Picnic At Ascot designed this fully equipped canvas picnic carrier and cooler. The navy exterior with crisp white trim coupled with the classic plaid interior accents is handsome for all seasons. A leak proof and thermal-shielded inner compartment features an insulated cooler with separate sections for wine and food. Also included are dishes, cutlery, drink-ware, napkins, and even a corkscrew. This perfect picnic tote ($78)—a great gift for a wedding, a birthday, or for a perfect beach day—is available at Chatham’s Picnic Fashion, 726 Main Street, 508.348.0588, www.picnicfashion.com.
This is an inspirational tale of the brave Sammy Scallop and his underwater adventures. Sammy is popular among his friends at Reef Shellementary School until an accident makes the young scallop different from his classmates and he must find a way to overcome these differences. With colorful illustrations, Carol Hamblet Adams’ book is the perfect story to help your little ones learn about accepting themselves and others in a fun and engaging way. For information, visit www.harvesthousepublishers.com. —Ciara Megan
Snappy Sea Fever Fun
Sea Fever Gear, a cottage company in Chatham, celebrates its 15th anniversary this summer with a range of creative items ranging from kids hats, like this fun shark-themed chapeau to nautical shower curtains—all made from recycled sails. Every product is made from a different piece of sail, custom and designed to highlight the uniqueness of each sail with batten pockets, stitching, reef points, numbers, and hardware. The products are all handcrafted in the United States. Sea Fever, West Chatham, in the Shop Ahoy Plaza. For information, go to www.seafevergear.com.
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Mood elevation in Mashpee Commons
Studies show that upon receiving flowers, one’s mood is elevated for up to three days. We believe sending flowers has the same effect. Let us help you elevate that certain someone’s mood. Make our day by letting us make yours. Be sure to ask about our Floral Rewards Program.
Verde Floral Design
19 Fountain Street
- Posted in Shopping
Nantucket will host the Opera House Cup, August 18 to 21, part of the North American Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The Opera House Cup takes its name from the eponymous venue whose owner, in 1973, had the idea of organizing a regatta reserved for wooden sail boats. It is the oldest regatta of this kind to take place along the East Coast. Every year, a large fleet of vintage boats gathers in a thrilling spectacle. The Opera House Cup has become a summer spectator tradition as the Rainbow Fleet escorts the boats past Brant Point lighthouse to the start.
Past participants include former America’s Cup winners (Intrepid, Weatherly, Columbia), well-known competitors (Shamrock, Endeavor) and other notable yachts like the Mystic Seaport schooner Brilliant and General Patton’s When and If. On the smaller side, prestigious boats in the Dragon class and the classic Herreshoff-designed and Nantucket-built Alerions also often participate. Yachts must be made in wood or metal, built according to traditional designs and methods, with wood or aluminium spars.
The North American Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge takes place in three locations throughout the season: the Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta in Marblehead, the Opera House Cup in Nantucket and the Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport.
For each regatta, an Officine Panerai prize is presented to the overall winner and to the winners of each class. The overall winners for each of the three regattas receive their prizes in a ceremony held during the Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport. To compete for the final trophy, each boat must participate in at least two of the three events in the schedule, one of which must be the Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta.
The Opera House Cup Regatta is the grand finale of Nantucket Race Week, and the events culminate with the OHC Awards Party, held under the tents on Jetties Beach on Sunday evening. Good food, drinks, videos of the OHC race, a silent auction, presentation of the awards and music keep the party going late into the evening. The OHC Awards Party is one of “the parties of the season” on Nantucket.
For information on the Opera House Cup, go to www.operahousecup.org.
Spohr Gardens enchants visitors all year long
Margaret and Charles Spohr began creating this lovely garden around their home in the 1950’s and gladly received an ever-increasing number of visitors who came to see its rumored beauty. After their deaths, the gardens were left to the Margaret K. Spohr and Charles D. Spohr Charitable Trust with the specification that the property be open to the public every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with no admission fee. For more information, visit www.spohrgardens.org.
By Lindsay Oliver
Add a romantic touch to your garden with these efficient sprinklers ($16.99). Just attach a hose and you’ve got a sprinkler and petite statue in one! Roughly four by six inches,in several desgins at Osterville House and Garden, 508-428-6911.
This Razor-back “Little Hog” mini-shovel ($14.49) serves many gardening functions all season long. Just under 30 inches long, the “Hog” gets in tough to reach spots. Pick it up at Botello Home Center in Mashpee.
Arm yourself for gardening with a pair of Foxglove Gauntlets ($35) that allow for freedom of movement as you tackle tough jobs. Light-weight, synthetic leather-padded palms and reinforced fingertips defend against thorns. Four sizes.
The Stihl “Yard Boss” ($369) is a lightweight, multi-tasking tool with a universal power train that easily transforms from a high-performance cultivator to other useful tools. Essential for aerating the right way. At Botello Home Center in Mashpee.
Must-Have Articles, Accessories & Products
Designer Steve Wardle of Chatham’s Forest Beach Designer-Goldsmiths translated delicate pansy petals into gold, creating an elegant bracelet honoring spring. Each bloom is graced with a diamond. For information, call
508-945-7334, or go to www.capecodcharms.com.
The Kitchen Gardener’s Handbook provides advice for gardeners looking to include both ornamental and edible plants in their gardens. With colorful photos, this guide ($22.95) teaches readers how to grow, and harvest vegetables, fruits, greens, and herbs for each season. www.timberpress.com
These handcrafted hedgehogs ($7.95-$12.95) are just a few of the cute critters available at Harvest of Barnstable— perfect for a whimsical touch at a summer party. Harvest of Barnstable, 89 Willow Street, Yarmouthport.
Great for the weekend gardener, this 12 x 16 foot saltbox shed has a handy loft for pool supplies, lawn furniture, and other items. Hand-made custom options available. Basic kit price: $6,220. For information, call 860-228-2276, or go to www.countrycarpenters.com.
You’ll be swinging in the rain with these waterproof Arden Slogger boots ($36.99) featuring a premium insole for comfort, a cotton liner, and a wide top pants opening to keep you dry. At Snows Home and Garden of Orleans, 508-255-0158, www.snowshomeandgarden.com.
For three different Birdscape feeders ($19 to $26) that will feed the birds with up to three pounds of seed, stop in to Botellos Home Center, Route 28 on the Mashpee/Barnstable line.
Plant a floral oasis inside or out with modular Wooly Pocket planters ($34.99 to $89.99), made from 100% recycled bottles. Soft-sided and infectiously fun in several colors at Scenic Roots (formerly Agway), 349 Route 6A, East Sandwich.
For an exquisite wreath ($60) capturing Cape Cod’s natural glories, stop into Harvest of Barnstable, just off Route 6 in Yarmouthport. Available at different prices in several designs, the locally handcrafted wreaths bring that quintessential coastal touch to any home.
When you grow your own fruits and vegetables, it is a special pleasure to preserve that goodness, giving your table a touch of summer sweetness, even when the snow flies.
Some of these recipes are as simple as chopping up a big bunch of fresh basil, drizzling in some olive oil… read on. And savor (and share!) the fruits of your good garden labor.
Susan’s Seaside Dilly Beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup Sea Salt
- 6 cups white wine vinegar
- 8 dill flowerheads
- ½ cup pickling spice
- ½ cup mustard seed
- 16 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
- Wash and trim the ends off the fresh green beans. Discard any beans that are soft or spotted. Sterilize eight jars following the home preserving instructions on the Cape Cod Extension Service’s web site (See box). For the brine, boil the water, add the Sea Salt and the white wine vinegar in a large pot, and bring to a boil.
- While the brine cooks, fill each sterilized jar with one head of washed fresh dill flowerhead, one tablespoon of pickling spice, one tablespoon of mustard seed, and two cloves garlic. The beans should be put into a standing position in the jars.
- With a soup ladle, put the hot brine into jars and follow home preserving instructions.
- Delicious served with seafood, pork, or as a side for sandwiches and salads.
Cape Sweet Pickles
- 6 pounds small zucchini or cucumbers
- 8 cups thinly sliced onions
- ½ cup Sea Salt
- 1 quart white wine vinegar
- 4 ½ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons mustard seed
- 1 ½ tablespoons celery seed
- One bag ice cubes
- Wash and scrub clean zucchini or cucumbers. Leave skins on. Slice into 1/4 inch pieces and put in a large mixing bowl. Add onions, Sea Salt, and place at least two inches of ice cubes on top of vegetables. Put in a cool spot for at least three hours. Keep replenishing ice cubes.
- Make the pickling brine. In a large pot, put the white wine vinegar, the sugar, turmeric, mustard seed, and the celery seed. Bring to a boil (about 10 minutes) then add chilled vegetables and onions without the ice. Bring to a second boil.
- While the brine is cooking, sterilize the new canning jars and follow home preserve canning instructions on the Cape Cod Extension Service’s web site (See box). While this is happening, use a wide mouth funnel and put brine and vegetable mix in each jar, then follow preserving instructions.
- Use oven mitts to remove all jars and place in a cool, but not drafty, spot.
Jo’s Summer Jam
- 4 cups of crushed raspberries
- 6 ½ cups of sugar
- ½ teaspoon butter
- 1 package of fruit pectin
- Crush well-washed and dried fresh raspberries though a food mill to remove a lot of the seeds.
- Combine the berry mixture with the sugar in a six to eight quart sauce pan. Add the butter to reduce foaming. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
- Add one package of fruit pectin and continue to boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and skim off foam if necessary.
- Sterilize your jars according to preserving directions. Ladle the jam onto hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Apply lids and adjust until fingertip tight. Place in canner with water one to two inches over tops of jars. Boil for 10 minutes.
Judy’s Strawberry Jam
- 2 (16 ounce) containers of strawberries, sliced (this is about 5 cups of sliced berries)
- 1 (6 ounce) container of raspberries
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup of sugar
- Bring all ingredients to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. During this time you can crush the fruit with a potato masher if you would like smaller pieces of fruit. Skim foam off the top when it develops.
- Let cool to room temperature and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator. This jam will keep in the refrigerator for three to four weeks.
Basil Lovers Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed, stems removed, dried well
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or mushed with the side of a large knife
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (fresh grated is best!)
- 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Put a few handfuls of the basil in with the pine nuts or walnuts and pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
- Pour in the olive oil slowly, a few tablespoons at a time. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese (unless you are going to freeze the pesto) and pulse again until blended. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Do this in batches—it’s a messy job, but worth it!
- To put in ice cup trays for freezing in small portions, spoon the pesto into a sandwich plastic baggy. Cut a corner out of the bag, and squeeze a good amount into each cube. Covering each cube with a little more olive oil helps keep the cubes green, (reducing oxidation) but the pesto will still taste like summer, even if it’s not that beautiful green!
Fresh February Tomatoes
- 2-3 pounds fresh tomatoes
- Five cups water
- Ice cubes
- Wash the tomatoes well. Boil half the water in a sauce pan. Put the rest of the water in a steel bowl with ice cubes.
- When the water is really boiling, drop in several of the tomatoes and boil until each one’s skin splits. Take out with a fork and plunge into the ice water. A minute or so later, peel off all the skin.
- If you wish, you can cut the tomato in half and scoop out all the seeds with your finger or a small spoon.
- Freeze the tomatoes in a plastic container. Great mixed with chopped basil, fresh parsley and olive oil for bruschetta, or as a simple, summer sweet addition to tomato sauces, soups, etc.
Jhenn Watts has nothing against technology, but digital cameras are not her method of choice for photography as a historical record. “With digital, we can doctor, copy, change things,” Watts says. “We’ve kind of gotten away from the ‘proven photograph.’”
“Proven photographs”—testaments to fleeting moments—are especially meaningful in today’s world. As Watts says, “These images represent a slice in time, a memory.”
Watts’ current photography venture turns those records of real time into art. Armed with a heavy large-format camera with bellows, a black cloth draped over her head, she shoots on 4-inch by 5-inch transparency film, often assembling several pieces in one artwork. The finished photo art captures the Vineyard’s natural world—ocean, shoreline, cliffs, sky —in its raw magnificent form. Frames of exposed edges of film create a sculptural feel.
Watts began creating photographic art after graduating from Massachusetts College of Art, rendering images through an emulsion process, lifting an image off paper and transferring it to glass. When Polaroid stopped production of the film, she moved on to her large-format photography.
The results of Watts’ old-world equipment are up-to-the-minute creative. Her newest image, Cedar Tree Neck Triptych, is a dramatic composition of three photos depicting soft ocean swells against a rocky shoreline, shot on the Vineyard’s north shore. Watts cropped the photos in the camera, developed the film, trimmed the prints, and assembled the piece. Another work, Long Point Vista, with an almost monochromatic look, was taken on the Vineyard’s south shore. Composed of five images and measuring 25 by 53 inches, Long Point Vista is the largest piece Watts has made. The possibilities have given her a fresh excitement for art. “I haven’t been this excited about what I’m doing in 10 or 15 years,” Watts says.
Today, married to the jeweler Kenneth Pillsworth, Watts balances her photography with her duties as director of the Field Gallery, all in a place she has come to love. “I feel privileged to live on this island,” she says. “You can’t help but be awe-inspired by the beauty.”
At its core, Jen Villa’s medium is Cape Cod. Villa’s photography and collages are rife with iconic Cape images: ocean, dunes, and skylines, capturing a sentiment that both Villa and her clients embrace.
Villa, “a beach baby from day one,” as she describes herself, grew up summering in West Hyannisport. After graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, she traveled to California and graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. And then she experienced the wham of the heart that deep love inflicts: Villa knew she had to return to the Cape. “There’s always a lingering feeling of wanting to be back,” she says. She quickly discovered that her deep affection for this special place rang true with a wider audience.
The discovery led Villa, a Hyannisport resident, to open The Little Beach Gallery in Hyannis, where she shows the works of 40 artists, including her own. The art here reflects a common inspiration: the ocean. The concept of community is obvious, too. Villa thrives on bringing artists together, holding fundraisers, and practicing local environmentalism, including heading up the local chapter of Green Drinks
(www.greendrinks.org). It all fits seamlessly with Villa’s art. As she says, “My artwork is solely based on the beauty of this place. The environmental part goes hand in hand with it. It’s kind of a nice collaboration.”
The environment that Villa works to protect is on display in her collages, which she calls J’coupage. The photography and collages—artful arrangements of photos with short narratives and graphics—embody the Cape’s indefinable appeal. Villa’s clients often report back to her, no doubt to renew their connection in a mutual love. “People say ‘I look at the art every day; it takes me back to the Cape,’” Villa says.
In her collage The Waves of the Sea Help Me Get Back to Me, the words of writer Jill Davis are dropped over Villa’s sepia-toned image of a beach line and dunes, beach grass waving in the wind. “The photo collages incorporate inspirational words—words that remind you to stay present,” she says. The mood is subtle, peaceful. Villa says, “It’s the ocean, the magic, the serenity of finding yourself at the edge of the earth.”