Hamptons Epicure: No Rest on the Weekend, or Weekdays

“The season” on the East End no longer ends with Labor Day. Not even close. There’s so much going on every weekend—and some weekdays—it’s difficult to choose how to spend one’s time. Last Saturday found me at the Southampton Historical Museum’s Harvest Day dressed as a “baker woman” from 1851. I couldn’t stay for any of the other SeptemberFest activities throughout Southampton Village—I had to get to the Old Whalers’ Church in Sag Harbor for the big $10,000 raffle drawing. I didn’t win but the live band, Suzy on the Rocks, really rocked. I’m pretty sure that this occasion marked the first time in this 168-year-old church’s history that “Lady Marmalade” was heard inside.

Sunday of course was devoted to prayer—and another hot musical performance. Edna’s Kin played an afternoon concert at Christ Church in Sag Harbor. They were a huge hit all round, but the “world premiere” of their original bluegrass tune “Mount Misery Breakdown” really slayed ‘em.

On Monday I attended jazz legend Hal McKusick’s beautiful memorial service in the city. I wouldn’t have missed it and it was definitely an East End thing. Hal was a Sag Harborite for decades. I took him one of my apple pies on Monday, because he loved them like the Massachusetts farm boy he once was. I’ve never been a jazz aficionado but somehow I always know when it’s Hal playing the sax or clarinet on a recording.

Are you old enough to remember Sunbonnet Sue? She always had a full week—Sunday worship, Monday laundry, Tuesday ironing, Wednesday mending, Thursday baking, Friday housecleaning, Saturday off to market.

This weekend there’s the Hamptons International Film Festival, the San Gennaro Festival in Hampton Bays, Montauk’s Fall Festival (with fireworks!), the Westhampton Art Show, the Plant & Sing on Shelter Island and about 19 other Columbus Day Weekend–inspired public events on the East End. So, just like in the summertime, Sundays find me dashing off to events, Mondays I review a restaurant, Tuesdays close the paper, Wednesdays recover from closing, Thursdays assign stories, Fridays salon, Saturdays Sag Harbor Farmers Market and events. Is my only overlap with Sunbonnet Sue marketing on Saturdays? Oh well, she’s never made it into the South O’ the Highway column…

Are you curious to know more about my adventures in the 19th century? Let’s just say that my “partner in crime,” Karen, and I wore all linen, cotton, silk and wool—layers of the stuff—and showed kids how to knead bread dough. With 21st century bread recipes there’s no more need for kneading—but kids love to pound on dough. I promised them that we’d publish the bread recipe so they can get their frustrations out at home. (You might like to try it yourself.)

Rev. Karen Ann Campbell’s Two-Hour Bread

Makes 4 loaves

12 cups flour (8 cups white,
4 cups whole wheat)
4 cups warm water
½ cup honey
¼ cup active dry yeast
(5 packets)
¼ cup oil
1 tablespoon salt

Combine water and honey. Add yeast, stir to dissolve. Add  salt and oil. Stir in whole wheat flour, then white, about 2 cups at a time.

Knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes. Allow to rise in a greased bowl until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Punch down and knead a couple of times. Shape into four loaves and allow to rise for 30 minutes in greased pans.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

When done it should sound hollow.


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