An adventure this weekend reconfirmed my notion of summer. Cuttyhunk, in my opinion, is the epitome of an idyllic summertime landscape. Cuttyhunk is the outermost island of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts, just 1.5 miles long, who plays host to 52 full-time residents and a bounty of boaters and island hoppers in the warmer months. There are hardly any cars on the island, but plenty of golf carts driven by those carefree inhabitants. Rugged rugosa shrubs scatter the perimeter of the picturesque harbor and beaches, and historic homes dot the lush hills. Any spot on the island offers a special vantage point, whether it may be sand, architecture or a glimpse of the nearby Vineyard Sound. The surrounding waters have been known for shipwrecks and a plethora of striped bass for eager fishermen. Above are a few captures from the excursion.
One of my favorite things about summertime is the food. Fresh fruit for cobblers, seafood from local harbors and salads crafted from garden harvests…
We’ve seemed to have mastered the “Moules Marinières” dish, as we’ve feasted on mussels a few times and our recipe has progressively improved.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
- 2 small shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds mussels
8 ounces chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper
- Crusty French bread
- Clean and remove beards from mussels.
- Preheat a large pot to medium and add olive oil and butter. Once butter has melted, add sliced shallots, a pinch of salt and pepper then cook for 5 minutes until the shallots have softened.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine, chicken stock and mussels, then cover with a lid and steam mussels for 8-10 minutes or until all mussels open. (If any mussels do not open, discard).
- Add cream and parsley, stir and season with salt if necessary.
- Serve with lemon wedges and slices of crusty French bread.
I am pleased as punch to see the launch of the Parterre Bench come to fruition today. C&C Consulting, along with the Private Newport team, worked tirelessly and passionately to truly bring a dream to a reality. The Parterre Bench is a beautifully-scaled, custom bespoke garden accessory that commands celebratory order. It is available for any discerning eye to bring home to their own garden setting.
My client was inspired by a whimsical bench spotted some 30 years ago at Birr Castle in Ireland. She then specifically created a bower in her own Newport, Rhode Island garden (one that effortlessly mirrors Gardens of Versailles, mind you), to house the custom bench she designed to satiate her dreams. Years later, with some guts and grandeur, we are thrilled to bring the Parterre Bench to market.
DO: Get inspired & watch this video.
Thank you for your support & Happy Gardening!
(Photograph above shot by the uber talented Jodi Paquin | http://www.jodipaquinphotography.com/)
I’m coming off of an incredible weekend amongst the Vermont summer mountain air. I haven’t felt so relaxed in quite some time. Here is a capture from a swimming post on Chittenden Reservoir. Green is good. xx