It’s good that you’re sitting for this.
It is shocking but true—no glossy national magazine has ever asked the Hamptons Epicure for her list of top 10 favorite things.
In an effort to quell the ever-growing breathless anticipation, here they are:
1. Local Farmers Markets. All local farmers markets are fabu because they offer the freshest, most local, in-season fruits and vegetables there are. It makes environmental, as well as nutritional sense, to shop at your local farmers market. I go to three. Sag Harbor’s I can walk to and do so religiously. Hayground is on Fridays, so I pick up a bunch of stuff for summer weekends there. The Springs Farmers Market is the newest on the South Fork, so I’m fascinated with it and have to check it out. It started last year on Tuesdays in Ashawagh Hall. It’s about to re-open on Saturdays. See Dan’s Day-By-Day calendar on page 155 for days and times.
2. Blossom Meadows Candles. These North Fork-made candles burn longer, brighter and cleaner than any others I’ve tried. I’ve tried them all; I have something of a candle fixation (see also items number 3 and 4). Plus, these candles exude a light wild flowery scent when burned. Conveniently, I can pick them up from Respectable Collectables, my fave gifty shop on Henry Road in Southampton. Blossommeadow.com.
3. Those Little Sticky Things That Keep Taper Candles In Place. I had to look at the package to see what they’re called, “Candlesfasts by the A. I. Root Company.” I buy them from Loaves and Fishes Cookshop in Bridgehampton. This brand melts away with the candle so there’s no need to clean out residue. Whenever I pop into Loaves and Fishes, I also grab some French magazines and take a few minutes to ogle the latest Le Creuset pieces. landfcookshop.com.
4. Thrift. Thursday at St. Ann’s Thrift Shop in Bridgehampton. Saturdays at Dominican Sisters Thrift Shop in Sag Harbor. The Junque Shop, L.V.I.S. and Trader Bill’s once a month. This is the routine that works for me. St. Ann’s offers designer whatnots and, sometimes, credenzas. Dominican Sisters could have anything. Last week I bought an antique Italian lamp for $10, the week before it was a 25-cent skein of variegated yarn. L.V.I.S. is good for cookware and serving ware. There’s only one Trader Bill’s, in Greenport—it rocks. Of course I buy all the old pillar candles and tealights I see.
5. Halsey’s Apples and Cider. I’m from upstate, I know from apples and cider. I’ve picked and pressed my own and I come from a long line of apple pie bakers. When Mr. Halsey advised me to try using Pink Lady apples in my pies I was skeptical, but I gave it a whirl. He gilded my lily! You can buy all the Halsey’s farm products at The Milk Pail Country Store on Montauk Highway and from The Milk Pail Farm Store on Horse Mill Lane, both in Water Mill.
6. The Seafood Shop. Everyone who lives out here has a seafood shop that they swear by. The Seafood Shop on Montauk Highway in Wainscott is mine. The best is when they bring their fresh fish to the Sag Harbor Farmers Market.
7. Southampton Trails Preservation Society Hikes and Walking Tours. And to be even further “inside”—volunteer Tony Garro is my fave hike and tour leader. This man really does his research! Southamptontrails.org.
8. Easthampton Bowl. For the bowling, not the food. In the off-season, at certain times, you can get a lane with no neighbors and really “let her rip.”
9. Silvia Lehrer’s newest cookbook, Savoring the Hamptons, Discovering the Food and Wine of Long Island’s East End. Published by Running Press, with a forward by East End foodie Alan Alda. Yum!
10. Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre. “Goat” was a necessity when my son was little. Now I go by myself. With live national and international touring acts, The Goat offers the best entertainment bargain around. Goatonaboat.org.
Note to national glossy magazine editors: I could easily throw in some designery faves. I am a huge John Derian fan and I’ve been known to channel Coco Chanel. Call me?