Mother (muth-er) – noun
Simultaneously the most difficult and the most rewarding job in the world
(See also: Saint, Superhero, Wonder-Woman, Love)

Well, yes. It is Mother’s Day Weekend, an official holiday. So I am selfishly featuring the Mothers in my life (self included…you bet)! And I wish each of you the best for the Mothers in your lives. Enjoy.

1 Mother. 2 Daughters. Me. Mine.

1 Mother. 2 Daughters. Me. Mine. November, 2004. Segovia.

Same Mother. Same Daughters. 9 years later. This past October in Istanbul.

Same Mother. Same Daughters. 9 years later. October, 2013. Istanbul.

1 Mother. MINE! 1 Daughter.

1 Mother. MINE! 1 Daughter. Me!

2 Mothers. 2 Daughters. 1 Son. 1 Grandson.

2 Mothers. 2 Daughters. 1 Son. 1 Grandson. 1 VERY Proud Auntie. Mother’s Day, 2012.

1 Mother. 1 Son (in-law, but that's just semantics!)

1 Mother. 1 Son (in-law, but that’s just semantics!) October 2013. Istanbul.

1 Mother. 1 Son.

1 Mother. 1 Son. Gray and Marc’s Wedding. May 2004. Anderson House, Washington, DC.

1 Mother. 3 Sons. 1 Daughter. (TD's family)

1 Mother. 3 Sons. 1 Daughter. (TD’s family) Colorado. 2009.

3 Mothers. 2 Daughters. 1 Son. 1 Grandson. 1 Great Grandson.

3 Mothers. 2 Daughters. 1 Son. 1 Grandson. 1 Great Grandson. Mother’s Day, 2013. BLURRY.


New Watermark on Photos

Yes! I AM retired and now can goodies. It’s a bold new world. Or perhaps the watermark will just be © PEGhardee in this little grey area below the image.

Listen Up Please! It has been brought to my attention by a charming young friend of mine that it is not apparent that the photography on this blog is by me, moi, Peg! Well, I guess that would be with a few very rare exceptions where I always credit the photographer. So, I got myself on Watermark Pro this afternoon and created a watermark, which I was disappointed in, as there wasn’t enough creative liberty (see photo on left)! I’m still tweaking this process of making the image owner clear to you, the audience! Therefore this may morph a few times prior to becoming the Final Answer! So there you have it. In actuality I prepare all of these recipes and “photo” each and every one; and I snap the pics as I travel near and far, town and bar!  Enjoy this new little piece of knowledge. And I promise a recipe next post, honestly!

Photo Props

Photo Booth objects

I have collected all sorts of wonderful things to make picture taking at parties tons of fun!  I have Mardi Gras masks and boas that I found when in New Orleans one year in the late nineties,  hand painted wooden frames to “frame yourself”,  hats and glasses galore, tiaras, crowns and so on.  It really relaxes the party goer and makes for terrific cutting up and often hysterical pics!  Go ahead…Give it a whirl sometime really soon.

Photo Booth objects II IMG_5207IMG_5225

In Honor of Boston

Boston StrongNow that this long week for Boston and our nation is on the path to closure with suspect #2 in custody, I see cause for celebration.  Thank you to all of the great people in every realm of life who stepped up to the tasks at hand…kudos to my son in law Marc who was at Mass General all week, and his brother Eric, SWAT team member actively called to duty.  Great article here about the efforts of all involved from the NewYorker.  At their home game Wednesday night the New York Yankees played the Red Sox eighth inning theme song Sweet Caroline in tribute!  Amazing sportsmanship from life long rivals.  And here are the residents of Boston celebrating and singing the National Anthem in the streets as Friday night became victorious.  And Marc posted this on FB Friday night…”Was saving for a championship… And then our law enforcement won one.”  I’ve seen that bottle hanging out in their bar for years, and know that he was saving it for a Boston athletic championship … but so proud of the moment he and Gray decided to christen it!  Boston Strong!  Absolut Boston


Gals Night Out!

Girls Nite Out 2013I try to gather smart, fun gal pals of all ages every couple of months.  I mix up the crowd each time so that the conversation stays sharp, and excellent thoughts on everything from tech to travel to cooking to parenting and grand-parenting are exchanged. None of us want to lose our edge, so this swapping of experiences helps keep us on our toes.

A Dash of Background

Peg in WaterburyAs I prepare to make Come on in, friend! visible, I want to share my thoughts on the venture.  This blog is a source for me to catalog recipes and cooking experiences, adventures in entertaining, and travels with family and friends. I do not consider myself a chef; I merely cook. Nor am I the consummate entertainer; I simply gather family and friends in the comfort of my home.  I am not a daring traveler; I am only a bit adventuresome and like to explore artsy locales and have fun in far flung (and not so far flung!) places.

How it began ~ I published a cookbook titled Look Who’s in the Kitchen in 2008 for my daughters, and nieces and nephews.  I wanted a printed resource of recipes, photographs of the completed recipes, and tips and imagery documenting my manner of entertaining. The book is filled with photos of family and friends, art as it relates to food, and pics of significant travels.  As years progressed, I yearned to expand the book, not a simple task once printed!  Rather, Brenton suggested that I begin a blog cataloging the information.  This way the recipes and tips are online so that when someone needs guidance, the source is always available.  So, here’s Come on in, friend!  Cheers!Fletch VIII

Floral Philosophy I

Fearrington Barn

This is the barn at Fearrington Village where it all began.  For my 35th birthday my Mother treated 5 friends and me to an all day flower arranging seminar led by Paul Bott, then owner of NYC flower shop Twigs.  He ingrained in us the practice of keeping our eyes wide open all the time, as inspiration surrounds us where ever we happen to venture.  We practiced looking at trees not just as trees, but as forms and possibilities for arrangements.  He emphasized thinking of flowers in their cut form, but also in their planted form.  He was the beginning of my zest for creating unique arrangements.  Perfect example below…I took my pups to the groomer today out in the country.  Along the way I saw these blooming Bradford Pear trees and immediately thought of cutting a few branches and putting them in an over-sized vase in the kitchen.  Alas, since they were on private property, I resisted the urge and found an image to illustrate my thought!  My Paul Bott experience was in the infancy of my fascination with wonderful arrangements.  Look for future posts on floral gurus such as Paula PrykeJeff Leatham, and my friends Jef and Ed Glenn, all who have had immense influence on the manner in which I celebrate special events in my life.IMG_1370

Branches in vase

Kitchen Window Sill Flowers

I live in a house that was built in 1952.  Alas, last spring we replaced all of the inefficient windows that leaked the cooled and heated air from the inside to the outside…and allowed in the cool and hot air from the outside.  So in the kitchen I had installed a 6 inch window sill above the sink rather that the standard 2 1/2 inch sill.  This allows space for flowers, knick knacks, coffee mugs, and perhaps most importantly a champagne glass while cooking!  I spend a LOT of time in my kitchen and want it to be a happy place with fresh flowers and a sunny outlook. Here is a simple example of a window sill “still life” in my kitchen home.

Roses on window sill

Stock the Freezer

I visited my older daughter and her precious family last week.  While she toiled at work I had fun in her efficient city kitchen.  I made Meatloaves and Brunswick Stew and stocked her freezer with those treats.  I chose those two specifically for the following reasons.  I find meatloaf very comforting, especially paired with mashed potatoes (recipes for this yummy starch coming later this week).  And the stew is so simple to heat upon return home late in the afternoon.  Literally, it can be on the table in under 10 minutes!!  I know that it is helpful for worker bees to take something out of the freezer in the morning, and have a simple weeknight dinner waiting to pop in the oven after a full day of business.  Of course I played with that darling twenty-one month old precious and precocious grandson of mine in between cooking sessions!!  He’s a true charmer…or as his Auntie says…”ridiculously cute”!Liam January 2013 560