See below for details and pricing.
This month, I chose to take a ‘staycation’ on the Cape. Although I will always feel passionate about traveling, taking up golf and enjoying my new life as a full time Cape Cod resident has made a compelling argument to stay close to home. Here, my husband and I have found an easy happiness, thanks to welcoming neighbors, a bolstered social life, and a more active lifestyle. Now, we are able to enjoy the ocean, take advantage of the many amazing restaurants throughout the upper Cape, and of course, practice our golf swings.
Golf was always a popular sport with the men in my family, but I had never tried my hand at it until recently. Seeing my husband’s excitement over the strong golf community and the amazing facilities at Willowbend moved me to pick up a club for the first time. Boy, did I love it! I love the high level of precision required, the mental challenges encountered, and the balance of an individualistic sport in a highly social atmosphere. It’s difficult, but extremely fun.
As I delved into golf’s complex world of rules, terms, and practices, I found a surprising number of similarities to certain aspects of the jewelry business.
Comparisons can be made between the golfer and the stone marker. A golfer looks at a specific fairway or green and decides on the optimal course of action before they are ready to swing, noting the location of the rough. Similarly, a stone marker examines each stone and marks it with an intricate roadmap before the rough stone is ready to be cut.
Like the golfer reading the green, the stone marker and cutter must plan, evaluate, and examine the terrain at hand. Both must determine the best route to achieve their goal. The golfer strives to get the ball in the hole while the marker attempts to obtain the best shape, color, and clarity of say, a diamond, while maintaining the highest weight possible. With diamonds, weight is very important, and computer imaging, lasers, and advancements in measurements are all used to achieve the maximum yield.
See below for details and pricing.
Marking and cutting stones requires a great deal of precision, much like mapping the perfect golf swing.
Little decisions have large impacts in both cases. A miscalculated swing results in a less favorable scorecard, while cutting away too many or too few inclusions dramatically affects the value of the diamond. In this way, clarity and weight push and pull against each other. Both the marker and cutter must have great expertise in order to attain the perfect balance.
An interesting diversion from the norm is the slice. In golf, a slice is a ball that curves to the left or to the right at a greater degree than a fade. Hitting a slice can be disadvantageous to your overall score.
While the slice has a negative connotation in golf, it’s all the rage in stone cutting at the moment. Diamond slices are currently in vogue; appreciated for their unique internal characteristics unseen in a faceted diamond. This cut allows the natural properties of the stone to shine, highlighting organic patterns and colors and the natural opaqueness of the rough stone.
So there you have it.
The interesting and unexpected connection between an established passion (jewelry) and a new one (golf). By the way, if you do find yourself on the course, make sure to cap off all your hard work with a celebratory cocktail and snack. The Clubhouse Cucumber-Mint Gimlet (thanks, Martha Stewart!) paired with my special Grand Slam nut mix is sure to make your 19th hole a success.
Courtesy of Martha Stewart
FOR THE CUCUMBER GIN
2 1/2 cups diced, peeled cucumber
4 1/2 cups gin
FOR THE MINT SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup mint leaves
FOR THE GIMLET
4 1/2 cups Cucumber Gin (or 2 ounces)
2 1/4 cups fresh lime juice (or 1 ounce)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Mint Simple Syrup (or 1/2 ounce)
Cucumber peels, for garnish
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Make cucumber gin: Steep 2 1/2 cups diced, peeled cucumber in 4 1/2 cups gin, covered and chilled, 8 hours to 4 days (or 1/2 cup cucumber in 1 cup gin). Strain; store indefinitely in the refrigerator.
Make mint simple syrup: Heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water over medium-high heat, stirring until dissolved. Add 1 cup mint leaves; remove from heat. Cover; steep 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain; discard mint. Refrigerate up to 2 months.
To make gimlet: In a 2-quart pitcher, stir gin, lime juice, and syrup. Refrigerate. To serve, pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and divide among ice-filled 10-ounce glasses. (For a single drink, mix in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake.) Garnish each with cucumber peel and mint.
Grand Slam Glazed Red Pepper and Fennel Almonds
Makes 1 cup
Non stick vegetable oil spray
2 t fennel seeds
1 t dried crushed red pepper
1 t salt
1 cup whole almonds
1 T water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a heavy baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick oil. Combine sugar, fennel seeds, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Mix in almonds and 1 tablespoon of water.
Spread mixture in prepared pan in single layer. Bake until sugar melts and almonds are a deep golden brown, stirring often , about 22 minutes. Separate almonds with a fork and cool.