December 10, 2016

There's a RED FOX on Bedford Green

Before you make your loop of holiday parties on Saturday, December 10, from 4-6:00 p.m., you'll want to stop in at Red Fox, a pop-up gallery located in The Bedford Store on the village green. The first-floor space is a clever way to utilize and steward this historic location that is also home to the Bedford Historical Society.

Bernadette Durham, equestrian, nature and landscape photographer with a keen eye for the aesthetic in all media, has curated this delightful collection of fine art, rare vintage furniture, collectives, photography, furniture design, installation art, ceramics and video art.

"I created Red Fox with great passion so that I could showcase art that allows for openness and understanding of our society and issues around the world," says Durham. "As a photographer, the theme I share with the artists whom I'm featuring is VéritéMuch of their work is about activism and climate change. A flower installation, for example, made from plastic and paper goods, represents repurposing materials for a fresh new look. The furniture is also carefully curated to honor meticulous craftsmanship and beautiful design." 

Along with representing artists William Abranowicz, Will Carter, Bernadette Durham, Karrie Hovey, Carey Lowell, Stephen Proski and Hana Sackler, I am pleased to announce that Red Fox is also carrying my book, POUND RIDE PAST: Remembrances of Our Townsfolk. (A portion of sales will go to Special Olympics of Hudson Valley, N.Y.)

Red Fox is located in The Bedford Store, on the village green, at 612 Old Post Road in Bedford, N.Y.

December 5, 2016

This Week's ICP Assignment: "Shades of Blue: Embracing Sadness"

At International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC, esteemed photographer Palmer Davis teaches a course called “Inspiration, Insight and the Creative Process.” At a round table of eight enraptured photogs, writers and artists, Davis discusses talent and passion as gifts one is born with. Skill and vision require education. The course parallels what we seek to do as writers: imagine, create and bring our readers along on the journey.

This week's class assignment was "Shades of Blue: Embracing Sadness." Davis sent us out on assignment to find the beauty in pathos. He explains how human pain/despair/loneliness/melancholy and struggle can be a means of discovery.

Please have a look at my homework images. Do they completely bum you out and make you feel sad? (I hope so.) 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo:  Bonni Brodnick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo:  Bonni Brodnick       

                                                                                                                                      Photo:  Bonni Brodnick

                                                                                                                                                             Photo:  Bonni Brodnick

December 3, 2016

A Day of Reflection

It was clear skies this afternoon after two straight days and nights of rain, rain, rain.

Today, December 2nd, is particularly special to me because it's my darling daughter's birthday. I always look at the clock at 12:33 p.m. to embrace the exact moment this amazing young woman was born. (She just started med school and her goal in life is to help others.)

Here are two photos I took to capture the brilliance of the blue sky and puffy clouds on this winter day. It was a day of reflection for this proud mother.

 Beam Me Up Scottie              Photo: Bonni Brodnick

Squares & Clouds                 Photo: Bonni Brodnick

December 1, 2016

Making a Point on MEDIUM: "My New Pencil Sharpener: What a Tool!"

                                                                                                                                                             Photo: Bonni Brodnick

It's the little things in life that intrigue me. In my new post on MEDIUM, join me for an up-close look at what's happening on my desk.

Click here for "My New Pencil Sharpener: What a Tool!"

November 28, 2016

Working on the Railroad

From a seat away, it appears that these gentlemen are hard at work on their train home from NYC.

"Working on the Railroad" is a new series on the Bonni Brodnick Blog. Get a ticket, grab a seat, and come along for the ride.

                                                                                                                             Photo: Bonni Brodnick

                                                                                                                             Photo: Bonni Brodnick

November 22, 2016

Huffington Post: "Thanksgiving Turkey: Let's Get Fresh"

I'm starting to get flashbacks from a Thanksgiving past when all hell broke loose and someone even ended up in the hospital. Lesson learned: Don't eat giblets and laugh at the same time.

Click here for my Huffington Post or read on ...

I’ll never cook turkey again. It’s too stressful having one food that is the focal point of one meal. At the Thanksgiving dinner table, all eyes are on the bird and my once-per-annum self-induced culinary panic circles around whether my turkey will be judged as succulent or dry, well-glazed or burnt. Would I have calculated correctly the number of guests vs. appetite vs. leftover ratio?

This year I brined the turkey the night before. When I took it out of the refrigerator on Thanksgiving morning, the salty/sweet brine had blobbed over to one side of the plastic bag, covering only half the turkey.
I squished the liquid around and prayed this would work as a last-minute fix-it until my 20-something son strolled into the kitchen and asked, “Mom, shouldn’t the turkey be in the oven by now?”
I acknowledged the wisdom and bled the brine from the bag. What was left was a bird that had butterball-smooth skin on one side only. I turned up the oven to 325-degrees, rinsed off the bird and gave it a pat-pat, herbed and spiced it, stuck a peeled apple in the cavity, placed it in the oven and slammed the door.
“Respect me and I will respect you,” I said as I gaped at the turkey through the oven door window.
“How long will it take?” my husband asked as he entered the kitchen from reading by the fire.
“A few hours,” I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t put the turkey on the roasting rack. I tried to cover up and casually opened the oven door.
“Can you help me with something?” I asked. “If I lift the turkey will you slip the rack under it?”

I hoisted the 15 lbs. of raw meat and my husband adjusted the rack. (He was such a help when he wasn’t reading. By the fire.)
“Great! We’re all set!!!!” I added a few extra exclamation points to cover-up my mounting anxiety.

“Mom, you should close the oven. Every time you open it, it loses heat,” called my 20-something daughter from the living room.
That’s when we lost another half-hour from the cooking time. The oven temperature dipped to a chilling 315.

Once the bird was back in the oven, I decided to grab a glass of cranberry juice. As I went into the fridge and moved a pint of heavy cream (which would later be whipped and served with pecan pie), the bag of green beans (which would be sautéed with almonds), the container of oysters (which would go into the stew), I realized there was still so much to do before sitting down to our holiday meal.

Poking out from behind the cranberry juice was a bag of fresh savory herbs that I had specifically bought to season the turkey.

Once again the bird came out of the oven. I removed the apple and tossed the bouquet into the cavity.

“How’s that turkey coming along?” someone called from the living room as I prayed even more heat hadn’t escaped from the oven.

The telephone rang and it was my sister, a culinary whiz known for her grace in the kitchen.

“How’s it going? Do you have the bird in the oven yet?” she asked.

“I hate cooking turkey,” I whispered into the phone. “This is my last time. I swear. It’s too much pressure.”

“Oh, come on, Bonni. All you have to do is put it in the oven and wait for the plastic thing to pop up.”

It was then that I remembered that I also hadn’t wrapped the bird in cheese cloth, a technique she had taught me to help keep the turkey moist.

“There’s too much attention on this one single thing,” I whispered. I was certain my green beans almondine would not be judged in the same way as my turkey.

“I’ve got a ton to do,” I said. “Can we chat later?”
I imagined my sister already in her velvet hostess skirt, and here I was sweaty and overheated in a black polar-fleece that was covered in drips and blobs of everything I was making on the Thanksgiving dinner menu.
“How about some Vivaldi,” I shouted calmly (is that an oxymoron?) to my husband, who was on chapter crazillion as he continued to read. (By the fire.) I was counting on The Four Seasons to mask my opening the oven yet again so that I could pull out the turkey and wrap it in cheesecloth. If anyone walked into the kitchen, I could always say, “I’m just giving the turkey a little basting.”

I had planned for a 4 o’clock sitting. By this time though, the turkey was barely cooked. Its white pallor mocked me.

My favorite comments of the next few hours were:
“When will the turkey be ready?”
“I thought we were going to eat early so that we didn’t feel too full later?”
“Did the thing pop up yet?”

Are you joking? The turkey had at least more three hours.

“It’s not quite ready. I promise it will be though,” I said.

“Well, did you test the temperature in the oven?” My son was back.

From the drawer next to the stove, I hastily grabbed what looked like a meat thermometer. I stuck it in the bird and watched the temperature rise.

“See? It’s almost done,” I said.

“Mom, that’s not a meat thermometer,” he said. “It’s a wine thermometer and it stops reading at 72 degrees!”

I grabbed my glasses and watched the dial soar from “sparkling wine” to “dry white.” It blew past “Beaujolais,” “Chianti,” “port” and “good red.” Truth be told: I broke the wine thermometer using it as a turkey thermometer.
“Let’s just not look at the turkey for a few hours,” I begged my son as I slammed the oven door for the fifth time.
The timer finally popped up. “Dinnertime!” was announced and I proudly placed the perfectly cooked turkey on the holiday table. The bird glowed and I enjoyed the ooohs and aaaahs. We all held hands and shared what we were all most thankful for.
Familial conviviality ensued... until mid-laugh, when someone inhaled a tiny piece of stuffing and had to go to the emergency room. (I kid you not.)
Lessons learned this Thanksgiving?
#1: I hate all of the attention focused on The Turkey. (Didn’t someone say that lobsters were plentiful on the shores of Massachusetts when the Pilgrims arrived? Would it be disrespectful to our founding fathers if I took a leap and served crustaceans?)
And #2: Once again, through the drama of it all, there’s nothing like family and taking a moment to pause to count our many blessings. I felt deep gratitude knowing that I overcame my annual poultry phobia and had cooked my last turkey... until next Thanksgiving.

November 21, 2016

Huffington Post: "10 Thanksgiving Tips for Turkey Day and The Joy of Fowl"

What sides are you serving, and are you brining/marinating/smoking/deep-frying/steaming/grilling/rotisserie-spinning your turkey? How is your acumen for calculating cooking time and how do you artfully dodge the question, “Is the turkey ready yet?” when guests start getting cranky?

Click here for my new Huffington Post and get all the dish-plus-10-handy-tips for Turkey Day.

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