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.
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
TAMARIND PORK – $18
Cortland onions, pickled peppers
SALTED CARAMEL APPLE MINI-PIES – $7
maple syrup, fresh frozen yogurt, bee pollen
bring your own children and cigarettes
On one of those those mornings when you got up at 5.30, set a fire in the grate, sat at the table and did two hours of planning and ordering, drove to Delhi, pushed a cart round the Chopper, shouldered 100 lbs of chicken feed, lingered by the slow pump at the Sunoco watching those Aadvantage points whittle crumbs off your life … all before an 8.30 start in Bloomville … it’s rewarding to open your computer and find somebody else’s take on what you’re doing. Thanks to Daniela at Bearleader Chronicle for this beautiful piece, the entirety of which can be found here.
The PINES – featuring John ‘Boar Belly’ Poiarkoff – is coming back to Bloomville. They’ll pick up Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ own Black Bottom Emily Elsen along the way. Get ready for maitake mushroom piledrivers.
Supporting cast to follow. But for now, wrap your fist round a thick black Sharpie and vigorously scribble on your calendar, obliterating the date and the sheetrock behind it. Might as well wipe out the morning after while your at it. It’s Labor Day Weekend so no need to go anywhere. Stay where you are. Have a bath. Do your nails.
THE PINES and FOUR & TWENTY BLACKBIRDS at TABLE ON TEN(featuring liquid support from ZEV ‘THE BEAST OF LANGUEDOC’ ROVINE) SUNDAY 31st AUGUST
8 ROUNDS OF MOUTHWATERING MUNCHING ACTION
4 OPTIONAL ROUNDS OF EYE-POPPING SLURPING ACTION (+ SPECIAL GUEST APERITIVO)
EVERYTHING EDIBLE SOURCED FROM WITHIN 25 MILES
Doors open at 7: Facebusters begin at 7.30
Grab a FOLDING METAL CHAIR and swing it at something.
STRICTLY LIMITED SEATING – ONLINE TICKETS ONLY – INFO@TABLEONTEN.COM
Osmos, Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Torkil Stavdal, Justus Red Rye Ale and 44 individual Potted Ale Loaves by Table on Ten.
Confirming (once again) the Power of Love.
The pots spell out the text of W.H. Auden’s Song of the Master and Boatswain. Or they nearly do. We ran out of pots and chalked the last line-and-a-half on Kraft paper.
At Dirty Dick’s and Sloppy Joe’s
We drank our liquor straight,
Some went upstairs with Margery,
And some, alas, with Kate;
And two by two like cat and mouse
The homeless played at keeping house.
There Wealthy Meg, the Sailor’s Friend,
And Marion, cow-eyed,
Opened their arms to me but I
Refused to step inside;
I was not looking for a cage
In which to mope my old age.
The nightingales are sobbing in
The orchards of our mothers,
And hearts that we broke long ago
Have long been breaking others;
Tears are round, the sea is deep:
Roll them overboard and sleep.
Anybody who has followed our journey over the past eighteen months, even as a casual bystander, will be in no doubt as to how important Four & Twenty Blackbirds are to us. When we home-birthed Table on Ten onto tussocky ground at the juncture of Main and River Streets, Emily and Melissa were our midwife and our doula. They walked us round the living room while we sweated and groaned, mopped our brows and cooed like pigeons in our collective ear when it all seemed too much. When the slippery bundled emerged, they wiped her down and ministered a firm slap on the bottom to precipitate her first post-natal scream. And they’ve been at her side every step of the way since; from that inaugural blinking into the Bloomville light, through the first weeks of alternately sleeping and bawling, stepping in to change her diapers and weaning her onto solid food. They helped sherpa her on the ascent from quadruped to biped, rushing in to catch her when she stumbled; and always with the love and grace of enthusiastic sisters. Which is essentially what they are; sisters – to each other and to us. Melissa, Emily; in the adulterated words of Alvy Singer “Love is too weak a word for what we feel – we luuurve you, you know, we loave you, we luff you, two F’s, yes.”
So it is with a sister’s admiration and awe that we stand back and watch them transform before our eyes from self-taught pie-makers to doyennes of the Brooklyn food scene, to articulate authorities on all things Pie. In recent weeks this evolution has culminated in the publication by Grand Central of the seminal volume: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. 224 hand-stuffed pages of creative pie arcana with colour and texture by our dear friends Andrea Gentl and Marty Hyers. In beautiful hard wraps, it’s pretty much a pie in its own right; albeit one so replete with flavour it beggars easy description. As of last week it’s been perched like an honorary squirrel on the corner of the counter at Table on Ten next to … well, next to their pies, actually. And for christmas present hunters, with their holly-and-berry camouflage, Rudolph-themed loin-cloths and early-bird spear tips whetted to glinting lethality, we have a dozen or so first editions hand-signed by Melissa and Emily themselves. Grist for the collection as well as the kitchen. Now you can sample their salty honey, their mouthwatering buttermilk chess and their broad black bottoms right here on this wind-buffeted corner of Bloomville; then take home the blueprint to master your own.
But don’t just take our word for it (we’re unapologetic worshippers after all) – see for yourself what the people at Saveur, Food52 and The Wall Street Journal have to say. Not to mention Tasting Table, dinneralovestory and even Rob Howard. And more fanfare is emerging by the hour, as the Four & Twenty brushfire rages across the continent of Pie unchecked.
But if you really want to witness what it’s like to watch your dearest friends battle a Ritalin-inflected Minotaur before a crowd of baying hyenas under the impression they’re attending a Chicago Bulls game, check out our fearless Theseuses on Good Morning America: a textbook exhibition of grace, achieved whilst being beaten with fish in a cement-mixer.