Saturday, August 23

Under The Pergola VIII: An August family party with gorgeous tabletop ideas. Plus, a simple sesame noodle recipe share from Watermill, Long Island

Summer, Summer:
Under The Pergola with Nest by Tamara.
Today let's highlight ideas on setting a pretty table, 
plus share sources for favorite food at local spots around the Hamptons.  An added bonus is 
Tamara's spicy sesame noodle recipe share!
For thirteen years a group of our friends and their children have come together for a weekly summer party during the week we named "Wednesday Family Night".  Since our kids were in nursery school we meet up all summer long on Wednesdays taking turns hosting these simple dinner parties.  This Wednesday friend Patrice hosted us outside on her bucolic property in Watermill.  She set two beautiful and yet different tables--one set outdoors under her pergola and overlooking Mecox Bay with blue and green plates and accessories, a gorgeous fish cloth, pretty colored glass and a lacquer tray.  She plucked freshly cut white and green hydrangeas from her garden.  Patrice also set another table indoors; a blue layered table overlooking the pool, channeling the last bit of summer.  The tables were simple, elegant and showcased beautiful wares.  I love the blue and white table linen on the glass table, the raffia napkin rings, the cut colored glass in green and blue, and the overall summer-inspired color palette.  
Patrice shares her table sources:
lacquer tray,  C Wonder
white placemats & outdoor table napkins, Kim Seybert
other table linens, Roberta Freymann's Roller Rabbit
outdoor table linen, Ralph Lauren
outdoor table dinner plates, Guy Degrenne, Decor Pareo Soleil pattern
For these parties, we tend to offer some of the same signature dishes repeatedly, and many of them have become our favorites and the food we wait all year to sample.  We have smartly learned to utilize the locally grown fresh produce and prepared food items at our favorite markets here in the East End to help us since we also prepare homemade dishes for our guests.  These shortcut items assist us in order to easily create these outdoor dinner parties all summer long.  
A sampling of favorites that often make an appearance at our parties:
Levain Bakery's flat bread (tomato & cheese or olive) 
Round Swamp Farm has many favorites but just a few include:
three bean dip & dill chip dip, guacamole, tri-berry pie, keylime pie
Ye Olde Bake Shoppe delicious and pretty cookies
Citarella's or Brent's Fried Chicken 
(both are favorites - some like Brent's while others favor Citarella)
Some of our favorite markets:
Cavianola Cheese Shop, Sag Harbor
Ye Olde Bake Shoppe, Southampton
Round Swamp Farm, East Hampton 
Villa Italian Specialities, East Hampton (for homemade mozzarella and pizza dough)
Levain Bakery, Wainscott
Cierellos Market, Wainscott (for chicken, pineapple skewers ready for the grill)
Farmers Market, Springs Ashawag Hall

Sample of favorite dishes we like to make homemade:
grilled teriyaki pork tenderloin
Patrice's watermelon & arugula salad
Tamara's cold spicy sesame noodles (recipe included below)
Melissa's take on Ina Garten dishes, Shrimp Salad & Panzanella Salad
Corn (cut from the cob) saute in brown butter
grilled shrimp with mango chutney
Fresh Strawberries with Vanilla Ice Cream
Our favorite farmer's markets: 
 Saturdays from 9-1 at Springs historic Ashawagh Hall.  
Also, Fridays in Nick & Tony restaurant's parking lot. 
I hope you enjoy these last lazy days of summer as they wind down.
Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara

 Hard to believe that when we started our family parties these guys were toddlers!
Levain's bread/pizza is divine
Ye Olde Bake Shoppe cookies, Southampton
 grilled shrimp with mango chutney has made it to many of our past parties.
(recipe for this dish coming soon--mango chutney was recently perfected 
by designer friend Jonathan Legate on his recent visit)
 Tamara's Spicy Sesame Noodles
2 lbs. Barilla linguini
Soy Sauce 1/2 cup
Asian Spicy Sauce 1 TBS
Roasted Tahini 1 large TBS
Olive Oil 1/2 cup
Sesame Oil 1/8 cup
Rice Vinegar 1 TBS
Brown Sugar 1 TBS
Sesame Seeds 1/4 cup
chopped Scallion 3/4 cup
These portions are estimates only and it's a taste-as-you-go dish changing on how much sauce you add each time, maybe a lil more or a little less.  I have found from making this many times over the years that the noodles soak much of the initial liquid and it best when made the day before, chilled then add a little bit more of the liquid (save to the side in an airtight container) the next day.  To begin, make the pasta and drain it when it is very Al Dente (to the tooth and firm).  Run cold water on the pasta, then let sit in the strainer after adding a touch of olive oil so it does not stick.  In a large bowl mix together all the wet ingredients with a whisk until blended well.  Save 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the liquid in an airtight container and store.  Next, add the scallions and sesame seeds to the remaining liquid, then add the noodles and mix with your hands gently, folding it over until well blended.  Refrigerate and cool. The next day or that evening before serving, add the remainder of the liquid to the pasta, and serve at room temperature.