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.

•••

 

 

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?

•••

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.

•••

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.

Open | Closed | Open | Closed | Closed | Open

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It’s that time of year. And it came like some an arctic lemur, with a scalpel of ice in its tail.

Hours for the holiday season are as follows:

•••

Thursday 22nd – 9 to 3 

Friday 23rd – 9 to 3 and 6 to 9 (pizza night)

Saturday 24th (Christmas Eve) – 9 to 3 but NO PIZZA NIGHT

Sunday 25th (Christmas Day) – CLOSED

Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th – closed as usual

Thursday 29th – 9 to 3

Friday 30th – 9 to 3 and 6 to 9 (final pizza night of 2016)

Saturday 31st (New Year’s Eve) – 9 to 3 but NO PIZZA NIGHT

•••

From 1st January 2017 till March 2nd, Table on Ten will be closed while the staff scour the cosmos for good stuff and inspiration. We’ll be back for show-and-tell at the first hint of thaw, tails quivering like bunnies.

Brrr. Put a second pair of socks on.  And The Clash’s Sandinista! or Wire’s Pink Flag. That’ll do it.

•••

Nate Smith | Emily Elsen | Sophie Kamin | Inez Valk | Burning Down the House

English polemicist Hobbes,
Took to bigamy in between jobs,
“I’d do less perspiring
And much more inspiring
If I had me four balls and two knobs.”

We’ve reached that bloodshot, coke-addled point in the political polemic when the Carnival of Assholes has become functionally unbearable. Last night the hours between 2.30 and 4.15 were spent gazing at the ceiling like Munch’s The Scream, sleeplessly contemplating the horror of being governed by a giant, bloated incubus muppet: whatever happened to the old chestnuts of financial destitution, lovelessness, cancer, infant mortality and the bomb?

We all need a break.

Friday night we register our protest at #peakdrivel by running screaming from our houses in pantyhose and fishermen’s cable-knits, wrapping the entire interior of the Table on Ten in newspaper and inviting Nate Smith and Sophie Kamin (from Bar Bolinas and Allswell) and Emily Elsen (from Four and Twenty Blackbirds) to man the existential barricades alongside Inez in a steadfast one-night cookathon which will employ every last scrap of vegetation remaining in Delaware County. Star Route, Berry Brook, Burnetts and Hellers will be rendered desolate wastelands. Further supplies will be pillaged from Key Training Farm, Cowbella, Bovina Valley, Greenane and Marguerite, along with the rude knobbly bits from fridges, shelves, sides of the road, Ollie’s matted flanks and the trunk of the Subaru. Scorched earth harvesting. What’ll remain when we’re done is rocks, stumps and grubby-handled toddler’s pull-toys, each missing a wheel.

No tickets, no invitations, tastings or pairings. No french linen sheets repurposed as tablecloths or backwoods banjo-string-quartets. You don’t have to simper like a poodle or prance like a dressage-pony.

No need to hashtag, like, follow, lie, cheat, namaste or lol. Neither to choreograph kittens or petals, crush persimmons, nor scatter ground-cherries onto beds of milkweed fluff. Leave your prohibition-era assless chaps, pomade and rolled-up cap-sleeves at home, there’ll be no biblical ram-slaughter. Hell, you could even contrive to forget your iPhone.

Call us up to tell us you’re coming, then come. Or swing by. Like any other pizza night.

The only difference is the whole damn menu.

And no pizza.

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Chewin’ the Cud with Nate, Emily, Sophie and Inez

Friday 4th November, Table on Ten, 6 to 9

Menu will Quite Probably Include 

SOFT BOILED EGG –  $5
spruce aioli, garlic chives, tarragon

URSULA KALE AND APPLE SALAD – $12
Alderney cheese, armagnac prunes

WINTER CHOPPED SALAD – $10
beets, cabbage, celeriac, cumin koji maple dressing, cilantro, mint

CAST IRON SOURDOUGH WITH PRESERVED TOMATOES – $10

ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH RED MOLE (the sauce, not the insectivore) – $12
potatoes, cardoons, turnips

SPICED LENTILS AND NETTLES – $10
tomatoes, yogurt, mint

ROASTED BROCCOLI RABE – $12
almonds, Cotija

TAMARIND PORK – $18
Cortland onions, pickled peppers

SALTED CARAMEL APPLE MINI-PIES – $7
maple syrup, fresh frozen yogurt, bee pollen

•••

wine

beer

prayer

•••

bring your own children and cigarettes

Sunday Afternoon Matinee | Bucket of Weed Chips and a Supersize Turmeric Tonic | Please

Let it never be said Table on Ten is just about stuffing your face.

We’ve been nicely stuffing your ears with John Houshmand for quite some time. Stuffing your eyes with classic movies on the stone wall on pizza nights. We’ve stuffed your noses with chicken leek and bacon pot pies and trays of freshly-baked granola. Your hands with custom plastic fly-swatters.

Now we’re going to stuff your minds.

•••

dvdprint

•••

WEEDEATER  •  A Film by Eden Batki + Marty Windahl + Amy von Harrington

FORAGING THROUGH THE AMAZING WORLD OF NANCE KLEHM

Sunday 10th July at 1 pm | Table on Ten | $5

Now bear in mind, we know a thing or two about foraging. We’ve been out in the backyard with Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower more than once. Remember nettle balls? What about spruce tip soda? Ollie the Dog can spend hours chewing on a locally foraged piece of gravel. And one or other of us can frequently be found foraging a pack of Camel Lights and $1 lighter at the Mirabito in Hobart.

But we are minnows compared to Nance Klehm. Nance is a foraging tuna. She’s more than that. She’s …

… a self-described ‘steward of the earth’. She is an ecological systems designer, a permacultural grower, a horticultural consultant and a talented and much sought after teacher and speaker. She is respected internationally for her work on land politics and growing for fertility. Meeting her for the first time feels as though you are catching her mid-sentence and mid-stride.

Weedeater trots alongside Nance through various landscapes, gathering together a collection of her thoughts and philosophies on everything from wild, uncultivated weeds to human waste composting to ‘the dark cosmos’ soil.  An accurate portrait of Klehm would be impossible to confine to a formal or traditional documentary narrative. Instead, Weedeater attempts to sketch Klehm’s character as well as reflect the depth and complexity of her intimate relationship with the earth and all its inhabitants, in the unique and intimate structure and style of this experimental film.  

Like we said, Sunday 10th July at 1 pm | Table on Ten | $5

Come by bike. Come by Car. Come by Astral Projection. Have a bite of lunch, a glass of wine. Do the things you can’t usually do in a movie-theatre (within reason).

Filmmaker Eden Batki will be with us, so we’ll have lots of questions and – for once – somebody armed with answers.

Please come. You can let us know by email or on 607-643 6509

Or just turn up. We’d love to see you.

•••

Lambrusco | We’ve Seen The Future And It’s Purple

Here’s the thing. There’s this old Italian precept that says you can only write about Lambrusco if you’re drinking Lambrusco. Maybe bear that in mind as you read.

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No really, but listen, listen. What? Nah, I’m fine. I’m fine. That … happened earlier. In the cab, the bag opened up and. Y’know, some … yeah.

It’s not often we take to the interwaves to shill on behalf of a wine; ordinarily we pop it on the tea-stained list, ask everybody to shut their eyes and pin the tail on the donkey. But Lambrusco’s a funny marsupial. Needs to be coaxed out of its hole. And when it comes, it comes darkly, lurking at the fringes. You really need to get your thumbs under the curves of that cork before you’re going to see what it’s made of. Like taking off Lois Lane’s glasses.

Thing is, it comes out of the gate limping. Not its fault though. See, history hasn’t treated Lambrusco kindly. That syrupy plasma your Auntie Dorothy used to drink in 1979? The stuff you’d steal from her drinks cabinet, mix with Baileys, Malibu and Kahlua, then collapse hyperglycemic in the airing cupboard trying to remember your lips? Yeah, that was also called Lambrusco. I know, I know, it’s like trying to sell people Lee Majors in Hamlet.

But that stuff was sweet, blended with fresh grape juice to satisfy a palate weaned on Wonder Woman. Today’s Lambrusco is dry, almost furrily so, with the faintest hint of bitterness. Also, Auntie Dorothy’s was fizzy, TaB fizzy, baking-soda-and-vinegar-in-a-Play-doh-volcano fizzy. Ours purrs like a black cat. Yes, it’s frizzante; hits the glass with a plume of purple froth. But don’t be fooled. That’s just the genie coming out of the bottle, grabbing a breath before he does his three wishes thing (that I get drunk/that my pizza comes soon/that I get more Lambrusco). By the time you put it to your lips it has settled to a kind of … prickle. None of that ‘bubbles the size of pool-balls’ thing. Just something to take the flatness off the landscape, windmills at Kinderdijk.

Not convinced? How about a field-trip to Bologna, the food capital of Italy, where they guzzle the stuff like Uncle Derek at Cousin Abigail’s wedding before he fell in the latrine. And those Bolognese know a thing or two about wine. Pretty much all Lambrusco is produced no more than an uncontrolled cork-pop from their weird due torri. Ours – Barbolini Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro  – is from vineyards south of Modena, Emilia-Romagna, where they’ve been making it since they were Etruscans. Want a second opinion? How about Cato the Elder, who insisted that two-thirds of an acre could produce enough Lambrusco to fill 300 amphoras? Or Eric Asimov in The New York Times, who says ‘I’ve been on a genuine Lambrusco kick for some years now, and I’ve been delighted to see delicious evidence of its rebirth here in New York.’ And I’ve seen the guy. He looks perfectly normal. Not at all like Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre DameOr, indeed, your Auntie Dorothy.

Most pertinently, it’s the perfect Table on Ten red. Perhaps not the ideal pairing for Armagnac-drowned Ortolan in Saint-Germain-des-Prés; but for great sourdough pizza roasted in a wood-oven in the Catskills with a root vegetable salad? Unbeatable. Inexpensive, unpretentious and a tiny bit lower in alcohol, so you don’t have to feel guilty for drinking the whole bottle. If we were given to being unscrupulous, we’d give it away for free. For a couple of weeks. Till you’re all hooked. 7 in the morning, knocking at our cellar door. ‘I love you, baby. Can I have some more?’.

Bologna, between Lambrusci
Bologna, between Lambrusci