Wednesday, May 30, 2012

photographs from Art in the Vines, 2011
Paintings by Anne Garney, Majo, and Kristin Goering
Will you be joining us at
Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery
for Art in the Vines 2012?
Big 2 day event!
Saturday, 6/9, 11:00AM to 4:00pm
and Sunday, 6/10, 12 Noon to 4:00pm

The Somerset Ridge Painters will be there as well as part of 25 of Kansas City's finest painters!
Join us for an afternoon in the vines, strolling among the art hanging in the the vineyard, while enjoying the wine, the food, the music...and of course, the beautiful grapevines!

for more information and directions

A 5 ingredient recipe for you!
from Gourmet Magazine, October 2001
perfect for serving with mashed potatoes!

Braised Chicken with Shallots, Garlic, and Balsamic Vinegar

Active time: 40 min Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr
Mashed potatoes are the ideal accompaniment to this dish.
Yield: Makes 4 servings

6 bacon slices (4 oz), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 (3 1/2-lb) chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
1 lb shallots, thinly sliced
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Cook bacon in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and reserve bacon fat in skillet.
While bacon is cooking, pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown, beginning with skin sides down, in 2 batches in bacon fat over moderately high heat, turning, about 8 minutes. Transfer chicken as browned with tongs to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet.
Add shallots to skillet and cook over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and pale golden, about 10 minutes.
Remove lid and cook shallots, stirring, until deep golden, about 10 minutes more. Add garlic and 1 cup water to skillet and boil, stirring, 1 minute.
Return chicken to skillet, turning pieces to coat, then arrange them skin sides up and gently simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through and garlic is tender, about 30 minutes.
Transfer chicken with tongs to a serving dish. Add vinegar to sauce and boil, uncovered, mashing garlic with back of a spoon, until slightly thickened. Season sauce with salt and pepper and pour over chicken, then sprinkle with bacon.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today is the day! The Somerset Ridge Painters will be showing their paintings in the vines at Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery! We have been working hard in preparing for this event. Some of us have tried something new for this show. I've moved away from Landscapes and have been painting nudes!....modest nudes, but nudes none the less! Granted, seven to ten year old boys may giggle at the  "buns" but they won't learn a darned thing from my paintings! As I  said....modest. These "studies" have been a source of frustration, pride, depression, joy. In other words, I am struggling, as usual!

I will also be showing a landscape or two, as
well  as a few animal paintings. Something for everyone!
There might be a few showers around town, but down in Miami County, Kansas, the show will go on!
Please join us!
If you can't join us this time, please mark your calendars  for June 9th and 10th. We will be holding our 4th Annual Art in the Vines with approximately 30 artists participating!
There will not only be art, but wine, music, food ...
The makings of a great day!

go  to for directions

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tuesday evening was such a treat! Good friend and magnificent painter, Ada Koch, arranged for a group of women to experience a wonderful Iranian/Persian dinner prepared by a young woman who has become a friend of Ada's. Her name is Sara, she is absolutely beautiful and her food was rich with flavor.

We arrived at Ada's on a glorious evening and she had the tables set up on her patio in her very French-feeling  backyard. We all met in the kitchen where we were introduced to Sara.
 Sara began our meal by preparing our appetizer, a Persian spinach and yogurt dip called Borani, explaining as she went along, including where to buy some of the Iranian ingredients.

1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups thick plain yogurt
tiny pinch of saffron dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water
salt and pepper

Over medium high heat saute garlic in butter until golden, do not burn. Add spinach and mix well to combine. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add the yogurt and check for salt and pepper, blending well. Refrigerate for several hours, then drizzle with the saffron/water mixture before serving with pita or crackers.

The menu for our dinner included the entree, Khoresht E Gheimeh Bademjan, an eggplant and lamb dish that was devoured with great gusto!

Kathleen, Ada, Sara and another Sara!

I have to admit, the after dinner activity was definitely a blast. Sara taught us how to dance! She provided the music and I'm pretty sure it filled Ada's neighborhood!

Pam chose Guinness as her partner!

It was so much fun and gave us the opportunity to try a cuisine that was unfamiliar to us. Ada invited us last month to experience a dinner prepared by a friend from India! Learning the herbs and spices of foreign cuisines is such fun!
We have a tendency to stick to what we know; we lose some of our desire for adventure. Food is a great way to introduce some of that adventure back into our lives. Hopefully you have an Ada to help you....if not, plan a dinner for your group of friends!  Pick a country/cuisine, choose one that you have never eaten daring! That removes from your list of possibilities: Mexican, Italian, French, etc.  Study, practice, choose appropriate music, then thrill your friends! 
My group has another dinner in the works. This time it will be Colombian! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

The joys of old Gourmet magazines…..Today, I subscribe to Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, and Saveur magazines. If you add up every moment of pleasure that I have received from reading these 3 magazines, for the last 5 years, the grand total comes no where near the absolute joy I experienced from reading just one of the 1987 Gourmet magazines that were just given to me. My dear sister-in-law, Vicki, is packing up all their worldly goods and are about to downsize to a lovely home that is smaller, but Tom won’t have to mow the grass or shovel snow, and Vicki will have a wonderful painting studio space.
One of her treasures that she has decided to give up is a stack of 1987-88 Gourmet magazines, and she knew they would have an appreciative home, here with me.

As I settled into my big old chair, the stack of magazines at my feet, I reached for the oldest issue, January, 1987. With granny-glasses perched near the end of my nose, a glass of iced tea close at hand, I, with great expectation, began to absorb the beauty of the cover. A tall thin glass of Rum Punch, complete with an orange slice and a cherry balanced on the rim of the glass, with the brilliant turquoise Caribbean behind, made me wish for a week on beautiful St Barts.
I turned the pages, as if the magazine was fragile, when in fact, the paper it is printed on is heavy and rich feeling, the way beautiful magazines used to feel. I love the photographs. I devoured the travel articles on Heidelberg and skiing in Telluride. And then, with great expectations, I moved through the actual recipes.
So many  memories! Sure, they were definitely dated….but that just made them more interesting, sort of like wandering through your grandmother’s attic and marveling at the beautiful long forgotten antiques.
Those recipes that really made my heart race were begging me to enter them into my Master Cook software. Not all of them are available on for downloading directly into MC, but they have Gourmet's recipes going back to the1940s! It looks like I will have to enter them the hard way, but it will be worth my time. And besides, I will always have the magazines.
Today, there is ! Check it out….not the magazine, yet still fun to wander through the years of recipes, travel notes, etc.
 Of course...there is an app for that!
 The Deadline is nearly upon me….it looks like I will either be standing at my easel day and night for the next 4 days, or I go with the paintings I have. My series of nudes is comprised of 2! Some series, eh? Maybe, as I once again become used to painting the human figure, I might pick up a little speed….then again….
I will add a few landscapes for this show.

Anyway, please join me and the other Somerset Ridge Painters this Saturday at Somerset Ridge Vineyard for our 1st Annual show. Cindy and Dennis have all sorts of fun things going on at the winery and in the vineyard as their part of the Miami County Farm Tour!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Does the warm weather bring back childhood memories for you? You know the kind… each complete with sounds and aromas. Some of my best are from my days spent at the Ogg Family Farm. Three generations of my family, starting with Napoleon Bonepart Ogg, created a perfect place for me to spend some very important moments of my childhood. The aromas from the old farm house will always be with me; fresh baked biscuits, great big hams from their own smokehouse, pies cooling on the screened-in back porch. I have held that porch in my heart all these years. Not just for the pies (even though they do occupy a place my heart!) but the whole porch. The screen part came down halfway, the lower half being white clapboard. In the winter, the screen was covered on the inside with opaque plastic-like material. As the breeze pushed against the plastic, it would snap and pop, blowing inward as far as it could go. As the breeze subsided, it would ease back to rest against the wire screen and wait for the next gust.

There was a wonderful screen door leading out to the backyard. It was old, made of wood with two large sections of screen. There were no pneumatic door closers way back then….instead there was a long spring that made the door close with a whoosh and a gentle snap. I loved that door.

So, how about those pies? There they were, cooling on a oil cloth covered table there on the porch. I’d stand there and inhale the fruity aromas…..cherry, apple, peach and ahhhh…..PEAR!
Where is a fork when you need one?

Ray County Pear Pie

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold vegetable shortening, in tablespoons
1/2 cup ice water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
8 firm Bartlett or Anjou pears-peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1. MAKE THE CRUST: In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle on the ice water and mix lightly with a fork. Gently knead the dough until it just comes together. Cut the dough in half and flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
2. MAKE THE FILLING: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and cloves. Add the pears and toss to coat.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to an 11 1/2-inch round. Fit the dough into a 10-inch aluminum pie pan without stretching. Roll out the second disk of dough to an 11-inch round. Transfer the pear filling to the pie pan and arrange the slices so there are no gaps. Dot the pears with the butter. Cover the pie with the top crust and press all around the edge to seal. Trim any overhang and crimp the edge decoratively.
4. MAKE THE MILK GLAZE: In a bowl, mix the milk, sugar and butter and brush this glaze over the pie. With a small knife, make 5 evenly spaced slits in the top crust.
5. Bake the pie for 1 hour and 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling begins to bubble through the vents. Let the pie cool on a rack, about 3 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The Somerset Ridge Painters
back row, left to right
Majo, JoAnne Carlton,
Ada Koch, Kristin Goering,
Vicki Johnston, Winnie Davis
front row, left  to right:
Audrey Benskin, Kay Tucker, Patsy Brown
 I’ll be spending some time at the vineyard with the Somerset Ridge Painters Show on May 12th and the 4th Annual Art in the Vines the weekend of June 9th and 10th. Please join us for a wonderful day!

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker