Saturday, October 29, 2011

windows revealed

The cabinetry is down and the window locations, with curved tops are revealed - they missed the electrical box by several inches, so opening them up is viable - you never know what you are going to find when you start ripping things out, so this was a big question mark.

This was an outside wall, the back of the gallery an addition added in about 1920. The original fire hall was just the front section built in 1882 and was all brick. At some point prior to the rear of the building being added, it was covered with stucco, which you can see at the bottom of the picture where it's been chipped of the brick.

Meanwhile on the other side of the room, the new wall is up on the frameshop side, painted and just about ready for a door. We'll reconfigure the worktable arrangement over there just a bit, and then we can leave Dave alone and out of the dust.

We found the old front door from the building in the basement, which we had replaced when we purchased the property in 2000. It's in the process of having the hardware removed, the old paint stripped off - the rotted part at the bottom needs to be trimmed. Everyone who sees it is suggesting we keep the old stickers on the glass - not so sure about that.

The door handle and lockset is rather cool and retro, so I'm hoping we can shine up the brass and reinstall it. Much to do... need to establish a timeline and priority list, so we don't get too sidetracked in discovery!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

gallery renovations underway

After almost a year of planning, we're finally underway! My husband, David has been busy with prep work the last few weeks, stripping up carpet, removing the tack strips, scraping, repairing and repainting the ceiling - (ceiling looks great, don't you think?)

We spent this evening moving artwork out of storage into the center of the gallery temporarily, as we'll be renovating that space first. We'll tear out the existing cabinetry and explore that wall - wait until you see what we're considering....pretty cool, if my assumptions are correct.

A wall is going up between the storage area and the frame shop, giving us even more wall space to store art. Meanwhile Dave Patton, our most excellent framer, will continue business as usual in the back, safe from the dust of renovation out front. We intend to not miss a beat with customer service.

Now, tomorrow we have to move those big tables a foot to the side to make room to get the wall up. Fun.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

curried rice and black beans

A family favorite, this recipe originally came from the McDonough family, back when Layne and Lynden, Conor and Hallie were small and we regularly traded kids back and forth. Pat and Dona spent time in Nicaragua where Conor was born, and brought this recipe back with them. It's a great hit for any dinner party, the presentation of colors on a big platter are all the centerpiece you need, and the recipe can be easily doubled to serve a crowd.

As I pointed out to Layne this morning, this recipe is a labor of love, as it takes several hours to prepare. Though easy, it's not a quick dinner like she may think! I must confess her dad and I both have found quick substitutions and shortcuts to make it an easy, quick meal, but this version is the original, and worth the extra, flavor-full time. Leftovers, if there are any, can be frozen in ziploc bags to heat up later, or put in individual serving containers for microwaving later in the week.

Start at least two hours before you want to have dinner - or make it the next day and heat it up. Begin by gathering and measuring all the ingredients, in two parts...

In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add:
2 cups dried black beans
2 tbs. chili powder
1 tbs. Paprika
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper (or red pepper sauce) - adjust to taste

Bring the beans to a boil, then allow to simmer happily bubbling on the back burner for the next two hours, stirring ocassionally. After about an hour, put a lid on top, slightly ajar.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2-3 tbs. olive oil, add the following grains, and stir frequently over medium heat to toast them (keep stirring, or they will burn):
1 cup millet
1 cup wheatberries
1 cup brown rice

After toasting, add 5 cups water to the hot skillet, but keep your hands and face back - the steam will rise quickly! Add the following spices, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover:

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs. curry
1 tsp. cumin
1-2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt

A diffuser comes in handy here - this simple gadget sits on top the burner, under that pan and distributes the heat so things don't stick as quickly. It looks like this:

At this point, you'll have time to make a fresh loaf of bread, set the table, or go take a shower. Come back and check on the stove frequently to stir the pots and keep things from sticking. When the water is gone in the grains, turn the burner off - you'll be ready for the next step. The beans will likely need to simmer the full two hours to become tender, rather than crunchy, but when they are done, turn them off as well.

When the grains are done, transfer them to a large pan or ceramic plate that will fit in your oven set to 250 degrees, and let them dry out a bit - again stirring often. The beans will be drained in a colander just before serving, but leave them in the hot, spicy liquid with the lid on until the last minute. A half hour before serving, take the grains out of the oven and cover them with a towel near the stove to stay warm. Turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees, bake your bread, and steam a large bag of frozen corn on the stove.

Put the following condiments in smaller bowls to serve with the curried rice:
sliced almonds, toasted
shredded cheddar or freshly grated parmesian cheese
hot sauce

As everyone is sitting down, pile the grains on one side of the dish, drain the beans and pour them down the middle, with the corn on the other side. The serving dish is still hot, and can be placed on a turret in the center of the table. Serve with choice of toppings and enjoy. Oh, and don't forget to take the bread out of the oven!

Friday, October 14, 2011

meet the staff at Lynden Gallery

With all the plans for transition in our gallery space this fall and winter, our penchant for quality service, meticulous craftsmanship, and distinctive design remains our overarching goal. We couldn't do it, without the care and commitment of our excellent, experienced and talented staff.

DAVID PATTON is Frame Shop Manager, and he's a fanatic about details. An experienced framer, Dave worked most recently at American Music Theater as a Scenic Builder, before that as Frame Shop Manager for Lancaster Galleries, and in Architectural Salvage Sales. He enjoys painting, writing and yoga, in the never-ending quest for gentle life balance, and is currently leading an Artist's Way group in Wrightsville.

Art Gallery Director, WALTER DIEHL comes to us from the former Progressive Galleries in Lancaster, and has experience in the gallery business ranging in location from Richmond, Virginia, to Asheville, North Carolina. A painter himself, he understands and manages both sides of the artist/gallery equation with skill and diplomacy. A resident of Harrisburg, Walter is well-connected, completing a Masters Degree in Sustainable Business, and enjoys a good round of golf when the weather permits.

LAURA BACH, our newest intern from Elizabethtown College will be spending 8-10 hours a week for the duration of her Senior Year with Lynden Gallery, where she is completing a BA in Fine Art. She brings solid sales and management experience to the gallery, having worked for Diversified Capital Funding, and White House Black Market. With any luck we'll provide enough challenge for the bright, personable, efficient young woman to keep her around awhile.

DAVID CLEMENS continues as Installation Engineer, managing the details on site for our corporate clients - the latest project with Toshiba Business Solutions, recently relocated to Sycamore Square next to the Elizabethtown Amtrak Station. 34 local photographic images by Edwin Huddle, Toby Richards and Andy and Jamie Schoenberger were printed on canvas with a 2" gallery stretch. This large format application was perfect for the location which boasts incredibly ceilings, large windows and fabulous natural light.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Joe brought me a pineapple from Hawaii, but don't look for any great recipes for fresh pineapple - it succumbed to the butcher knife and a few forks (or fingers) before anything could be considered. And who needs a great recipe for fresh Hawaiian pineapple anyway - it's perfect as is.

So instead, I bring you fresh bruschetta, one of my singular favorites in any restaurant - will often just make a meal of this delicious "appetizer". Recently had some at Mangiaqui in Harrisburg, on the corner of North and Third Streets. David and I had a pre-symphony dinner there, and the evening being as perfect as it was, enjoyed our repast outdoors, followed by a walk to the river and then to the Forum for the Harrisburg Symphony. The bruschetta was perfect as expected, but my favorite of the evening was a dish featuring Gorgonzola cheese, sliced thinly and topped with a roasted fig, olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. I forgot how much I love figs. Once created a bread with dried figs and candied ginger, but that's a recipe for another day...

This evening's bruschetta was made as follows:

Cut 3 pieces of baguette, about 4 inches long, on the diagonal, then slice them crosswise. Put the halves cut side up in a glass pan or plate and spray them with olive oil cooking spray. Toast in the oven aside dinner at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.

Meanwhile, chop the following into a small bowl:

Dice 1 perfectly ripe plum tomato (or 2, if very small)
Cut 1 handful of fresh basil leaves into 1/8" strips
Crush and finely chop 2 fresh garlic cloves
Dice 1-2 tablespoons of yellow Spanish onion

Add and stir until all ingredients are coated and let sit for flavors to meld:

1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

Grate 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese and set aside.

10 minutes before serving dinner, place a heaping tablespoon of the vegetable mixture on each baguette half and sprinkle with about a little less than a tablespoon of grated Parmesan. Place back in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is hot, remove and serve.