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18 September 2017

Behind the Scenes: Martha Stewart Living

When you open a glossy magazine, you dive into another world. Well ...
breath ...

In October’s issue of Martha Stewart Living, you can plunge into mine. I'm thrilled that MSL chose to capture our annual cider party at Bird Haven Farm.

When the issue hits the shelves, I'd love for you and me to knock back a cider. But since you're there and I'm here, that's a non starter. The best I can do is bring the farm's apples to you with the photos below. AND  even better ... by giving you a first look at my apple pendant.

Behind-the-scenes of Martha Stewart Living

In the morning, they brought props. Melissa Ozawa, Features Editor,  and her MSL staff arrived early,  before the shoot to unload.

Then came the official start date for Project Cider. Wait. Hang on. A delay? Yep. Our party, traditionally held every September, was postponed till October. The hope by the editors of MSL was that September's warmth, which gave the acres a summer glow, would step aside to make room for fall.

October came, autumn blanketed our farm, glimmering when the crew arrived one weekend. One rainy, rainy weekend.

In the kitchen

Food editor Shira Bocar commanded the kitchen meticulously undertaking a festive menu. Pictured below is her take on my carrot rappes recipe.

The crosshatching for the crust of the pheasant pot pie took Shira at least an hour. Delicata squash emerged lightly crusted from the oven, scented with sage. 

With help from assistants, Shira whipped up other fall dishes, including my famous applesauce. The recipe is here.

On the farm

Photographer Mikkel Vang and his assistant, coping with the on-again, off-again rain, built a studio with a makeshift tent.

The delicata squash had their day, with Shira directing promising angles and protecting her delicious babies. 

With the squash being attended to and with a break in the rain, I ran to cut dahlias, greenery, and other flowers for colorful tabletop arrangements.  

Isn't it pretty? Oh my, what's that? ...

Hello, rain.

In the apple orchard

The dip in temperature is handsomely illustrated by the headgear topping my husband, Wayne. Brrrr. Mikkel's full head of hair seemed to protect him (as did his layers of down). 

The men braved the inclement weather for a walk into the orchard, sampling the varieties such as Yellow Transparents, Red and Yellow Delicious, Winesaps, Macintosh, Pink Pearls, Black Oxford, Gravenstein, Northern Spy, Spitzenburg Esopus, Suncrisp and many other too old to tell the variety.  The mix of them all makes the best cider. Sustenance. Fortitude! Can't you see it in their faces? Or, is that satiation? 

Near the barn

The star of the party is hauled out near the barn: Our infallible cider press from Lehman's Hardware Store (kid-helpers not included in the price). 

The real work starts. Everyone helped (sort-of) as we pulverized the apples we picked the week before. 

Friends showed up bundled up, but, bless them, with open necks to shamelessly show off Janet Mavec pieces. The Nancy Drew Key and sunflower.


Where did everyone go? Ah, mystery solved. 

 Mikkel captures Wayne shucking oysters from Fishers Island Oyster Farm

In the barn

Party's on. The friends, the food, the flowers, oh, but, before you sit down, would you be a dear and pick up your chair and move it to our new shooting location? Within the warmth and shelter of our barn. 

Now lunch is served. 

Almost everyone was wearing Janet Mavec jewelry. One of my boldest pieces is the oyster with a pearl  on our neighborhood princess, Princess Pyne of Prague. 


 Camaraderie and Janet Mavec in the orchard.  

In the end

Hmm, what caption fits the photos below? How do you like them apples, little one? Or maybe, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree? Or, apple of my eye.

Post-prandial posing and bliss.