Setting the table just because…

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… I felt like doing so, even though I was only serving roast beef, green beans and homemade rolls for dinner:

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Peeling off the layers:

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The rose sprigs are Baby Blanket from Jackson Perkins.  They are groundcover roses that have vigorously blossomed this year:

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The centerpiece was quickly assembled from my Italian brass pheasants on a framed picture that I haven’t hung on the wall, fluffed up with a bit of English Ivy from the front yard.  You will notice that you have probably seen the tablecloth before.  I don’t have a large repertoire of tablecloths.  The tablecloth you see is actually my quilt that has appeared “The Quilter”:

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Let’s get started with our comfort food dinner before everything turns cold, shall we?

Thanks for stopping by – Have yourself a lovely day, won’t you?  Blessing to you all!

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A Flowery Wedding Tablescape

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show-and-tell

I had the privilege to help plan the tablescape for a wedding reception, and enjoyed it tremendously.

The guests “checked in” by referring to the seating chart that indicated at which table they were seated:

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wedding2[Silver chargers topped with menu cards with a “Who’s Who” section on the members of the wedding party greeted the guests when they entered the room.]

Instead of placecards, names of guests were done by calligraphy (by yours truly) on the menu cards for a different touch:

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My favorite part of the entire preparation was being able to do all the floral arrangements for the occasion. I don’t have a green thumb by any stretch of the imagination, but I sure love to do fresh floral arrangements!

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The following are flowers at the head table. You notice my Belleek Parian China children are showing off themselves:

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Yours truly interpreted the embroidery on the bride’s dress for the baker to  personalize the cake in a special way:

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Cones of petal confetti used to welcome the newlyweds also graced the table to create a sense of continuity:

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It was a lovely occasion, and a grand time was enjoyed by all.

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Thank you for stopping by – I hope you have a lovely day!

Setting the table for simple pleasures

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Setting the table is one of my most enjoyed simple pleasures of life:

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On a particular afternoon, I started setting the table for the company of my family — another simple pleasure:

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I used my “Simple Pleasures” quilt to dress up the table:

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Nothing too fancy, I just used my Spode Blue Italian, mixed in with a bit of Johnson Brothers Heritage White:

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We were having Chinese-style stuffed buns. So I included the teapot for green tea at the table:

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A great time was had by all! Thank you for stopping by – I hope you enjoy your Thursday – may your day be blessed with many simply pleasures!

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Spice Lentil Soup for a cold spring night

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Easter this year was cold, wet and rainy for us. Plans to don springy short-sleeve dresses for church were discarded. Instead we wore long coats on top of our winter clothing…  and a spice lentil soup was served for dinner that night:

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Following are a few shots of the simple springy tablescape I managed to put out. I actually did a bit of mix-and-match (*gasp*)! I mixed my Spode Blue Room pieces with the Royal Albert Lady Carlyle because I thought the busy quilt I have used as a tablecloth was drowning out the Lady Carlyle:

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***

1/2 pound Italian sausage, crumbled, casing removed

1/2 cup diced onion

1/3 cup barley

3 cloves galic

3 quarts chicken stock

1 cup lentils

1 while chicken breast, uncooked

1/2 cup parlsey, chopped

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans and juice

1/2 or 1 pound fresh or forzen spinach

1 jar (12 oz) medium salsa

1. Brown sausage, onion, barley and garlic together in skillet. Remove and place in bottom of slow cooker or large stock pot.

2. Add the chicken stock, lentils, uncooked chicken breast and parsley. Simmer for as long as you desire or until the lentils are tender.

3. Remove chicken breast, discarding bone and cartilage. Shred meat and return to cooker.

4. Add beans, spinach and salsa to soup mixture; heat through.

***

Nothing compliments the soup better than some hot biscuits!!

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A baby girly tablescape

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show-and-tell

Coming up with an all baby girlish look was fun for me. The conventional “pink for baby girl” color scheme was easy with the Royal Albert Lady Carlyle pieces I already have. I added the silver tea service for a slight contrast:

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A baby party would not be complete without petit fours decorated with baby booties, in this case pink. I also added the white cupcakes decorated with pink and lavender flowers to match the Lady Carlyle bouquets:

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A cake (though not consumed by the baby) personalized with baby’s monogram added a touch of special-ness:

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A fruit salad topped with a pacifier for a fun touch:

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At the other end of the table are various heirloom lovelies that belong to the baby —

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A less formal setup in another room for the little people:

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Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had enjoyed my baby girl tablescape.

A few of my favorite THANKSGIVING things

I always thought that Thanksgiving is the perfect way to wrap up the autumn season. By the next Show-and-Tell hosted by Kelli, many of us will be having our “second or third Thanksgiving feast” with the leftovers.

Here are a few of my favorite things leading up to Thanksgiving:

1. The foliage

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2. Home Decorating

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3. The Food

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4. The books

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5. And of course, the dishes and tablesetting

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Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone. I wish you a safe travel for those who will be traveling, and most of all, a BLESSED celebration for all of you and your loved ones!

Dish-aholic Part 7: Old World Charm

Ellen had commented about my turkey platter in my “Turkey-scape” show-and-tell last week. I thought I would show you how it looks like without the “load”:

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It is made out of a “pewter”-looking propriety material. Here are some other pieces made of the same material that I use for serving purposes:

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I especially like using these serving pieces during Thanksgiving time because they hearken back to the bygone era of early America where pewterware was common to many. Following are some excerpts of pewter history in the Colonial time by The Pewter Collector’s Club of America:

“The history of pewter in America goes back to the early colonial period. Though pewter was then considered to be somewhat of a luxury item, it had made its appearance in Jamestown, Virginia by 1610, and in the New England area by the 1630s as newly arrived colonists brought pewter with them from their native England. At least five pewterers were active in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by 1640. These pewterers had trained in England under the strict auspices of The Worshipful Company of Pewterers, a powerful guild which so stringently regulated all aspects of the manufacture of pewter that English pewter was regarded as the finest made….

While the very poor used wooden utensils, most colonials who could afford it used pewter; and it came to be regarded as almost a symbol of gentility. Though pewter vessels cost only about one-tenth the price of silver, they were still fairly expensive since the cost of a dish or tankard equaled or exceeded what a skilled craftsman earned in a day….

More than 300 tons of English pewter were shipped to the American colonies annually in the 1760’s….

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries American pewter was made by casting the molten metal in molds which were usually made of brass or bronze. Molds were very expensive and immigrating pewterers often brought their molds with them from England and Germany. However molds were produced in America as well. These would then be passed down from generation to generation of pewterers. One tankard required five separate molds, one each for the body, bottom, handle, cover, and thumbpiece. Showing great ingenuity, pewterers often used one mold for a variety of purposes..”

I will have some time next week to bring out more pieces to add to the Old World feel to my fall decorations. I hope to take some pictures then to show you… meanwhile, I’d better get back to work! Thank you for stopping by my show-and-tell. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Won’t you join me…

One of the routines that I personally enjoy tremendously leading up to the holidays is putting up my spring/summer dishes in early October, and switch them out with my fall/holiday dishes.  I like to do this on a day when I am by myself, and enjoy the beauty of the different plates, cups and saucers etc. as I am switching them out.

Now that that is accomplished, and the weather is gradually getting nippy… won’t you join me for a bit of apple crisp (yes, we still haven’t gotten tired of the countless rounds of apple crisp I have been making, hahaha!) accompanied by something hot to drink, served in a fall theme?

Have a wonderful autumn weekend, everyone.  I will be back on Monday!

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Wiesbaden Napkin Fold

Some of you have asked me to demonstrate how to do this napkin fold:

It is called the “Wiesbaden” because this napkin fold adorns many dining tables in the beautiful resort town of Wiesbaden, Germany (from Linda Hetzer’s The Simply Art of Napkin Folding).

[I find that for the best presentation, you would have to use quality linen that has a bit of a “body” and is not too “limp”, or else your folds won’t stand up as nicely. For the “real” thing, I also press and starch my linen before performing the fold. I also found that a larger fork (Continental size) works and looks best.]

First, fold the napkin in half diagonally to form a triangle:

Fold up the bottom edge about 1-1/2 inches:

From the center, fold three one-inch pleates and insert the pleats in between the tines of the fork. There you have it – Simple, simple, simple!! You may choose to display the napkin with or without that “front” fold depending on from which direction you insert the pleats between the tines:

I hope you have enjoyed this short tutorial, and that it has given you some ideas for your Thanksgiving presentation this year!

Have a great day, everyone!

Autumn Tablescape

To get geared up for the fall season, I am showing you a few of my autumn tablescape pictures. Please keep in mind those pictures were taken before blogging, so you would have to excuse the quality of some (*grin*):

I have truly enjoyed reading the holiday traditions you have left on my giveaway post. I will be sharing between now and the holiday season the different traditions we have at my house – one of which is that we do not serve turkey at any other time during the year except during THANKSGIVING (or maybe Christmas). It makes it all the more special when we walk through the house on Thanksgiving Day and smell the turkey roasting deliciously in the oven!

I wish my bloggy friends in the Northern Hemisphere a very beautiful and safe autumn! Till next time! :)

Click the following links for more autumn tablescapes:

More Autumn Accoutrement

More Autumn Tablescape

Autumn Dessert Presentation

Click here if you are interested in the napkin presentation.

Easy Pesto

For some reason, I have recently started liking some white/cream simple china. I even found myself doing research on the internet looking to possibly add a set of plain white china. These are antique pieces that I had come across at a resale shop last year from the Johnson Brothers Heritage White collection:

Shown here are the Heritage White pieces on Spode Chargers used to serve a pesto dinner. I am rarely a “mix-and-match” person!!! What is happening to me?

To make the pesto, you need:

1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup firmly packed parsley sprigs with stems removed

1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts or almonds

1 large clove garlic, quartered

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

Shelled Uncooked Shrimp (optional)

Cooked pasta

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1. Combine basil leaves, parsley, cheese, nuts, garlic and salt in blender container or food processor bowl.

2. Cover and blend or process with several on-off turns until a paste forms.

3. Gradually add oil and blend or process to the consistency of soft butter.

4. In a separate pan, saute shrimp and tomatoes. Salt and/or pepper to taste.

5. Toss with cooked pasta and pesto.

6. Garnish with extra pesto and grated cheese.

7. Enjoy with warm bread! YUMMY!!

p.s. We have never planted vegetables. Thanks to my husband, we have a very mini vegetable garden patch. I had actually picked the leaves from the basil we have for my batch of pesto this time!!!!

Have a wonderful day everyone. I will be back again tomorrow!



Flower Power Continues…

I had told you that I would try to track down more pictures of the floral arrangements I had made for my brother’s wedding.  Thanks to my sister, here are some new ones –

1.  This is the centerpiece for the head table.  I wish there were some frontal shots, but I don’t:

2.  A nice shot of the pedestal floral arrangement for one of the guest tables:

Here are some pictures from the original Flower Power post:

I hope you have an exciting weekend ahead of you!