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autumn’s wand

Wishing you a blissful autumn weekend! Take time to enjoy the beauty and bounty of the season!

“By the sixth of October the leaves generally begin to fall, in successive showers, after frost or rain; but the principal leaf-harvest, the acme of the Fall, is commonly about the sixteenth. Some morning at that date there is perhaps a harder frost than we have seen, and ice formed under the pump, and now, when the morning wind rises, the leaves come down in denser showers than ever. They suddenly form thick beds or carpets on the ground, in this gentle air, or even without wind, just the size and form of the tree above. Some trees, as small Hickories, appear to have dropped their leaves instantaneously, as a soldier grounds arms at a signal; and those of the Hickory, being bright yellow still, though withered, reflect a blaze of light from the ground where they lie. Down they have come on all sides, at the first earnest touch of autumn’s wand, making a sound like rain.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, 1862

Returning from the Harvest ~ Paul Gauguin, 1884

Lane at Alchamps, Arles ~ Paul Gauguin, 1888

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Thought you might appreciate a heads up on this new cookbook! Just in time for the holidays, it’s filled with inspiring recipes for you or for the chef in your life!

Scheduled for release on October 30 2012, The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm: Recipes and Wisdom from Our Artisans, Chefs and Smokey Mountain Ancestors by proprietor Sam Beall “brings the inn’s artisanal food techniques and beloved recipes to every home cook – and along the way, reveals the secrets passed down through the generations in this rich and storied Southern region.”

Here is just a small sampling of recipes from the new book:

Skillet Corn Bread

Peanut Butter Pie

Zucchini Caesar Salad with Singing Brook Cheese Crisp

Vanilla-Roasted Peaches (wow!)

Available for pre-order via Blackberry Farm…click here for more info!

Last night, while flipping through the pages of this month’s Town & Country, I was thrilled to discover a lovely story about Blackberry Farm! Long time readers may remember my June 2011 post about this extraordinary vacation destination so today, I thought I’d revisit my old post (just in case you missed it the first time around!) but include a sneak peek from the T&C spread…expressive photography by Andrea Chu paired with a poetic narrative by Mark Rozzo, will transport you to this utopian way of life…the story is a priceless read for anyone interested in farm to table living…not to be missed!

“Coykendall (master gardener of Blackberry Farm since 1999), a hale blue-eyed fellow of 69 years given to Round House brand overalls, possesses a magical touch with topsoil, vegetables, and his fellow humans. You could say he is the embodiment of Blackberry Farm’s hands-on, old-school, artisanal ethos, which offers not just a meticulously crafted escape from everyday life but something on the order of time travel.” ~ Mark Rozzo, Town & Country

above, photography by Andrea Chu for Town & Country

below, my post from June 2011

Today’s post features one of my dream destinations…a place so special, it was awarded #1 in Service in the US by 2005 Conde Nast, #1 in Service in the World and #2 Cuisine in the World by 2006 Travel and Leisure and was named one of America’s Best: Top 10 Destinations with Alton Brown on Food Network 2010 (just to name a few!)…located on an idyllic 4,200 acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, Blackberry Farm is one of the most celebrated small luxury resorts in the world…owned and operated by the Beall family since 1976, the farm offers guests an unparalleled experience filled with outdoor adventure, spa pleasures, and extraordinary cuisine created by a rare collection of artisans ~ the chef, master gardener, baker, cheese maker, forger, butcher, jam lady, chocolatier, and sommelier ~ this is farm to table living at its best! Enjoy!

“On the farm, our goal is to cultivate the bounty around us by harnessing the natural systems at play. The passionate pursuit of our farm generates a range of heirloom produce from the garden, wild flower honey, farm-fresh eggs, and artisan cheeses from East Friesian sheep. Sustainably harvested ingredients are the essence of our celebrated Foothills Cuisine.” ~ Sam Beall

“Each of these seeds tells a story, and the fruit they bear is only the half of it. It turns out you can trace each one back to some very interesting people and places.” ~ John Coykendall, Master Gardener

photos from Blackberry Farm

a classic touch

On the heels of yesterday’s post, I thought you might enjoy a closer look at the stunning work of James Michael Howard

How wonderful to experience a portfolio that embraces tradition yet at the same time invites real living…a classic touch for the 21st century…please enjoy!

photos from James Michael Howard

The September/October 2012 issue of Veranda features a not to be missed Belgian inspired home designed by architect William T. Baker with interiors by James Michael Howard…Howard’s style, eloquently described by Veranda’s Mimi Read as “European glamour hitched to a spare sensibility,” speaks to the ethereal colors and textures of Belgian design while thoughtful splashes of modern furniture and lighting offer an altogether American aesthetic…my favorite gesture is pictured above in the dining room ~ vintage Georgian-style chairs, with seats upholstered in a sumptuous Donghia chenille, are artfully paired with an icy marble and silver-leafed console of Howard’s own design…the minimalist form and cool texture of the console elevates the sculptural beauty of the traditional dining chairs, enhancing their curvaceous form and warm chocolate hue…be sure to pick up this month’s issue of Veranda for the entire photo shoot and article! Enjoy this sneak peek with photos from James Michael Howard‘s website

photos from James Michael Howard

the beauty of rain

Wishing you a cozy autumnal weekend!

“But the true lover of rain…has a deep inner enjoyment of the rain, as rain, and his sense of its beauty drinks it in as thirstily as does the drinking earth. It refreshes and cools his heart and brain; he longs to go forth into the fields, to feel its steady stream, to scent its fragrance; to stand under some heavy-foilaged chestnut-tree, and hear the rushing music on the crowded leaves.” ~ John Richard Vernon, “The Beauty of Rain,” 1863

“And at last it comes. You hear a patter…you see a leaf here and there bob and blink about you; you feel a spot on your face, on your hand. And then the gracious rain comes, gathering its forces—steady, close, abundant. Lean out of window, and watch, and listen. How delicious!…the verandah beneath losing its scattered spots in a sheet of luminous wet; and, never pausing, the close, heavy, soft-rushing noise…” ~ John Richard Vernon, “The Beauty of Rain,” 1863


“The crisp drenching rustle from the dry foliage of the perceptibly grateful trees…the little plants, in speechless ecstasy, receiving cupful after cupful into the outspread leaves, that silently empty their gracious load, time after time, into the still expecting roots, and open their hands still for more.” ~ John Richard Vernon, “The Beauty of Rain,” 1863

photography by danielle boudrot for a thoughtful eye

black and white

black and white ~ classic, modern, graphic, timeless…perfection

photos from Vogue Living Australia, The Gifts of Life, Architectural Digest

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