Today was hot and sunny in Holliston. A workday for me, but I had a chance to grab a few things from the garden and grounds. The yellow pear tomatoes and cucumber for lunch, the bush beans for dinner, and some hydrangeas for the counter and peppermint for water.
Generally it’s hard to break away from work – meetings, and the real work between them have a way of gluing me to my seat. But outside the sun shines on the farm and there’s so much happening — so I try to get outside at lunch and then after work for sure.
Tonight we made dinner on the grill and because I had some frozen fries from the market we took a toaster oven outside and plugged it in to cook them without heating the kitchen.
We have resisted putting air conditioning in because the house is so sprawling the cost to run it would be crazy. Plus they are so ugly hanging out of the windows. We avoid cooking/baking during hot days. The kitchen itself is “new” – from the 1900s, we think. The original – now called the “keep” at the center of the house – hasn’t been the house kitchen for some time. We aren’t sure who moved it to the annex that was once a 1900s garage for Porsche’s – but today it sits in an addition to the east side of the house which we think Sam Elliot built for his Porsche collection.
Sam Elliot – a wealthy Boston real estate man – bought this house as a summer retreat for his family in the early 1900s. They spent lavishly, installing an in ground pool to the south west of the house, a giant cistern under what is now the kitchen, and was once a garage that was attached to a barn on the east side of the house, and a west wing of two 14 by 14 bedrooms. Sam was a Porsche enthusiast, and old photos of the house show our present kitchen with garage doors – no doubt there to house the Porsches that we have photos of him and Anne Elliot, his wife, in.
The previous owners of this house were kind enough to leave us the history they collected, which includes some photos of the Elliots enjoying their summer property, and we’ve begun to build on it, intending to leave more still for the next owners.
More on the history – and some of my partner Jon’s research – in the next blog.