Several of you said you enjoyed last week’s patchwork quilt poem, and this week, I have a quilting follow-up.
Milton, a customer from Brooklyn who summers in Hamburg, dropped off two boxes of plants from his country garden last week. Waiting for him from my garden were Indigofera tinctoria, the source of indigo dye, and Acanthus spinosa, the source of the Corinthian leaf motif used in Greek and Roman art and architecture. Milton is a textiles expert and was mentioned in this newsletter a while back for his publication of drawings, “An Amaryllis Suite”. He was expecting guests for the weekend and loaded up on produce and berries. Milton and his guests were headed to the opening of the Allentown Art Museum’s exhibition of 34 quilts that were featured in the Great International Quilt Festival held earlier this year in Tokyo.
These quilts represent nearly 200 years of American quilting, stitching, and stories of ordinary women (including Milton’s grandmother) who created an American tradition of turning functional bedcovers into decorative works of art. Many quilts in the exhibit were made in Pennsylvania and include examples of white-on-white, floral appliqué, redwork, and crazy quilting. Definitely worth a visit. The Allentown Art Museum, 31 N. Fifth St., is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
When In Rome: Our daughter Marina was visiting her friend Abby in Rome last week. Abby’s aunt, Mujah, made Fiori de Zucca, aka stuffed zucchini blossoms. The girls loved them! Since our field is just starting to come alive with the sunny blossoms, here are the simple directions, straight from Rome: Stuff each flower with a piece of mozzarella, a little sliver of butter, a bit of anchovy, and a caper. Coat each blossom in a batter of flour, water, and egg. Twist the top of the blossom closed and lightly fry in olive oil. Serve and eat right away.
When at Home: You can use the male and female blossoms of summer and winter squash for stuffing or other recipes. The male blossoms are borne on the end of thin stems and can be harvested without affecting production (but you should leave some for pollination). Remove stamens before stuffing. The female blossoms form on the end of the buds and are harvested with the tiny squash attached. (This means you won’t be overrun with zucchini!) It is best to harvest blossoms at midday when petals are open. Cut with a knife, leaving about an inch of the stem, rinse, and store in the refrigerator in ice water.
This week at Fleur-de-Lys Farm Market: Black raspberries, black currants, eggs, lettuce, kale, garlic scapes, luffa sponges, lavender wands, and honey.
Shop Details: Fleur-de-Lys Farm Market, 440 Hottenstein Road, Kutztown, is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or any time the blue door is open! Our phone number is (610) 683-6418.
Sayings on Slate: Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. — Marcel Proust