The Serving Piece that is a One Handed Wonder

Kentucky springs 2

In my humble opinion the coolest thing that we carry here at Appalachian Spring is small and very curious.

Can you guess what it is? It is one of my favorite go to gifts.

I always ask the recipient to guess what it is and most can not figure it out.  Give up yet?

It is a one handed serving tong!

kentucky spring salad tongs

Don’t be fooled by this picture, these tongs are not just for salads, try using them for asparagus, green beans, hot bread, fruit platters, on a tray of appetizers, in a bowl of pasta, etc. Makes every holiday buffet an easy endeavor.  Be creative.  More than a couple of times I have personally given away my own pair, to guests who marveled over them.  When I first learned about these tongs, I gave a pair to every friend and family member that year for a holiday gift.

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When folded closed they lay flat and can easily be stored in the most crowded kitchen drawer or stuck into the fullest countertop utensil holder.st 2

The Parrish family makes these clever utensils from a very old pattern which was found years ago.  It’s not all magic, they steam the wood in order to bend it in to shape, then cools it.  Much the same way chair backs and musical instruments are made. The two sides are held together with a brass pin.  The Parishes use cherry, sugar maple, white oak and black walnut to create these gems.

They make a very fun gift and are very easy to store.

Chic and Stylish: farm to table serving stones

round stone beach

Round Stone Beach on an island in Maine

I have spent almost every summer for the last 45 years in Maine. So if there is something that makes me feel like I am on the rocky coast of Maine, it’s going to be stones. I collect stones when I walk on Round Stone beach. I love to listen to the waves tumbling over the stones. I stack them in cairns when I walk in the woods. I have a small stone on the ledge of my vanity representing each member of our quickly growing family of 7, now 8! In my “garden” is a heart shade stone I lugged home to DC.

maine stone cairn

Stone Cairn found on our beach walk

stone heart cropped

Heart stone on my front step overlooking the “garden”

 

So when American Stonecraft stone slabs arrived- I was thrilled! These New England field stones are harvested, sliced, polished and then sealed.  Every field stone holds within a spectacular beauty that can only come from nature.  Each and every one is different, not only in size and shape, but the array of colors and amazing patterns of the interior.

Sabbath Day

Field stones in New England are commonly called “New England potatoes”.  Farmers must constantly clear their fields of them.  Created by glaciers eons ago and buried within the soil, they rise to the surface and have to be removed, again and again, before the land can be farmed.   Historically they were used in the stone walls you see all over New England but these walls are too costly for today’s farmers to build and maintain so they often end up in piles.  The folks from American Stonecraft reach out to these small local farmers who are happy to supply American Stonecraft with lots and lots of field stones!

Food Slab - Sandwich 2

Stone slab sandwich board

Whether you have a set of slabs and use them as plates or make it your favorite cheese serving platter, you will find hundreds of ways to put them to use. I keep one slab on my table as a trivet. I serve sushi, smoked fishes and cheeses on another. I definitely bought one to give and one for me–twice!

Food Slab - Fresh Rolls

Slightly large slab for summer rolls

Food Slab - Cheese

Keeping cheese at the perfect temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll take the Wedding Gift with the salad on the side!

My niece and her partner got married last week and we decided to build a wedding gift from our clan (an aunt and uncle, 3 cousins and a girlfriend).

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Maggie and Mel are vegan and love to cook. They are twenty-somethings who appreciate: all things green, handmade, supporting local artists and natural products. But, they had a very short wedding registry list!

M&M4   M & M 1

The one clue we could glean was that they like blue! Happily– we were right on the mark. With clan members scattered or busy with their lives and jobs around the city and in Europe, we conferred by text and photos until we could agree on the collection we assembled.

M&M7  M&M5

Summer Salad Supreme


 

  • Chop tomatoes into coarse chunks.

Tip: Use one side of the cutting board for chopping and one for serving.  Many boards are stamped with the artists mark to designate easily which you will cut on which you will serve on.

  • Slice cucumbers, skin on.
  • Shave onion in thin rings.
  • Trim and half fennel, slice thin half moon pieces of fennel.
  • Toss veggies together in wooden salad bowl.
  • Fill salt and pepper shakers.

Tip: a few grains of rice in the salt cellar will keep salt from clumping in humid climates.

  •  Fill cruet with the finest grade of extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed.

Tip: the spout on the cruet is made of chrome and designed to pour at a medium rate. EVOO cold pressed oils are produced naturally without any chemical and are therefore lower in acidity.

  • Dress salad with olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and a dash of salt and pepper. Serve with ease at the table with tongs and additional S&P to taste.

 

Cheers to Maggie and Mel and to a lifetime of health, happiness and love, with a salad on the side!

 

 

 

 

 

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