Monday, September 1, 2008

Not ready to let go

In this glorious little town in which we live, so close to New York City, and still a rural gentleman-horse farm community, there is a farm stand and small nursery called The Country Farmer. Fitting. Were one unaware of the season and the bounty each yields, we would know by the puns forever posted on the front fence of the stand. I know we're seeing the last winks of summer when when the sign "Got your ears on?" appears in reference to the silver queen corn's arrival. And I know the time has come to let go of this glorious season when I see, "Mums the word." As I did this past week. We always say those guys have a million of 'em.

This is also the season of my Mother's birthday. This year, I went to the store and bought an SUV full of kale, asters, and mums in a riot of color and transplanted the entire mass into her planters at four corners of her deck overlooking the hills as her birthday gift. The arrival of these floral denizens of fall can give you a long slow pause while you make one last plea for the ability to turn back the calendar.

But powerless to do anything but make way for the fiery brilliance of our northeastern fall, our family made way for festive good byes and one important hello: Late last Sunday night we welcomed a new nephew. He is a tiny amazing miracle. We have been blessed enough to spend two evenings this week with the newly expanded family and their first child. We also joined them for their fabulous and huge neighborhood block party yesterday which was truly well done with every last detail considered. And finally, we had two opportunities to celebrate our Mother's birthday: Friday evening supper and Labor Day brunch today. It is not an exaggeration to say we have potentially eaten as much and as often as any of our Christmas ski holidays (food fests which last four days occasionally briefly interrupted by shopping or skiing).

While I cannot hope to accurately recount for you the variety of wonderful things we have come across in these last few days, I can tell you about brunch today, for which I was responsible. We truly enjoyed this menu and it proved to be very low maintenance; it was my goal to ease up on the labor intensive food for once and see my family before all the teachers begin school again tomorrow. While I do not normally advocate anything pre-made, these items were top notch and made the last day of summer slide by easily. You can order directly from Legals and have their award winning chowder shipped over night to you for immediate use or to place in your freezer for a party-saving moment.

While I use a recipe of Alton Brown's (link below) for the mussels, recipes for the cocktails and orange glazed cupcakes will be available here at Blushing Hostess this week. Happiest and fireiest of fall seasons to you!

Mussels Moulies and the pot sauces in small cups for each guest.

Labor Day Summer Close Brunch Menu
Serves 8

Tropical Champagne Cocktail

Legals Seafood Clam Chowder and Oyster Crackers

Mussels Moulies
Pomme Frite (aka Ore Ida's new Extra Crispy Fries, delish!)
Garlic Bread

Orange Glazed Butter Cupcakes

The end of champagne cocktail tray and the end of our all-too-short summer of 2008.

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