West Tisbury: Time for corn pudding


Veterans Day weekend came and went. With it, cold air arrived, and wind that died down by Sunday. It was the first time I had worn a coat this year, and wished I’d taken gloves when Mike and I walked Nanuk down to the beach, or where the beach used to be before the water came up so high. We could see the sand and familiar outcroppings of land and trees all underwater, but there was nowhere to walk. Mike thinks the opening will be cut in a couple of weeks.

It’s been a funny few days. Gray. Cold. Definitely needing a fire to take the chill out of the house at night. It’s dark by 5 o’clock. We finally awoke to a hard frost Sunday morning, the last summer annuals in pots on our porch and the last bits of greenery in the garden, all of it was shriveled and ready to be tossed into the compost pile or cut down and raked away.

My ‘Sweetness’ daffodils arrived from McClure & Zimmerman. “Sweetness” is what I called Talley, what Mike wrote on the concrete marker he made for her grave. It’s a pretty bright yellow, a small, multiflowered stem, fragrant. I had bought a few bulbs years ago when Talley was still alive, and planted them near my studio door. I began looking for them after she died, waited to afford them, and now they are here, ready to be planted on and around her grave. I bought extras to give to friends who loved her, too.

Blue Cullen stopped in for tea yesterday, and became the first recipient of some of these bulbs. She brought me a package, an early Christmas present. It was an ornament I had seen on the Pottery Barn website, a lovely yellow Lab with a Christmas tree strapped to her back. It was the thing I wanted most this Christmas, and now it sits here on the windowsill, looking just like my beloved dog. I look at her face with a mixture of happiness and grief.

Blue and I talked about how we both are excited about the upcoming holidays so early this year. She already has little trees with white lights and some of her ornaments out. I have my Talley ornament and a handsome pair of Victorian-looking mice dressed in linen coat and top hat for the gentleman and a pretty dress and coat for the lady. They were too wonderful to leave behind when I was at Donaroma’s last week. Lots of places are starting to put out their ornaments and wrappings. All we need now is snow.

That said, Thanksgiving is only a week away, so it’s time to reprint my corn pudding recipe. I’m doubling it, as it’s a perfect amount for a potluck or large holiday gathering, and that’s always how I make it. Here it is:

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

4 eggs, beaten

1 container (2 cups) sour cream

2 cans creamed corn

2 cans kernel corn, drained

2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix

Mix together and pour into a shallow baking pan. Bake about an hour in a preheated 375° oven. It should just set in the center; check with a knife or metal tester to make sure it is cooked through.

The West Tisbury Church has set the date for its annual Christmas Faire. It will be Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9:30 to 2:30. There will be wreaths, arrangements, and tabletop trees, candles, ornaments, gifts, jewelry, and the best baked goods in town. All the proceeds will go to support the work of the church in our Island community. For more information, call 508-693-2842.

Jen Rand emailed to say there will not be a Town Holiday Party this year. They are taking a break, but expect to get everyone together at another Town Picnic at the Ag Hall in early summer.

Linda Carnegie has painted a new mural for the library’s Children’s Room, this one depicting a scene from E.B. White and Garth Williams’ classic children’s book, “Charlotte’s Web.” It is totally magical, with lots to find as you explore. Bob Schwier installed the canvas last week. The mural was paid for by a grant from the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council.

The library has several programs planned for the upcoming week.

The monthly meeting of “Dumbledore’s Army” for tweens and teens will meet on Friday, Nov. 17, at 3:30.

The Lego Club will meet Saturday afternoon at 2:30.

A special program will take place Saturday evening. “Thank You for Your Service” will give us all an opportunity to hear combat veterans and their spouses tell their stories. The room will remain silent, and there will be no comments or questions taken. Everyone attending is asked to arrive by 5:45, as the doors will be closed and the program will begin promptly at 6 o’clock. (I was reading online a New Yorker article with letters and essays by Iraq War vets, similar to what this evening’s program sounds like. Do take a look.)

Sunday, Nov. 19, Helene Barr will lead a Thanksgiving centerpiece-making workshop at 2. Flowers and containers will be provided. Participants are asked to bring their own scissors, and encouraged to bring any additional decorations they would like to use and/or share. Sign-up is required.

Dave Kish will host his monthly Jazz Night on Monday at 7 pm. He will show a documentary film and lead a discussion afterward.

On Tuesday, a free wellness clinic with a VNA of Cape Cod nurse is scheduled from noon to 1:30. Get your blood pressure checked, and take the opportunity to ask your health-related questions.

Remember to take out a good supply of books and movies for the holiday. The library will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday.

The Winter Farmers Market is still going strong Saturdays from 10 to 1 at the Ag Hall.

I know everyone will be busy getting ready for Thanksgiving, whether you are expecting guests or going somewhere else for the holiday. I will enjoy hearing about your holidays, and hope you will share your stories with me for upcoming columns.