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Toasting Julia Child’s Brownies in St. Michaels December 1

Pamela Heyne will give a slide talk Dec. 1 at 5:30 at the Saint Michaels Library. The talk will revolve around her new book, In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child. Books will be available for purchase after the talk (and sold by the News Center). Since Julia Child emphasized the joy of sharing the wonderful food she prepared, Pamela feels we need to replicate some of that fun with wine and Julia Child’s recipe brownies.

Pamela, the only architect who ever interviewed Julia, will show how meaningful Julia Child’s ideas are today, from the standpoint of design as well as physical health and emotional well being. Some recent local designs are in the book, such as the Cottingham Farm kitchen and gallery.

Last month Pamela had a launch of the book in the Boston area at the Harvard Book Store and other venues. She writes a column for the Talbot Spy, “Design for You,” and has a studio in Saint Michaels, Heyne Design.

ESLC “Food Fight” Transcript: Woodberry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde

Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy hosted an all-day seminar cleverly entitled “Food Fight” to discuss issues related to our food supply in the Chesapeake Bay region. One of the more interesting people that the ESLC brought in that day was the renowned chef and owner of Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen, Spike Gjerde. Gjerde is a greatly respected foodie in the mid-Atlantic region, and the Spy was interested in his thoughts about the local state of food, sustainability, and hopes for the future is what and how we eat.  While the Spy recorded Spike’s comments that day, the acoustics in the room and the placement of the loudspeakers produced unacceptable audio quality and we therefore made a decision to transcribe his remarks instead.  They are presented here, lightly edited (with some omissions due to the poor audio quality/inaudibility).

I had made a commitment to purchase from local growers. And the only thing that ever separated me and what we did at Woodberry is that I stuck with it. And the only thing that allowed me to stick with it is I came over time to understand why it was important. That’s it.

Farm to table came along … and became a trend and everybody put a pitchfork up in the corner of their restaurant … but we were first. … Over time, talking to writers, reading what I could read, talking to folks… I started to understand why this was important. And I started to ask a little more from the food I was serving our guests.

Spike Gjerde at ESLC Food Fight

Spike Gjerde at ESLC Food Fight

As chefs, for a long time, for years and years, we talked about how delicious food is. And among ourselves we talked about how cheap it needs to be. That was the sum total of our conversation about our food as chefs. And I was one of those guys for a long time. It took me a long time to understand that I could do it and why it was important.

Chefs are forever going to talk about making delicious food, how to make it delicious. I’m a chef and I can’t get away from that. I love serving delicious food to our guests. The other thing was how cheap could it be, how many pennies could we shave off what we were paying, and we would always talk about food cost. It’s an obsession and it’s how you’re able to make money and I get that.

But, I started to ask different questions about our food. After asking “is it delicious?” and “can we make the economic thing work?” I started asking “is it nutritious?” It’s astonishing to me that chefs don’t have much of a sense or care about how nutritious the food is they are feeding their guests. This started to mean a lot to me. The best example about that is we are moving our baking entirely to locally grown whole grains. That’s something taking us so far outside the norm of restaurants and the baking in this country but I can’t imagine doing it any other way. There are so many good reasons to do that, but health when it comes to grains, whole grains are the way to go. So, we’re trying to make our food healthier.

I think the most important question, what I truly started demanding of the food we served our guests, had to do with something that was entirely economic. I started understanding the role Woodberry is playing within our food system as an economic role. I’ve only come recently to understand that I stopped thinking like a chef, and started thinking about how much value can we return to others.

What I felt we needed to demand of our food is that farmers need good pay. If something we were putting on the table wasn’t paying farmers, it wasn’t good enough for us. And that is the definition of what good food is that I never heard before. And I never heard it in the context of a restaurant, or from a chef. That’s what took Woodberry from being a farm to table restaurant that could have ended up like any farm to table restaurant to what it is today.

In 2014 we returned 2.5 million dollars to our local agricultural alone. In 2015 we hit a couple speed bumps and returned 2.1 million to local agriculture. This isn’t total spending. This is the amount that went back to farmers. We measure it and talk about it because it’s important. Without these dollars, the small-scale farmers, the ones that grow produce, grains, all the meat and poultry, eggs, all the dairy, all the cheese, the salt, all of it, if those purchases are not returning value to growers, I won’t serve it. And that became our definition of what good food is.

One of the frustrations for me as I’ve talked about food with people about what they eat, people can’t speak or think clearly about food. (Spike Gjerde says to the audience: “you’re not them”). But, they’re out there. It’s hard to sit there and say to them: there’s nothing about that chicken sandwich you bought for lunch that’s good – not the bread, not the chicken itself, not the way it was cooked, not the way it got there, none of that. And, I think we’re making some amazing headway around these issues. I’m almost ready to close the circle and start thinking like a chef again. I don’t think I can do it unless I feel clear that everything we’re doing is returning value to growers. And ultimately we want to make meaningful, measureable change in our food system with the dollars we return to our agricultural economy.

I want to see small scale farmers that think about the things we’re thinking about in terms of our environment, our society, work, health. I want to see those guys stick around, get paid for what they do, get rewarded for what they do. …

We started out as one restaurant, we are going to add four… One of the things I’m proudest of is our coffee shops, which have soup, salads, cereal, it’s the same food we serve at Woodberry. Every last thing is from a little farm. …

We’re doing this in Baltimore. And I hope that someday, people can look to us to see how local food can happen, what it can mean to a community of eaters and farmers and growers that supply them, that people can look at Baltimore and say: it already happened there. …

I changed the menu to say: “We source from local farms.” Period! And I put in big letters, I just had to do it, I was fired up. That’s what our menu says now. I should have said it a long time ago, because the message needs to get out there. We’ve got to talk about this and push really, really hard if this is going to happen.

I’ve been told over and over again that what I do is not realistic for most people. I’ve heard it so often I almost started to believe it. … But, it’s happening in Baltimore. It may not be realistic, but it’s happening. And, we are going to go from 2.5 to past 3 million as we do things like this (picks up large can of tomatoes).

I got some tomatoes canned this year. … I would get these beautiful tomatoes and take them to universities and places and they looked at me like I brought uranium into their kitchens. They were like literally: “get that out of here.” They said they needed it canned, and at a certain price point, so we did it. … So, we got Maryland grown tomatoes in these cans with a lot of information, there’s too little transparency in our food system. So, farm of origin, harvest date, yield off of acres… and we paid our farmers five times the going rate of commodity tomatoes. And got em’ in a can. So now I’m a part-time chef, part-time tomato salesman!

I am here to tell you that amazing things can happen when you decide why it’s important. That’s one of the things that’s been lacking. For me, it’s the environment, it’s social, it’s cultural, it’s about soil and soil fertility, it’s about biodiversity, there’s a million good reasons to be doing this. I can’t choose just one. …

We love what we have here. Had I foreseen what we wanted to do… I couldn’t have picked a better place [than the Chesapeake Bay region] to try to do this with food. To work with great people in the restaurant and on the farms around us, in a region that has the Chesapeake for fish and shellfish, that has incredible farmland and growers that work the land. There’s no limit. I would love for us to be able to show the world what’s possible here. … Thank you guys for your attention.

For more information about the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy please go here. For Woodberry Kitchen, please click here.

Ring in the Yuletide with Adkins Arboretum’s Candlelit Caroling Celebration

candlelit-caroling-bonfireRing in the holiday season with an evening of music, light and merriment when Adkins Arboretum hosts its annual Candlelit Caroling Celebration on Sat., Dec. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m.

At the Visitor’s Center, enjoy seasonal live music in the gallery by Chestertown performers Dovetail and Nevin Dawson, hors d’oeuvres, and a cash wine bar. Take a candlelit walk through the woods along the Blockston Branch, stopping along the way to sing carols and toast marshmallows over a roaring bonfire. Join Delmarva Stargazers in the meadow to view the winter sky, step inside a twinkly gingerbread house, and top off the evening with a winter hayride to the Funshine Garden for hot cider and tree decorating.

Tickets for adults are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Children ages 3–18 are $10, and children 2 and under are free. Registration closes on Mon., Dec. 5.

To reserve tickets for the Candlelit Caroling Celebration, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature, conservation and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

13,000 Daffodils Planted Along the Easton By-Pass in 30 Minutes

In preparation for its 100th anniversary celebration, the Talbot County Garden Club planted 13,000 daffodil bulbs in front of Moton Park along the RT 322 by-pass. The bulbs were planted in just 30 minutes, on Friday November 11 2016, with a special machine from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.

“Our club has been contributing to the beauty of Talbot County for 100 years,” said Mary Louise Maechling, club president. “We felt this was a wonderful way to celebrate our service.”

daffodil

(L to R): Mary Louise Maechling (TCGC President), Ben Wood (Brent and Becky Bulbs), Caroline Benson and Patricia Reynolds (Co-chairs TCGC Centennial Committee), Don Richardson (Easton Town Manager), Robert Wiley (Mayor Town of Easton), Steve Daniel (Brent and Becky Bulbs) Photo by TCGC member Laura Carney

Planting this many bulbs by hand would normally take days, but the machine, which is pulled by a tractor, can plant approximately 30,000 in under an hour.The blades slice and lift the turf; and then the bulbs drop into the ground followed by the turf being lightly tamped by wheels. The planting consisted of a mix of three types of daffodils in order to provide a consistent bloom for the community throughout the entire spring season.

Mayor Robert C. Willey and Town Manager, Don Richardson, joined the planting event. “The Talbot County Garden Club has done many wonderful projects over the years.” Mayor Wiley said. “I am excited to see the daffodils come up this spring. All these gardens make our town look better for everyone that lives here and our visitors all take notice.”

2000 of the bulbs were made possible by the generous donation from one of the Talbot County Garden Club member’s, Sally Akridge. The Akridge property, Harleigh, was recently on the 2016 Talbot County House and Garden Pilgrimage and Harleigh’s Assistant Property Manager, Jim Greenhawk, was present at the bulb-planting event as well.

Each spring will bring a bloom of color on the bypass in Easton thanks to another generous gift from the Talbot County Garden Club.

About the Talbot County Garden Club

The Talbot County Garden Club was established in 1917 to enrich the natural beauty of the environment by sharing knowledge of gardening, fostering the art of flower arranging, maintaining civic projects, supporting projects that benefit Talbot County and encouraging the conservation of natural resources. Noteworthy projects include maintaining the grounds of the Talbot Historical Society, Talbot Courthouse, Talbot Library, the Children’s Garden and Fountain Garden at Idlewild Park and numerous other gardens and activities. There are currently just over 100 active, associate and honorary members.

Food Friday: Countdown to Thanksgiving | Baking

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. We are celebrating as a small family unit, six adults and one two-year-old, and everyone is making their own contribution to the meal. For the first time the children are assuming their new roles as newlyweds and parents, and Mr. Friday and I are no longer the sole grownups. There will be additional cooks assembled for the big day who can assume the green bean casserole mantle. I can relax, as long as I show up with a fresh turkey, sausage balls, dinner rolls and a lot of Chex Mix. Pour some of the Beaujolais Nouveau, I am ready to be thankful.

I am mindful that the grown children still put away enormous amounts of food, and that there must be plentiful backup in case anyone gets peckish during the long weekend. So I am also planning on baking a couple of batches of Garden & Gun’s “Easiest Biscuits You’ll Ever Make.” http://gardenandgun.com/blog/easiest-biscuits-youll-ever-make

These biscuits will come in handy morning, noon and night. Initially they can first be served with Thanksgiving dinner, oozing rivulets of golden butter, or sopping up some of the nectar that is gravy. In the morning they can be re-heated and then loaded with bacon, eggs, sausage, cheese or Spaghetti Os, depending on the vagaries of the crowd. At lunch, the few leftover rolls can be the base for ham biscuits. (Be sure to stock up on ham, a little Swiss cheese and some sharp mustard on your market run.) If there are any biscuits left after this late date, you can use them to polish someone’s patent leather pumps. Or toss one, surreptitiously, to the loyal dog who has been following you around all day.

I have tried the recipe a couple of times now, and can report that short of going to a restaurant or having someone else do the baking for me, these were indeed easy and fabulous. And unlike Sharon Benton, who originated the recipe, I did not have access to fancy artisanally-sourced flour or buttermilk. I used White Lily self-rising flour and the grocery store brand buttermilk. The fanciest I got was swooshing melted French President butter over their precious little biscuit tops, and then adding some crumbles of some By-Appointment-to-Her-Majesty-the-Queen Maldon salt. Yumsters. Go for it.

I might shake things up a little bit this year. We can never quite remember what we served the year before – did we have Parker House rolls, or did we do Pillsbury crescent rolls? (No one ever remembers to Instagram Thanksgiving, so we do not have an accurate record.) Without telling any one, I have decided that we are going to have a Food52 recipe that I tested earlier this week. We are going to have Harvest Stuffing Bead. https://food52.com/recipes/64990-harvest-stuffing-bread

Harvest Stuffing Bread is aromatic and delish, and frankly the most expensive loaf of bread I have ever eaten. Perhaps if my herb collection was a little more up-to-date I wouldn’t have had to re-stock the rosemary, celery seed, thyme, sage, marjoram, parsley and powdered onion. $23.65 for those seven – yikes. I had best plan on baking this bread often to justify that expense. For Thanksgiving I will be trying out the dinner roll version. The other night I baked a satisfying footwall-sized wedge of bread, that was good again for breakfast in the morning. I love the crispy crunchy celery seed and flaky Maldon salt crust, which gave me the illusory satisfaction that I can bake bread. Plus the whole house began to smell like Thanksgiving, a week early.

The Thanksgiving countdown is winding down. Have you ordered your fresh turkey? Don’t wait until Tuesday, or you will spend all of Wednesday trying to thaw a damn Butterball. There is not enough Beaujolais for that kind of worrying. You want to sit back and watch the day unfold.

Here is some of my list of things to remember – because we are spending the weekend in a rental house I am not sure what sort of kitchen equipment will already be in place – so we are planning on packing the gravy separator, the electric knife, a festive turkey platter and the spare Pack & Play for the ranging two-year-old. Also candles, $23.65 worth of fresh herbs, extra President butter, a frozen (homemade!) lasagna, potatoes, sausage balls, and lots of Beaujolais. I hope someone remembers the beans!

Here is a handy checklist from Saveur magazine, in case I have forgotten something important: http://www.saveur.com/thanksgiving-recipes

Also – Cook’s Illustrated with a veritable compendium of sure fire recipes: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/guides/thanksgiving

National Public Radio celebrates Thanksgiving every year with a recitation of Susan Stamberg’s mother-in-law’s recipe for cranberry relish. http://www.npr.org/series/4175681/susan-stamberg-s-cranberry-relish-tradition The Spy will continue our tradition of telling you what to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Have a wonderfully sentimental Thanksgiving. Be kind to your relatives. Eat lots of turkey!

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
~Thornton Wilder

Pascal Family Adds Trappe Pizza Company to Restaurant Roster

The Pascal Family Group has purchased the site of the former State Bank of Trappe Pizza Company in Trappe, Maryland and reopened it as the Trappe Pizza Company, adding another restaurant to its holdings. The restaurant, which offers dine-in as well as carryout service, is located at 4016 Main Street in historic Trappe in a building that was once the site of a bank. It is across the street from the Talbot Smokehouse and the Smokehouse Market, also owned by the Pascal Family Group.

Photo by Kathy Bosin

Photo by Kathy Bosin

“This was another opportunity to purchase a business that was almost turn-key in a part of the Eastern Shore that is becoming more and more popular as a destination.” said Robert A. W. Pascal, who owns the Pascal Family Group with his wife, Caroline. “Since the reopening on September 1, we’ve received nothing but positive responses.”

The Trappe Pizza Company is open daily from Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. It features an eclectic menu that includes pizza as well as tacos and empanadas. Among the more unique items on the menu are: the Al Pastor Pizza topped with smoked salsa, pork, pineapple and cilantro queso fresco; Nachos Chesapeake served with white queso, crabmeat, corn relish and tomatoes; Beef Tacos prepared with brisket braised with pasilla and guajillo peppers. The menu also includes a number of vegetarian options and salads.

The restaurant has a full bar and serves a variety of craft beers including selections from RAR Brewing, a partner with the Pascal Family Group. For those wanting to dine-in, there is seating for 39 with four wide-screen TVs available to watch the NFL package and other sporting events.

The Pascal Family Group also owns St. Michaels Harbour Inn, Marina & Spa, Bistro St. Michaels and Pascal’s Chophouse in Easton. For more information about the Trappe Pizza Company visit www.pizzacotrappe.com or call 410-476-6219.

Winners Announced for 2017 GCA Flower Show “Paint it Autumn”

georgia-adler

Winner of the GCA Novice Award in Photography awarded to Georgia Adler, TCGC.

On Tuesday October 11th, the Talbot County Garden Club hosted a Garden Club of America Flower Show “Paint it Autumn” at St. Marks United Methodist Church. The show, emphasizing fall flowers and foliage, was free and open to the public. It was a huge success with 52 classes across 4 divisions in Floral Design, Horticulture, Photography and Conservation. Participants joined from surrounding garden clubs with photographic entries coming in from as far away as Hawaii! The panel of esteemed judges joined us from MD, PA, NJ, NC, Ohio and Georgia. Ribbons were awarded to each of the classes with special awards named as follows:

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Winner of the Sandra Baylor Novice Award in Floral Design awarded to Mary Helen Cobb, TCGC (photo by Marsie Hawkinson)

• Best in Show Floral Design: Terry Holman, Oxford Garden Club
• Dorothy Vietor Munger Award in Design: Samantha McCall, Talbot County Garden Club and Garden Club of The Eastern Shore
• Catherine Beattie Medal: Amanda Mahoney, Garden Club of Twenty (Glyndon, MD)
• Sandra Baylor Novice Floral Design Award: Mary Helen Cobb, Talbot County Garden Club
• Best in Show Horticulture: Bobbie Brittingham, Talbot County Garden Club
• Rose Jones Horticulture Award: Alice Ryan, Garden Club of the Eastern Shore
• Photography Creativity Award: Karen Coakly, Ft. Orange Garden Club (Loudonville, NY)
• GCA Novice Award Photography: Georgia Adler, Talbot County Garden Club
• Ann Lyon Crammond Award: Adkins Arboretum (Ridgely MD)

About the Talbot County Garden Club

The Talbot County Garden Club was established in 1917 to enrich the natural beauty of the environment by sharing knowledge of gardening, fostering the art of flower arranging, maintaining civic projects, supporting projects that benefit Talbot County and encouraging the conservation of natural resources. Noteworthy projects include maintaining the grounds of the Talbot Historical Society, Talbot Courthouse, Talbot Library, the Children’s Garden and Fountain Garden at Idlewild Park and numerous other gardens and activities. There are currently a total of 101 active, associate and honorary members.

The New Eastern Shore Farmer with Future Harvest CASA’s Aleya Fraser

Through the support of the Town Creek Foundation in Easton, The idea of creating a support structure for small-scale farmers on the Eastern Shore has now come into being. Last year, the Foundation provided a two-year grant to Future Harvests CASA (Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture) to hire a Delmarva representative with the primary task of developing training and outreach programs to encourage a new generation of sustainable farming taking place on the mid-shore

Last February, Aleya Fraser was selected for this important position. While Aleya had been training in college to ultimately become a physician, she saw another future for herself after working on a small farm in Baltimore and seeing first hand the positive social, economic, and environmental impact that these small enterprises can have on their communities.

The move to the Mid-Shore to work on the Delmarva not only allowed her to work with new and aspiring young farmers in the area, which now is close to one hundred in number, Aleya is also walking the walk and has found a small plot of land near Preston to be part of this movement.

Last week, the Spy drove over to Preston to chat with Aleya about her program and the need to develop small-scale farming on the Eastern Shore.

 

This video is approximately five minutes in length

Food Friday: Countdown to Thanksgiving | Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving is a meal steeped in family tradition, and it can be a veritable minefield of ancient familial conflicts and IEDs.

Do not talk about the recent election. Do talk about the Chicago Cubs.

Do not mess with family recipes if your table is loaded with competitive/combative siblings who would like nothing better than to prove they are the favorite child.

Do pick a nice wine. Food52 suggests a Pinot Noir. https://food52.com/blog/18295-the-only-wine-you-need-on-your-thanksgiving-table We like to have the current Beaujolais Nouveau, and then we pretend to sound as if we know what we are talking about wine-wise, which is absolutely nothing.

Do iron a tablecloth. And do set out some of the silver, unless your sister has her eye on that Gorham Lyric pattern pickle fork (never mind that it was a wedding present – it matches her silver pattern and she still hasn’t forgotten what you did to her in the fourth grade).

Do light some candles. Everyone looks better in candlelight. Even the sweet potato casserole you left in the oven for a few extra minutes.

Do thank everyone for coming and contributing. We are going through a big transition, and it is best to be loving and supportive.

Depending on your states of panic and skill, and how many plates you are juggling, the Spy Test Kitchens have curated some sweet potato recipes for your Thanksgiving holiday. As I said last week, we are going to be six adults and one energetic two-year-old this year. Some of us will be able to focus on dinner prep, while some of the others are child wrangling, and still others are catching up on football. Sharing is the word of the day.

I have been slow to come to the sweet potato. Frankly, Thanksgiving is the only meal I ever associate with sweet potatoes. Imagine my surprise when I discovered sweet potato toast. What a marvelous concept! When you wander into the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning, you can either inhale a few of the sausage balls I lovingly roll up for every major religious holiday that we celebrate, or you can consider your overall health, and consume some sweet potato toast. Yumsters. Sweet potatoes, not just for Thanksgiving!

Here is a short list of sweet potato recipes for your holiday enjoyment – ranging from fast and easy to slightly more involved, but still highly pleasurable.

Easy Peasy: http://www.familyfoodonthetable.com/sweet-potato-toast/

Here are some sweet potato toast toppings to consider:
Poached egg with bacon and guacamole
Sausage with guacamole, salsa and peppers
Prosciutto with avocado slices and tomato
Smoked salmon with guacamole and cucumber slices
Wild salmon, arugula, roasted tomatoes
Almond butter with fruit and drizzled honey

If you want to have a traditional casserole, but want to show your family that you are the fun one, consider this recipe:

Middling: https://food52.com/recipes/1662-roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-maple-smoked-bacon-and-beer

If you are trying to worm your way back into the will, and no one ever liked your aunt’s sweet potato casserole, then try this good old reliable tour de force:
Traditional Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sweet-potato-casserole

If you have made wise investments, and are living an admirable life with lots of volunteer hours, and your only dinner assignment is the sweet potato dish – then for heavens sake, spend some time, and do a decent job. You may get back into your brother’s good graces after all these years.

What You do for Love: http://recipes.177milkstreet.com/recipes/sweet-potato-gratin

Remember to clean as you go, empty the trash, put the lid down, take the two-year-old out for a throughly exhausting run on the beach, and don’t drink all the Prosecco. We gather together for a reason.

“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.”
― Andre Simon

Design For You: A Boston Kitchen by Pamela Heyne

I was recently in Boston on a book launch. My book shows how Julia Child’s ideas can be relevant today in modern kitchens, with an emphasis on cooking and sit down dining and a de-emphasis on lounging, snacking and TV watching.

I was lucky to be hosted by a couple who had a beautiful kitchen that could easily have been in the book. The lady of the house, who did most of the cooking, said she hated barstools, so none encircled the space. She favored sit down dining, so a dining room was reached from one door, a breakfast room from another. The TV was in the cozy library, remote from the kitchen.

unnamed-3Her appliances were cunningly concealed. The microwave oven was under the counter. The refrigerator is a new “refrigerator column” or “integrated refrigerator”. It basically looks like a cupboard. She also had two “drawer freezers.” They are convenient 2’ deep drawers, and avoid a lot of that rummaging we hate. Her designer was Paul Reidt from Kochman, Reidt and Haig in Stoughton, Mass.unnamed-2

Designers have always had a problem with the bulky refrigerator. The refrigerator in Julia’s French Chef TV show was recessed in an arched niche, making it much more presentable. We architects and designers were happy when “counter depth” refrigerators arrived on the scene a generation ago. Actually 27” deep, the door sticks out past the counter. Now, the “new kids on the block” are the integrated refrigerators. They are designed to sit flush in a 24” cabinet. They also have varying widths, from 18” to 36”. Thermador and Subzero are the leading manufacturers. Some of these models qualify as “energy star”. This means that they exceed federal energy standards.

Interestingly, Julia Child and Paul Child had tried to make the old fashioned refrigerator in their Cambridge kitchen less visible. Designer Paul painted it black and nestled it in bookcases. During my original interview with Julia she had asked me, “It’s more chic, don’t you think?” She also had small freezers under the counter. All these elements are now preserved at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. That Cambridge kitchen has been enshrined behind glass walls, viewed by millions every year.

In Julia’s day, climate change was not as critical an issue as it is now. Beyond looks, we want kitchen appliances and equipment that help us reduce our carbon footprint. If one decides to purchase a new refrigerator, the government recommends against putting the old one in the garage. It becomes an “energy hog”, can cost the homeowner hundreds of dollars a year to use, and certainly does not help the environment.

Pamela Heyne, AIA has a design studio in Saint Michaels, Md. pam@heynedesign.com. She will give a slide presentation on the relevance of Julia Child’s design and lifestyle ideas at the Saint Michaels Library Dec. 1 at 5:30 pm. The book, In Julia’s Kitchen, practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child will be available for purchase.