Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Welcome to a small corner of my life and history on the page. We have created this blog to talk about things cultured, mannered, and domestic. I will reach out to you from fair North Salem, New York on food, wine, tradition, manners, and issues not far flung from any of these concerns. This great world cooks less, gathers around a family table on fewer evenings, and shys from the use of good glassware and sterling silver, it is these changes upon which my dialogue here will revolve.

But fear not, contemporary and more casual world, myself and the dashing host, John, are here. To give you some of the recipes we have enjoyed most as a family, and discuss anecdotes and items from a curiously dressed-down planet. And while I have not been to a Junior League meeting in sometime (ever since the cattiness began to seem less than charitable), I am still a league member in so many other worthy groups, both organized and otherwise. I am not an authority on anything: Sometimes I am a willing tester of a formula or theory, a wonderer regards arcane and esoteric traditions and manners which still have a place in my home, a young mother known to drink gimlets in kitten heels in some swank spots, a rider, a person with generations of monogrammed items, a recently early-retired fashion executive, a passionate reader and an observer, an endless observer.

Occasionally, you will see notes here regards some fabulous people, some of whom might be recognized for their significant contributions to this promising world of ours. Many began along side me, in Bedford, New York. More turned up along the way. I would be remiss here if I did not credit a few souls right from the opening salvo: My Mother and Grandmother, whose sit-up-straight homes, eyes for beautiful things and talents in others, and seemingly endless knowledge of how a thing is done correctly launched me, registry in hand, into a well-appointed life. My husband, a handsome and elegant Naval officer whose patience is remarkable and hope irrespressable. Margaret, whose curiousity is contagious. Mary, God rest her soul, whose style notes stay with me ever so vividly, on being a halting gorgeous wife and mother who gardened in Lilly Pulitzer, with a home so delicately considered in hopeful yellows, golfy greens, and the highs and lows of peach tones against deep burled woods, creamy old porcelains, and perfectly attended-to silvers that the thought of her living room still makes me wistful for old Bedford. Lois, her equally as devastatingly beautiful and gifted daughter who maintains all the mannered capacities of her mother, but is truly gifted in remarkable graciousness and a clarity of good spiritedness unrivaled. Dori and her Mom, who have taught me everything I know about families that persevere, sit together, laugh, and eat. It was at their sides I learned Italian cooking as a young girl, the extraordinary gift of big families, and as an adult, what it takes to see a family through the hardest of times. Rebecca and her family, who never fail to go to the aid of another in any circumstance, without care of loss to themselves, define giving in new and powerful ways each day. And Robbie and his remarkable Mom and Dad who I have not seen in too long, for keeping up the silver, appearances, relevent memberships, and the humor in the blue-blooded march to the grave tumbler in hand; how you have managed to retain and indeed refine good manners in a livable and entertaining way, for a world which, sadly, may not have tuned in with out you.

We will still watch each of you for tips, and my que to come to this journal and note what has gone beautifully and what has tripped off in an unexpected direction. Here is where I will note holding on to, and building upon, a gracious life, such as you have demonstrated. So, bearing in mind all the the toasts we've yet to give and with great hope for all the joy we can share here, I begin the Blushing Hostess.

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