Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekends are for dancing.........

Another weekend in the Falls...... 
I think it was the early summer month of June, one of our favorite potters announced plans to move...... 
across the country to San Francisco of all places.   Who could possibly want to leave Northeastern Ohio with a stiff north wind blowing, a slight drizzle in the air and winter looming large?  The snow plows return just like the steelhead trout returning to spawn and fisherman running to stand in it....... it's inevitable and it's Ohio!  

All of us who know and love Linda Goldstone (Jerry too!) said; That is GREAT, we are so happy for you!  As summer marched on and Linda's trips to the west coast increased, it started to sink in.  Even after the pictures were received of a beautiful new home and a few weeks later Linda started breaking down her studio and lovingly parceled out pieces, parts and chemicals to other grateful potters, we still were reluctant to believe the clock was ticking down.  
It occurred to me we cannot let this go quietly into the night, we must have a party!  We must dance!
And party we did!  We visited, we hugged, we embraced, we watched the chickens watching us, we walked around the gardens, we ate and drank, we told stories and one of us piped while others listened in awe.  And then we ate again.

My first thought, I'll just clean the house and make a few nosh-y things to be nibbled on while hanging out around the fire pit on a sunny fall day in October.  Something small and relaxed, perfect!  Linda emailed me her list of friends and the e-blast went out.  Then it morphed, as the week rolled along and before I knew it we would be hosting about 30 people!  You know this is exactly how 10 chickens showed up here.  

Last week after a quick head count, I noticed a couple recipe books sitting on my desk.  I thought back to the Minnesota Potters Tour in May, the one thing that stood out besides the pots had been the food!  So many of the potters I have loved in my adventure down the pottery road have been foodies and gardeners.  We make the pots and rock the food going in the pots!  OH and we love eating the food out of really good pots!  I counted my dinner plates on the shelves, I had enough to serve more than 30 people.

The menu started to tumble together:

A cheese board filled with local cheeses; monterey jack, havarti and cheddar.  Toss in some grapes, apples and red pears.  Prune butter too, so good on a sharp cheese.  Surrounded with whole grain crackers and baguette slices.  Toss in a bowl of hearty caponata spread and you have a nice fall cheese board...... where is my red wine! 
Puff Pasty Tarts topped with caramelized onions and gorgonzola cheese.
Scatter a few bowls of cherry tomatoes around the table for color.
A cluster of relishes:  beet relish, hot pickled peppers, pickles, pickled beets, corn relish.
A bubbling crock pot of pulled pork with sides of coleslaw and squishy white slider buns.
A lovely pot of butternut squash made with ginger, jalapeno peppers, lime and coconut milk.
Italian sausage stuffed hot peppers over rice. 
Vegetarian Lasagna (thank you Linda!!  delicious!)

Dessert would be easy with Shortbread cookies, hot apple/peach crisp served with vanilla ice cream and a pumpkin cheese cake.

Oh and don't forget the bev-ies!  Coffee, Tea, Wine, Beer, Lime Mint Cordials, and water.

Other dishes would be brought by happy people invited to this fabulous party to fill in the table! 
 I think I can cover this! 

OH wait I forgot I need to clean the house and studio!  I never got out to cut the flowers for the table arrangements and people found the cherry tomatoes hanging from their vines in the garden and nibbled their way from the studio to the house.  Everything else made it to the table. And no hanging out around the fire pit due to rain although we did dig a row or two of potatoes.  It's Ohio, be flexible!  
This turned out to be a wonderful send off to a wonderful person who will be missed by our scattered community of potters here in the Western Reserve.  

A few hours into the merry making Lynne Lofton strutted out her bagpipes and played a wonderful rendition of "Good Night Ladies".   Lynne played at Todd's birthday a few weeks earlier and Linda LOVED the pipes!  So Lynne, the woman we know as a pretty terrific potter, piped impeccably through the pitter patter of rain to the crowd of potters and it was perfect!

We partied well into the night.  My fridge is stocked full with leftovers.  This morning the memory of the day makes me smile.  Walking out to the studio the gardens are quiet again.  Clearing the tables in the studio of wine bottles and table coverings I prepare for a full day of clay.  From party central to studio in 60 minutes flat.  This place lends itself well to party giving 3 seasons of the year. 

I love to cook and I love people walking through the house and garden.  
Rain or not it was a very good day. 

For so many years I have wished for a potters guild in Cleveland and we sort of cobbled one together.  More important we have a list of potters working and living in this area.  As working potters devoted to our own careers it is next to impossible to organize shows, meetings and get us to volunteer for things.  We are busy people with families, jobs and life..... and we are tired.  We are keen to know each and every potter in the area so when one leaves we are aware and we can come together.  Do we need more?  I think not.  What I do think ........... we need to dance together at least once a year.   We are a very good community.
Thanks to all who attended!
See ya next year! 

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