds should look fresh for approximately two weeks. Striated Mini Tigers elicit delight. Fern fronds, coated with spray adhesive, add pleasing contrast to a snowy white pumpkin.
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Below right: The ďŹ rst weekend of October draws tourists to Washingtonâ€™s Skagit Valley for the annual Festival of Family Farms, but Gordon Skagit Farms extends this welcome to the end of the month. Opposite: Gourds placed among covered dishes stir hopes for hearty soups and cozy teatimes.
Below: For a show-stopping focal point, present a profusion of ﬂowers in a pumpkin. Cut a circle from the top, scoop out the interior, and insert a plastic vessel lined with saturated ﬂoral foam. Using care to cover the raw edge of the opening, arrange stems for a lively ode to fall.
time of year when we have interaction between our customers and what we grow,” says Eddie. Along with the season’s brilliant foliage and crisp, cool weather come visitors eager to experience a full calendar of outdoor festivities, from cider tastings and a corn maze to educational exhibits and craft demonstrations. For many, the most important goal for the sojourn is collecting a cornucopia of vibrant produce. Pumpkins are a perennial favorite. Choosing one is a deeply personal task, often undertaken with such focused determination, according to Eddie, that the process would seem to culminate in an adoption rather than a purchase. “I think pumpkins bring back a lot of memories for people,” he explains. “It’s like having a living heirloom.” Throughout the oasis, Eddie’s paintings, floral designs, and other decorations yield creative inspiration for fall splendor. Topiary-style towers highlight the pumpkin’s sculptural form, while colorful tableaux reveal the diversity in nature’s palette. Along with the ﬁery shades traditionally associated with the quintessential harvest fruit, Eddie cultivates such eye-catching varieties as the bone-white Baby Boo, mottled green Bliss, and dusky blue-gray Jarrahdale. Positioned on the front porch or incorporated into décor, these ﬁnds evoke warm remembrances of an afternoon spent exploring the farm. Gourds also add a touch of nostalgia—recalling autumns of the past and commemorating the glorious beauty of the present. V 63 Victoria October 2017
PICKING A PERFECT PUMPKIN When visitors to his Washington pumpkin patch seek advice in making a selection, Eddie Gordon offers recommendations based on customers’ objectives. FOR BAKING, the smooth, sweet ﬂesh of Winter Luxury holds up well to roasting and yields perfect pies. White webbing distinguishes the exterior of this variety, introduced in 1893. FOR CARVING, Cinderella is a classic choice for its red-orange skin, wide girth, and dramatic lobes. Another exemplary jack-o’-lantern, Phat Jack stands taller and is noted for its thick handle. FOR DISPLAY, size and hue are often deciding factors. The petite Casperita retains its clean white appearance and green stem through the season, while the slightly larger Baby Bear boasts vivid orange color. With the potential to reach twenty pounds, One Too Many draws attention with an alabaster shell laced with delicate red veining. victoriamag.com 64
Capturing with Brushstrokes
Jars ďŹ lled with powdered pigments in rich earth tones still line the desk in the old studio of Hudson River School founder Thomas Cole, as if the artist has just stepped away from his work. TEXT KAREN CALLAWAY PHOTOGRAPHY KATE SEARS
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The front porch of Cedar Groveâ€™s farmhouse frames a view of the western prospect of the Catskill Mountains, a scene that offered continuous inspiration for Thomas Coleâ€™s mesmeric landscape paintings. victoriamag.com 66
n the early 1800s, when the United States was young and reveling in its newfound independence, the majority of the country was unspoiled wilderness, with spectacular vistas as far as the eye could see. The new nation’s burgeoning art community yearned to present this magniﬁcence in a way that was purely and unabashedly American. The movement found its leader in Thomas Cole. A painter who had emigrated from Lancashire, England, at the age of seventeen, Cole had surrendered to the breathtaking allure of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley of New York while working as an itinerant portrait artist. In 1825, he began interpreting these scenes on canvas in a dramatic style that was a departure from the usual pastoral images. There was compelling eloquence in every stroke of
Left: In the sitting room, Thomas Cole’s desk remains beside the window, in the very spot he placed it. Above: A stand of cedar trees inspired the property’s botanical name. Opposite: Mint-green walls lend a serene note to the east parlor, where the artist’s hand-painted borders (not shown) were recently discovered and restored. 67 Victoria October 2017
his brush, an exuberance that perfectly captured the sense of adventure inherent in the unexplored forests and canyons of his adopted land. Cole found acceptance and acclaim in the New York City art scene. He brieﬂy returned to England to study and travel before setting up a studio in an outbuilding on John A. Thomson’s property, called Cedar Grove, near the town of Catskill, New York. The 1815 Federal-style farmhouse fronted the Hudson River and offered splendid views to the mountains from its wide porch. From these inspiring surroundings, Cole produced the landscapes that showcased the beauty of the area. His vision was embraced by artists and patrons alike, and it engendered an alliance of sorts with other painters—like Asher Durand and one of Cole’s former pupils, Frederic Church—that was known as the Hudson River School. 69 Victoria October 2017
Opposite, clockwise from below left: A sunﬂower painting by Cole’s daughter sits on the table in his bedroom. The old studio shares space with the visitor’s center in one outbuilding. Cole’s Diagram of Kontrasts, 1834, is on display in the main house’s second ﬂoor gallery, along with the painter’s sketch box (shown this page, below).
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These artists, along with iconic writers James Fenimore Cooper and William Cullen Bryant, were the genesis of America’s unique cultural narrative. When he married Thomson’s niece in 1836, Cedar Grove became his home, and he quickly set about putting his touches on the place. The foyer and twin parlors were redecorated as suitable backdrops for his artwork. Intricate decorative borders, painted by Cole himself, were recently discovered beneath a century’s accumulation of paint and wallpaper. Now restored, the borders reveal his love of color and detail, as well as his range of artistic talents. In 2001, Cedar Grove opened as the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, allowing visitors to witness ﬁrsthand the environs that spurred this virtuoso to share his perspective with the extraordinary masterpieces still treasured today. victoriamag.com 70
Wrapped in TRADITION Colorful skeins of yarn sit upon the shelves in the Swans Island Company’s mill, just waiting to be woven into the cozy blankets and beautiful shawls that illustrate the brand’s enduring artistry. PHOTOGRAPHY KATE SEARS
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Opposite: Twists of vivid yarn will soon become cozy blankets, elegant scarves, or warm mittens. This page, clockwise from above: Time-weathered shakes cover the headquarters of Swans Island Company in Northport, Maine. This pretty variety of classic blue-and-white products started with simple, undyed wool.
rom its hilltop vantage point overlooking the rockrimmed shores of Maine’s Penobscot Bay, a circa1780 post-and-beam farmhouse has watched centuries of autumns come and go. Original pumpkin-pine ﬂoors gleam in the front rooms, and the adjacent barn still holds the chassis of an old hay wagon in its rafters, a nod to its agrarian past. There is a timeless quality in the structures, a characteristic also interwoven in the products made by the business now occupying these spaces. Founded in 1992 by John and Caroline Grace, Swans Island Company takes its name from the original location—a nearby island with a history of sheep farming. The couple began producing heirloom blankets with simple designs inspired by the Arts and A rainbow of spun ﬂeece displays some of the colors in the company’s inventory. Yarn sales account for about one third of its business, while the rest is made up of home accessories—including signature blankets— and apparel. 73 Victoria October 2017
“WHEN WE TUG AT A SINGLE THING IN NATURE, WE FIND IT ATTACHED TO THE REST OF THE WORLD.” —John Muir
Crafts movement, particularly the works of English textile fabricator William Morris. When the Graces retired in 2004, a partnership led by Bill Laurita and Michele Rose Orne took over the operation, expanding the offerings to include knitting yarns and patterns and, later, knit and woven apparel. For some yarns, ﬂeece is collected directly from farmers and spun at the mill; for others, domestic spinneries send the yarns in an undyed state, in skein form or wrapped on cones. Swans Island primarily employs wool from Merino, Rambouillet, Corriedale, and Romney sheep, as well as silky strands from alpacas. “We use a variety of breeds and spinning styles,” explains marketing specialist Caitlin MacRae. “Those variables impact the hand, or feel, of the yarn, with each contributing something special and unique to the ﬁnished product.” Drawing on the beauty of the area’s breathtaking surroundings for inspiration, the master dyer uses naturally derived pigments—the Indigofera plant produces a range of shades from light to deep blue, while madder root and cochineal beetles supply orange and red, respectively—to hand-dye ﬁbers, creating the rich, vibrant hues and tonal variegation that distinguish the mill’s wares. Each one-of-a-kind piece bears the weaver’s mark, the imprimatur of a hand-woven piece, assuring it is an authentic Swans Island Company product—and a classic heirloom to treasure for many years to come. V 75 Victoria October 2017
Opposite: Visitors to the area’s picturesque coast can shop for Swans Island’s range of wares at both the mill store and a boutique in nearby Camden. This page, above: The production studio is located in a quintessential Maine farmhouse with views to Penobscot Bay. Here, a skilled team of six weavers, three ﬁnishers, and one master dyer produces the colorful array of products that bring comfort on chilly autumn days.
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In Celebration of Developed in the early 1800s as a less expensive alternative to Chinese porcelain, ironstone had its origins in England but enjoyed enormous popularity among Americans, who loved its simple style and sturdiness. It pairs beautifully with pewter in one personal collection. PHOTOGRAPHY STEPHANIE WELBOURNE STEELE
In Michelle Klimaâ€™s dining room, a custommade cabinet, complete with beadboard and pediments, showcases a portion of her extensive collection of ironstone. victoriamag.com 78
hen British potter Charles James Mason patented his formula for a type of stoneware made with the mineral feldspar in 1813, he christened it ironstone, though in truth, it contained no iron. Whether he chose that name to confound his competitors or it was simply a savvy marketing technique to underscore his product’s durability is unknown. What is known is that it quickly became a much-loved alternative to the more delicate porcelain and bone china. Mason’s was just one of several potteries to manufacture ironstone. Although brands sold in England typically bore transfer designs, those available in North America, Australia, and the European continent were left unadorned, giving them versatility in addition to their strength. In the United States, pioneers and rural families in particular appreciated these sturdy, chip-resistant goods. Often sold in sets, they bore distinctly American names, such as Potomac and Above left: Michelle prefers the natural patina of age rather than a polished look on her pewter pieces. She especially is drawn to antique loving cups because they were awarded to people for “good deeds.” 79 Victoria October 2017
COLLECTIBLES Virginia, to add to their appeal. In the late 1800s, stateside potters, like Homer Laughlin, began producing their own versions. Early forms of ironstone were octagonal or hexagonal in shape, but later became more rounded. Most examples have a makerâ€™s mark on the bottom, although items made prior to 1813 do not. Pieces are plentiful, but prices continue to rise, due to the popularity of stoneware among collectors. Michelle Klima has been gathering these highly sought-after collectibles for several years, beginning with a pitcher and a set of dishes that belonged to her grandmother. Her assemblage now numbers more than three hundred pieces, and it is displayed throughout her home, allowing her to enjoy its classic beauty every day. The collection is interspersed with pewter curios, comprised primarily of loving cups, among the pristine plates and bowls she cherishes for their loveliness and their sentimental nod to days gone by. Both ironstone and pewter are true workhorses of the housewares world. Though they can be used for their original purposes, they are equally functional as vases for ďŹ‚oral displays, or, as illustrated in Michelleâ€™s residence, they can be incorporated into pretty vignettes in every room of the house.
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ON OUR BOOKSHELF
What Makes a HOME Gil Schafer III, author of The Great American House: Tradition for the Way We Live Now, has written a new book titled A Place to Call Home: Tradition, Style, and Memory in the New American House—a comprehensive guide to fashioning a haven. TEXT NICOLE CASTON
hat the home is a family’s most cherished place is a central belief for Gil Schafer, whose love for design originated from a nostalgic childhood spent at his grandmother’s house. From these experiences, Schafer works tirelessly to design the best environment for every client. As an architect, he values the deep connection people have with their interiors and the way construction, furnishings, and décor can ﬂow together for the creation of a beautiful living space. Schafer addresses the ambience and decoration of a dwelling, including ﬁner details such as those in mouldings, stairwells, and doors. One piece of wisdom he offers is that contrast serves a space well, especially mixing styles—blending elegant with simple or traditional with modern. Homeowners are encouraged to consider d the h roles l landscaping and natural lighting play in the functionality of daily life. Surroundings are crucial in each of Schafer’s projects; he assesses how clients want to feel in their homes and offers suggestions from everything on renovations to envisioning small changes that will brighten an abode. This book focuses on the remarkable grounds of seven estates spread from the East Coast to the West. With distinctive images throughout designed to inspire a home’s transformation, Schafer provides his site plans for the residences to reveal every awe-inspiring angle. He shares stories on each house and his interactions with clients, all the while demonstrating that every home is wholly unique. 83 Victoria October 2017
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF LITTLE BIRD PUBLICITY. COPYRIGHT © 2017, A PLACE TO CALL HOME (RIZZOLI). PHOTOS BY ERIC PIASECKI.
The warmth from natural wood ﬂoors contrasting bright, colorful textiles can be seen throughout Gil Schafer’s work. Though he has a signature style, the architect works closely with each homeowner to ensure the interior design reﬂects the family’s preferences.
F R OM OU R TA BL E
Gold en Touch of Olive Oil
Drizzles of olive oil bring exotic flavor to these recipes—from mouthwatering appetizers and entrées to a delectably moist dessert. Prized for its mellow fruitiness, healthful properties, and diversity of applications, this lively essence embodies the heart of Mediterranean cuisine. PHOTOGRAPHY STEPHANIE WELBOURNE STEELE RECIPE DEVELOPMENT AND FOOD STYLING JADE SINACORI
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Clockwise from above left: A mix of green and black olives glistens atop Olive Flatbread, a zesty crust that also cushions crème fraîche, prosciutto, and caramelized onions. Let the tantalizing aroma of homemade bread lead guests to freshly baked Buckwheat Rustic Loaf, served in generous slices alongside heaping bowls of pasta. Mild, buttery Castelvetrano olives come together in a piquant tapenade, along with artichoke hearts, anchovies, sage, and olive oil—tossed into tender linguine and sprinkled with Parmesan. For a hearty meal enhanced with olive oil, a bed of roasted ﬁngerling potatoes and sautéed mushrooms showcases Cornish hens, cooked to a succulent ﬁnish. Opposite: Savor the bright citrus character of Lemon-Ricotta Olive Oil Cake, enriched with buttermilk and vanilla bean paste. Each tangy layer is glazed generously with lemon simple syrup and covered with creamy frosting. SEE RECIPE INDEX, PAGE 89, FOR RECIPE INFORMATION.
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F R OM OU R TA BL E
RECIPE INDEX A HARVEST BOUNTY Begins on page 31
Fennel, Apple, and Spinach– Stuffed Pork Loin with Molasses-Cider Glaze p.33 Makes 10 to 12 servings ¼ cup butter 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced and chopped 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and finely chopped ½ cup chopped onion 3 cloves garlic, minced 1¼ cups apple cider, divided 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided 1 (5-pound) pork loin, trimmed 1 teaspoon ground black pepper ½ cup unsulphured molasses 2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place a roasting rack in a roasting pan, and spray rack lightly with cooking spray. 2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add fennel, apples, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 12 minutes. Add 1 cup cider, and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated. Gradually stir in spinach until wilted. 3. Remove from heat, and stir in bread crumbs, thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt. Let cool for 30 minutes. 4. Butterfly pork by placing the loin lengthwise on a cutting board, with one short end closest to you. Holding knife parallel to cutting board, make a lengthwise cut along the bottom third of one long side, cutting to within ½ inch of other long side. Open meat as if opening a book.
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Again holding knife parallel to cutting board, with the blade facing the thicker side, make another lengthwise cut into the thicker side of the loin, cutting to within ½ inch of opposite side. Again, open meat as if opening a book. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin, flatten any thicker portions of meat until thickness is even throughout (do not flatten any thinner than ½ inch thick). Sprinkle remaining 2 teaspoons salt and pepper onto butterflied pork, and spread apple mixture over pork, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Starting at one long side, roll up loin and filling. Tie loin together at 1-inch intervals using butcher’s twine. Place pork on prepared rack. 5. In a small bowl, stir together molasses, remaining ¼ cup cider, and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Brush one-third of mixture over pork. 6. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Brush pork with one-third of molasses mixture, and bake until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of loin registers 145°, 30 to 40 minutes, brushing with remaining third of molasses mixture halfway through remaining baking time. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
Sweet Potato Polenta with Rosemary-Mushroom Ragu p.33
1. In a medium bowl, stir together cornmeal and 2 cups water; let stand for 30 minutes. 2. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. 3. In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth, 2 tablespoons butter, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat. Slowly add cornmeal mixture; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick. Stir in mashed sweet potato and cheese. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. 4. Invert polenta onto a cutting board. Cut polenta into 12 squares; cut squares in half diagonally to make 24 triangles. 5. In a large, nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add one-third of polenta triangles, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 tablespoons butter and remaining two-thirds polenta, working in batches. Spoon Rosemary-Mushroom Ragu over polenta just before serving. *Cook, peel, and mash a large sweet potato, or use canned, mashed, cooked sweet potato.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
Rosemary-Mushroom Ragu 2 cups coarse-ground yellow cornmeal 2 cups water 1 (32-ounce) carton chicken broth 8 tablespoons butter, divided ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1½ cups mashed, cooked sweet potato* 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese Rosemary-Mushroom Ragu (recipe follows)
Makes 10 to 12 servings 3 tablespoons butter 4 (4-ounce) packages sliced gourmet-blend mushrooms 1 shallot, thinly sliced 1 clove garlic, minced ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup beef broth ½ cup heavy whipping cream 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in broth, cream, and rosemary. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Roasted Onion Soup p.34 Makes 10 to 12 servings 3 red onions, quartered 3 sweet onions, quartered 3 shallots, quartered 1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 (32-ounce) cartons beef broth, divided ½ cup Madeira wine ½ cup heavy whipping cream 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Garnish: fried shallots*, fresh thyme
*Thinly slice shallots, and fry in hot oil (about 350°) until crisp.
Honey-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts p.37 Makes 10 to 12 servings 3 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 1 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. 2. On prepared pan, toss together Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and honey. Drizzle mixture over Brussels sprouts, tossing to coat. Return to oven, and bake 5 minutes more. Stir in hazelnuts before serving.
Roasted Butternut Squash Tart with Cinnamon-Molasses Crust p.38 Makes 1 (14x4-inch) tart
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. On prepared pan, toss together red onions, sweet onions, shallots, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until onions are tender and begin to brown, about 1 hour. 3. In the container of a blender, add half of onion mixture and 2 cups broth. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece of lid to let steam escape; place a clean towel over opening in lid to avoid spatters. Process until mixture is almost smooth. Transfer to a large Dutch oven. Repeat procedure with remaining half of onion mixture and 2 cups broth. 4. Add remaining 4 cups broth to pot, along with wine, cream, and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in cheese. Garnish with fried shallots and thyme, if desired.
⅓ cup butter, softened ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar 1½ tablespoons unsulphured molasses ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1½ cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons granulated sugar ½ cup heavy whipping cream Roasted Butternut Squash (recipe follows) Garnish: honey, chopped toasted walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, molasses, salt, and cinnamon with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. 3. In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking soda. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined.
4. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 14x4x1-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until browned and firm, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. 5. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add cream, beating until thick and fluffy. Spread mixture into cooled tart crust. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. 6. Arrange Roasted Butternut Squash over cream mixture before serving. Drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with walnuts, if desired.
Roasted Butternut Squash Makes 10 to 12 servings 1 (2-pound) butternut squash, halved, peeled, and thinly sliced 2 tablespoons butter, melted 2 tablespoons honey
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. Arrange squash slices in a single layer over prepared pans. 3. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter and honey; brush over squash. 4. Bake until squash is tender and begins to brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely on pans before using.
A GOLDEN TOUCH OF OLIVE OIL Begins on page 85
Buckwheat Rustic Loaf p.85 Makes 2 (4x11-inch) loaves Starter: 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast 1 cup room-temperature water (68° to 72°) ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon bread flour ¼ cup whole wheat flour 1½ teaspoons kosher salt Dough: 1½ cups bread flour 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
½ cup buckwheat flour 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast 1 cup ice-cold water 1⅓ cups Kalamata olives, halved 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1. For starter: In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup room-temperature water. Add bread flour, whole wheat flour, and salt; stir until incorporated. Cover and set aside until foamy, 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes. 2. For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, beat bread flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, prepared starter, salt, and yeast at low speed. Slowly stream in 1 cup ice-cold water, and continue to beat until dough comes together and forms a ball, about 4 minutes. (If dough looks too wet, add 2 teaspoons bread flour. If dough looks too dry, add 1 tablespoon water. Beat for 1 minute.) Increase speed to medium-high, and beat for 4 minutes. Add olives and rosemary, and beat until dough is smooth and elastic, 1 minute more. 3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead into a ball. 4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, and let rise in a warm (85°), draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray with flour. 6. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Press dough to remove air, and divide into 2 loose balls. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for 1 hour. 7. Shape each ball into a bâtarde*, sift flour over top, and score down center. Place on prepared baking sheet. 8. Fill a roasting pan to a depth of 1 inch with boiling water, and place pan on bottom rack of oven to create steam. Place baking sheet in center of cold oven. Turn oven on, and set to 450°. When temperature is reached, bake for 12 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°, and bake until bread has a rich, deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove roasting pan and sheet pan. Cover loaves
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loosely with foil to prevent excessive browning, and bake directly on oven rack for 15 minutes more. When crust feels crisp and bread sounds hollow when tapping the bottom, turn off oven and crack open oven door. Let cool in oven before serving to ensure a crisp crust. *A bâtarde is a loaf that is shorter than a baguette and can be of medium to wide thickness.
Olive Flatbread p.87 Makes 2 (13x8½-inch) flatbreads Starter: 1 teaspoon active dry yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour ¼ cup room-temperature water (68° to 72°) Dough: 3½ cups bread flour 1 cup whole wheat flour ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon dried tarragon ½ teaspoon sea salt 1¾ cups ice-cold water ¼ cup corn meal 2¾ cups mixed olives*, divided ½ cup crème fraîche ¼ pound prosciutto, thinly sliced Caramelized Onions (recipe follows)
1. For starter: In a medium bowl, whisk together yeast, sugar, whole wheat flour, and ¼ cup room-temperature water. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. 2. For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, beat starter, bread flour, whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons olive oil, basil, thyme, tarragon, and salt at low speed. Continue to beat, adding 1¾ cups ice-cold water, approximately ½ cup at a time, until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 1 minute. Increase speed to high, and beat for 1 minute more. 3. On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough, and shape into a ball.
4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in prepared bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm (85°), draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1½ hours. 5. On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough and gently deflate. With hands, shape into a 17x13-inch rectangle. Using a knife, halve rectangle. Using a rolling pin, flatten each rectangle until dough is ½ inch thick and 13x8½ inches. 6. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, and dust with corn meal. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheets, and prick surface of dough with a fork. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes. 7. Meanwhile, place a baking stone on middle rack, and preheat oven to 400°. 8. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse ¾ cup olives until chopped but not puréed. 9. Remove heated stone from oven. Using a baker’s peel or 2 wide spatulas, transfer one dough rectangle to stone. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and spread with ¼ cup crème fraîche. Add half of chopped olives, prosciutto, and Caramelized Onions to rectangle. Bake until flatbread is golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough rectangle. 10. Transfer flatbreads to a wire rack to let cool. Divide remaining 2 cups olives between flatbreads, and serve immediately. *For testing purposes, our test kitchen used pitted olives from the self-serve olive bar at Whole Foods.
Caramelized Onions Makes approximately 1½ cups 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons white wine
In a large saucepan, sauté onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramel in color, 45 minutes to 1½ hours. Remove from heat, and deglaze pan with white wine. Use immediately.
Linguine with Olive Tapenade p.87 Makes 4 to 6 servings 2¼ cups Castelvetrano olives, pitted 1½ cups canned artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed 6 anchovies, drained 10 fresh sage leaves 1 tablespoon plus 2½ teaspoons olive oil, divided 2½ teaspoons ground black pepper 1 (1-pound) box linguine Garnish: freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse olives, artichoke hearts, anchovies, sage, 2½ teaspoons olive oil, and pepper until mixture is finely chopped but not puréed. 2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Toss with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and stir in prepared tapenade. Serve immediately. Garnish with Parmesan, if desired.
Roasted Cornish Hens p.87 Makes 3 1 cup olive oil 2 teaspoons kosher salt 2 teaspoons ground black pepper ⅓ cup fresh rosemary sprigs 2 teaspoons garlic 3 Cornish hens Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (recipe follows) Sautéed Mushrooms (recipe follows) Garnish: fresh rosemary
1. Preheat oven to 400°. (It is imperative that oven is fully preheated prior to cooking hens.) 2. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. Place hens in bowl, and coat thoroughly with olive oil mixture. 3. Transfer hens and olive oil mixture to a large roasting pan. 4. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°, and baste hens with olive oil mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. Using tongs, carefully turn hens over; bake for 15 minutes. Baste in olive oil mixture. Increase temperature to broil; broil 5 to 6 inches from heat for
5 minutes. Turn hens, and broil 5 minutes more. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 180°. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly. Serve with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Sautéed Mushrooms. Garnish with rosemary, if desired.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes Makes approximately 3½ cups 1 (24-ounce) bag fingerling potatoes, quartered ½ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped 4 teaspoons kosher salt 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. In a large roasting pan, combine potatoes, olive oil, rosemary, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Using a large spoon, coat potatoes evenly in olive oil mixture. 3. Roast for 20 minutes; stir, and roast 25 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.
Sautéed Mushrooms Makes approximately 1 cup ¼ cup olive oil 6 cloves garlic 2 (8-ounce) packages fresh button mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon pepper
In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. When garlic is browned, add mushrooms, sage, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Lemon-Ricotta Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Cream Frosting p.88 Makes 1 (8-inch) cake 6 large eggs 1½ cups granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste ¼ cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon lemon juice ½ cup milk ½ cup buttermilk 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt ¾ cup olive oil Lemon Simple Syrup (recipe follows) Lemon Cream Frosting (recipe follows) Garnish: thinly sliced lemon, lemon leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray with flour, and line bottoms with parchment paper. 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla bean paste at high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 4 minutes. When the whisk is lifted, the egg mixture should fall from the attachment in a ribbon pattern that sinks into the batter after a few seconds. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, and buttermilk until incorporated. 4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. 5. Reduce mixer speed to medium, and slowly pour in olive oil. Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with ricotta mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, scraping down bowl and beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans, tapping pans to remove air bubbles. 6. Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. 7. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack, at least 1 hour. 8. Using a serrated knife, trim off tops of cake to create even layers. Brush each cake layer generously with Lemon Simple Syrup. For a rustic look, spread Lemon Cream Frosting thickly between layers and on top of cake, and thinly around sides of cake. Garnish with thinly sliced lemons and lemon leaves, if desired. victoriamag.com 92
Lemon Simple Syrup
Makes approximately ½ cup ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup water 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 3 tablespoons lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, ½ cup water, vanilla bean paste, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Lemon Cream Frosting Makes approximately 2½ cups 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature ¼ cup ricotta cheese ½ cup plus ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar 3 tablespoons Lemon Simple Syrup (recipe above) 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste 2 teaspoons honey 1½ teaspoons lemon zest 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Look for these favorite features in our upcoming November/December issue! Let our seasonal ensembles be a guide as you deck the halls in Yuletide splendor. Serene acreage gives way to the Hills & Dales Estate, home to faithfully preserved nineteenth-century gardens and the classic architecture of a luxurious home. Enjoy a slice of Thanksgiving history with our inspired desserts. London at Christmastime is a city of elegance, where the loveliest celebrations are centered on tea, that most British of traditions. 93 Victoria October 2017
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and ricotta at medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, scrape sides of bowl, and add confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes more. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Add Lemon Simple Syrup, vanilla bean paste, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Beat at medium speed until fully incorporated. 2. Transfer to a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes before using.
Unless otherwise noted, all recipes presented in this magazine were developed, tested, and prepared by the food professionals in the Victoria Test Kitchen.
W H E R E T O S H O P A N D BU Y
Below is a listing of products and companies featured in this issue. Items not listed are privately owned and are not for sale. Pricing and availability may vary.
WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE Pages 13–14: For more information about author and teacher Phyllis Theroux, visit her website, nightwriters.com. ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE Page 15: To learn more about Carolyne Roehm, visit her website, carolyneroehm.com. ALL THAT SHIMMERS Page 17: Elisabeth York: Ribbon Mesh Pillow in Sandstone, $85, Graphite Stripe Pillow, $85, Abha Euro Sham, $60, Abha Throw, $90; 888-889-9868, cnfei.com/ Elisabeth-York, available at plumandpost.com. Legna by SDH: Classic king pillowcase in cappuccino, $108, Classic king tted sheet in cappuccino, $464, Classic king at sheet in cappuccino, $464; The Purists by SDH: Allegro Coverlet, $1,710; Silver beaded pillow, $365; from Three Sheets, 205-871-2337, threesheetslinen.com. Zestt: Organic Cotton Comfy Knit Throw in gray and white, $128 each; 866-673-1773, shopzestt.com. Henry Handwork: Leaves Silver Hand Towel in white cotton, $25, Leaves Gold Hand Towel in white cotton, $25; 503-282-8157, henryhandwork.com. Lady Primrose: Royal Extract Bathing Gel Decanter, $56, Royal Extract Skin Moisturizer Decanter, $56, Royal Extract Bath Salts Decanter, $56, Royal Extract Honeycomb Candle, $36, Royal Extract Eau de Parfum Mist, $68; 888382-7673, ladyprimrose.com. Reed & Barton: Gallery Silverplate 18" Rectangular Tray with Claw Feet, $525; 800-223-4311, reedandbarton.com. Page 18: Linens, call for availability; from Gerry Waters, 205-913-1500. Oneida: Golden Michelangelo 5-piece place setting, $59.99; available at Macy’s, Belk, and Bed Bath and Beyond. Ceylan: Royal Dinner Plate in cream, $60, Imperial Salad Plate in platinum, $45, Royal Teacup and Saucer in cream, $70; 212-256-8406, ceylanco.com. Page 19: Ankole Designs: Ankole Round Bowls in medium, $62.40 each; 210-284-1497, ankoledesigns .com. L’Objet: Alchimie Charger in gold, $210, Alchimie Bread + Butter Plate in platinum, $64; 855-562-5388, l-objet.com. Miss Ellie NYC: Retro Bracelet in White
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Opal, $124, Retro Bracelet in Smoky Crystal Stone, $124, Vintage Swirl Bracelet in Antique Rose Gold, $124, Vintage Swirl Bracelet in Antique Gold, $124, Bird and Vine Tiara, $250, Bee-Jeweled Ring, $69, Falling Leaf and Rose Pearl Jacket Earrings, $59, Loopy Bow Bobby Pin, $68, Leafy Cameo Bobby Pin, $64; 917-553-4030, missellienyc.com. Page 20: Caldrea: Cleaning Essentials Set in Rosewater Driftwood, $75; 877-576-8808, caldrea.com. Kinross Cashmere: Drape Collar Vest in sterling/fawn, $805, Cable Hat in antler, $97, Cable Texting Glove in antler, $97, Ikat Print Scarf in sterling multi, $136; 800-841-3501, kinrosscashmere.com for retailers. Carrie Dunham: White Rafa Envelope Clutch, $278, Grey Leather & Rafa with Metallic Gold Foldover Clutch, $235, Gold Dunham Clutch, $275; 646-263-3768, carriedunham.com. Page 21: Carthusia: Scented Candle in Mediterranean Oud, $85, Home Diffuser in Mediterraneo, $120; 800-793-5433, bigelowchemists.com. Starling Designs by Carol Crist: Small Frame with Single Intaglio, $149, Small Frame with Small Frieze, $154; 661-426-8994, starlingintaglios.com. Barefoot Dreams: Cozychic Lite Travel Shawl in carbon, $120, Cozychic Ultra Lite Culotte, $110, The Modal Cami in white, $43; 855-269-2442, barefootdreams.com. Page 22: The Honey Hutch: Tupelo Honey, 12-ounce, $20, Wildower Honey, 12-ounce, $12; 850-499-6528, thehoneyhutch.com for retailers. Ben & Lael: Custommade copper tea strainer with vine handle, $195; 615-218-2460, benandlael.com. Harney & Sons: Best Sellers 4-ounce Loose Tea Sampler, $29.95; 888-427-6398, harney.com. Robert Haviland & C. Parlon: Farahnaz White Tea Cup & Saucer, $260; 800-443-8225, mottahedeh.com. Busatti: Donna di Coppe Cavaliere, napkin in rope (corda), €57,90, Samarcanda Tablecloth in anthracite grey, 71"x99", $558; marce.alberati@ busattiusa.com, busattiusa.com. Page 23: Picnic Time: Soiree Cheese Board, $55.95; 888-742-6429, picnictime.com. Shiraleah: Cantina Moscow Mule Mug, $30, Cantina Pitcher, $165, Cantina Round Tray, $105; 866-503-9765, shiraleah.com. The Decorizer: Deli Container Holder in hammered
W H E R E T O S H O P A N D BU Y
silver, gold, and copper, $20, Serving Tray, silver with gold buckle handles in large, $60; 732-444-8179, available at amazon.com, or see thedecorizer.com for retailers. Rizzoli International Publications: The Art of Elegance: Classic Interiors by Marshall Watson, $55, How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century by P. Gaye Tapp, $55; rizzolibookstore.com. PURPLE MOUNTAIN MAJESTY: A HUDSON VALLEY TOUR Pages 25–26: The Kingston Waterfront, thekingstonwaterfront.com. Pages 27–28: Milne, Inc., 81 Broadway, Kingston, NY, 845-331-3902, milneinc.com. Hudson River Cruises, 36 Broadway, Kingston, NY, 800-843-7472, hudson rivercruises.com. Hops Petunia Floral, 73 Broadway, Kingston, NY, 845-481-5817, hopspetunia.com. Page 29: Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy, 168 Lighthouse Drive, Saugerties, NY, 845-247-0656, saugertieslighthouse.com. Olana State Historic Site, 5720 State Route 9G, Hudson, NY, 518-828-0135, olana.org. Page 30: Outdated: An Antique Café, 314 Wall Street, Kingston, NY, 845-331-0030, outdatedcafe.com. A HARVEST BOUNTY Page 31: Vagabond Vintage: Candlestick, call for availability; from Bromberg’s, 205-871-3276, brombergs.com. Pottery Barn: Blonde Wood Pedestals in medium, $69; potterybarn.com. Bella Notte Linens: Linen with Crochet Lace Guest Towel in cloud, email for pricing; mail@ bellanottelinens.com, bellanottelinens.com for retailers. Page 32: Pottery Barn: Pillows; for similar styles, visit potterybarn.com. Silver frames, call for availability; from Bromberg’s, 205-871-3276, brombergs.com. Julie Wear: American Wildlife, Fox, 8" salad plate, $68; 859-8730138, juliewear.com. Gien: Sologne luncheon plates, call for pricing; +33 02 38 05 21 50, gien.com/en. Traditions Linens: Rustic Linen Tabletop Napkin in natural, $35; 518-851-3975, traditionslinens.com. Page 33: Match: Round Incised Bowl, $245, Oval Incised Tray, $275; 201-792-5444, match1995.com. Madison Bay Company: Colonial Mug in pewter-plated brass, $33.90; 717-334-6245, store.gettysburgmuseum.com. Page 34: Gien: Sologne Soup Tureen, call for pricing, Filet Bleu bowl, set of 4, call for pricing; +33 02 38 05 21 50, gien.com/en. Ben & Lael: Copper Banana Leaf Bowl, $1,783; 615-218-2460, benandlael.com. Page 38: Ben & Lael: Copper Aspen Leaf Pie Server, antler point handle, $317; 615-218-2460, benandlael.com.
A TEXTILE REVIVAL Pages 49–56: B.Viz Design, 195 Locustland Road, St. Joseph, LA, 318-766-4950, bviz.com. PUMPKIN PROMENADE Pages 57–64: Gordon Skagit Farms, 15598 McLean Road, Mt. Vernon, WA, 360-424-0363, gordonskagitfarms.com. Page 60: Antique red transferware teacup and saucer, call for availability; from Tricia’s Treasures, 205-871-9779, triciastreasures.us. CAPTURING BEAUTY WITH BRUSHSTROKES Pages 65–70: Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 218 Spring Street, Catskill, NY, 518-943-7465, thomascole.org. WRAPPED IN TRADITION Pages 71–76: Swans Island Company, 231 Atlantic Highway, Northport, ME, 888-526-9526, swansislandcompany.com. WHAT MAKES A HOME Pages 83–84: Rizzoli International Publications: A Place to Call Home: Tradition, Style, and Memory in the New American House by Gil Schafer III, $55; rizzolibookstore.com. A GOLDEN TOUCH OF OLIVE OIL Pages 85–86: Le Souk Marche: Small Pinch/Prep Bowl, set of 2, $8, Medium Pinch/Prep Bowl, set of 2, $10, Large Pinch/Prep Bowl, set of 2, $12, Large Natural Form Board, $38; 866-784-5343, lesoukmarche.com. Miracle Pottery: Dessert Dish, $20, Salsa Bowl, $18, Salad Plate, $30; 256-635-6863, miraclepottery.com. Page 87: Miracle Pottery: Pasta Bowl, $38; 256-6356863, miraclepottery.com.
Everlasting Summer TEXT NANCY M. KENDALL
ally invited me to her house on the Maine coast in the fall, after she had picked her pumpkins and ﬂung the vines over the fence. I call her Barefoot Sally because she’s always without shoes or socks. “We’re going to make wreaths today,” she said cheerfully over the phone. “I’ve got all the ﬁxings.” She wasn’t talking about those fragrant, weighty Christmas wreaths. She meant the sublime driedﬂower creations that spring from garden plants that have died back and dried out, what horticulturists call “everlastings.” Those wreaths have always been the ones that scare me most. They look so delicate and unforgiving to hands like mine, accustomed to ropes of balsam and ﬁr. But I said, “Sure, Sal. I’ll give it a try.” Before I left, words from Carl Jung whispered to me: “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct … The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” A burning bush was just coming into its ﬂaming glory beside Sally’s house. It looked like an autumn bonﬁre. Her porch sits on a hillside; the wide-paned windows offer us wreath-makers a full view of the blue, endless sparkle of the ocean. Sally swears the sea breezes improve the raspberry color of her statice and yarrow. Her hydrangeas turn from white to pink to mauve, and her blue ones darken to a deep purple shade. All because of the cool, salt air, she claims. “And you’ve only got a window of a few days after a frost to get them at their best.” Sally has spent the last few weeks picking through her garden, snipping stalks, and ﬁlling boxes, baskets, and bags. The best dried flowers are those picked when the weather is dry and the morning dew is gone from the blossoms. Damp, foggy days are the bane of wreath-making. If you live on the coast, you’d better be outside picking once the fog rolls out. Sally had cut and suspended whatever plants and weeds had color and hung them in bunches upside down from the porch rafters, where they enjoyed the dancing play of light and shadow. You only hang ﬂowers in small bunches, she advises. That way, all the cuttings can breathe. In the world
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of dried ﬂowers, weeds and garden plants have equal status on the artist’s palette. Hanging from Sally’s porch rafters this year were rows of purples, blues, and lavender. Gold tansy, yarrow, and glorious black-eyed Susans gilded the canopy. I caught my breath as I looked upward at the variety of colors and textures forming a tapestry on high; it was like looking at the trembling points of color in a Monet painting. These ﬂowers may preserve their color and form for as many as forty years, they say. What she could not hang, she placed carefully in baskets. Hydrangeas with their creamy, delicate petals rested in a large, wooden crate in a corner of the porch. The ﬂoor of the workshop was covered with faintly crushed greenery and twiggy clippings from our shears. They didn’t bother Sally’s feet one bit. On a large wooden table were playful boxes and bags of summer memories: rosebuds, spruce cones, rosehips, pepper berries, birch bark, and seedpods. A good wreath-maker collects all year, Sally says. By early afternoon, I was driving out of her yard with the best of the preserved world beside me from a garden that grows near the sea. Compared to my last year’s wreath, which I made by my own devices, this year’s was just short of a masterpiece. On a simple circle of willow, I managed to work in some blue globe thistle, ten broad lemon leaves, ivory rosebuds, and a wonderful, pale green eucalyptus. I thought it was a stunning accomplishment for my second dried wreath. As soon as he walked into the house that evening, my husband politely commented on my new addition to the entranceway. He was kind. He remembered last year’s wreath. Hanging from a beam were a variety of grasses from a nearby hayﬁeld, a ragged bunch of cattails, snowy white hydrangeas, and a good-sized clump of black-eyed Susans. “What’s this?” he asked. I was eager to show off what I had learned at Sally’s house—a summer that never fades. “Oh, didn’t I tell you?” I replied, ﬂuttering my eyes upward to my ﬂoral canopy. “Monet’s having dinner with us tonight.”