Bubbly brings Cheer!

There’s something special about the bubbly… whether from the motherland or the new world, the sparkle of those gaseous bubbles can really get you in the mood to have a great time.

Ever wonder why?

There seems to be very little science, but quite a few theories as to why.  A french-man once explained to me that the carbon dioxide inside those tiny bubbles actually allow the alcohol to be absorbed faster into the bloodstream. And that's why we can feel the effects of champagne after only a few sips. Makes sense, right?     

 image courtesy of vinepair

image courtesy of vinepair

How important is glassware? Very. Flutes are synonymous with celebration and their shape does in fact help to retain the bubbles inside the glass. Riedel has even gone so far in the design of their flutes, to burn an imperfection in the bottom of each glass with a laser, creating a very classy singular stream of bubbles to the surface. But did you know that wine geeks and somms would generally prefer to drink champagne from a white wine glass? Here's what one expert has to say...

(I've always felt the same way about bubbly glassware but for a very different reason. Those of us with a larger schnoz might understand... that narrow opening just gets in the way. Haha!) 

 image courtesy of thrillist

image courtesy of thrillist

It's no surprise that sparkling wine sales skyrocket during the holidays, but it should not just be reserved for celebrating in flutes. Sparkling wine pairs incredibly well with food. Try it with your favorite hors d’oeuvres, cured meats and cheeses, shellfish of course, poultry, seafood, even steak, veggies of all kinds, fruit, dessert, pastries… breakfast... you name it. It's delicacy will complement lighter fair, while the combination of it's bright acidity and bubbles will balance heavier foods. Sparkling wine goes with just about everything! 

 

Here are some of the BEST (that you may have never heard of)

Schramsberg

Ruinart

Roederer

Pol Roger

Phillipponnat

Shinn Estates

 

… do you have any favorites to add??? Comment below! 

 

A good bottle of bubbly goes a long way. Always say YES to sparkling!

 

Savor September! A Mermaid's Hidden Treasure helps you Find your Beach ~ Plastic-Free at The End ~ Pledge to Fire Island

  Legends say that mermaids swim across oceans, carrying messages and treasures from the depths-of-the-sea... to humans on land. 

Legends say that mermaids swim across oceans, carrying messages and treasures from the depths-of-the-sea... to humans on land. 

Find Your Beach... 

Your Fairy House Mother, who is also known to be part mermaid,

(and trusted messenger between land and sea),

has hidden THREE Mermaid's Treasures around Fire Island.

 

A real mermaid's treasure is waiting to be found!

Find Your Beach... a mermaid's treasure hunt.

Collectible hand-painted glass bottles

Gifts-from-the-sea sealed tightly inside each...

One will always help you Find Your Beach, and

One will Save the Sea!

 

Keep your eyes-peeled for your very own Mermaid's Treasure... begins Sept 8

Visit Fairy House Mother on Facebook and Instagram for location clues!


Indulge in a Coastal Kaleidoscope

Did you know Fire Island is a National Park? Immerse yourself in an enchanting collage of coastal life and history. Rhythmic waves, high dunes, ancient maritime forests, historic landmarks and glimpses of wildlife, Fire Island has been a special place for diverse plants, animals and people for centuries. Far from the pressure of nearby big-city life, dynamic barrier island beaches offer both solitude and camaraderie, and spiritual renewal. -FI National Seashore

 Eastern Black Swallowtail drying it's wings just after coming out of it's chrysalis

Eastern Black Swallowtail drying it's wings just after coming out of it's chrysalis

 Sandpiper's feasting on sand crabs

Sandpiper's feasting on sand crabs

Show your love for the Seashore by taking the #FireIslandPledge.
— National Park Service/Fire Island National Seashore
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Dedicate yourself to enjoying and protecting this special place while on the island and online. Read the #FireIslandPledge below to learn how you can help ensure the natural and cultural treasures are protected for future generations. Take the pledge and then consider sharing your commitment -- and the link -- with family and friends.


Take the pledge. Tell a friend. Tag #FireIslandPledge.

To be a steward and help protect myself and the park, I pledge to:

  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife such as fox, deer, and seals when observing and photographing them, and when taking selfies.
  • Never feed or touch wildlife and keep food away from them.
  • Give beach-nesting shorebirds the space they need to raise their young. Respect nesting area closures. 
  • Keep pets on a leash at all times and adhere to seasonal area restrictions.
  • Dispose of trash properly. Carry-in, carry-out at all National Park Service sites.
  • Walk on designated boardwalks and paths and keep off the dunes.
  • Maintain a safe distance from injured wildlife and report your sightings. Learn how to help Keep Wildlife Wild.

Once you’ve taken the pledge, let everyone know with #FireIslandPledge on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! We’ll share pledge pics to help spread the word.

  Show your love of the Seashore by taking the #FireIslandPledge

Show your love of the Seashore by taking the #FireIslandPledge


The Straw That Broke Montauk’s Back

By Natalia de Cuba Romero July 13, 2017

-Article from Edible East End

Montauk fourth-graders inspire local businesses to begin a new, plastic-free chapter at The End.

The fourth graders at Montauk School hope that the next time their teacher says “That’s the last straw!” she means it. Literally.

The fourth graders at Montauk’s pre-K to eighth-grade school, inspired by a class trip to the Oceans Institute at the Montauk Lighthouse and its founder Greg Donohue, and guided by their principal and teachers, have started a real-life environmental project that involves the whole community. Their goal? To be the first community to eliminate plastic straws from every restaurant and deli, thus keeping plastics out of the water that is so much a part of Montauk life.

“We learned that plastics are getting into our ocean,” says fourth-grader Julia Kuneth. “And then we saw that there’s this guy collecting plastic and making art. We thought, ‘That’s smart; everyone should do that at least once in their life so we’re not throwing plastic into their [sea creatures’] home.’”

“This guy” is Greg Donohue, founder and board member of the Oceans Institute, which opened at the Montauk Lighthouse in 2015. Donohue—who in his other lives is a surfer, landscaper and land stabilization expert—has been working to mitigate the bluff erosion at the iconic 1796 lighthouse since the late 1980s. The Oceans Institute was his—and fellow surfers Rusty Drumm, the late East Hampton Star columnist, and Bettina Stelle, a lighthouse benefactor—way of educating on the need to preserve and protect the waters around Montauk.

His art is one of a series of sculptures made from plastics recovered from area beaches on display at the museum. Donohue created a whale framework stuffed with plastic refuse, inspired by real-life necropsies of dead whales that turned out to be full of plastics. His helpers in the business of stuffing the whale sculpture? The MTK School’s fourth graders.

“It’s a nice-looking, provocative artwork,” says the voluble Donohue. And it provoked him to get the schoolkids more involved—by getting rid of the plastic straws ubiquitous in this heavily touristed community by the sea.

“The Last Straw initiative is a sidebar to this movement,” he says. “I walked into the elementary school to talk to the principal and see if we could get the fourth graders to take it further. Why can’t we make Montauk the first plastic straw–free resort community in America?”

Principal Jack Perna was game and immediately turned to fourth-grade teachers Chantal Adamcewicz and Kathy Havlik, who got to work on turning this initiative into a teachable moment.

 

The 45 students began a letter-writing campaign in February, reaching out to 60 Montauk businesses, requesting that they stop using plastic straws. Quite a few responded, but it was Jennifer Meadows, owner of Bliss Kitchen, who got on board most enthusiastically. But after a bit of research, she identified a very big challenge: cost.

“The switch from plastic to paper straws is very expensive,” she says. “Last year I spent $88 on plastic straws. If I were to buy the same amount of paper straws, it would cost me $900. It was insane.”

But Meadows is not a giver-upper. She contacted paper-straw purveyors and found one —Aardvark Paper—that would give her a deal, if she would order bulk two pallets or 96 cases. She then went to Donohue and the mission changed slightly. They are now contacting restaurateurs to commit to buying paper straws by the case.

“In two days we got commitments to buy 18 cases. And we got donations. It’s still pricey, but the idea of the initiative is to start somewhere, to decrease the amount of plastic in the ocean. We are asking people to just replace some—not all—of their inventory. The point is if you used two fewer cases of plastic straws, there would be 6,400 fewer plastic straws out there that could get into the ocean.”

Or, as another MTK fourth grader, Joshua, says, “It’s something that we started small. We looked around our school to see who was using plastic straws at lunch. Then we started writing letters to the community. Then we started writing other letters and we were getting answers. We feel really great. We found people in our community who really try to help the world.”

And who knows, The End could actually be the Last Straw.

Illustrations by Chamisa Kellogg.

Farm-to-Beach

My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, lawyer, policeman and a preacher, but everyday, three times a day, you need a farmer.
— Brenda Schoepp
If-You-Ate-Today-Thank-A-Farmer..png

Long Island has a rich agricultural history, from Native Americans to European Settlers, and that farming tradition carries through today... You don't have to travel very far to enjoy the vastness of our local farm land.  We are blessed with the holy trinity of farming; rain, sunshine and fertile (although sandy) soil. These are great conditions for growing all sorts of yummy fruits and veggies. (They've even figured out how to grow some pretty good grapes in our loamy soil... but I'll save that for another blog. Wink, wink.) 

Access to farm fresh local organic and sustainable produce is a big deal. We are very fortunate to be so close to such rich farm land. There are countless reasons why we all should be enjoying more of nature's bounty on a regular basis. Farm fresh local produce last longer, tastes better, has more nutrients, is better for the environment and will help us all live happier, healthier lives... 

 

I don't want to stand up on a soap-box and preach. There is enough of that in the world already. If you get it, great!!!! If not, you're probably not reading this blog anyway. (haha! winkey face) But just in case you want to read a little... check out this article about the food crisis. Edible is one of my favorite food rags. I highly recommend it. 

http://www.ediblecommunities.com/sustainable-food/american-farms-crisis-and-more-food-news

I also don't need to tell you how busy we are these days. We all know this. It's not good for us. We all need to slow down and take time to #enjoylifemore. Let's remind each other to find the time to interact socially (in real life) and support the local community. As human beings, we need each other, we need our communities. Community makes us stronger and keeps us happier and healthier. If you don't trust me, maybe you trust Berkeley?

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/raising_happiness/post/happiness_is_being_socially_connected

This summer, I'm literally bringing the farm to the beach. Dreams really do come true! Let's join together as a community of Fire Islanders, take advantage of our proximity to Long Island farms and support our neighbors and planet at the same time. 

  • Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a great way to invest in our farmers and support our local food economy.

  • What is a CSA? A CSA farm sells subscriptions or memberships and participants pay up front for an allotment of shares over a period of time, generally once per week for 14 to 20 or more weeks. Costs vary, depending on the products in the share and the number of deliveries included. Shares are typically delivered to a drop site.

  • Why Participate? CSAs are perfect for busy schedules and is a great way to add variety and inspire new recipes. For the farmer, CSAs offer stability. Because members purchase subscriptions ahead of time, the farmer can plan crops and respond to unexpected weather conditions, if needed. The shared risk between member and farmer is what creates a sense of community and a stronger connection to the farm.

  Visit the  SHOP  to learn more about FI Farm Boxes and sign up for your farm share today. #farmtobeach

Visit the SHOP to learn more about FI Farm Boxes and sign up for your farm share today. #farmtobeach

 

Fire Island CSA FARM BOXES

Designed with community and sustainability at heart

Fire Island CSA FARM BOXES offer you

our FI friends and neighbors

Organic farm fresh fruit and vegetables all summer long...

Dreams really do come true!

 

CSA = Community Supported Agriculture

FI CSA FARM BOXES come directly from the farmer out-east

to your door on Fire Island

 

Delivered Weekly

CSA FARM BOX full of organic fruit + vegetables

Regular Season

June through September (approx. 16 weeks)

Options to buy: Full Shares, Half Shares or Third Shares

 

Long Season is also available

June - mid November (approx. 25 weeks)

visit the SHOP for details

 

Fruit and Vegetables come from multiple farms
Vegetables are 100% certified organic
Fruit is mostly organic

 

FI CSA FARM BOX Price Includes:

Your CSA farm-share

Recipe inspiration

Farm-to-Beach shipping + handling


REMEMBER:

Our Fire Island CSA program is only possible

with community support!

 

The more people sign-up,

the better the price...

 

Tell your friends.

 

50% Season Deposit due by April 1st

(pending total sign-ups received, price adjustments to be made)

Balance due by June 1st


For your viewing pleasure, here are a few sample full share vegetable boxes from the CSA farm last year... just imagine what you could create this year! 

 June 2016 Sample Vegetable Share

June 2016 Sample Vegetable Share

 July 2016 Sample Vegetable Share

July 2016 Sample Vegetable Share

 August 2016 Sample Vegetable Share

August 2016 Sample Vegetable Share

 September 2016 Sample Vegetable Share

September 2016 Sample Vegetable Share


Sign-up is Easy

1. Visit our online SHOP

OR

2. Simply email me, sabrina@fairyhousemother.com

Include your Name, FI Address and which Farm Box you'd like

Drop a check in the mail (PO BOX 82, OB 11770)

make payable to Sabrina Cafuoco

...you can also give cash to the first Cafuoco you see :)


Summer is Coming Photo Contest

In the midst of winter, I found that there was, within me, an invincible summer.

-Albert Camus

 

Dreams really do come true… Summer is coming! In the midst of winter, FairyHouseMother wants to see your LOVE of Fire Island. Photo contest begins today and ends on February 14th, 2017.

Share your LOVE of Fire Island and you could win Free FAIRY TIME! Fairy House Mother makes #FIREISLANDdreamscometrue

FIND @FairyHouseMother on Instagram and Facebook to see contest post and ENTER to win. 

To ENTER:

1) FOLLOW @FairyHouseMother

2) SHARE your favorite FIRE ISLAND photo

3) TAG @FairyHouseMother & #FIREISLANDdreamscometrue

The FI photo with the most LOVES between now and Feb 14 will win ½ hr of complimentary FAIRY TIME with Fairy House Mother, which can be applied to any a la carte service booked in 2017. 

FAIRY TIME is part of our new Referral & Loyalty Program, being launched this Spring. FAIRY TIME is just that. TIME with your own personal FAIRY HOUSE MOTHER. FAIRY TIME vouchers cannot be purchased. FAIRY TIME can only be earned (or WON, in this case). Each FAIRY TIME voucher is valid for 1/2 hour of Complimentary Services with FAIRY HOUSE MOTHER.   

You can use this complimentary FAIRY TIME for your own personal domestic needs or to help with your business. For example:

  • Personal Shopper
  • Yoga + Meditation
  • Household Help
  • Personal Assistant for Home or Business
  • Fairy Freight Pick-up/Delivery
  • Fairy Ferry Guest or Client Pick-ups
  • Professional Packing and Organization Services
  • Furniture Assembly
  • Houseplant Parenting
  • Pet-sitting
  • House-sitting
  • Vacation Curator
  • Rental Transitions

We do just about anything to make your life easier. It’s Fairy House Mother’s number one goal to help you #EnjoyLifeMore.

BONUS: FAIRY TIME vouchers are transferable. If you can't use the Fairy Time you've earned, you can gift it to someone who can. Dreams really do come true! Just keep in mind that Fairy Time may not be applied to Packaged Pricing and is not redeemable for cash.

 

 

Slow Down...

Many of us have a love/hate relationship with Winter. Winter can be bitter and depressing but it can also be a wonderful opportunity to give ourselves permission to slow down, rest, reflect, and maybe enjoy life a little more… let’s celebrate the beauty of winter this year!

There’s wisdom in the blanketed silence of a snowfall... There’s love in a hot cup of chili on a cold blistery day... There’s magic cozy-ing up with a blanket by the fire... If we take the time to slow down this winter, we might catch a few bits of pure joy.

 

Here's a poem reminding us to Slow Dance, 

and a Slow Cooker Chili Recipe to help get you there…

Slow Down and Enjoy Life!

SLOW DANCE
Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?
When you ask, “How are you?”
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,'Hi'

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last..

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

-This poem was written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital. 
 

Slow Cooker Hearty Veggie Chili (yields 4QT)

Ingredients:

1 yellow onion, diced

2 ribs celery, chopped

3 carrots, diced

5 cloves garlic, whole

½ butternut squash, diced

2 sweet peppers, diced

Shit-ton paprika

½ shit-ton cumin

Tsp salt

Tbsp red pepper flakes and/or 2 whole chilis

2 not-beef bouillon cubes

3 dried porcini, chopped

1 small can chipotle peppers, with juice

1 large can chopped tomatoes

½ small can tomato paste

2 cans black beans, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1qt vegetable stock

Option - add handful of quinoa

Option - add a can of hominy, drained, for added flavor and texture, at the end

 

Directions:

Add all ingredients to crock pot, set on med-high, slow cook for 6-8hrs for best flavor

Serve in a large bowl. Layer rice on the bottom, then some greens like spinach or a super green blend, then chili, top with avocado, salt, lime and evoo. Yum! Meat lovers can always crumble in ground beef or turkey.

 

Love,

Your Fairy House Mother

Sabrina Cafuoco