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.
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.
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
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.
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.
5. Little Porcelain cokespoons. 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 Towelshave 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.
9. Simple Wooden Stopperscan 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!
… 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 …
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!
The private suite on the second floor. It’s here. It can be combined with this or this; or this, this and this. Now where do we go to photocopy the wine list?
Blimey, it’s nearly Christmas. Wasn’t it just last Christmas fifteen minutes ago? Swear it was only a couple of weeks back we heard Paul McCartney warbling on about his Pipes of Peace while we were casing Walmart’s jewelry department, eyeballing something nice for Auntie Dorothy in cubic zirconium. And it seems like only yesterday we deflated the 24-foot Frosty the Snowman we’d hung out of the attic AirBnB window and took him off the generator to give his arm a rest. Or was it Mull of Kintyre and we just wished it was Pipes of Peace? Whatever, there’s no denying; ’tis the season to be jolly. It’s all Kenny Chesney’s Away in a Manger by the Urinary Tract Health Formula kitty kibble in Tractor Supply, and that house at the top of Falls Mills is lit up like a night-descent into Macau.
Well, we’ve never been ones to shirk a challenge. The Christmas Tree is in place. It just appeared. Either Katrin snuck it down Bloomville Hill disguised as a bristly refrigerator or it arrived by drone. We’ll be corralling local urchins to refresh the decorations. Food’s getting more festive (big on savoury pies and stuff that makes you want to knock on doors and sing about Good King Wenceslas). Inez dressed Ollie in swaddling clothes and laid her in a manger with just her furry little nose sticking out, but we took her out and back downstairs with a nice bone. We’re bidding on Ebay for a Santa-themed Whac-a-Mole, and there are plans afoot for a festive Table on Ten open house (replete with Christmas Pudding, brandy sauce and Rudolph’s Fizzy Embalmer) allowing everybody to poke about a bit in the upstairs rooms, see what the story is up there. We’ll wipe the pentagrams off the floor and put away the ram’s-horn hats.
In the meantime. If your stockings are looking a little wrinkly round the gusset, we’d love to be of assistance. Whilst we cannot claim to be Frankenmuth Michigan’s ‘Bronners Christmas Wonderland – 7.35 acres of Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!’ we do have our own modest collection of carefully curated items which we’re confident will dangle from Uncle Derek’s mantlepiece with at least as much aplomb as any Bob Cratchit-themed nose-hair trimmer. They run roughly as follows. And there’s more coming in as the month inches towards its crisis. Do pop by to take a closer look! All staff are rigorously trained in elucidating the nooks and crannies of what, where, how much, why, who and how long before?
1. Table on Ten 100% Irish linen glass-cloths, from the last traditional damask weaver in all of Ireland. Start stiff, get smoother and more powdery with every wash. With Table on Ten woven quietly into the stripe, providing added ‘wink-wink’ cognoscenti appeal. $15
2. Dutch Kitchen Towels. ‘From Holland, where my heart lies …’ Sturdy, resilient, no-nonsense, attractive. Just like the Dutch. Our go-to all-purpose backstage towel at Table on Ten. $13
3. Italian Cotton Supermarket Tote. Hand-luggaged from the co-op in Campo San Giacomo, Venice. As perfect for cappelletti from Rialto as rutabagas from Delhi. $13
4. Same as 1. but in blue. $15
5. Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. What can we say that hasn’t already been said by Saveur, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal and seemingly every other press outlet this side of Pluto? Best pies ever. Go home and make one. $30
6. But before you do, put this on. Table on Ten lightly branded all-cotton kitchen apron. $45
7. Afterwards, put your creation under this. Simple, elegant individual mesh pie safe. Two sizes, $25 and $30
8. Serve it up with some cheese on this rustic, repurposed actual Delaware County roof slate cheeseboard. $22
9. Table on Ten A3 by Irving Farm. Our very own blend of coffee beans, coined on the premises by friends and lovers. Strong enough to blow the snow off your Mucks without causing you to chatter like one of the Chipmunks. $14.50
10. L’Ouvriere Candles by Susan Riesen. 100% beeswax, rendered, dyed and moulded in a Charlotte Valley barn. Light ’em for Christmas, you’ll still be playing Wee Willie Winkie in 2014. Prices range from $20 to $30
11. Porcelain Keepers by Kelli Cain. Hand-thrown vitrified porcelain, different shapes and sizes, make great homes for everything from Santa’s Christmas Eve milk to Grandma’s Boxing Day Tanqueray. Individually priced in the microshop.
12. Take it all home in a Giant Waxed Canvas Bag, hand-crafted by a giant in Brooklyn. Can accommodate the entire household of the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe plus sunglasses and lip balm. $115
13. Margins Perpetual Lunar Calendar. Fashioned from a 1650’s illustration by ‘last Renaissance Man’ Athanasius Kircher, melding mysticism and arithmetic to predict the hour of moonrise in each phase. $22
14. Margins Night Sky Moon Calendars. Shows what phase the moon is in every day of 2014, giving rise to such rebuffs as ‘I’m sorry not tonight, I’m waxing gibbous’. Zodiac symbols too, for casual pagans. $18
15. Table on Ten Granola. Fashioned on the premises from all sorts of good things (and no bad ones) by ‘first Renaissance Woman’ Inez (No Sugar) Valk. Two sizes $9 and $18
16. Olde Worlde Edison style light bulbs with spectacular filaments. Unravels the ‘what shade?’ conundrum by deploying the ‘no shade!’ solution. Beautiful lamplight in its own naked right. $8
17. Maldon Salt. From the sea off Essex, England. Delicious crystals, nay shards, of the finest culinary salt. $10.50by the box, $41.50by the bucket.
18. Lyle’s Golden Syrup and Lyle’s Black Treacle. Rationing-era Anglo-chic. Mainstay ingredients of two perennial Table on Ten cookies. And the empty cans make glittering pen holders. $6 and $6
19. Frankies 457 Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. From Sicily via Brooklyn. Just brilliant olive oil, no sturm, no drang. $29.50
20. Pure African Shea Butter. Raw, organic. Insanely moisturizing, for your whole body or somebody’s else’s. Could make Tutankhamun look like Posh Spice. $8
21. Hobart Honey. As local as it gets. Proceeds go to the Hobart Food Pantry, serving people of need within the community as part of the Honey for Hunger program. $12
22. Woods Boiled Cider. Vermont apples, ground, pressed, evaporated from a gallon to a pint to an precious apple elixir. Wonderful base for sodas, chutneys, sauces, desserts, life. Two sizes, $14 and $22
23. Marmite. A miniature legend. The British were weaned on it (which explains a few things). Over butter on toast, under avocado, on a spoon in boiling water, in a crack in the wall, rubbed on your chest to ward off the damp. $9
24. Seneca Culinary Salt Flakes. The answer to the riddle of proximate salt (for our 99% local pies). Evaporated from veins over 1000 feet under the icy crust of New York State. The purest salt and the closest to home. $9
25. P&H Brooklyn Soda Syrups. All-natural, small-batch, crafted from whole ingredients by soda elves by candlelight under the McGuinness exit of the BQE. $12
26. Angostura Bitters. Herbal tonic from Trinidad, the full recipe for which is known only to five people, none of whom live in Bloomville. Add a daytime dash to sodas or pies, after-hours several dashes to a Manhattan, Old Fashioned or Pink Gin. Little $10, big $18
27. The Good Home Company Pure Grass Laundry Detergent and Fragrance. It’s what we use for everything in the upstairs rooms. Makes your home smell like you just drove a John Deere around it. In a nice way. $25 fragrant detergent $25 pure fragrance
28. And if you really can’t decide on Cousin Charlotte’s behalf, she can always do it on her own. Table on Ten Gift Certificates, can be used for food, drink, all manner of stuff. $25 and up
And last. But verifiably not least. For that extra-special wall in your life. Huge, original, limited edition Table on Ten prints, printed on archival Hahnemühle William Turner fine art rag by Loupe Digital in New York. Mounted and framed by Rachel Polens. Images below; more from the series available upon request. $1200, framed