Food Prep, Studio Work, Tour and Life Thoughts

First off we’ve canned our grapes and apples, Sue did a wonderful job

9_28_11_canning

Here’s our apple jelly and today we did grape jelly, still have apple sauce to make, but we’re making good use of this wonderful crop of apples this year.

9_28_11_onionsoup

I also made a huge batch of Onion Soup, seen above.  I caramelized the onions real slow for three hours, the baguette is from Lake Flower Bakery and the cheese is from Clover Mead Farm.  I froze the soup and now we have eight servings, waiting…….

Stoneware Tea Set by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NY

Sue made this wonderful child’s tea set, complete service for six, with little plates and a creamer and sugar.  It’s going to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts as a fundraiser.

Studio Tour

It was disappointing, but also welcoming.  Here’s why.  We pay $50, that’s it, we don’t do anything else except mail out some postcards and tell our customers.  That’s welcoming.

Compared to the Jay Tour we reached about 20% of what we would make in a good year.  That’s disappointing.  We spend a lot of time in the studio getting ready for the tour, but we still have the work, so that’s really not a loss.

Of course gas prices, the general malaise of the economy and people’s confidence in the future I’m sure affects the outcome of all business deals these days.

Which takes me to wondering about the next year of business and life.  Both of my daughters are working, but I worry about them continuing in their jobs.  You never know when you work for someone in an environment like we have today.  Corrine informed us that a friend was recently let go of her job with no advance notice.

It appears to Sue and I that there is going to be a new generation that is going to take a long time getting their feet on the ground to drive this economy.  Everyone seemed surprised when the crash occurred in 2008, but we had predicted it.  Yep, two artists in Jay predicted something bad was happening.  We began seeing the middle class disappearing from 2003 on.  We witnessed a lot of credit card use and just a general reluctance of politicians to do anything to reign in what they were calling American Exceptionalism.  Like it was our right to use as many resources as we could in the short life spans that we have.

Well, it appears now that future generations will pay for this exceptionalism that we enjoyed.  Little towns and shops everywhere will pay for the fact that the middle class was sold out to other countries.  That the big corporations that made their profits from the backs of our citizens, from the roads of our country, from the lives of its soldiers, are keeping their profits overseas, away from jobs and taxes here in the country that made them great.

Regardless of what your politics are you can’t deny the country is in a mess, and it didn’t start with a Republican or Democrat……it started with greed, in my opinion.

I would like to see us go back to a time with Mom and Pop shops, the local butcher, shoe repair, grocery….etc…..that’s what I grew up with in New York City.  I would love to see more products made in this country and more people shopping locally.  I would like to see more people satisfied with living their lives with simpler things.  Like pottery and art, just as an example.

I’m not a big fan of free trade.  I’m still trying to find what it has done for me.  We get old food shipped thousands of miles to our shores, junk products from China, made by questionable labor.  Our corporations that have regulations here against using pesticides go overseas to use their pesticides and they wind back up on our tables anyway.  It just doesn’t make sense.

It’s hard these day’s not to slip into a political discussion, or a weather related talk.  There is much going on, and it will continue.  We just all try to do the best we can, I wish those with the power to make true change would do the best they can too.