We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. As the harvest season approaches I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your area that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.
It's time for the Garden Friends to convene again after our summer hiatus. I am so blessed to have my treasured friends at my table again, and I am excited to begin another year of our Bible study. We have been gathering for twenty-three years. We have lifted each other in times of celebration, and we have held each other through seasons of sorrow for all these years. I can't imagine my world without these precious women, these mighty prayer warriors. Each September, our first meeting is strictly social; we enjoy catching up on each other's lives and sharing a meal. Today we are going to have brunch.
When I think of autumn, my mind travels to the deep rich colors of fall foliage. Although it is still relatively warm here, through the dining room windows, you can observe that the leaves are gradually beginning to change colors. I decided that the rich ruby tones of Copeland Spode, Tower Pink would add to the spectrum of fall colors still to come. These are the dishes that my mother-in-love used to serve daily meals to my Sweet Mr. and his brother and sister. We shared many a repast on these at her table, and I am blessed to shepherd them for a season.
The Tower Pink features a Gadroon Edge. I like the texture of the plate rim against the intricate design in Nana's old crochet tablecloth. Tip: When I first examined this cloth, after it came to abide with us, it was horribly stained. It was really unusable. In the 20's, most laundry detergents were lye based, and they were too harsh to use on fine linens; so women would try to spot clean them as much as possible. The results were often less than sparkling. That all changed when I happened upon an amazing product called "Vintage Soak." I buy it from The Antique House, www.antiquehouseokc.com. After washing the cloth and following the instructions, which includes soaking it in a bathtub with the Vintage Soak for up to 48 hours, this old cloth has a brand new life. It is now a pleasure to use it when entertaining family and friends.
The old King's Crown Ruby Flash goblets were also my mother-in-love's. She always used them with the Tower Pink. They are a great deal smaller than most current glassware, but they just seem so right for the Spode. The antique Ruby Glass bowl belonged to my Aunt Ida. I wanted to keep the flowers simple, and Sam's provided the mini white carnations and apple green daisy mums. Did you notice the silver stand lifting the centerpiece? When we were married, I think that just about every bride received a crystal coffee carafe positioned on a raised silver stand. Do you have one, too? Sweet Mr. and I have never drunk coffee, but I often use the silver stand for centerpieces. My stand-by Val St. Lambert crystal candlesticks add just the right degree of sparkle with a pair of Indiana Glass Ruby Glass footed compotes. One of them belonged to my MIL, and I found the match on eBay. Yippeeeeee!
Today there were sixteen of us for brunch. I often set a second table in the foyer, in close proximity to the dining room. I combined a square crochet table topper with crochet place mats to mimic the design for the dining table. The center piece is a vintage Paden City lidded compote floated between a pair of Aunt Ida's antique ruby glass candlesticks that I repurposed as floral containers. Tip: This table is actually one of my round wrought iron patio tables. I bring it in, add one of the 60" flip-top tabletops (firstname.lastname@example.org...if you wish to inquire)) and a 120" round, floor-length tablecloth, and voila...I have an extra dining table!
Today I used the breakfast room table to serve our brunch. The antique Luneville trivet covered with cherries was a gift from my little sister after a trip to Paris. The butter dish was my Mama's. We used it everyday when I was a little girl. Tip: The three-tiered tray is actually just an inexpensive set by Anchor Hocking . I can insert a chop plate, a dinner plate, and a salad plate from any pattern of china, and it becomes the perfect serving piece. I think that I bought it at Walmart for less than $20.00. The old cut-glass pitcher was Nana's. Today I filled it with orange juice.
The silver container with mini carnations is part of a group of Victorian Britannia Silver that belonged to my maternal grandmother. In its former life, it was a biscuit box. The plate rack holds Tower Pink breakfast plates. Tip: Choosing a luncheon or breakfast plate for food service will allow you to use most 10 1/2" - 11" dinner plates as charger plates...handy trick.
I think that I'm all ready for our brunch. I hear the doorbell. The Garden Friends are arriving, and they always contribute some delicious recipes for our feasts. I wonder if I'll remember to light the candles. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. I don't think anyone really notices...I need to remember to not sweat the small stuff.
And so another year begins for the Garden Friends. We'd love to have you join us. Let me know if you're going to be in my area. I want you to sit next to me!
Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, "Tablescape Thursday. I'll be linking my post to "Tablescape Thursday. Click on the button below to hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 9:00 pm on Wednesdays. You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.