1 The woods surrounding Skylands look so magical in the dense fog.
2 A view through a leaded glass window.
3 These cacti are thriving in this sunny spot.
4 A view out of the dining room
5 This is the flower arranging room at Skylands.
6 The house is equipped with many styles of vases.
7 More vases
8 This table in the Great Room has many books about Maine and its natural surroundings. Guests have many interesting things to read about.
9 That same faux bois table was later decorated with lovely blossoming branches.
10 Another view into the fog from a terrace off of one of the upstairs bedrooms - The planters will fill in beautifully as the summer progresses.
11 In preparation for dinner, I visited the wine cellar to select dinner wine. The cellar was built around this giant pink granite boulder.
12 For dinner, Pierre made a pot-au-feu (pot on the fire), a wonderful French stew and the most celebrated dish in France. These are all of the ingredients.
13 Chicken breast, veal shank, beef shank, beef short ribs, ox tail, marrow bones, saucisson a l'ail, carrots, parsnip, turnip, leeks, scallion, cabbage, and lots of fresh herbs
14 The vegetables and meat are simmered together, creating a very rich and flavorful broth. The individual ingredients are removed from the broth when they finish cooking.
15 Marrow bones produce a natural gelatin, giving the broth a thick texture.
16 Pierre removed the meat from the broth as it finished cooking. He covered it with a damp towel to keep the meat moist and warm.
17 All of the cooked meats and vegetables arranged on a serving platter
18 Condiments for the pot-au-feu - coarse sea salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, horseradish, cornichons, and an herb sauce verte
19 Serving asparagus with pot-au-feu is not traditional, but there were so many from my garden that I had Pierre prepare a platter anyway.
20 The pink granite table was set with Skylands original china, silver, glassware, and linens.
21 Hannah decorated the table with flowers from the garden.
22 Another view
23 It was quite chilly outdoors and the birch log fire was set just before the guests arrived.
24 Here I am with my dinner companions Julia Merck-Utsch and David Rockefeller.
25 Hannah made David Rockefeller a boutonnière of heliotrope and forget-me-nots. He was quite happy!
26 Ryan, Kate, and my friend Brian Lindquist
27 Hannah and artist Allen Blagden
28 Hans Utsch and Ann Marie Almeida
29 Kevin and Ian
30 The assembled platter of pot-au-feu was brought to the dining room.
31 The plates were served. This is the ultimate comfort food.
32 Dessert was an upside down rhubarb cake made with rhubarb from my garden.