First and very foremost, I want to tell you about an amazing project I am a part of. Hsiao-Ching Chou, a former restaurant critic for a Seattle newspaper, decided to start her own magazine geared toward helping families who love to eat. The first issue of Refrigerator Soup, which you can purchase here, includes articles from some wonderful local food writers and bloggers. This issue’s focus is on the role that moms play in the world of family eating. I’m honored that she asked me to write an article for the magazine and am thrilled to be in the company of some truly great writers. Please check out Refrigerator Soup and if you like it, tell your friends!
Randy and I hosted a big party last weekend, ostensibly for my birthday. (Yes, the celebration is ongoing.) We like to have a party each summer because we have a good summer party house. Unfortunately, the weather was more like November so we all stayed inside and, consequently, I did not take a single photograph of the food I made. (And yes, I made the food for my own party.) But I did get a photo with two of my best friends. Michelle, on the left, I have mentioned here. Lauren, in the middle, I have mentioned here. I have been friends with both of them for over 15 years. I have several photos like this in albums and shoeboxes, just the three of us together at various stages in our lives. I feel lucky to have celebrated my 40th with them. We are not the Three Musketeers, we are the Three Brunettes.
This is my dining room. I love this room. It is west facing so it gets wonderful afternoon light and it is where I take almost all of my photos. Lauren, see above, helped us pick the color of the walls and I love how they look in both winter and summer light. We recently got this new amazing dining room table, again with the help of Lauren, and I was thrilled to see the company highlighted in the New York Times. Meyer Wells makes incredibly beautiful furniture out of reclaimed wood. Trees that have fallen in storms or have been taken down due to disease find their way into their studio and re-emerge as functioning works of art. All of the furniture is made from trees that come from within a ten mile radius of Seattle. Cool, huh?
For our table, we were able to choose our wood and then choose our actual tree. We were able to customize it with two leaves so that, when they are both in, we can comfortably seat 12 and up to 14. This will come in handy at Thanksgiving and it came in handy when a certain party ended up indoors rather than outdoors (see above). We have been using a nice but very plain teak table that we bought in London and had shipped back here. I always thought it was crazy to spend money on a table but that was before I saw learned about these guys. (By the way, those little votives are GlassyBabys. I catered an event at their glassblowing studio in May.)
I can’t show you the dining room without mentioning this painting. Soon after we moved in to our house, we realized we were going to need something big for this wall. It’s a big wall. We went to a wonderful local art show and met an extremely talented artist there named Erik Hall whose work we really liked. Erik does custom work so we invited him over for dinner to take a look at our wall. He envisioned a triptych, showed us some sketches, and just a few short months later, this beauty graced our walls. Three years later I am still mesmorized by this painting every time I see it.
I leave you with a minor miracle in the Dana Treat household – an on the fly family photo where all four of us are looking at the camera. And it’s sunny. And Mt. Baker is in the background. Great job Mr. Ferry Man!