Friday, 29 July 2011

Mobile Farmers Market

It doesn't get any better than when the Farmer Market comes to you! Every Friday morning during the growing season, two Farmers from the near by town of Ponder, shows up in their pickup trucks and set up shop in the parking lot of our Country Club.

They bring with them fresh, local, and at the peak of the season greatness in the form of fruits, vegetables, melons and berries.

They set up their portable stands at first light and stay until they sell out, which is pretty quickly...
I got there at 9:00ish and the berries were already almost gone and there were tale tale bare spots on what was once packed folding tables.

Armed with my golf car, camera and 25 Washington's, I headed out the door...
and came back with all this!

I will be using the new potatoes in a Gratin recipe made with Gruyere, the string beans will be prepared in my five-five method (will share later) and the peaches will be grilled and served over vanilla ice cream with pan tossed buttered pecans. This is part of menu that will be served at our dinner party tomorrow night.

These purple hulled peas are my Man's favorite, and I stock up on them during the growing season and freeze them to use through out the year. There is nothing like using fresh black eye's for New Years dinner when only the dried or canned variety is all that's available in the stores. The best part is that the Farmers have a huller, so the peas are already shelled and clean, and for $4 a bag you can't beat it, especially since all the hard work is done for you.

I hope you all have a great weekend and try to find your own local grown greatness and treat yourselves to something fresh from the garden... even if the garden does not come to you!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

My new Hibiscus

It's not news to most of you that I have a ' thang ' for hibiscus plants, I have 5 different varieties on our courtyard allone.
It should also not come as a surprise,  that me and my Man like to seek out plant nurseries on the weekends, and this past weekend was no exception.
Armed with an exert from the Saturday paper, we headed out to Southlake to visit Landscape Systems Garden Center.

They had gorgeous, healthy plants and a huge selection of pots and fountains made from German salt glazed pottery.

I would love to have this in my back yard

the colors in salt glazed pottery glows in the sun light.

We couldn't resist buying a Luau Pipedream Tangerine Hibiscus and a beautiful lattice embossed pale terracotta pot for it to call home.

I love the pale peachy color of this pot, it makes a nice contrast of the traditional terracotta pots that I already have.

I think it nicely complements the orange tones in the hibiscus blooms.

It has a gorgeous pink 'eye' with dark green foliage, and it's a hearty variety... which means it will come back each year, and can even be planted in the ground is some zones. I prefer to to grow all my hibiscus in pots and winter them in a heated environment in the cold seasons.

I think it makes a wonderful addition to our courtyard oasis, and despite the brutal Texas summer we are having, it is still a welcoming retreat for breakfast and morning tea.

This is a red Luna hibiscus, the blooms are just over 6 inches across.

This one is a Copper King,  named for the copper tinted leaves. I love the blooms on this one, they remind me of a peppermint candy, and this is as far as the blooms opens... at least as far as mine do, very unique.

This is an  Angle Trumpet plant that we have growing next to the Swiss Chard and a pot of very young Mandevilla vine. The Angle Trumpet is not in the hibiscus family, but I wanted to show it to you anyway because it too has huge blooms, that start to open after dark and on this particular evening, a Humming Bird Moth, aka Sphinx Moth decided to pay a visit.

I hope you are all staying cool while finding ways to still enjoy the beauty of summer.

I will be linking up to these fun parties...

Delightful Order for Delightfully Inspiring Thursday

A Creative Princess for It's a Party

No Minimalist Here for Open House Party

Summer House on Costa Brava

Good morning, my friends. Spanish interior designer, Marta Esteve decorated this two story home in Port Lligat on Costa Brava, in Spain. Clean lines and a contemporary look for this home with stunning views.

Hope you enjoyed today's tour. See you soon.
All images from here.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Tour of Dishes

Several of my favorite blogs (you know who you are) are posting their collections of favorite things, and never being one to shy away from an opportunity to show off my favorite dinnerware collections,  I'm jumping on the band wagon right along with them...

Up firs,t a service for 12 of Noritake china in the Graywood pattern, that is currently residing in my china cabinet.

This set belonged to my mother, and if I'm not mistaken, she bought it at a 'second-hand' store years ago for next to nothing. Both of my kids want this set and since I will not split up the service, I'm on the hunt for another set to keep them both happy.

The simple, yet elegant shape is timeless mid century modern, it went into production in 1959 (the year I was born) and retired in 1971.  I use it for Thanksgiving dinners because the gray and platinum leaves remind me of fall, I also use it for most of my dinner parties.

I use modern wide banded platinum white wine glass for both white and red wine, and the stemless red wine glasses for water.

Up next is a fun, hand made set of zebra plates that I use with solid black stoneware.

 I use this set for buffet style parties because they hold a lot of food... and who doesn't run out of room for food at the buffet line?

When our kids still lived at home, and were past the age of  Trick-or-Treating...  I would have a special Halloween dinner to fill the void, and would sometimes invite friends to join us.  When Trick-or-Treaters would come to the door during dinner, it was customary for the diners to don a witches hat and go to the door to hand out treats.

I use these orangish tinted Fostoria crystal water glasses, Pottery Barn's Spider salad plates and jet black napkins with my solid black stoneware to set the perfect Halloween table.

Next on the dishes tour, is my first of many picnic baskets. This Brookstone willow basket was a Mother's Day gift from my husband when our kids were in grade school.  This basket has seen many a 'winner-winner chicken dinner', and has been to more Forth Worth Symphony's Concerts in the Garden than I could count.

 The glassware that came with this basket are bistro style instead of stemware. The cheese board and the handles of the cheese knives are real wood, the plates as well as the handles on the flatware are stoneware, and all the handles and straps are leather.

This is my favorite set of Christmas dishes, I love the simplicity of the simple reindeer silhouette with the large dots on the rims.

I bought 6 of these napkin rings at Pottery Barn a long time ago. I think they are retired and are now hard to find, if anybody knows where I can get some more please let me know!

I use this set with gold accented stemware. The water glasses were my mothers, and the stemware is from Pier One.

This is the white dinnerware with gold rims that I use with my Christmas dishes, they are currently hanging out on my sideboard/bar in the breakfast nook.

I have a service for eight along with the serving pieces, it made by Sango and the pattern is Empress Gold, it was discontinued in 2001. I love the coffee pot, it's actually held more flowers than coffee.

Now for my personal favorite... Blue Garland by Johann Haviland.  This setting for 12 also belonged to my mother, and I always use it at Easter because the tiny blue flowers remind me of Spring.

 The pieces are really small, making it perfect for brunch or fancy luncheons, and I love the feminine scalloped edges lined in platinum and the sexy curves on the handles.

 I like to use my blue stemware that I bought at a going out of business sale at a Bombay store in Fort Worth.

The last set I will show you is my 'everyday' brown stoneware, that also came from Bombay. It's well worn and comforting with its embossed wide rims and homespun color.

I hope you have enjoyed my 'Tour of Dishes'. I really don't consider myself a collector of anything, but I have acquired a lot of dinnerware over the years and enjoy bringing them out for various family dinners, holidays,  parties and special occasions. And when you have a lot of dinnerware, you have to have a lot of stemware... but that's a whole nother post!

I will be joining these fun parties...

French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday

Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday

The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home

Delightful Order for Delightfully Inspiring Thursday

No Minimalist Here for Open House Party

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

A creative Princess for It's A Party!

Privet & Holly for Collectors Edition 

Savvy Southern Style for Wow us Wednesday

Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday