Welcome, October!

Happy Pumpkin Month! Around here, our favorite pumpkin color is

pink pumpkin topiary © The Gracious Possepink!

Even though The Gracious Posse is not throwing a ThinkPink shopping event like we did last October, we will still

think pink logo © The Gracious Posse

this month. Stay tuned for details this Friday, October 3rd.

Here are some other events we are looking forward to as well this month:

Jangling on the James

Jangling on the James for ASK 2014 invitation © The Gracious PosseJanging on the James
Saturday, October 4th
6:30 – 11 p.m.
the Boathouse at Rocketts Landing
benefitting ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation


Fashion Night Out

Fashion Night Out for SCAN logoFashion Night Out
Thursday, October 9th
6 p.m.
Franco’s Fine Clothier
benefitting Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)


Kugel Ball

Kugel Ball 2014 invitation © The Gracious Posse

Kugel Ball
Saturday, October 11th
6:30 p.m.
benefitting the Science Museum of Virginia


Richmond Folk Festival

Richmond Folk Festival logoRichmond Folk Festival
October 10 -12
on stages located along Richmond’s historic riverfront from 2nd to 7th Streets
schedule of events


Forbidden City

Forbidden City exhibition at VMFA

Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
opens October 18
thru January 11, 2015


World Series

World Series 2014 Logostarts Tuesday, October 21st
which Boys of Summer will be playing in this national Fall Classic?


ChildSavers Art Transforming Lives Show

ChildSavers Art Show invitationArt Transforming Lives Show
Opening Night
Thursday, October 30, 2014
5 – 8 p.m.
glave kocen gallery
featuring works from some of our favorite Richmond artists
benefitting ChildSavers


What are you looking forward to this October? Please stop in Friday for our Think Pink reveal!

salutatione&aOctober 1, 2014 

Product Delights From Southern Season

After our recent CAbi show, Alison, lDd and I shut the front door to my home and raced out the back door straight to Southern Season and its restaurant, Southerly. We enjoyed a lovely September day in RVA as we relaxed on the patio for a late lunch. Afterward, we had to show off the new store to lDd, who, being from Atlanta, has seen just about all there is to see in terms of fabulous retailing and dining. Well, we showed her a new thing or two, and the three of us wandered through the aisles sharing with each other our favorite products. Here are some of our discoveries.

Harney & Sons tea © The Gracious Posse

 I was thrilled to find Harney & Sons fruit tea formulated for iced tea, one of my discoveries in Bermuda this summer. 

Small Batch Tonic © The Gracious Posse Simply the best tonic for your G&T. Hard to find, and glad to know Southern Season stocks it. Makes a great gift.

Trofiette pasta from Southern Season © The Gracious PosseAlison found her favorite pasta from her trip to Italy

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse04lDd introduced us to dry buttermilk; now I’ll always have it on hand for baking.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse05lDd and I agree this glaze is a must-have for the pantry. Put it on anything from chicken to cream cheese.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse06Tiger Sauce is hard to find and now LDB has a source for his condiment of choice.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse07lDd sings the praises of this dry soup mix. Just add white potatoes, chicken broth, heavy cream and fresh corn.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse08Far and away my favorite new product. I can’t always find the Rosemary Sea Salt variety and was glad to see it in abundance at Southern Season.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse03lDd swears by Carolina Plantation grits, and we know jBc is a huge fan of this Shrimp and Grits mix from Gullah Gourmet, Inc.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse09LDB and I discovered this addictive chip when it was tucked into our picnic basket from the Inn at Little Washington. You can’t eat just one bag. 

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse10lDd and I keep these nifty bamboo skewers on hand. I’ll put just about anything on a pick and call it an appetizer.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse12What is so special about these tomatoes? They are delicious and packed in BPA-free containers, unlike most tomato products.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse14I couldn’t pass up a Carolina-blue Tarheel cookie cutter.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse15The most adorable baking cups, straws and packaging knick-knacks had us dreaming up reasons to use them.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse16RVA-inspired fragranced soy candles by Ella B. 

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse17Exquisitely packaged truffles caught our eyes.

Southern Seasons finds © The Gracious Posse18For cat and Halloween lovers everywhere. What will the folks at Peeps think of next?

Just like walking through an antique mall with your posse, we learn a lot from and about each other strolling the aisles of Southern Season. They simply burst with known temptations, as well as those you’ll want to meet. Whether visiting the Southern Season outpost in RVA, Chapel Hill or Charleston, it’s the perfect destination for a girls’ bonding day.


September 29, 2014

Our Favorite Fall Fragrances

Even though Autumn may not be my favorite of the seasons, the natural fragrances wafting through the air this time of year definitely redeem it. In fact, any of the following aromas delivers a surge of happiness that almost makes the shortening days palatable. These scents trigger powerful memories of special times that I welcome with every inhale.

Wood-burning Fires Escaping Chimneys

The first time I walk outside on a chilly fall evening and catch a whiff of a neighbor’s burning fire, I imagine fashionable neighbors lounging in front of beautiful hearths like these.

HouseBeautiful fireplace

The sharp fragrance so vivid in the crisp air recalls campfires of youth and Thanksgiving Day walks with family. I also visualize the playroom of my teenage years where I hosted slumber parties in front of a blazing fire.

Tea Olive (Osmanthus)

I finally caught the first seasonal hint of one of my favorite sweet-smelling plants in the southern garden last week. The tiny buds on a couple of local hedges are just starting to open,

tea olive blossoms © The Gracious Posse

but don’t put your nose too close. The clean scent that fills the streets and alleys of Charleston this time of year are best captured from a bit of a distance.

tea olive hedge © The Gracious Posse

One sniff takes me back to my college days in Athens, Georgia, where I first befriended Ellen, and conjures mental snapshots from those halcyon years. Because Richmond’s Zone 7 is on the outer edge of the tea olive’s natural growing environment, I don’t get too many opportunities to find this scent. When I do, I slow way down and absorb the happy memories.

Baking Apples

There is nothing like walking into a home filled with the smell of baking apples. How can you not be filled with nasal nostalgia? Honeycrisps have become my favorite local apple variety for baking in both savory and sweet dishes.

Honeycrisp Apple Crisp © The Gracious Posse

They may not be the prettiest but despite the often mottled skin, they provide the best sweet bite that you can find in these parts and retain their essence when heated.

Honeycrisp Apple Crisp © The Gracious Posse

While I was writing this post, I couldn’t resist whipping up a simple apple crisp and filling our home with the sweet smell of honeycrips and cinnamon. Fortunately this recipe (below) tastes as good as it smelled. Convinced that leaving the peel on the apples and having oatmeal and pecans in the ingredients makes this a healthy treat/dessert/breakfast, I am looking forward to whipping it up throughout the season.


My first Bourbon adventures were accompanied by Coco-Cola. Back in the days when a girl’s obligation on the day-long football date was to carry a purse that could hide a flask amongst its detritus, drinking Bourbon and Cokes kept us warm and happy as we cheered on our beloved Bulldawgs. One sniff of this Southern liquor takes me back to Sanford Stadium in a flash.

Bulldawg stadium

Sometimes I will open a bottle of Jim Beam just to get a whiff and recall with awe and wonder the ‘Dawgs magical 1980 national championship season, which Ellen and I were blessed to witness.

Bourbon Honey Bundt Cake © The Gracious Posse

Just last week I found another way to inhale this brown liquid that has become the darling of the small-batch drinking crowd. What could be better than a Bourbon Honey Bundt Cake (recipe below) at a tailgate? With just a hint of bourbon aroma in both the cake and the glaze, it travels well for out-of-town games. We’ve already added it to our Tried and True Recipes Pinterest board.

Your Turn

Please tell us about your favorite Fall fragrances. We’ve no doubt missed some posse favorites. I expect a lot of them involve cooking and baking but wonder what other surprises you’ll have for us.


September 26, 2014

Honeycrisp Apple Crisp
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  1. 2 1/2 pounds medium Honeycrips apples (about 5), cored, thinly sliced and rough chopped
  2. 2 T granulated sugar
  3. 3/4 t ground cinnamon
  4. 1/4 t fine salt
  5. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  6. 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
  7. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 4 T cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces, plus more for coating baking dish
  9. 1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 350° and lightly coat a 2 quart baking dish with butter.
  2. Combine the apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl and toss to coat. Spoon the apple mixture in the prepared baking dish and set aside.
  3. Using the same bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt until combined. With your fingertips or a pastry cutter, blend in the butter pieces until small clumps form and the butter is well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add pecans or walnuts, if desired. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.
  4. Place dish on middle rack of oven and bake until the streusel is crispy and the apples are tender, 50 - 60 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Moore from Katie
Adapted from Moore from Katie
The Gracious Posse http://thegraciousposse.com/
Bourbon Honey Bundt Cake
Perfect tailgate addition
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For cake
  1. ¾ cup sugar
  2. 6 T unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for buttering pan
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups less 1 Tbs flour
  5. 1½ t baking powder
  6. ½ tsp salt
  7. ¼ cup local honey
  8. 2/3 cup milk at room temperature
  9. 1/3 cup bourbon, whisky or amber rum
  10. ¾ cup chopped pecans
For glaze
  1. ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  2. 2 T water
  3. ¼ cup local honey
  4. ¼ cup sugar
  5. ¼ cup (60 ml) bourbon, whiskey or amber rum
  6. ¼ tsp salt
To make cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 8 ½ inch Bundt pan liberally and sprinkle pecans evenly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Combine the milk, bourbon and honey in a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add 1/3 of flour mixture and beat in, then add half of the liquid mixture and beat well. Add another third of flour, blend in and add remaining liquid mixture and beat well again. Then add final third of flour mixture and beat until fully combined.
  5. Gently spoon the batter into prepared Bundt pan on top of pecans. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning the Bundt cake out of the pan so that nut side is up. Cool on a wire rack while making the syrup glaze.
To make glaze
  1. Put all the ingredients for the syrup in a small pot and heat until boiling. Allow to boil for a few minutes until it reduces slightly. Turn off heat and let cool for a few minutes before beginning to glaze cake.
To apply glaze
  1. Place warm cake either on a rack or a piece of parchment or foil in a pan or plate with sides to catch the glaze that doesn’t soak in immediately. Drizzle or brush the syrupy glaze, a little at a time, over all top, sides and inside of cake. Continue to brush on the glaze over a about an hour or more, allowing the syrup to slowly soak into and infuse the cake with the bourbon and honey scent and flavor.
Adapted from Life's a Feast
Adapted from Life's a Feast
The Gracious Posse http://thegraciousposse.com/