Friday, August 20, 2010


I recently found an oasis of color and vibrance at the center of the state farmer's market in the midst of a long hot summer. A distinguished man in a straw hat distributed bouquets of loveliness to many who came looking for a splash of nature's color to bring home. Sweet Williams, Gladiolas, Dahlias, so many dramatic specimens that I don't begin to know all the names of. Many walked away smiling with bountiful color in hand.

My pick was a current obsession with succulents. The plant vendor had a fine variety in colors and clusters. My choice was a Sempervivum, also known as hen and chicks.

I've had an interest in doing a painting of a single one. I sometimes become overcome with these visions of things that I must paint, as with things I must cook, places I must go, and so on.

I also procured a few nice sweet onions and some local fresh okra for making more okra pickles.
I was sad to see that the hot pepper farmer from last summer was not there. We do have our own small crop, and on the "to do" list is "make hot sauce", but the vision of his table last summer was colorfully stunning.

I also ran into an old friend, which made the day complete. There is nothing like a good tailgate market in midsummer for visiting, for inspiration, for awesome fresh food and healthy eating and for seeing the vast abundance that nature gives us. Its great to have these bright and cheerful places to go and find succulents, and other stuff.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
-Thomas Edison


I think that I shall drink a peach.

Peachtree Punch

This luscious and creamy smooth refreshment was invented for the opening of Trader Vic's in Atlanta, one of our all time favorite places to visit. It is a tried and true recipe and an astonishing elixir for what ails in this onerous summer.

1 medium fresh peach, peeled, pitted, and quartered
1½ ounces silver rum
2 ounces orange juice
¼ ounce coconut syrup
¼ ounce peach liqueur
1½ cups crushed ice, plus additional ice cubes
1 sprig mint, for garnish
Grated nutmeg, for garnish
Red wine or double old-fashioned glass

Reserve one of the peach quarters. Combine the remaining three peach quarters, rum, orange juice, coconut syrup, peach liqueur, and crushed ice in an electric blender and pulse for a few seconds, just until uniformly combined. Pour into the glass and add ice cubes to fill. Garnish with the remaining peach quarter, skewered on a cocktail pick, and the mint sprig. Dust with grated nutmeg.

Recipe from "Trader Vic's Tiki Party!", by Steve Siegelman, Ten Speed Press, a fantastic guide of history, party planning and recipes for cocktails and food.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ladies of the Lake

July was the annual girls camping trip. For four days we floated and floundered on the shores of Lake Jocassee. We ate like queens. We told stories, watched shadows in the moonlight, painted pictures and knitted and purled for as long as we wanted.

White morning glories hung like dew drops from the banks of the water's edge. Hardwoods towered above us while large feathered friends crowed about.

Boat tour with hospitable friends.. visions of waterfalls. ferns. moss. and rainbow. Riding roof top...laughing ladies sliding, splashing. Cody and Cinnamon happy smiling.

Ahhhh,...a mini break..

photos by M.Palmarita