Two weekends ago, braving the heat with everyone else in the Northeast, I was visiting bucolic Cornwall, CT. Cornwall, Goshen and Warren artists opened their studios to visitors, a good opportunity to see the work and meet the makers, among them, delightful Constance Old, a fiber artist, who “takes advantage of the excesses of the consumer economy.” Using old rug-hooking techniques she turns modern materials including plastic into wall hangings, many with a sense of humor. I particularly liked Fear Rules America, a large piece combining police tape with other plastics on a base of orange construction fencing.
The following day, we went to Music Mountain, a lovely venue threatened by a ruling that would allow the Limerock car race course to be in session on Sundays. The ensuing noise would render chamber music unhearable so concert goers would miss experiences like the Shanghai Quartet performing (brilliantly) on instruments made by Goffriller, Guarneri and Stradivari. An appeal to an earlier ruling to try to block Sunday car racing is in the works.
The weekend was enhanced by Max, a cockapoo currently in the care of a friend subbing for her mother who is traveling. He’s possibly the cutest dog ever.
The following weekend I was back in northwest CT (poor me.) This visit was to a house on a beautiful lake enhanced by gorgeous gardens and trees as well as a club that produced a great shore dinner Saturday night. The following evening, friends of my friends invited us to a “beef-off” where they made burgers from several types of super-high quality beef. The aged version won hands-down.
This weekend also included a super-dog, Dakota, a short-haired, female St. Bernard, who is practically a rockstar. She’s huge and friendly so everyone wants to pat her. Between dogs, friends, food and music, both weekends were wonderful.
I will not include a recipe for either hamburgers or dog food (sorry), but here’s one for a three bean salad that would be a great addition to any picnic:
Three Bean Salad
2 cups fresh cooked shell beans (such as cannellini or cranberry)
1 14-ounce can cannellini beans or chickpeas
6 ounces green beans (trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves with tender stems
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped capers
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Toss the cooked shell beans or one cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed, with the green beans (trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces), parsley, olive oil, chopped fresh chives, chopped capers, grated lemon zest, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper flakes in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.
When you serve you can sing Yankee Doodle if you like. It’s—no kidding—the Connecticut state song.