The Perfect Swing

I am over the moon to be contributing to the blog My Crafty Spot, “When Life Gets Creative”!  The extremely talented Erin Kennedy is the host and resident Superwoman.  Her other blogs My Thirty Spot and My Cooking Spot are phenomenal; you simply must check them out! She is dedicated to sharing great ideas from amazing people; writing for the 30 something girl who needs to know all we simply need to know! This lady has got it all!!

My first post for My Crafty Spot is The Perfect Swing. Follow the link for the full post and steps to making your very own Perfect Swing.

Growing up I remember vividly this little picture of a girl propelled into the sky, head thrown back, smile spread over her face, legs stretched out in front of her, hands gripping the rope of a swing, cotton candy clouds sounding her and a grand castle in the distance.  My mother had it hanging it in her room, it was a gift from her beloved grandmother and when she was a child and looked up into the blues and green of the Maxfield Parish print her grandmother would recite this poem;

The Swing
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
– ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

This little ritual was passed on to my mom along with the print titled Dinky Bird and as I would lie on her bed gazing at the sheer joy and magic of this framed heirloom my mother would recite the poem from memory.

These moments molded me, shaping my belief in the magic of The Swing.

I strongly believe in swings and the memories that are made on them; the first day of spring- a girl in a cotton dress soaring to the clouds, a cool autumn night- bare feet and hot tea, wrapped in a blanket leaning against the rope while you sway; a warm summer night- fireflies sprinkle the grass with stars as you sail through the evening cooling off.  The Swing is joy, it’s freedom, it’s childhood and lets face it, it’s simply adorable.

So it will come as no surprise to you that as soon as I saw the yard of our little vintage home, all I could think about was a bright red swing.  It would hang, entreating to be sat on, hovering above the ground in a yard decorated with flowers lovingly buoyed by a tree over a hundred years old.  I mean this tree practically begged to be swung from with its perfect branches and heaps of shade.  My mind was made up: I must make a swing.

Go the The Perfect Swing at My Crafty Spot for the full instructions, beautiful pictures and the full post!

Get Swinging!

Marcella Rose

Fourth of July Feast

IMG_1387This fourth of July I wanted to do something different than the traditional BBQ so we invited 8 guests to join us for a 5 course meal in our sweet little yard.  I poured over cookbooks and magazines creating and recreating menus; trying to inject just the perfect amount of red, white and blue into this sit down soiree.  The final menu had just enough class and brass for one enchanting evening underneath the bursting fireworks to celebrate our day of independence.

The Menu

Refreshments
Watermelon Basil Gin Coolers
Chili Popcorn
The Meal
Firecracker Crab with Three Chili Dipping Sauce
Prosciutto and Melon Purses on Field Greens with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Beet Ravioli with Independence Corn Relish
Line Caught Wild Alaskan Halibut in a Whiskey Marinade with Dijon Potato Salad
Blueberry Hand Pies with Slow Churned Vanilla Ice Cream
I set the table simply, with white and silver, wanting the bright colors of the food to really pop, bang and BOOM!  Hanging large flour sack towels on the back back of the chairs for napkins.
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Upon arrival guests were greeted with Watermelon Basil Gin Coolers served in old jars and Chili Popcorn oh and of course Dr. Watson our boston terrier.
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IMG_1423Once we all sat down we cleaned our hands with cooled lemon water soaked towels and started tearing into Firecracker Alaskan King Crab Legs dipped into a spicy Three Chili Sauce.  The sauce was a play on my grandmothers recipe for crab dipping sauce; dijon, horseradish, lemon, mayo,  and a dash of ketchup; I added three different chili sauces to spice it up.  I served them in galvanized buckets full of ice; their legs looking like the trails of  bursting light from a firecracker .
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For the next course, I wrapped up melon with paper thin prosciutto tying up these little purses with a chive and serving them with some organic field greens and a dressing of olive oil, salt, pepper and artisan grapefruit vinegar that was purchased on a trip to Santa Cruz for my little sister Nathalia’s, founder and owner of Creatively Conscious, Birthday.
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Next, I plated up a recipe I altered from Tom Douglas, who altered it from the great Marcella Hazen; cold beet ravioli pared with a delicious corn relish recipe from my talented photographer sister Bianca Sciotto,  It was a bold choice but it was a hit! The relish paired very well with the beets and the corn gave a hint of the traditional grilled corn of the holiday.
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Our main course, Fresh Line-caught Alaskan Halibut that my husband Matt and I caught ourselves on our recent trip to Homer Alaska, the “Halibut Capital of the World”.  These filets are so fresh, so thick, so white… I was so excited to get creative cooking them up.  I let them sit all day in a whisky marinade and then broiled them to perfection.  I served the halibut on very simple, very light, red potato salad with my favorite broccoli sprouts on the side.  Delish!
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Finally for dessert the smallest of blueberry hand pies.  I slipped them into homemade wax paper bags to bring back memories of the good ol’ days and served them with little galvanized buckets of dish-yourself, slow churned, vanilla ice cream.
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The night was truly perfect, with a nice cool breeze, good friends, wonderful conversation, and a memorable, different meal that won’t fade into the fourth of July BBQ’s of years past.
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