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… 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.
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 …
February 14, 2014. Posted in Events, Inspirers, Journeys, Press. Tags: Amy Winehouse, Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Diana Spencer, Dusty Ray Richards, Elizabeth Taylor, Francis Bacon, Henrik Knudsen, Inez Valk, Inez's Hamster, Iris Murdoch, Kate Middleton, London, Margaret Thatcher, Mick Jagger, National Portrait Gallery, Nelson Mandela, Ollie the Dog, OSMOS, Paul McCartney, Peekamoose Mountain, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Richard Burton, Rudolf Nureyev, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney.
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
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
• 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!
February 10, 2014. Posted in Events, The Menu. Tags: Applebee's, Bramley Mountain, I87, Ingrid Bergman, Mexico, Paul Revere, Presidents Day, Robert E Lee, Stromboli, Taco Night, Thornton Steward, Valentine's Day.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-437-1218
Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go
Sweet child o’ mine?
Remember the final scene of Merchant Ivory’s A Room with a View? Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham-Carter before she became a Tim Burton cartoon) gazes into the eyes of George Emerson (pre-Arachnophobia Julian Sands), framed in a window of the pension in which they met, as strangers, at the outset of the film. Twin Florentine landmarks – the Duomo and Uffizi tower – lurk behind them like benevolent grannies, smiling witnesses to the ineffability of Love. A flame ignited in a Tuscan barley field, guttered under the disapprobation of Charlotte Bartlett (Maggie Smith wasn’t born the Dowager Countess), suffocated under engagement to Cecil Vyse (pre-bombast Daniel Day-Lewis) has finally blazed into an inferno in the city of Dante Alighieri. We once knew somebody who slept in a yellow Ford Cortina with a dodgy alternator outside Greenwich Theatre, hoping his smouldering passion for Ms Bonham Carter would serve to set the Thames on fire. He was last seen pushing the car round and round the parking lot at dawn, hopping in-and-out in a Sisyphean effort to enact a bump-start. Love refuted? We shall see: he may yet claim his prize. In some dank old folks’ home in Golders Green, the grinning beneficiary of early-onset dementia, his bride-to-be squawking ‘I used to be Bellatrix Lestrange!’
We have a new room. On the second floor. It has not one, but three views. None of them are of the Ponte Vecchio arching across the Arno. But if you gaze out of the southern one, you can see the West Branch of the Delaware gurgling under River Street and, in the middle-distance, the frosty silhouette of Bramley Mountain. Truth is, it’s not just a room. It’s two rooms. Two Rooms with Three Views. Do we smell a sequel? Hot-blooded Inez Honingskerk tears off her embroidered kraplap and makes for the mountains, meets chirpy chicken-whisperer Katrin (with a fistful of zucchini), recently excommunicated teen-mother Kathleen, and falls in love with a charming border-collie shepherd mix. Oh, and the room. Imagine two rooms connected by an open arch: hand-made queen bed in one, hand-made day bed in the other. Delightful jelly-cupboard-turned-wardrobe between. Caters perfectly to itinerant lovebirds who want to stay at Table on Ten, but don’t want their toddler to sleep in the bathtub. The traveling foodie who loves to cuddle up with her husband until he begins snoring like Aslan, then prefers to evacuate. Perhaps travel partners who like each other plenty, but not quite enough to meet between the sheets: or maybe are not sure, might get between the sheets but would like the option not to. Depends how it goes. The pizza, the candlelight, the biodynamic Grenache. Furthermore, in (discounted!) combination with its huskier cousin (Cosy Room to the Table cognoscenti) it allows for groups of five to descend upon us and commandeer the entire second floor, like pirates. Touring string quintets, One Direction, Guns N’ Roses tribute bands. But there are seven of you? Jesus, The Pogues. Take the attic as well! And while you’re at it, whip us up a cappuccino, cover the pizza oven and bang out a couple of verses of Fairytale of New York!
January 27, 2014. Posted in Inspirers, Overnight. Tags: A Room with a View, Aslan, Bramley Mountain, Daniel Day-Lewis, Dante Alighieri, Florence, Ford Cortina, Grenache, Guns N' Roses, Helena Bonham Carter, Inez Valk, Julian Sands, Kathleen Worley, Katrin Schmid-Shelmashuck, Maggie Smith, Merchant Ivory, Ollie the Dog, One Direction, Ponte Vecchio, Private Suite, The Pogues, Uffizi, West Branch of the Delaware.
SUNDAY 22nd DECEMBER – 2 pm till 4 pm – OPEN HOUSE AT TABLE ON TEN
• Come see the rooms upstairs, including (but not limited to) the new one.
• Eat traditional English christmas pudding alongside a real, live puddingy Englishman.
• Embroider your pudding with lashings of strange brandy sauce coagulate.
• Guzzle effervescent afternoon Spritz like a Venetian with a designated Gondolier.
• Gaze with wonder at the Table on Ten tree as decorated by Dickensian Bloomville urchins.
• Use the lavatory at no charge whatsoever.
• Get 10% off everything in the Microshop. Assuage your guilt at having thus far ignored Christmas utterly.
• Meet people you’ve met before.
• Do De Vogeltjesdans like Aunt Geertje at Cousin Harald’s wedding.
• Peek inside the bodywork room. Enquire about Vicky’s yuletide Frankincense and Myrrh Full-Body Slapdown.
• Let steeple-bells be swungen.
• Compare your Muck boots to other people’s Muck boots.
• Wonder why somebody doesn’t change the music.
2 till 4. This Sunday – the last before Santa shimmies down your chimney with half a bottle of Creme de Menthe and some VHS tapes of classic Patrick Swayze movies. Please do come. It’s going to be in the near-tropical 50′s, but we’ll provide corners of palm-tree shade and bug repellant. And we promise nobody will look as bored as the Holy Parents (above) hanging out outside the Porta dei Fiori with the frankly enormous Baby Jesus, waiting for Melchior to turn up with the General Tso’s Chicken. Ding-dong merrily! On high! ©
Bring me flesh, and bring me wine.
Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear the thither.
Don and Barbara, forth they went,
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.