First things first...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 community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.
I. Really. Like. Paisley. I wanted a paisley tablecloth...and I couldn't find one that I thought would work for me. One day, while trolling around on eBay, I happened to try a search for Russian Wool Scarves. Bingo! I found a wonderful, extremely large 72" x 72", paisley wool scarf that was just what I visualized. It was located in Australia, and a few weeks later, I was ready to design my table with my new paisley cloth. Let's hear it for thinking outside the box!
Periodically, I like to invite just a few close friends to share a meal and spend some quality fellowship time. Today there were five of us, so the game table in the living room was a good choice for our luncheon. Although I didn't have the extra time that I would need to create a floral centerpiece, the marvelous color palate of fresh fruits available during the fall season was perfect against the vibrant colors of the paisley wool scarf. The black tole container, a $10.00 estate sale find, mimicked the black border and fringe on the scarf. The antique Barley Twist candlesticks were purchased at a local antiques store, Nottinghill Antiques. www.nottinghillokc.com. I often place a couple of crystal decanters on my tables filled with water, wine, or tea. My guests can refill their glasses with ease, and the reflective value of the crystal is always a desirable design element.
I've always been fond of optic crystal with its vertical lines that appear to dance when set against candlelight. These goblets were my mother's; they are Mikasa "Stephanie Gold." The napkins are Madeira, and they are another of the sets that belonged to our precious Nana. For today, I used my everyday stainless flatware, Towle "Antique Bead." Do you see the three candles on the refectory table behind the corduroy striped chairs? They are part of a number of styles from Fringe Studio. www.fringestudio.com. Tip: I usually purchase them in multiples...when I have finished burning the candles, I then have a nice group of small vases to use down the center of a table as my centerpieces. They are so pretty! On one occasion, I ran across the Fringe Studio candles at Tuesday Morning.
I'm a huge fan of luncheon plates! Most English manufacturers made 9" - 9 1/2" luncheon plates. Luncheon plates from French companies are more likely to be 8" - 8 1/2". Tip: When you serve on a luncheon plate, you can easily use a dinner plate as a service plate. This increases your options exponentially. Today I used a cranberry glass dinner plate as a service plate. They were an estate sale find for $3.00 each. Woohoo! My luncheon plate is Copeland Spode "Peacock," an eBay purchase. I love the contrast of the blue against the vibrancy of the corals and oranges in the paisley wool scarf.
Sometimes I just get lucky with my tablescape designs. It was serendipitous good fortune that my tablescape worked well with the McGuire Regency Rattan Screen inset with coral Fortuny Silk and our black lacquer baby grand piano. This day, I looked like a much better designer than I actually am. I also liked the color connection between the green apples and the Wicker Works "Balustrade" green crystal lamps on the unsealed marble refectory table.
Today I'm serving a Salad Trio: Tarragon Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, and Fresh Fruit Salad accompanied by Croissants with Honey Butter. For dessert I've prepared my mama's recipe for Brandy Ice. There's the doorbell; my friends are arriving. I hope to include you at my table some day. Let me know if you pass my way! There will be a chair waiting for you right next to me!
6 oz. Brandy
1 oz. Crème d'cocoa
1 oz. Drambuie
1 oz. Triplesec
Mix combined liquors with 1/2 gallon premium ice cream, about a third at a time in a blender. Freeze at least overnight. If you put the half gallon of Brandy Ice back into the original plastic ice cream container, you can tie it with a bow, and it makes a great Christmas gift to exchange with friends. This is my mama's recipe. I now follow my mama's tradition and give a half gallon container of Brandy Ice to my friends for their Christmas Eve dinner. It's always a hit.
You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube. I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen. You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site. The girl can really write! Her latest CD is called "Orchid."
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.