AUTOGRILL SHIRT • STOPPING BY RAMAPO ON A SUNDAY EVENING

Flicking through Penelope Brandage’s recent biography of Robert Frost (‘Frost on the Lobelias’, Random House, 2017) was surprised to discover the seminal poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’, previously considered ‘finished’ in 1922 (and published in the volume New Hampshire1923), was actually the product of an earlier draft composed during a visit to Woodchuck Lodgethe summer residence of John Burroughs, shortly before the conservationist’s death in 1921.

 

 

Exhaustive research by Ms Brandage within the archives of the Burroughs Foundation has turned up a previously unrecorded letter from the poet to Burroughs’ young wife Clara Barrus, composed shortly after his stay at their Catskills home. Whilst primarily focussed on a number of rambles undertaken together in the hills above Roxbury, during which Robert and Clara ‘delved headwaters of the Beaverkill, through slavering crack and crevice furred’the latter portion reflects upon the arduous journey Frost was compelled to endure following his weekend sojourn; to New York City, and a reading by the Dymock Poets (Ezra Pound, Edward Thomas, T.E. Hulme) at The Town Hall on 43rd Street. The deflating effect of several hours on the road stands in stark contrast to the poet’s eulogizing of his hostess’s ‘dumpling bosom, fresh briar-baked’, and the letter finishes with a short poem in postscript, clearly a draft of Frost’s later masterpiece. Once again, it seems, the life of the Catskill Mountains reveals itself to be the wellspring of creative genius.

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Whose Subaru is this, we sing,
Parked up here by the Burger King?
He will not see us stopping here
For Whopper Meal and Poland Spring.

We’re driving with some prancing queer
From Williamsburg or somewhere near
Who didn’t want to take the bus
And drank our farmhouse dry of beer.

The dog found something in the grass
Which now is belching from its ass.
The kids are bored to fucking tears
Of Sarah Vowell and Ira Glass.

The car smells like a cheese fondue.
But I have loads of shit to do,
And miles to go before I poo,
And miles to go before I poo.

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The new Table on Ten Autogrill t-shirt. Designed by Mark Ohe, made by Val Dudley. On pre-washed Hanes ComfortSoft in four sizes. $20 while stocks last.

 

I N • C A S E • Y O U • T H O U G H T • B E E R • W A S • B E E R

… because believe us, beer ain’t beer. But don’t feel bad if you thought it was. We did too. Until our new manager Andy Acker arrived.

See, Inez had just finished up an afternoon whittling the testicles off guinea-fowl, and had slipped out to the picnic table, having spotted a shard of sunshine refracted through a giant icicle dangling like the Sword of Damocles from the roof. On her way, she grabs a beer and shouts for Andy to join her. Which, shortly thereafter, he does:

Inez: Hey, I think Spring might actually be here …

Andy: What’s that?

Inez: Eh?

Andy: I said, what’s that? (He points to can of Narragansett on the table) 

Inez: Umm … it’s a beer.

Andy: Hmm. Domestic lager. So soon after the vernal equinox?

Inez: Oh, er … I dunno, is it? (smiles) They’re all the same, right?

Andy: Equinoxes?

Inez: Beers.

Andy: May I? (gestures towards it. She nods. He picks it up by his fingertips. Holds it aloft against the sun. Presses it to his cheek, closes his eyes, emits a low hum. Finally, wafting his fingers like a thrush’s wing over the opening, takes a long sniff followed by several staccato snifflets. Silence)

Inez: You okay?

Andy: Oxidized. Because you drank the first third rapidly, the remaining liquid has reacted with pocketed air within the vessel, throwing off the pH and initiating the first stages of a reverse Haber process.

Inez: Ah.

Andy: Whereby the surface of the lager is gradually becoming low molarity aluminium hydroxide in solution. Leave this can in the sun for fifteen years and you’ll be drinking bauxite.

Inez: Oh.

Andy: Would you like me to titrate you an IPA?

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Remember when beer was just the short and glittering road to being shit-arsed? The longer the road, the shittier the arse? When a word like ale was as snort-inducing as mead, flagon or i’faith, draw me a tankard of sack, buxom serving wench? The provenance of short, pudgy hermaphrodites who dressed in plastic armour to beat each other with nerf-swords in fields outside Leicester? Or pockmarked university drama lecturers playing the celtic drum in Wiltshire pubs, singing about bonny shoals of herring with fingers in their ears? Well not any more. These days an otherwise unretarded-seeming Williamsburger in his thirties will barely blush when referring to beer by its mouthfeel or quaffability: behaviour which (in days of yore) would have got you a firm dart in the middle of the forehead, if not a golden baptism down the toilet-bowl in the Gents whilst involuntarily munching on a slice of moist urinal cake. Being a hophead meant somebody was actually hopping up and down on your head. In the car park. Amongst the discarded rubber johnnies.

Not at Table on Ten though, by golly! There’s no prophylactics in our car park. Hell, we don’t even have a car park!

But we do have beer, and we also have Andy – our new Virgil, fated to lead us by the sweaty paw through the labyrinth of the Craft Beer Inferno. Where all names begin with DOG or end in WHALE. And where half a gallon of last-summer’s paddling-pool water, fermented up a cow’s uterus with a handful of Polish zlotys and stirred with a limp celery stick constitutes a fine idea for an after-hours Spring brewski.

First up in the artisanal small-batch wet t-shirt contest: Southern Tier ‘Nu Skool’ IPA, from Lakewood NY, a short ambulance ride from Buffalo.

This one is characterized by middle-school spelling, bringing to mind notes of sweaty snowboard boot, overnight-wetsuit-in-the-trunk-of-mom’s-Subaru and jockstrap. Originally in the category of awesome, it soon became rad before settling into lit with shades of amazeballs. The perfect beer if you’re planning on free-climbing the pizza oven, base-jumping from the garbage cans or wingsuiting over to Sal’s for a breakfast sandwich. Have two or three. Go cray-cray.

Burial Beer Billows Hoppy Kölsch out of Asheville, NC.

This one combines heavy alliteration (Bradley burnished Bobby’s biggest bollock) with implied European exotica, crowned with an umlaut. Kölsch was apparently a serious mover-and-shaker in the Dusseldorf bondage scene; combined with the name Burial, we’re looking at some serious goth undertones here. Sleeve-tattoos, ear-gauges and two semesters at SUNY Oneonta. For more insight, look no further than Burial’s own product description: ‘it is our smoke signal to all brewers, our brethren in craft, and all who enjoy a light quaffable ale with hearty aroma: this is your beer.’ Yes, they said brethren in craft and quaffable ale. Two tugs on the nipplering-o-meter …

Von Trapp Vienna Lager comes yodeling down the Vermont berghang in tight lederhosen, honking its alpenhorn with eidelweiss in its underpants.

No, you’re not hearing voices from your secret show-tunes days. That’s von Trapp, as in Maria von Trapp. As in Captain von Trapp, seven children and a mess of funny Nazis. Yup. This one features high-notes of raindrops on roses with back-end whiskers on kittens. Four Vienna’s shotgunned in succession will make you lay-ee-odl-lay-ee-odl-lay-hee-hoo like Julie Andrews getting a Jägermeister enema high on a hill from a lonely goatherd; the aftereffects of which include brown paper packages tied up with string and a dream that will need all the love you can give every day of your life for as long as you live.

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That’s it. Our first litter of craft beer triplets, all meanly wrapped in swaddling bands. They’re here now, gurgling away in a refrigerated manger, awaiting the plump ministrations of your immaculate nipples. Come on down to Bloomville and express yourselves.

Life Preservers Available | Whole Pies for the Holidays | 4 and | 20

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Hand-made by Gowanus Elves

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• salted caramel apple

• black bottom pumpkin

• buttermilk chess

• chocolate pecan

• salty honey

• black bottom oat

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$35

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607 832 4538 or inez@tableonten.com to reserve

We”ll be open specially from 6 to 7 on Wednesday evening (23rd) for pickup of reserved pies and maybe a glass of wine.

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Hey | It’s Nearly the Fourth | Do You Want to Make Pie?

☐ yes

We have The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

☐ no

Yeah, I mean, it’s July 4th for God’s sake. It took you 7 hours to get to Yonkers. The dog had gas. You’re grinding Xanax into Montepulciano, slugging it down in quart jars and snorting the residue. You just made a pass at the lawnmower man in your underwear and he ran off into the knotweed. You’ve locked the kids in an old laundry hamper in the basement and can no longer hear their screams.

Now you’re going to make pie crust?

Spare yourself a lifetime in Attica. We have whole Four & Twenty Blackbirds pies.

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Flavors as follows, while stocks last:

• Strawberry Kaffir Lime

• Black-Bottom Spruce

• Salted Caramel Apple

• Matcha Custard

• Strawberry Streusel

• Rhubarb Crumble

$35 for a whole pie. Big enough to feed one fat family of eight or two skinny ones.

Give us a call on 607-643 6509, or email us here

Blazing Upon Re-entry | Welcome to the Reliquary

It’s a Canterbury Tales thing. A whole mess of pilgrims shuffling round Europe, telling bawdy stories, looking to score fish and chips. There goes the Friar across the South Downs, seeking warm, flat beer, beguiling the Wife of Bath with the burr of his cassock. The Nun’s Priest’s sucking Spritz al bitter through a straw with the Summoner behind the bike sheds. Each new day sees them darkening the door of the Pardoner.

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The Physician mixes a vicious Negroni

January 2016. Team Table is burrowing into the buttocks of the Olde World, plotting a course through England, Holland and Italy. A map of their meanderings recalls Caesar’s march through Gaul, with little loops over Schipol and Heathrow due to congestion. Along the way our Pilgrims are granted refuge, variously, in 16th century English timber-framed houses, a Renaissance villa outside of Padua, a narrowboat on the Regents Canal, couple of ground floor apartments in Venice and Amsterdam and a little house in Culemborg. They play Pooh Sticks in the Hundred Acre Wood, climb Monte Pirio with Friulian wine and four glasses, commune with Petrarch’s mummified cat, pick hazelnuts, acorns and bayleaves, spill Campari in the canal at San Trovaso, find an open pharmacy at 7.30 on a Sunday evening in Abano Terme.

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But lest anyone mistake this for recreation – fleeing the bony grip of Delaware County winter to swan around the Euganean Hills like Helena Bonham Carter heaving in a bodice – think again. Hard labour. Oscar Wilde breaking rocks in Reading Gaol. There was difficult food to be digested, strenuous parlor games; and relics to be sought out and brought home.

To that end:

ARQUA PETRARCA OVEN MITT. The very item used by the Father of Humanism to wrangle lasagne al forno out of his toaster in 1369. Folklore has Petrarch spending long afternoons in the kitchen; recipe testing, weaving wreaths from olive branches, trying to rhyme loggia with ambrosia.  These mitts would have spared him burned fingers; an important issue when you’ve got another 100 sonnets to compose to the object of your unconsummated love.  Wear them and you too may feel ‘Thus possed to and fro / Al sterelees withinne a boot …’

$15 per mitt

BIALETTI DAMA STOVETOP ESPRESSO MAKER (from Venice). Designed by Pino Spagnolo, who brought soft curves to everything from speedboats to lemon squeezers. Locals claim it’s the best. Still makes coffee with ‘inimitable aroma and taste’, but adds a frisson of moda Italiana. Etched with the timeless phrase Omino con I Baffi which has something to do with mustaches, we’re not sure what.

$45 – 3 cup / $55 – 6 cup

Petrarch's Mitts / Villa dei Vescovi / Colli Euganei / Dialetti Dama
Petrarch’s Mitts / Villa dei Vescovi / Colli Euganei / Bialetti Dama

VISGRAAT DARK BLUE BLANKET – 100% cotton, 100% Dutch. Herringbone weave. Can be used to block the wind whipping up one’s gusset off the IJsselmeer, for cradling a nice broodje gezond with some hagelslag and appelstroop at Wijk aan Zee, or just wrap it casually round your neck like a sjaal as you pedal giddily down to Waterlooplein.

$35

SÄKERHETS TANDSTICKOR – forgive the absence of umlauts: your favorite Swedish matches are back in the big size only. If you want to burn shit, these are for you.

$6

South Downs / Visgraat / Tändstickor / Hackney Garages
South Downs / Visgraat / Tändstickor / Hackney Garages

SANT’ ANTONIO CANDLES from Basilica di Sant’Antonio in Padova. Strictly limited edition these, due to baggage allowance. Anthony of Padova is the Patron Saint of Lost Things. So if you have issues with car keys, sunglasses or spouses, you might want to grab one. The candles come from a spot close to the reliquary, where the desiccated tongue of St Anthony forever sits waiting to lick something. The Basilica is one of eight shrines recognized by the Holy See. By purchasing a candle you can knock it off the list, leaving only seven steps to Rapture

$12

BAY LEAVES FROM VILLA DEI VESCOVI – not for sale, but come, scratch and sniff.

Sant'Antonio Candle / Villa dei Vescovi / Colli Eugenei / Bay Leaves
Sant’Antonio Candle / Villa dei Vescovi / Colli Eugenei / Bay Leaves

Four & Twenty Blackbirds Thanksgiving Pies | You’ve Done Enough

You’ve brined the turkey for 36 hours, driven it north in a Subaru, wrestled it downstairs like a drunk auntie. You’ve parboiled the potatoes with celeriac, maple-glazed the carrots, curdled the milk with lemon. Peeled the chestnuts, crusted the bread and cored the apples. Reconstituted the garbanzo bean flour for Antigone and Oliver’s gluten-free stuffing. Creamed the corn. Milled the cranberries. You’ve topped and tailed the green beans, squashed the squash, toasted the cumin. You’ve spun the milk-thistle, cauterized the wood-sorrel, burnt the borage. You’re gagging for the bottle, but you still have to muddle the mallow and drizzle the dingleberries.

Do you really want to bake a pie?

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FOUR AND TWENTY BLACKBIRDS THANKSGIVING PIES

Available now at Table on Ten

The perfect dessert or ‘dish to pass’ in three delicious flavours

• Salted Caramel Apple ($35)

Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan ($40)

Brown Butter Pumpkin ($35)

•••

Call 607 643 6509 or send us a message to reserve.

Pickup available at the following times:

Saturday 21st November, 9 to 3 and 6 to 9

Sunday 22nd November, 9 to 3

Wednesday 25th November, 5 to 7

•••

Microshop Redux | Foraging Gelderland

Good Morning, Bloomville. Second night back, the front door blew open in the wee hours. Descending the stairs at 5.30 to frigid currents in the Antipodes, thermostats blinking in apoplexy at 38 degrees and falling. -7 outside. The furnace roaring like Lear on the heath, to no discernible effect. Dr Bronners in the shower turned to lard, Argan Oil of Morocco to crystals. Ollie swaddled in a parka and bobble hat on the couch, woolly mittens on every paw, swigging Jameson from the bottle as a restorative. Three weeks in Europe. We had forgotten this.

Three hours later the kitchen crested 50, crocodile tears had defrosted, fallen and precipitated into history. Time to go open the doors at Table and welcome in the New Year.  Like tardy Sinterklaas, we come bearing gifts from the Flatlands. In very limited supplies – the days of one’s portmanteaux being ferried from the White Star Liner by legions of sweating coolies are long gone – they nonetheless bring a note of cloggy cheer to the frostbitten shelves of the Microshop.

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1. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s time to burn something. What better way to set fire to shit than a lovely box of Säkerhets Tändstickor? Yeah, we know, you can get a lighter from the Mirabito in Hobart for a buck. But three weeks in Europe reminded us that the good life is a pyramid built from little blocks of beauty. Single-shot espresso in the right cup, grace, love, candour, great matchsticks. Not strictly Dutch. In fact Swedish. But blonde in spirit and in three handy sizes.

2. Footsteps in the Sand. Maybe some Shinto aphorism on man’s temporal contribution to the sacred essence, or merely trudging across the beach at Bloemendaal to glimpse the North Sea’s gunmetal indifference? We don’t sell it, but sand is available from Delaware Bulldozing and wellington boots from stockists online.

3. Bergman’s Botersprits may sound like a type of enema, but are actually highly-addictive traditional dutch shortbread biscuits, teeming with butter and cunningly laced with salt. Piped and baked since 1922 at Banketbakkerij Theo Blom, on the very street in Utrecht where Inez’s Mom was born (significantly later). We tested them on American children. Turn away, turn back, and all you’ll see is biscuit-dust suspended in a shaft of sunlight.

4. 1846, Amsterdam, tail end of koloniale Rijk. There are Dutchmen from Malacca to Pomeroon itching to get their Flemish fingers on some full-cream, homestyle butter before the natives arrive and send ’em back to Hoogeveen with their tails between their legs. But shipping the stuff out to the tropics on ice proves only slightly effective. Weeks at sea take their toll; there’s seamen slithering in the fo’c’sle and something awful smelly in the Deep Antilles. Up pops H. J. Wijsman en Zonen with a dastardly solution – ingeblikte boter. Butter in a can. Yes, you heard it right. No refrigeration, lots of salt (are you sensing a theme?) a rich, cheese-like taste, it ranks #2 in Saveur’s list of weirdly wonderful butters of the world. And now go swoon over the packaging.

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5. Little Porcelain coke spoons. Not exactly measuring spoons. Just adorable, delicate yet practical porcelain spoons. Practical in what way? Well, in a ‘picking bits of stuff up and moving it somewhere else on a spoon’ kind of way. Beautifully.

6. Inez, what the hell is this?

7. More Nordzee. We spent four hours on the beach at Zandvoort putting this in salvaged beer bottles to bring home and store your contact lenses in. All 36 bottles were removed from Inez’s hand-luggage at Schiphol and confiscated, along with a quart of Santa Maria Novella Melograno and half a kilo of plastic explosive. Plans to demolish the back steps and replace them with a fireman’s pole have been put on hold.

8. Sturdy Dutch Kitchen Towels have been a stalwart at Table on Ten from the outset. We were getting low. Now we’re all full up. The ultimate utility towel, utterly multi-purpose, 100% cotton and almost indestructible. Wilna occasionally used these towels to wipe Inez’s bottom when she was a baby. Well, not these exactly. Ones like them. The actual ones have been donated to the Dutch equivalent of the Smithsonian. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

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9. Simple Wooden Stoppers can plug anything roughly the diameter of a bottle-neck. Let your imagination run wild. These feel dutch because they are cheerful, beautiful, unpretentious and unable to say the ‘th’ sound properly. But actually they are Italian. Probably Northern Italian though, otherwise they’d be in hysterics and stabbing each other.

10. Here’s another look at the Säkerhets Tändstickor matches. See that barn swallow? So Delaware County.

11. They have  outlasted all other cookies at Table on Ten. It’s true, new cookies have sashayed out of the kitchen over the years, all gussied up with sour cherries or Golden Syrup, and been Queen for a Day. But all the while Speculaas bided her time, humbly sweeping the grate like Assepoester – the dutch Cinderella (yes, that’s really her name) – whilst the others flutter their eyelids, primp and preen. To her, the glass slipper.

12. Gracing every table from Muggenbeet to Doodstil, the simple, practical Dutch Butter Crock is the perfect receptacle for a few ounces of H.J. Wijsman Butter in a Can. Folklore has it, the distinctive hemispherical shape was modeled on the domes of Basilica San Marco in Venice, much admired by Dutch traders visiting La Serenissima in the late 17th Century. But this folklore might not be accurate, because we just made it up.

That’s it! Doors are open! The winter is behind us, spring is in the air, daffodils are sprouting, there are coconuts on the palms and camels on Bramley Mountain. Pizza Night as usual this Friday and Saturday.  Come on down. We’ve missed you!

Table Bags | Go, Diego, Go!

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They’re here. 100% recycled cotton, hardy, oversize Table on Ten grocery bags, sporting the REFICITE bookplate. A trembling buck gleans sustenance from a tiny oasis in the middle of nowhere. Metaphors. Gotta love ’em. Modeled on turn-of-the-century Dutch woodcuts, appropriated and adapted by near-legendary Mark Ohe, big enough to tote every library book you’ll ever tote, every root vegetable you root. The limited-edition first pressing is purring on the shelves, ink still glistening. $20.

Come and get ’em. Or email us; we’ll shuffle across the tundra to Bloomville post office, freezer-burned tongues will lick stamps and ship packages to warmer climes. Proud parents, we’d love to hear what they get up to once they arrive. Send snaps. Our first functional message in a bottle, forgive us if we get a bit teary. Already spotted barreling down the Thruway bearing Tilsit and Pure Mountain Honey, we’ve assigned them global ambassadorial duties. Next stop Pyongyang. Go, Diego, Go!

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