Tag Archives: Liv

Snapshots from Whirlwind 24 Hours in NYC

UN Headquarters Dove of Peace ©Kim Smith 2014

UN Headquarters, NYC

Wednesday and Thursday were spent on a whirlwind trip to NYC for my husband Tom to meet with literary agents. Giovanni rana ©Kim Smith 2014Upon arriving Wednesday night, our daughter Liv took us to a wonderful Italian restaurant at Chelsea Market, Giovanni Rana Pastificio and Cucina, which specializes in pasta dishes. Every bite of every dish was out-of-this-world delish however, she and I both agreed that the Squid Ink Linguine, Broccoli Rabe, and Lobster entrée was extra-extraordinary. Giovanni Rana squid ink pasta broccoli rabe lobster ©Kim Smith 2014After dinner we explored the HighLine, which is only a short walk from the Market and is especially festive and fun at dusk.

HighLine Skyline ©Kim Smith 2014View from the HighLine

HighLine Night NYC ©Kim Smith 2014

The HighLine was bustling with young couples, old couples, families, friends meeting for dinner and drinks after work, and tourists, too. The gardens are exquisitely maintained and beautiful any time of year, day or night. How well the gardens are cared for is reflected in how very much they are enjoyed by visitors. The HighLine gardens are so appreciated that they even illuminate the flowers! Coneflowers HighLine night ©Kim Smith 2014

Chrysler Building night Highline ©Kim Smith 2014View of the Chrysler Building from the HighLine

The following morning, Thursday, I walked around Tudor City Parks in the UN headquarter’s neighborhood and then took Liv to a charming French restaurant near the theatre where she works.

Eastern Redbud foliage Cercis canadensis ©Kim Smith 2014Bold and beautiful heart-shaped foliage of our native Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) at the Tudor City Greens

The trip was too brief but very successful though I have to warn our readers that if you are traveling by car to New York City, the construction traffic homeward in the northbound lanes was horrendous, on both Routes 15 and 95. It took us seven hours to get home!

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Lambrusco %22Pruno Nero%22 Cleto Chiarli ©Kim Smith 2014 copy If you go to Giovanni Rana Pastificio and Cucina, you have to try their Lambrusco “Pruno Nero” Cleto Chiarli, a wonderful sparkling red wine that is round and flavorful of fruit and berries, but not at all sweet. The color is an inky purple red and the wine is equally as rich tasting as its hue. Lambrusco “Pruno Nero” Cleto Chiarli is not your grandfather’s Lambrusco.

Lambrusco Pruno Nero is definitely worth seeking out and makes a refreshing summer beverage. I’ll mention it to Kathleen at Savour Wine and Cheese and perhaps she’ll give it a try at the shop. We’ll let you know if she does.

HOT HOMEMADE PIZZA TIP!!!

Back in September I posted about a trip to visit my daughter in Brooklyn, and the extraordinary pizza place that she loves to go to, Roberta’s. Recently, the New York Times’s Sam Sifton wrote an article all about Roberta’s fabulous pizza titled “A Little Pizza Homework!!” 

Whether you are a lover of thin crust or thick crust pizza, I urge you give this recipe a whirl. Even though we don’t have a fancy wood-fired oven, the Margherita pizza was out-of-this-world delicious. On a good night, Robertas makes 25oo pizzas, and it’s no wonder when Roberta’s pizza czar Anthony Falco, thinks of the dough as his “baby.”

Sam Sifton writes, “Watching Mr. Falco encourage a mound of dough to become a pizza is entrancing. He starts with his fingertips, spreading the dough out from its center, gently, on a well-floured surface.

“It’s a living thing,” he said of the dough. “It’s your baby. You don’t want to beat it up.” He pushed down gently around the pie’s perimeter, creating the edge. He picked up the dough and lightly passed it back and forth between his palms, rotating it each time, using gravity to help it stretch. The top remained the top. The bottom remained the bottom. At approximately 12 inches in diameter, Mr. Falco called it ready to go. He slid the round back and forth on the floured surface to make sure it didn’t stick. “That is certified for topping,” he said.”

Find the fabulous Roberta’s Pizza Dough Recipe click here.

For video and complete article click here: Watch Anthony Falco Make Roberta’s Pizza Dough

Roberta’s Pizza Margherita Recipe here

 

Snapshots from Christmas in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Country Club ©Kim Smith 2013Liv and Alex copyLiv and Alex

My husband’s extended family has been celebrating Christmas Eve together since they emigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s. I was feeling a tiny bit melancholy because the older generation (now in their 80s and 90s) is retiring from hosting the parties. The festivities will surely still go on, although not in quite the same high style as Christmas’s past because many of the next generation (such as ourselves) have made their homes far and wide.

_DSF5764This year was my mother-in-law’s turn to host the party. The table was beautifully decorated and I love the simple and cheery touch of the cardinals on the apples.

Bumbleberry cake BonBonerie ©Kim Smith 2013jpg copyBumbleberry Torte from BonBonerie

Cincinnati was settled largely by German immigrants and judging by the countless established bakeries dotted throughout the city, I imagine the original emigrees were fabulous bakers. One of Tom’s cousins, Debbie, created a cookbook based on favorite family Christmas recipes, including recipes that date back to the 1800s, recipes from the family’s cooks, and recipes from old German great aunts who also lived in the big house and whose job it was at Christmastime to make thousands of cookies. When we spend Christmas at home and not in Ohio, Liv, Alex, and I love to cook from the family Christmas cookbook and the cookies especially are the yummiest you could possibly imagine. _DSF5794My father-in-law, who is the most kind-hearted man I have ever met, has a wonderful sense of humor, and is a great storyteller, too–and boy does he have many stories to share from a life richly led!

Liv Alex and Hannah

Cincinnati Country Club snow ©Kim Smith 2013Dusting of snow Christmas Eve morning

Cincinnati Country Club  -1©Kim Smith 2013_DSF6033Cincinnati is just that much further west that sunrise is nearly an hour later than in Gloucester. The club that we stay at is set within a golf course sited on a hill, with beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Cincinnati Country Club  -3©Kim Smith 2013JPG Cincinnati Country Club -4 ©Kim Smith 2013Getting ready for Christmas Eve celebration #2! _DSF5990Always a challenge to get loved ones to stand still long enough for a photo!

_DSF5987Liv and AlexNutcracker ©Kim Smith 2013 copyDouble Exposure Fuifilm X- E1

End Notes: In poking around online, I found a photo of the home of Great-aunt Kitty, where the Christmas Eve parties were held continuously for many years. Tom has fond memories of wonderful Christmas’s spent there and especially of the “kiddy table,” where all the cousins and siblings sat together (no adults!), and I gather, where many food fights occurred. The house, still standing, was donated to the Cincinnati park board and you can see more photos of the gorgeous interior at this link: The Gibson-Hauck House. While in Cincinnati we also visited the Rookwood Pottery studio. If you have ever seen Antiques Roadshow, you probably know how beautiful is Rookwood pottery. This post is already too long so later in the week I’ll do a little post about Rookwood.

Hauck Gibson HouseGibson-Hauck House

Visiting Liv in Brooklyn: Roberta’s and the Doughnut Plant

Roberta's Brooklyn ©Kim Smith 2013

Here we are at Roberta’s in Brooklyn. The exterior looks very nondescript but what welcomes upon entering is a warm, vibrant interior.

Roberta’s is a high energy establishment with fabulous food and fabulous service. The lively, yet cozy, restaurant is always packed to the brim with an eclectic crowd–young people on dates, groups of  friends, families–with a line down the street, even in the dead of winter, and on week nights!

The key to Roberta’s success is not only their out-of-this-world delicious pizza, appetizers, seafood, salads, and veggies, but equally as important to their success is their ultra efficient and friendly wait staff, and super accommodating house policies towards the customer. Unlike one of the newer restaurants on Cape Ann, which absolutely will not allow any add-ons to their limited pizza menu (they want only to serve it as only they deem acceptable, and I say, come on–it’s pizza), Roberta’s has a complete menu of pizza toppings! Roberta’s menu is not terribly extensive (nor pricey), but because their’s is a select range of entrees, pizzas, and first courses, you don’t feel the menu is limiting. The produce is farm fresh (much is grown in Roberta’s garden), and the seafood sweet, melting in your mouth as only super fresh seafood does.

Roberta's Dinner Menu

As you can see from Roberta’s menu posted above, it is not vast, but neither is the menu restricted to 5 or 6 pizzas. 

Next stop is Liv’s favorite doughnut shop, The Doughnut Plant, which is well worth getting off the subway on the way to your destination, walking many blocks, stopping at the Plant for amazing doughnuts, and then walking back the same many blocks to hop back on the subway and resume your day.

Visiting Liv in Brooklyn: Gardens at the HighLine, Battery Park, and The Bosque

Liv Hauck ©Kim Smith 2013Snapshots from a recent trip to Brooklyn and NYC to visit my darling daughter Liv.

We had a wonderful time walking everywhere and dining out. Liv always takes me to the most fun restaurants with fabulously yummy food, and they are never too pricey; the prices are comparable to our favorite Gloucester restaurants.

Native Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens High Line NYC ©Kim Smith 2013 copyNative Honeysuckle for the Hummingbirds at the HighLine

For our HarborWalk Gardens, I had wanted to to see what’s in bloom at the HighLine gardens during the late summer and early fall, as well as what was blooming at Piet Oudolf’s designs for the Battery Gardens of Remembrance and The Bosque.

Harlequin Glorybower Clerodendrum trichotomum  ©Kim Smith 2013At the HighLine, we paused for some length at the stunning grove of Japanese Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum trichotomum); whose one of several common names befits it’s great beauty–Harlequin Glorybower Tree. The stop-dead-in-your-tracks-deliciously-fragrant blossoms float atop a canopy of  fluttering leaves. The blooms are similar looking to jasmine flowers, but are even more sweetly scented. A magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds, the tree blooms at a time of year when much of the rest of the garden is winding down. The glorious glorybower is on my wish list for next year and, as it is just barely hardy through zone 6, I’ll find a sheltered and protected spot in which to experiment.

The Bosque Spiral Fountain ©KIm Smith 2013The Spiral Fountain at The Bosque (Spanish for a “grove of trees”), with the Statue of Liberty in the background, Battery Park Park, New York City.

Liv Hauck -1©Kim Smith 2013jpg copy

A grove of Magnolia viginiana at the HighLine

You Must be Crazy if You Are Not Having Captain Joe’s Lobsters for Dinner Tonight!!

How much do you pay for hamburger meat? For good quality, we pay more than $4.00 per pound. Do you know that the best quality, sweetest, most fresh-off-the-boat, and most tender tasty lobsters are only FOUR DOLLARS per pound at Captain Joe and Sons RIGHT NOW? What are you waiting for ?????????????????????????????????????????

Liv and AlexDaughter Liv is always so sweet to her brother Alex ~ Laurel Beedy cell phone photo

Snapshots from Guest Contributor, Daughter Liv

Liv photo

Liv was at the MLB All Star Gala last night and shares these snapshots from her phone. She reports “…4,000 people on the Intrepid and adjacent pier…these are pix of the pier. It was so beautiful, very cool place for a party!!! The Roots played and there was even a full firework display on the Hudson.”

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Thanks for sharing Liv and looks like so much fun. I love the Roots and imagine it must have been gorgeous on the Hudson at sunset!!

The Most Cherished Gifts of All ~ Our Daughters and Sons

For Christmas Liv gave me an early edition of Emily Dickinson’s poems. I cried. The poems of Emily Dickinson play a beautiful role in my book, Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities, but the sweetest poem found within the books’ pages is the poem written by Liv, when she was only twelve.

Emily Dickinson early edition poem s©Kim Smith 2013

Emily Dickinson, published 1892

When Liv was twelve I hired her to transcribe the first draft of the manuscript for Oh Garden, which I had written in longhand, to our then new computer. I had not yet learned how to use the computer and she was quite proficient. The original manuscript included recipes and illustrations, but no poetry. She took her job of transcribing very seriously and one day, about halfway through the project, announced that I needed a poem for the book. She dashed upstairs to her bedroom, returning only half an hour later with her contribution, “My Mother’s Garden.” Her tender poem suggested to me that I include more poetry and it was a joyous experience searching for just the right poem to illuminate each chapter. The book grew to comprise many poems by Emily Dickinson, along with works by Federico García Lorca, John Keats, Amy Lowell, Chinese painter- poets, and even a funny and sweetly sarcastic poem by Dorothy Parker titled “One Perfect Rose.” When the time came, I showed my publisher, Mr. Godine, Liv’s poem. He was delighted to include “My Mother’s Garden” and it can be found on page 206.

Now I keep this cherished gift of Emily Dickinson poems by my bedside table and each time I reach to read it or simply when the cover catches my eye, I am reminded of her gentle, thoughtful love and of the most cherished gift of all, my daughter.

My Mother’s Garden

An exotic sunset-tinted rose

Intoxicating breath of a magnolia

The small windy brick path

Leading to a hidden paradise

Butterflies flutter their own petal-wings

Over the smiling face of a daisy

A hushed lullaby to the garden sings the stream

Honeysuckle vines twist their elegant tendril,

Grasping the delicate lattice

Gorgeous, vibrant hollyhocks stretch their faces

Towards the radiant sun

Drinking in the soft light

Soon the sweet mellow silence is broken

By a joyful cry of children,

Two, three, now four

Suddenly the garden is a place of singing and frolicking and dancing,

Youthful and inviting.

This blessed garden’s soul shines forth in each and every existence

From the flitting butterflies

To the smallest thriving plant

To the noisiest child that finds peaceful comfort,

In the gentle haven.

                    -Written by our Liv when she was twelve

Tree-top Dining at the 7th Wave Restaurant

Snapshots from one of our favorite restaurants, the 7th Wave, Rockport, on Tuna Wharf. Disclaimer: Our son Alex Hauck is a chef there, nonetheless, we wouldn’t go if the food was anything but super delicious.

The atmosphere is so pleasant–relaxing, family friendly, and with lovely views all around. The wait staff is a great bunch of young college students and Elaine, the owner, always stops by to say hello. Pictured are just some of the yummy dishes from their eclectic seafood menu. We always ask what station Alex is working–sautee, grill, fry, etc. and place our orders based on what he is cooking that evening. The seafood is fried to perfection–the most beautiful golden orange brown-and simply out of this world.

Fabulous seafood medley of fresh calamari, shrimp, scallops, and clams

Mussels Fra Diavolo–and yes, the broth truly is ‘Fra Diavolo,’ or Brother Devilishly Hot! The Chef says he uses both red hot chilies and habaneros.

My kids just love it when I pull out the camera.

Charming Cottage Garden Rockport

Lovely mature catalpa tree shading gallery entrance, Bearskin Neck, Rockport

Beauty in Gloucester

I loved this Macy Gray song from the moment I first heard it. The lyrics are full of hope. I found the song  to be perfect for creating a montage of my favorite clips, filmed in and around Gloucester over the course of the past month. The footage is from works-in-progress butterfly films, 2012 Greasy Pole shorts, and random footage from a family picnic. Is it too kooky–butterflies and Greasy Pole Walkers–you tell me because I see beauty in everyone and everything.

Filmed at Niles Beach, Pavilion Beach, Good Harbor Beach, Eastern Point, Brace Cove, Gloucester Harbor Walk, and Plum Street. Created for Good Morning Gloucester. Dedicated to Joey and his beautiful family and to our beloved Gloucester community.

Thank you Ciaramitaros for your help with my Monarch film!

Thank you to my darling daughter Liv; as Craig said, “a trifecta–beautiful, smart, and funny!”

Beauty in the World Sung by Macy Gray

Featuring:
Liv
Eloise Ciaramitaro
Madeline Ciaramitaro
Joe Ciaramitaro
Stew McGillivray
Ross Carlson
2012 Sunday Greasy Pole Walkers

“Beauty in the World” is by American singer Macy Gray from her album The Sellout, which is Gray’s fifth album and first since her under-performing 2007 album Big. The Selllout is her return to musical form after almost conforming when her last album didn’t take off. “I thought after Big flopped maybe I should do what everyone else was doing,” she said. “Go out and hire the hottest producers, the best writers, get real skinny. But none of those people called me back.”

The song was inspired by hearing her daughter’s laughter on a down day. “I didn’t even know what she was laughing at. I thought ‘at least she’s happy.’ And I felt at least I hadn’t failed there, because my daughter’s happy.” -wiki

Happy Birthday to my Son Alex

My beautiful son, born on the first day of spring, during a snow storm, March 20, 1993.

Alex, on his first day of college this past September. I don’t have too many recent photos of Alex; he was in the camera shy stage for all his high school years–although lately I am getting the feeling he doesn’t mind so much his Mom with her cameras.

Best friends favorite breakfast of bacon and chocolate chip pancakes and strawberry smoothies ~  Shaffy, Alex, Sam, Mike, Cam, and Andrew

Alex and Liv August 2006

I am so blessed

My darling daughter is home from grad school for a few days during spring break. I adore her and we just have the best time together.

iPhone 4s photo ~ Liv and Rosie

My husband gave me a new iPhone for my early birthday present, while Liv is home, so that she can show me how to use it. My previous phone, a fossil from the Stone Age (as my son Alex often referred to it as) was not fun to use. When Siri started talking to us, I was just on the floor laughing in amazement.

iPhone 4S photo