Unexpected combinations. One of the things I love about letting friends play with my dishes is that they come up with combinations I would never have dreamed of — and I mean this in a good way. While I was out, my friend Debbie, who has such flair, surprised me by pulling together casual dishes for a very festive-looking table for lunch around the Christmas holiday.
Layer your table for an interesting look. I guess it’s obvious by now that I really like to use layer after layer, whether it’s in the table linens or the tableware. These turkey plates were so fun that I couldn’t resist them, but they were more of a salad size than a dinner plate. No problem. I placed them on top of plain white china with a gold rim. Salad first, meal next. The small paisley plates had all the autumn colors, so they served as dessert plates. The stark white plates didn’t look good against the cream lace tablecloth, so I put the bronze satin quilted placemats on as a buffer. A suedecloth pumpkin placemat gave the flower arrangement a nice platform. The gold flatware pulled it all together. Shriek! I’m missing the glasses!
Let your colors reflect the season. My cousin Will flew into Oklahoma for a very short visit. We had just one evening to do dinner with him and it was a weeknight during a brutal work week just a few days before Easter. We had beautiful spring weather outside, so Michael took on his grillmaster duties and did a rack of lamb and beef tenderloin. Cousin Steve coated fresh asparagus with olive oil and lemon pepper and grilled those on the gas grill. I made Tomatoes Grecian Style and a big salad and served some sliced cantaloupe with a sprinkling of blueberries and mint. The flowers were definitely the star of this table. We brought the outside inside with irises, peonies and tulips and used mixed plates for the dinnerware. It was a lovely get-together and the table looked quite spring-y!
WE WISH YOU . . . Can you tell it’s Christmas? We had had a party for a few friends the night before, so I had a head start. One of the guests had requested that I make a Mexican corn dip recipe that I got from CC. I had made two versions, hot and spicy one and the mild one. You I don’t consider it gracious hosting to put your guest in pain. More strawberries and dip. Gorgeous vegetables. A little height, added by the red amaryllis and the toll bowl for the scoops to use with the corn dip. Crackers in their little nests, and in the bottom right-hand corner my famous smoked tuna spread. (I’m not sure why I call it MY famous smoked tuna spread. Thank you, Betty Johnson, for finally coughing up this recipe!)
What’s wrong with this picture?
Beautiful table, wonderful food, all ready for great friends, but I realized too late that the flower arrangement was way too big to use as a centerpiece. It looked great with the colors, but, sadly, I had to set it aside on the buffet and go without. When you make a centerpiece, or have one made, the best options are either long and low or tall and slender. Anything else obstructs the view and interferes with conversation. You don’t want to miss something, do you?