Weekend in the country…

I’m invited up to prop stylist Paige Hick’s house in Pennsylvania with the food stylist Adrienne Anderson to cook, catch up and hang out. We brainstorm a menu for an early Fall dinner the day I arrive to have that evening with a group of Paige’s neighborhood friends.
A lazy morning; mugs of hot coffee and Anna del Conte’s beautiful book (The Painter, the Cook and the Art of Cucina) on regional food in Italy which has over 100 of Val Archer’s subtle and delicate paintings of food.


Across Paige’s garden is a shallow scattering of red, yellow and green tomatoes. Like tiny discarded toy traffic lights. Some are split, squashed or savored by bugs but there is still a lot of good shaped, edible ones too. We stroll for awhile in the morning sunshine collecting peppers, pulling up green onions and picking herbs for an early colorful lunch.
Adrienne finds a stray branch that we erect (cheekily) as our ‘flag’ on our erected table to herald in our first Fall lunch.
Pops of color, soft sunshine and a simple pasta with freshly picked tomatoes and herbs under a clear and crisp blue sky.
Bright, yet warm and comforting. Adrienne delivers a deft but heavy hand when it comes to coarsly grated parmesan which adds tang, depth and an element of stick-to-the-ribs-iness. She also throws in some pan-roasted carrots, last minute, to add a heartiness that’s buttery, pure and earthy.

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