Thursday, May 31, 2012

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York as we bid farewell to May.

This has been a lovely day, gently warm without the saturated humidity that's been a recent daily feature.  How lucky to have this day off and to be able to relax a bit, while tending to some errands. catching up on some reading and knitting.

How lucky to have also had yesterday as a day off, even with its humidity.  It was a day to tend to many more errands, even if the air was heavy.  That was why today was so pleasant.

This is a time of day when I generally check emails, catch up on blogs and occasionally post my own.  Generally, it's also a time when I serve myself dinner.  Tonight, I thought I would share with you what was before me.  First course was a summery salad with Boston lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, tarragon, chives, and a little dressing made from ham sauteed in olive oil, then deglazed with balsamic vinegar.  I must say that I've made this meal many a time, shifting a few of its ingredients now and then, and it always is a wonderful supper.

I did not take a photo of the accompanying glass of Australian Shiraz, and nonetheless want to give it some praise.

The second course featured some freshly cut up strawberries, that I'd let get to know some brown sugar sprinkled on them a hour ago.  I served these berries with a bit of light cream and some heart-shaped shortbread cookies.  Delicious.  Oh, I also added some of my usual roasted almonds afterwards with coffee.

None of this took too much effort, but a bit more effort than I usually want to volunteer after a day's work.  

That notion leads me to a brief report of a luncheon I attended earlier this week.  As I have mentioned before, I am about to cross a marker of ten years of service with my employer.  Every year around this time, said employer hosts a lovely service awards luncheon at a beautiful site in the New York suburbs with a wonderful view of the Hudson River.  Honorees, such as myself, are transported to these luncheons from a central NYC location via a shuttle bus.  I did take my camera along, but decided not to take any photographs.

It's fun to see folks that we do not get to encounter on a daily basis, enjoy the party atmosphere, the fine food, and also hear our efforts praised.  Oh happy day.

I and the other ten-year veterans were also given a gift, that was wrapped up in a large white gift box (like a cake box.)  The photo below shows what was inside the box.

What a fine hand made bowl, and my bowl has my initials and my tenth anniversary noted on the base of the bowl.  Now, I am the recipient of this generous gift, and find that my apartment has no solid flat surface large enough to hold it!  Hmmm.  A sweet dilemma.  For now, I have put the pretty bowl back into its white cake box and am storing it underneath a chair for safe keeping.  I really like the colors in its glaze and wish I could put it to some decorative and practical use.

Have any of you all ever received similar gifts that you cannot easily house?

I will return to work tomorrow, taking with me a home-packed sandwich, most likely ham, cheddar, and lettuce with mayo and mustard on a ciabatta roll.  Easy to prepare in an early morning hurry, and a thrifty alternative to buying a lesser lunch in the trendy SoHo neighborhood where I work.

Let's hope that we all will have splendid June days that will bring us joy.


  1. Mmm! Your supper and your lunch both sound wonderful. And your gift is beautiful. Perhaps the perfect spot will occur to you.

  2. Congratulations on your beautiful commemorative bowl - it's good that you company recognises your hard work.

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  4. Congratulations on your well-deserved celebratory lunch and the beautiful gift. (Yes, I would probably have put it back in the box until the right place suggests itself!)

    But I love that your own supper was no less of a celebration with its lovely fresh ingredients and beautiful presentation. I think it would do lots of people good to see that meal.

  5. Did you come over and snaffle some of my Spode Italian plates?! They do set off food so well.
    Your salad looks bliss. Asparagas is my favorite late spring fix
    Your decorative bowl is pretty nice. Maybe you could put fruit in it? (And take photos of the fruit?)
    Buster sends his love!

  6. Hello Frances I enjoyed reading your post....and I would have enjoyed your lovely meal too, I'm sure. Congratulations on your special gift and celebratory lunch. I have sometimes acquired objects that proved too large to place on normal surfaces making it rather tricky to keep and enjoy them! But I'm sure somewhere will occur to you after a while....
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
    Helen x

  7. Congratulation on your decade of work at this lovely company! You will find a place for your bowl but have you thought of placing it on a table with some pretty fruits or flowers so that you can make a painting of it? You may not have room to hang a painting though.

    Do you know that last night as you were eating your strawberries we were also eating strawberries? I placed a little bit of my homemade strawberry jam in a bowl with a tiny bit of water to get it to stick to the cut up strawberries then served it with angel food cake. Yummy too.

  8. Even your food is elegant and lady-like! I'm not sure what I'd give myself if I were on my own; I'd like to think that a salad would feature, certainly a piece of fruit would, but to arrange it all as beautifully as you have here would probably not occur to me.

    I am glad that you have a breather now and again and spoil yourself a little. What fun to have been invited to a splendid celebratory luncheon and to be the lucky recipient of as gorgeous a gift as the bowl. Pity you can't display it, I'd do my utmost to find a spot for it. It's a bowl worthy of attention.

  9. How lovely to be appreciated by your employer, I am sure you will find a good place for your bowl one day and what a lovely reminder it will be of your grand day out.

  10. Frances, I enjoyed this foodie post! Your supper looks a perfect summer meal to me, served on a beautiful plate! I hope you find a good spot for that bowl - it does look lovely. Congratulations on your work achievement - and how rare to be so personally and thoughtfully rewarded by an employer.
    Wishing you a great week xo

  11. Congratulations, Frances, on your milestone anniversary with the company. You are surely at star to the owners!
    I enjoyed this post, full of homey things. I know how much you enjoy your nest and I liked learning that you take care of yourself as well as you take care of people at work!
    The bowl - how elegant! Could you put something else away for a little while, trading it for the new bowl?

  12. Frances Her At Home her and if you ever feel the urge to pop over and prepare that supper for me I would be thrilled! What an incredible glaze that bowl has I had not realized how large it was until I focused in on the background!Now I see your dilemma!! A beautiful gift for a hard working worker!

  13. Hello Frances:
    You write about so many wonderful things in this post that we leave with lasting impressions of hot summer days, a delicious looking and sounding supper [we too always have strawberries cut up!], a wonderful luncheon with views across the Hudson River, which we know, alas not from personal experience, to be vast, and a most generous gift in recognition of ten years' service. Such happy times.

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