August 30, 2009


Sister and I have just returned from a magical few days.

Our good fortune was to receive an invitation from Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar to spend time with them at their charming home in upstate New York. If you recall from our previous post we were excited and nervous...............nervous that we could make fools of ourselves. Guess what?
We did, both of us............but I am happy to report we are still friends!

Eddie and Jaithan are on the fast track to fame. While there, they received calls for TV specials, are writing a book and shared the photo's of an upcoming HGTV special, beginning on October 18th, featuring their skills at Halloween decor, on a budget.

One day began with this breakfast, all arranged beautifully. Take note of the presentation; fresh fruit in a cut milk glass pedestal bowl, just made 'coffee yogurt' with raspberries, blueberries and chopped nuts as a garnish. Note the coffee in a "French Press" that makes a full bodied coffee, European style.

Then onto sheer joy, antiquing! But this was no ordinary excursion. Eddie believes in re-purposing and seeing the potential in ordinary objects. My eyes began to search for the unexpected.
Too bad sister is hiding it is a really cute picture of her.

We dashed into his favorite, Goodwill. The treasures were numerous for all.

The Bottle Shop. Dirty, cluttered and a blast. I am now regretting not taking the giant trophy pointed out to me, worried about getting everything in a suitcase.

Even the higher end shops had room for digging. "If only I had a truck!"

Here are my finds;
  • Bound black leather books from England, circa 1910 featuring stories on other countries.
  • Small silverplate trophy

  • Flax grain sack
Millbrook Antique Mall

  • Vintage stencil numbers and letters
  • Flower frog
  • Series of vintage safety pins (No, I do not know yet what to do with them)
The Bottle shop

Sister scored! The hard to find 'Amarula' liquer, aka 'elephant juice'. see previous post

Breakfast day two, amazing. Notice the presentation. Let me share with you what I learned;
  • Entertaining need not be overwhelming
  • Eddie always uses table cloths and cloth napkins. When I asked about ironing, he said rarely. After washing lay everything flat, in layers, one on top of the other straight from the washer.
  • Eddie's basement is filled with shelves of serving pieces collected over the years. All are convenient and ready for service.
The menu
Baked eggs, bacon, biscuits, sister's zucchini bread, homemade jam, orange juice and coffee
  • Cook the bacon on a baking pan in the oven
  • Take a small amount of the bacon grease and spread on the copper serving dish. Add the eggs, do not break. Slowly pour cream or half and half on the whites, avoiding the yolks, as they could break. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese, snipped chives, salt and pepper.
  • The biscuits were to die for and when asked how he had the time, Eddie said "simple!" Open a can of Pillsbury biscuits, lightly splash with cream and sprinkle with salt.
Sister's Zucchini Bread recipe

3 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. baking soda
1 t. dried orange peel
3 c. sugar

1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. water
2 c. zucchini, grated
1 t. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients except for the nuts in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients; fold into dry, add nuts. Bake in 2 loaf pans 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Food photography, Eddie Ross

Time to say good-bye. This is the view from their porch

Jaithan is gorgeous, with a gentle spirit, a voice for FM radio, a huge heart and smiling eyes
Eddie is cute beyond compare. A winning smile and very funny. Aren't we lucky?

Now it's time to carry on and enjoy a day of exploring the Hudson River valley.
Upstate New York was settled by the Dutch and the architecture, mostly strong and masculine depicts it's heritage.

I am "mad" for dry laid stone walls. The abundance of stone fostered this dwindling craft.

Strong colors of watermelon, sage green and mustard

Predominate was a white building with green trim. In this case a smart black/green.

Glorious barns, everywhere

The catskill mountains are visible at every turn. The Hudson river lingers nearby.

Country gardens are lush from the lack of unending heat and humidity

Thank you Jaithan and Eddie xxo


Eddie Ross

  • Native of Greenwich, Ct.
  • Founded own catering company
  • Graduate of Culinary Institute of America
  • Associate design Director in-house Food Network
  • Associate Director Editor, House Beautiful
  • Food editor, Martha Stewart
  • Senior style editor Martha Stewart Living
  • 2008 BRAVO Top Design
Jaithan Kochar
  • Native of Milwaukee, Wi.
  • Graduated Stanford University
  • Graduate Rhode Island School of Design
  • Co-founder of Eddie Ross, llc.
Follow their blog,, with inspirational tips and information on how to cook, craft, decorate and entertain both beautifully and affordably.

Special Note;
Eddie and Jasithan are considering a visit to Geneva, Madison and Chicago for a design workshop

August 16, 2009


We cried this week

Then we hugged

Followed by anger

What happened?

The shop was robbed, really irreplaceable antiques robbed, my spirit robbed. Who would do this to a small these times? Has this ever happened to you? Write to me, we can commiserate together. What I really long for now is......................

I wanted to curl up and go to bed......................pass out type of going to bed

That not being possible I can take a get away in my mind and dream of far-off refuges. Want to come? For the moment?

This sparks my imagination!

Rocking to sleep over a running stream

Ever want to stay in an Ice Hotel...............great snuggling, where are those kittens?

Near a cool ocean breeze..................this calls for a Pina Colada with a long straw.

Around a camp fire, in style.

Waking up to a romantic view. Can't you imagine the adventure this morning would hold?

Or wake up screaming?!

Would you suggest this for your child's room?????

A warm cozy nook, a private getaway. Notice the shelves inside for your books, ticking clock, glass of red wine........sigh............

LOVE this! The cool crisp colors, the possibility of staying up with friends sharing secrets. Either of these nooks could be added to an existing room. Someday I will have a home to accommodate a nook.

Then there's, Eddie and Jaithan! And the best is to come. Next week sister and I have been invited to their farmhouse in Millford, NY. This "take me away" opportunity trumps any of the rooms in this post.
But will confess to getting nervous, both of us. How did we become so fortunate? Will we make giddy fools of ourselves!? Will sister get carried away with her notoriously famous "bag of tricks?"
Truly love these men. Enormously talented, gracious and headed for an amazing career. We are grateful for their generous hospitality. Will keep you posted...................

"When the heart grieves over what it has lost the spirit rejoices over what it has left" Sufi

August 8, 2009


Ever want to just take off and wander?

Be alone with nature and your thoughts?

With a sense of adventure?

Scanning for gold?

Smelling the roses?

Running to the sea? Taking in the salted air

This scene reminds me of a solo trip to Devon England. I set out one day to follow a lone path that climbed steeply, the sea was to my right. The distant sound of crashing waves and nothing else is powerful and alluring.

The return route could not be repeated, I had to take the woodland route, it was yet to be discovered. The lure was childhood literature of the dark English forest, it's myths, fables and legends all beckoned. Adding to the sense of danger was a now raging storm, dark clouds and wild winds. Slipping and sliding as the path became a mud bath there suddenly appeared a clearing and I saw this;

This looks benign enough.

But unlike the photo, this was not my first image. That was of all the cows running towards me enmasse. They then went silent, totally silent except for the two bulls lingering far behind snorting and pawing the soil, furiously. You see the path continued via wooden steps up and OVER the barbed wire, returning was not an option i had come too far...............I had to enter.

Up close cows are massive and bulls, well...........As I stood on the top wooden step, yellow rain jacket blowing with the wind I prayed that they did not mind yellow, red.....we all know about, but how do they feel about yellow! As I, lead player in my personal English forest fable, took my first step down and into their world, they began to part, silently, right down the middle. Feeling empowered I strode through the cows then the bulls and as the British say "carried on" with a renewed sense of "strength".
Today if I am faced with a challenge my sister will say "oh, you can do that, you can part cows!"

Paths and roads are a metaphor for life

Do we stay on the straight and narrow?

Accept life's twist and turns

Follow a path openly and with a sense of adventure, not knowing where it will lead?

I will always choose the latter. Wrong turns have led me to lifelong friendships, my career, discoveries about myself and new ideas.

Allow yourself to get lost................ follow 'The Road not Taken".

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