Friday, December 19, 2014

winter at the boathouse

the boathouse in winter...the calm and quiet of the river at this time of year and the natural beauty of the trees makes this my favorite place to retreat as the sun goes down...a few blankets, a fire and hot cider make it magical.  photos by marili forastieri

Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday at The New General Store

We're setting up for The New General Store's  annual holiday market here on Long Island, Saturday, November 29th from 10am-6pm...lots of basics to stock up on, natural gifts and stocking stuffers from serving boards, honey, flavored sea salts, olive oils and candles and all the best serving boards, linens, blankets and gardening supplies. If you can't join us, please visit our online shop at

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A hundred years ago...

I've always been drawn to the period around World War I and this weekend it is especially on my mind...This summer I'm rereading  favorite old books from this period and new ones including Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, Howards End by E.M. Forster, the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford mysteries by Charles Todd and the  woman psychologist/investigator  series on Maisie DobbsThe Perfect Summer by Juliette Nicholson describes the mood in England the summer the world changed. Rupert Brooke's poems written from the battlefield are haunting, and his poem The Old Vicarage, Grantchester, ends with the familiar lines:
"Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?"
Favorite films which evoke this period, that I can watch over and over again, are : Enchanted April, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Mrs. Dalloway and Out of Africa.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

white winter salad in the snow

Found the best recipe for a late winter salad... a one dish meal that is healthy, easy, kind of cooking...from  Food & Wine,  March 2014 ...A glass of chardonnay and a small salad of arugula, parmesan flakes + toasted pine nuts with lemon and olive oil served in front of the fire...makes tonight's snowstorm seem magical!

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lentils and Dates 

  1. 1 head of cauliflower, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch florets
  2. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  6. Pinch of cayenne
  7. Kosher salt
  8. Freshly ground pepper
  9. 2 tablespoons tahini
  10. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  11. 1 teaspoon honey
  12. 10 dates, pitted and chopped
  13. 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  14. 4 cups loosely packed spinach or arugula      
    1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Increase the oven temperature to 425°.
    2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the lentils with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, 20 minutes. Drain well and let cool.
    3. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the 1/4 cup of olive oil and the cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, turning, until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown.
    4. In a large bowl, whisk the tahini with the lemon juice, honey, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Add the lentils and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Scrape the roasted cauliflower into the bowl and add the toasted almonds, dates, onion and spinach. Toss the salad, transfer to a platter and serve.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

a walk this morning...

a snow day...couldn't get the car shoveled out in time for the only train to the city, so cancelled my plans, put on my wellies and went for a walk in the snow and took unexpected pleasure!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

winter weekend soup

                                                photograph by Charles Jones circa 1900, Sussex, England

Someone gave me a beautiful bunch of leeks which inspired me to make soup on this snowy Saturday favorite recipe is from Alice Waters's The Art of Simple Food and it never disappoints...

Leek and Potato Soup (Makes 2 quarts: 4-6 servings)

Trim off the root and and the tough upper greens from:
2 pounds of leeks
Cut the trimmed leeks in half lengthwise and slice thin.  Rinse in a bowl of cold water. 
Lift the leeks out of the water to drain.
Melt over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot:
3 tablespoons butter
Add the leeks along with:
2 thyme springs
1 bay leaf
Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add:
1 pound yellow potatoes, peeled, halved or quartered, and sliced
Cook the potatoes for 4 minutes, then add:
6 cups of water
Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. 
Cook until the vegetables are tender, but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. 

Serve with cream or on its own...can be blended, but I like it just like this.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


                    waiting for the snowdrops to appear...a sure sign of spring on its way...


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