Family time in SoCal

Uncle Al Skidmore and Tom enjoying Sandi’s hospitality.

Uncle Al Skidmore and Nancy visited Sandi in La Vista, from their home in North Carolina. Uncle Al’s granddaughter, Amy, surprised him from Michigan, I came from Santa Barbara and of course, Sandi’s girls (plus Aaron) made it party time on a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday morning I took the AMTRAK Surfliner back to S.B. feeling gratified and grateful.
 

Italian Summer Salad

Collect the ingredients, most of which came from farmer’s market this morning.

Mussels are rinsed, beards cut off, placed in covered pot of boiling wine and water. [Normally I’ll sautee shallots, garlic and mushrooms before bringing liquid to boil, but this salad will provide plenty of zest and zing.] In about five minutes the shells open, the meat dug out and set aside.

Add juice of a meyer lemon (or lime) and olive oil in glass bowl. Minced garlic, thin Italian Tropea onion slices and cut up tomatoes are added along with herbs, pepper and red cayenne pepper. Lots of sweet basil is cut up and then the mussels added.

Italian Summer Salad from the Buhl kitchen

While the colorful mixture rests I’ll prepare pasta – whole grain rotini this evening. Mix and serve with a favored wine. The 2016 Stolpman Grenache was tonight’s choice. 

Instead of mussels I’ve also regularly used left over roast chicken. Another lovely choice is line-caught king salmon from Saturday market. 

Good times at the Gastil-Buhl table.

Quest for an Italian Summer Salad

Italian Summer Salad from the Buhl kitchen

This summer I’ve fallen in love with a delightful and simple Italian Summer Salad. It is perfect for a wide range of wines. This weekend we opened a 2016 Grenache from Stolpman Vineyards (Ballard Canyon, AVA). Perfect.

Patagonia (the largest Tom Buhl Typographers client for several years, back in the day) has added PROVISIONS to their offerings. That program shares recipes using their product(s). I appreciate their recipes are simpler than those found in the likes of Sunset Magazine. I am not using Patagonia’s tins of mussels, preferring fresh, local mussels, but I do appreciate the recipe.

Before we can go into the kitchen, we go to market. I look forward to Saturday’s farmers market every week. Below are images from the August 18th market adventure relevant to the salad preparations.

Piedrasassi’s Carbonic Sangiovese is another delightful complement to this salad. So many fine wines available to us these days. We are most fortunate.

In the next post(s) I’ll show staging of ingredients and then the construction. I’m getting hungry writing of it.

Stolpman Vineyards Hike

cluster of early summer grapes

In June Gastil and I took a hike of the Stolpman Vineyards and learned of their mission, strategies and passion to do things the right way. Way too many stories and lessons to share but I was taken by their efforts to develop most of their own root stock as well as experiment with “self” rooting which Syrah seems to be the best candidate for extensive success.

They give these guided hikes monthly so check out the web site for details. Highly recommended.

After the hike we sampled a selection of their fine wines at the Los Olivos Tasting Room. Yes, purchases were made in the name of further research. www.stolpmanvineyards.com/

 

Annual Wine Club BBQ & Tastings

Winemaker Bruce McGuire sharing treasures from the cellar.

LaFond Vineyards and Santa Barbara Winery (in the Santa Rita Hills AVA) hosted a lovely BBQ Saturday to thank their wine club members. Good food, fun music, gracious hosts, grateful guests and wide range of magnificent wines to explore and savor. Winemaker, Bruce McGuire, rummaged the cellar depths to find interesting wines to share. A delightful day in the valley. See ya’ll next year…or when my wine supply becomes uncomfortably low.

 

The Henry Ford Museum

Wonderful World of Charles & Ray Eames

On my July 2018 Michigan visit we went to The Henry Ford several times. On the 3rd we enjoyed a pleasant evening listening to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus. The fireworks display began as Tchaikovsky’s Ouverture Solennelle 1812 was concluding. Accompanying canon fire provided by 19th century field pieces [some authentic, others reproductions, but even those are over 100 years old]. That is always a great time to spend with family and friends and a few thousand potential friends.

Tea time at Cotswold Cottage

The museum featured THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CHARLES & RAY EAMES as well as the usual wide-ranging exhibits and samples of (mostly) American life over the years.

Strolling Greenfield Village is always a treat on my Michigan visits. Below are a number of images from this year’s visits.

 

Schafer High School, Class of 1964 Gathering

Carol (Blades) Rillema, Tom Buhl & Anita (Denman) Sohn. Photo by Susan Bentley.

Big Bear Lodge was once again the site of the Schafer High School class of 1964 summer gathering. It was wonderful to see familiar faces as well as those many of us have not seen since 1964 – which is somewhat a long time ago.

Fred Pellegrene & Rick Kujala

We enjoyed catching up, swapping school memories and basically enjoying time together. Heartfelt smiles were the evening’s theme. A special treat this year was spending time with our favorite history teacher, Fred Pellegrene. A major shout out to Rich Kulaja for making that happen.

 Grace (Koster) Hall and Susan Bentley once again earned our gratitude for making this annual event a reality. A tip of the hat also goes to those who assisted our organizers and to all who attended. Thank you class of 1964.

If any of the photo captions have inaccuracies let myself, Grace or Sue know and we shall promptly take care of it. Keep checking your email Inbox for announcements from Grace and Sue regarding future events. 

Cheers!

Small Bench/Cabinet – The Finish & Finished

Initial coat being wiped on the underside of the top. Note the Buhl diamond carved with V-chisel.

The small, but robust, bench/cabinet is ready for shipping. Six coats of my usual varnish oil blend was applied with rag, wet sanded and wiped off. This creates a pleasant to the eye and touch finish to the piece.

Ready for shipping.

Overall dimensions approximately 21 x 13 x 14 inches weighing in at 25 pounds. Sides, back and fronts began as 8/4 stock to yield about 1-1/2 inch thick material less the curvature of front and back surfaces. Legs about 2 x 2 inches and the top just over one inch thick. Top is secured by stub tenons (on legs) and four figure eight fasteners.

Small bench/cabinet – top

Cut slight curves on each edge at the band saw.

The top for this piece uses my old-growth, sinker Honduras Mahogany from Greener Lumber, LLC. One edge (one side only) had some severe cracks and voids. I filled those with tinted epoxy, then milled the top. After cutting to overall dimensions, I created gentle curves on each edge. Those cuts were cleaned up with rasps and sandpaper followed by routing a round over both top- and under-side.

Ready for finishing after final sanding.

The legs have fat, stub tenons so corresponding mortises were cut with a straight router bit and chisel. A Buhl-diamond was cut on the underside with V-chisel and final sanding prepared the piece for finishing.