December 17, 2014

A Party for My Staff at Bedford

Last weekend I held a party for all the staff at my Bedford property. My employees work so hard all year caring for my farm and helping me prepare for parties and other events, so this was an opportunity to show my appreciation. Chef Pierre Schaedelin and I planned a festive and traditional holiday meal, which we served in the Winter House. It included delicious baked ham served with biscuits, smoked salmon, frittatas, and blintzes expertly made by my friend Svetlana. We also served potato latkes with crème fraiche and applesauce - with apples from my farm, naturally. There was cider, wine, and my special eggnog, made with rum, bourbon, and cognac, with whipped cream folded in. In the Tenant House we served a smorgasbord of sweets - chef Thomas Joseph prepared for days. We were also enchanted by the singing of Charis Chamber Voices, a Bedford-based chamber choir that performed traditional Christmas carols. In Greek, "charis" means joy, pleasure, grace and kindness - which perfectly expresses my sentiments for the season!

 

December 16, 2014

An Old-fashioned Wood Turner

After 20 years of owning my home on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton, I felt it was time for some enhancements, including a renovation of the garden and a new color theme for the exterior. For the garden, we planted new trees and shrubs, and added new walkways and terraces. Also among the items we replaced were the 8-inch wooden ornamental balls that sit atop my lattice trellises. Since they were a custom size, we went to our friends at Craftparts.com, a wood parts company based in Fort Worth, Texas. The company was founded by Larry Smith in 1976, and his son Clay owns the business today. We asked Clay if he would show us the wood turning process, which is what you will see in today's blog. Craftparts.com made fifteen beautiful, impeccable balls for us. We are delighted with the finished product!

 

 

December 15, 2014

Preparing My Home for Christmas

At my Bedford home and farm, we are preparing for the Christmas holidays in a variety of ways, indoors and out. It brings me great pleasure to see my home decorated in its holiday finery. Outside, we have installed a multitude of white Christmas lights, including several shooting stars on the sides of the flower room, the equipment shed, the hay barn, the stable, and the main entrance. We also lit two large Blue Spruce, which we harvested at Jones Family Farms (see my blog last Tuesday). Inside the Winter House, we have put up several Christmas trees, wreaths, and other cheerful decorations. I like to include a mix of old favorites and new things - including decorations from past and current craft projects that have appeared in Martha Stewart Living. These beautiful objects delight us throughout the holiday season. And when it's over we carefully pack them up and store them in my basement until next year, when we take them out and use them in fresh and different ways. Decorating for the holidays brings me great joy, and I am happy to share my love for it with you.