Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Faux Thanksgiving

This tablescape began because I decided I wanted to use a different tablecloth this year for Thanksgiving.  I only host Thanksgiving every other year.  This year is my year for the entire family to come to the house for the holiday. Last year, everyone went to their respective in-laws. So, there will be 11 adults (my  hubby and me, four daughters and four sons-in-law and my cousin who always joins in the fun and is indispensable for her chocolate silk pie and making the turkey gravy just before dinner starts!). There will also be 8 grandchildren this year (since baby Gianna Rose made her appearance 7 months ago!)  Anyway, I decided I wanted to "change things up a bit" and went searching for a brown and orange plaid tablecloth to go with my Friendly Village Johnson Bros.  plates.   You can see last year's table here.

Have you discovered that once it gets into November there is VERY LITTLE around that resembles fall?  Red and green dominate the stores.  I checked around and finally found the plaid cloth I wanted in Macy's.  Except, when I got it home I discovered only the EDGE was plaid and the main part of the cloth covering the table was actually solid burgundy in color!  So......I opened up the table with its four leaves and decided a "dry run" was needed to see if my dishes and this new cloth would be compatible.  So, you will be looking at the dress rehearsal for my Thanksgiving Day table.


Here's How It Was Created:

I started with my new tablecloth, with a bit of trepidation because it looked so dark and my previous tablecloths have been cream or gold. Sorry I isn't pressed it yet; afterfall, this is a practice run!

My dish stack starts with a silver charger.  This is actually quite a switch for me. I usually use my brown wicker patterned chargers with my Thanksgiving dishes, but they just seemed too dark against the burgundy; I tried my gold chargers, too, but they added another color and it was confusing.  The silver chargers especially fit because I knew I'd be using my late mother-in-law's silverplate flatware for the first time and the silver chargers would tie this together.

Next came my treasured Friendly Village plates. I was pleasantly surprised that the accent color on the plates was not as red as I first thought and actually reflected the burgundy color of my new tablecloth! This new look may just work!!

My salad plate was the next addition.  The colors are not as bright as they are in person, but I hope you can see that this combination just might be successful!

I've always loved the square shape of these salad plates: Johnson Bros. was doing this long before the square-shaped plate became so popular!

To top off the stack I placed the napkins that match the tablecloth.  At first I had chosen cream-colored napkins when I thought the whole cloth was plaid, but when I realized the cloth had a solid-colored center, I went back to the store and got the matching plaid napkins. The look was much better.  I used my horn-o' plenty napkin rings that have been part of my Thanksgiving decorations for many years!

The place setting is completed with my Friendly Village goblets;  a placecard holder made from a pinecone and a faux fall leaf that will eventually hold the name of the guest (I got this idea from another blog; I'm sorry to say I can't remember which one, but in my comment I mentioned to the blogger that I would be "borrowing" her idea and was very grateful.  If anyone knows where the idea came from, please let me know so I can acknowledge this creative person).  The most honored item on this year's Thanksgiving table is the silverplate flatware that belonged to my mother-in-law who passed away last year and left a huge gaping hole in the fabric of our family. The pattern is from the 1847 Rogers Bros. Silverplate Collection, and the pattern name is Heritage. I wish it had photographed better.  I hope you can appreciate the delicate pattern!  I absolutely LOVE it and am proud to have it as a part of our family gatherings.

The centerpiece is placed on two placemats that I purchased at the same time as the tablecloth.  I topped these placemats with my ceramic leaf bowl my hubby purchased for me at the Knott's Berry Farm's gift shop! I filled it with faux gourds, pinecones and leaves.  I nestled it on a faux wreath from Michael's.  Alongside the bowl are Pilgrim candlesticks that I've had for so long, I can't remember where I got them!  I also added two votive candle holders for some extra sparkle.

The accent pieces on the table include two of the serving bowls from the Friendly Village Collection and the ever-present cut glass celery dish from my Grandmother.  This dish is on the family table at every holiday!!

So, some fall leaf scatter on the table, and I do believe the table is complete! I will probably remove the centerpiece (except for the candles) so that the "feast" can be placed on the table, but I am so happy I have a new look for my Thanksgiving table.  It wasn't what I was looking for, but it has turned out to be a happy surprise at how well my new tablecloth and napkins complement my favorite Johnson Bros. dishes!  I'm glad I did a practice run and didn't just return the tablecloth after opening it up!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, dear Readers, and thank you for viewing my trial run.  Now I just have to press the tablecloth and wash the dishes and glasses since they've been in storage!

I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net
and Christine's Table It! Link Party at www.rustic-refined.com
Thank you, ladies, for giving us a place to share our special tables!

If you'd like to become a follower, please go to the top of my blog, fill in your email address where indicated, and hit "Submit".

I love your comments.  Your encouragement is always appreciated!     Thanks, Rosie

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In Honor of the Bundt Pan!

Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen issued a challenge to celebrate National Bundt Day on Nov. 15th.  Who knew such a day existed?

I approached this challenge with some anxiety.  I am NOT a baker.  But, I do like to participate in Kathleen's challenges, so I looked around the kitchen, saw some VERY ripe bananas and checked out Google to see if a recipe for Banana Bundt Cake existed.  The first one I found looked perfect: I had almost all the ingredients (just needed some sour cream) and the instructions weren't difficult.

This is my Bundt Pan.  It replaced one I had had for many, many years and I especially like it because it is silicone coated, and NOTHING sticks to it!  I've actually only used it once before, so I'm glad it will be getting some use!

Fast forward to now when the cake is in the oven and I'm looking around my kitchen remembering why I don't bake:  there are bowls and utensils everywhere and batter  is splattered on everything! (I also can't find the cap for the vanilla! I hope it's not in the cake!!)  I don't have a standing mixer, so I used my hand mixer and batter would spit out whenever I added an ingredient.  Also, there is too much Math involved in baking! Fractions were never my strong suit and doubling or halving quantities throws me into a sweat!  And, bottom line, there is no margin for error.  With a pot roast, I can add water or serve extra ketchup if the recipe has issues, but in baking, the components will either blend together and create something scrumptious, or all of my efforts will have been for naught!  I'll be back in 25 minutes...........

Well, it does smell good around here.  I've set a table for a breakfast tea.  The menu will consist of Banana Bundt Cake, assorted teas, and orange juice.  I will offer coffee, but that will be served directly from the coffee pot.

Here'e My Table:

Here's How It Was Created:

I started with the reverse side of a placemat I bought last year at Pier One.

My dessert plate as well as the serving pieces for this table were actually my first set of everyday dishes after I got married.  The pattern is Cafe Classico and it was made by Nancy Calhoun.  These dishes were purchased at the Pottery Shack, a wonderful store in Laguna Beach, CA. It has since closed, but I have found plates in this pattern on Replacements. com.  I have since changed my everyday dishes to Polish Pottery, but these dishes are still a favorite of mine. I love the colors and cheery pattern of flowers!

My place setting is a simple one since this is a very simple meal.  The setting is completed with new napkins I found at HomeGoods (and just knew I'd find a use for them!)  and white porcelain napkin rings I found while antiquing.  I thought the rose design would go well with the runner I used for the centerpiece.  The flatware is my go-to set from Mikasa, called Regent Bead.  The mug is from the Cafe Classico collection.  The juice glasses were found at a swapmeet; I love the ladybug accent with the green leaves!

The centerpiece starts with a Tea Towel I found while visiting the Lincoln Library in Springfield, IL. (If you have the opportunity to visit this landmark, please do.  It is interesting and inspiring!)  I LOVE the design on this towel and especially enjoy one of Lincoln's quotes which is printed on it.  It says, "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."  A fitting thought for all of us who can use a sense of optimism at times.  A pitcher for orange juice and a teapot from the Cafe Classico collection sit alongside the honoree at this table:  my HOMEMADE Banana Bundt Cake!

Accent pieces on the table consist of a cake knife and server from HomeGoods and the sugar and creamer from the Cafe Classico collection.

The recipe came from http://rasamalaysia.com/banana-bundt-cake-recipe.  I followed it exactly, except I did add 1/2 C. of chopped walnuts and 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate morsels.

I have to say, this cake is moist and delicious. I sprinkled the top with Confectioner's Sugar and felt it was more than sweet enough.  All in all, this challenge was fun to complete.  It put me out of my comfort zone because I didn't use a cake mix, but  I do feel I succeeded!! (And the kitchen got a really good cleaning when I was done!!!)  I'm so glad I had a chance to use my former everyday dishes. I had forgotten how much I like them.  Happy National Bundt Day........

I'll be linking up to Kathleen's National Bundt Day Challenge at www.cuisinekathleen.com,
                               Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net and
                                Christine's Table It! Link Party at www.rustic-refined.com
Be sure and visit these sites to enjoy all the creativity and lovely tables; especially as the holidays approach!!

I love to read your comments.  They really do make this hobby so much fun.

If you'd like to become a follower, just go to the top of my blog, fill in you email address where indicated, and it "Submit"!  Thanks......