After a long day of looking and learning, we headed back to the bus for one of the most elegant mobile cocktail parties around. Wine and wisdom flow. Here's my contribution to the fun. It's easy and travels well.
1 Block of Cracker Barrel Cheddar Cheese - Shredded
1 Bunch Scallions - Chopped - green ends only
1 cup of sliced almonds - some recipes call for walnuts - your choice
6 pieces of bacon - cooked, cooled and crumbled
3/4 cup of mayonnaise - or enough to bind
Optional - 1/4 Liquid Smoke
Combine all ingredients - refrigerate until ready to serve
Another favorite at the Americana Auction last week were the works of naturalist J. J. Audubon.
In an nutshell, John James Audubon (1785-1851) came to America from France as a young man. An ornithologist, naturalist and painter, he set out to illustrate the birds of the new world. Most of his works were drawn from life during his travels through North America. Noted for their scientific accuracy and their depictions of the birds in their natural surroundings, these images are both beautiful and powerful.
The man himself, is a fascinating story of frontier naturalist and audacious self promoter.
Not quite in the decorating budget this week? Check out these handsome fellows at FOUND.
Not first additions by any means, but a great look for the value and indeed with the exception of the original water colors, all Audubon prints are reproductions and the artist himself created them with mass production in mind.
These prints are stunning, command attention and transcend the mere scientific representation of wildlife.
Nicely framed and matted - $350
Or this sizable chap. 53"x42" - $650
Chinese export porcelain is a perennial favorite among collectors and designers alike and those pieces decorated in the Imari style are held in high regard. Copying the popular Japanese model, this porcelain emerged in the early 18th century and is distinctive for its decoration in underglaze blue with overglaze iron red and gilt enameling. It differs from the Japanese in execution. It is more finely potted and is more naturalistic in decoration.
Although only the truly exceptional piece command such prices, there are many pieces available for the entry level collector or those recently smitten.
A wonderful collection of Chinese Imari at FOUND
We're very lucky to have acquired this lovely collection of period Chinese Imari in the shop. It contains a wide variety of forms and decorations and is priced from $30 to $900.
Once again it is that wonderful week in New York when the two premiere auction houses present for auction the best of the best in American decorative arts and legendary dealers bring their treasures to the Winter Antique Shows at the Armory. Featured is a wonderful selection of American fine and decorative arts including silver, carpets, Audubon prints, Chinese export porcelain, furniture and folk art.
I was lucky enough to join the guides from Winterthur Museum to preview the sales at Christies and Sotheby's. The collective knowledge of American decorative arts on this busload of ladies is staggering and their love of sharing it is truly a gift. Thank you ladies.
First stop Christies
We were met by Andrew Holter, Vice President, Special Head of Department of American Furniture and Decorative Arts and given a most engaging tour of the the sale's highlights.
Next stop Sotheby's
Erik Gronning, Head of the American Furniture and Decorative Arts Department , showed us more wonderful pieces.
The Voodoo Clock - elaborately carved cottonwood tall case clock, probably New Orleans, LA -
Circa 1928 - estimate - $150,000 — 250,000
But more than the impressive price tags and their intrinsic beauty, I find the stories behind these pieces the most engaging. A great example is the quilt. It is made with the cloak of an English officer killed in the Revolution. I find the more you know, the more you love these pieces.
Classics worthy of mastering
These two favorites of mine are perfect for quick dinners, especially for those of you embracing the "Meatless Monday" movement.
The key to these simple dinners is starting with good, fresh eggs.
Woodside Creamery in Hockessin now offers organic eggs Wednesday and Fridays .
They are well worth a little detour. http://www.woodsidefarmcreamery.com
These are not the golden brown envelope versions jam packed with everything under the sun.
Those are country omelets. They are delicious, but not what I'm in the mood for. The classic French omelet is light yellow, silky soft inside and simply out of this world.
The ingredients are simple, the technique takes a little practice.
Fine herbs (chive, parsley, thyme, tarragon)
Cheese ( gruyere, emmentaler, blue, or black pepper Boursin)
Salt and pepper
The best way to understand the technique is to watch this very short video. Even if you don't want to ever make an omelette, it's fun to listen to this guy. "With eggs, fresh from zee ass of zee chicken"
4 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup hot milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Recipe courtesy of Julia Child, Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cheese-souffle-recipe2.html?oc=linkback
Short Cut Souffle