David Hockney | Paul Smith | Alex Katz | National Portrait Gallery | And …

… Inez Valk. Sneaky. Dutch subject, Danish photographer, bit of smoke-and-mirrors (and the palming of a few soiled Euros, no doubt), all of a sudden she’s perched like a meerkat in the middle of Britain’s National Portrait Gallery in London. Room 32. The erstwhile home of Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, Queen Elizabeth II, Paul McCartney, Diana Spencer, Iris Murdoch, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Not to mention Amy Winehouse, Margaret Thatcher, Seamus Heaney and Rudolf Nureyev. Are we name-dropping? Forgive us being momentarily starstruck: it is, after all, bowel-looseningly thrilling. We have goosebumps the size of Peekamoose Mountain. I know, I know, she’s only a little Ollie face in a rear-view mirror whereas Prince Charles is the size of a grisly seventh grader. But she’s there! And so is the wintry stretch of route 18 between Hobart and South Kortright. And so was Henrik, lurking in back seat of the Subaru, the last of his five days shooting our Beloved Leader for Cay Sophie Rabinowitz’s Osmos last winter. 

"Hold on, stop pushing, you'll all get to see it ..."
“Hold on, stop pushing, you’ll all get to see it …”

Alright, alright. So it’s not in the Permanent Collection. She’s not actually breaking bread with Nelson Mandela and Mick Jagger. But she is part of a special event in which 200 ‘artists, sitters and well-known individuals’ were invited to create a Mystery Postcard Portrait image for a Gallery Gala attended by Kate Middleton, who is known to like a nice postcard, especially sunsets over beaches and corgis romping in the snow. Henrik’s one of those: an artist, sitter or well-known individual (not a corgi). Well-known by the Farringdon Constabulary, at least. They don’t mean babysitter, do they? Because he scared the bejesus out of Dusty with his tales of child-eating trolls from the hills beyond Ringkjøbing. Artist, then. And this was the portrait he chose to submit. Our Inez. Sweet, eh?

We’d invite our London fan-club (both of them) to go check the veracity of the story in person. Thing is, well, the picture sold straight away on the Gala Night. So it’s not there any more. It’s in Kate Middleton’s handbag, with a little picture of her mother-in-law stuck on it, waiting to be rediscovered when she goes looking for her chapstick. 

But those of us who missed the boat are cheered by whispers of a forthcoming intaglio edition of images from the series. Don’t worry, we had to look it up too. Seems to involve etching, engraving, that sort of thing. Like you used to do with lino at school to make christmas cards for your mum. We wonder which other pictures’ll be included? Frozen Admiral Valk traipsing through a blizzard across a corn field in her granny’s sweater looking like she’s about given up? Staring out of a foggy window contemplating the untimely death of her hamster?

Very exciting. And a change from soup, right? We’ll keep you posted as this story develops …

Crossing the Rio Delaware | Taco Night at La Mesa de los Diez

Reclining upon loungers in Speedos and sunglasses at the edge of the pond on yet another long, languid Delaware County January afternoon, where care, cock-a-leekie and the peculiar grating sound emanating from the back of the upright freezer cannot touch us. We could be on Stromboli, sucking lemons with Ingrid Bergman. Strung as we are along this necklace of sunkissed lethargy, we are nevertheless able to set aside a few moments for wistful reflection upon opportunities missed over these first weeks of 2014. We did nothing on Robert E Lee’s Birthday, for instance. National Wear Red Day passed us by like an overcrowded bus. Neither National Hat Day nor National Pharmacist Day elicited a murmur. Penguin Appreciation Day, Dress Up Your Pet Day, National Popcorn Day? Nothing, nothing and nothing. Did we bake a pie on National Pie Day? We did not.

But look, look into your binoculars; who is that galloping down the dark side of Bramley Mountain like Paul Revere in a frock? Could it be … Valentinus, early Christian martyr, beaten with clubs, Patron Saint of Courtly Love? Valentine’s Day! So close we can smell it. Secret messages, balloons shaped like hearts, romance resurrected over burgers at Applebee’s. Everybody loves Valentine’s Day. Know what else everybody loves? Mexican food. Just imagine if we made Mexican food … on Valentine’s Day. There’d be so much love we’d need to hose the place down with Lysol.

Thing is, we can’t. Friday’s Pizza Night. It’s been Pizza Night since the dawn of time, and we can’t have Pizza Folk bowling up and finding the place overrun with people in sombreros. There’d be arugula flying like cat hair; gluten riots in the streets of Bloomville. More to the point, why gild the Friday lily when there’s a gildless Sunday sitting two days behind it? Furthermore, said Sunday has a Holiday Monday the size of a 1970’s bean bag on its tail. Presidents Day. So nobody has to go hurtling down I87 to wage-slavery on Sunday evening. Instead they can kick back one more blesséd night and come to:

TACO NIGHT AT TABLE ON TEN

Sunday 16th February, 6 till 9 

Huapango Redoblando

'We don't need no stinking pizza ...'
‘We don’t need no stinking pizza …’

Menu will likely include (but may not be limited to):

• Yucatan chicken lime soup

• fresh hand-made masa tortillas

• house-made carnitas ‘El Thorntoño’

• something vegetarian involving spicy roasted vegetables

• refried pinto beans (with fresh rendered lard)

• vegetarian black beans (lardless)

• red rice

• fresh chipotle guacamole

• tomato, mango, jalapeño salsa

• tomatillo salsa

• other salsas as they come to us

• leaves

• nearly queso anejo

• Cuatro y Veinte pies

• Mexican chocolate ice cream

• vino rojo, blanco, rosado y espumoso

Cerveza Mexicana!

Everything will be served in an informal taco format. Y’know, two of those filled with some of that: a bit of that on top: that, that and that on the side: none of that, and a bit more of that. Imagine a four-storey Table on Ten-shaped taco truck, but cosier and without the smelly generator. Fresh hand-made tortillas, stuff to go inside ’em, on ’em, around ’em.  Choose everything, some things, this thing, that thing. Lead with soup, finish with pie. And ice cream. Anoint it all with wine and beer.

Please feel free to be spontaneous, drop everything but your trousers, head down to River Street at the drop of a hat. However, if you happen to know you’ll be coming for sure, we’d love to know too. Drop us a line here.

Graçias Amigos, y mi madre tiene las patas y los dientes de un hipopótamo!

Inonotus Obliquus | Come Hunt the Sterile Conk

Dateline: late January, Table on Ten.

Quiet afternoon, waiting for the hot-water-and-lard pastry to cool whilst absentmindedly massaging each other’s scapulae with Thornton’s trotters. Received the following uplifting missive from our dear friend and collaborator Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower.

We’re off to hunt the wild Chaga. Pull on your Mucks, swaddle yourself in coyote and whittle your spear flinty keen.

You can't run, but you can hide
You can’t run, but you can hide

Good day, Everybody

Details for Birch and Chaga Workshop, Wednesday February 12th, Table on Ten

Class starts at Table on Ten with a short walk to greet the awakening, above ground parts of birch: it’s less than a 2 minute walk from the café. I anticipate the walk to be a total of 30 to 40 minutes. Bundle up. We’ll observe birch in all the in-between spaces, touch, smell and taste too, then harvest branches; Chaga mushroom often grows on birch (other trees too) if we don’t see any, I have a prime example a woodsman gave me as a show and tell piece.

When we return to Table on Ten, Inez will have hot Chaga tea. I’ll have Chaga muffins of some sort – gluten and dairy free to increase our metabolic body heat.

Hands-on: birch bark preparation into an oil extraction and a honey extraction to take home.  Oil, honey and jars will be provided. Talking points will be backed up with handouts.

Reminder: bring a sharp, non-serrated knife.

The last hour of class will involve a picture powerpoint on Chaga. Talking points: history of traditional use, I.D. specifics, current research; harvesting sustainably, preserving, drying, preparing into tea and foods; handouts will include recipes and resources.

Please pre-register as soon as possible.

Cancellation: if there’s an ice storm or heavy snow (10-12 inches or more) we’ll postpone to a March date.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you. 

Marguerite, Lauren & Kaela

At class completion you will have the skills and understanding

– to prepare birch bark oil and other tree bark oils
– knowledge about Chaga’s delicate sustainable needs
– how to prepare Chaga mushroom for your needs, sustainably

Cost per person: $25.00
Pre-register by Feb. 9th
Arrival Time: 11:30
Class begins at 12:00 pm
Pre-Register with Marguerite: 3moonsisters@gmail.com or 607-437-1218