Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good Stuff & Tables for Two with Marlis @ Creative Journeys

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. 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.

Marlis @ CREATIVE JOURNEYS and I have long wanted to design a "Tables for Two" using the Schumann china that we both enjoy so much.  It just seemed perfect for a Valentine's celebration, and I was also hosting a birthday luncheon for my dear friend today.

  Early in my marriage, I always saved my good china, "the good stuff" for important occasions and usually for dinners only...not luncheons. With that in mind, Question:  What can we do to make the "good stuff" suitable for use any time of the day?  

 Tidbit:  This time I decided to pair a whimsical ticking striped tablecloth with my fou fou  china.  An extremely inexpensive eBay find, I love the tone that this cloth set.  Do you have other ideas to make your "good stuff" more versatile?

  Anchoring my place setting is the MARYLAND CHINA CO. Bernadotte Charger Plate.  I have searched for affordable, good looking white chargers for a long time, and I happened across this company on line.  They primarily manufacture a variety of white patterned blanks to market to china painters.  Their prices are reasonable, and the quality of the plate is good.  Click on the link and check them out for yourself.

Cast in the starring role as leading lading is the Schumann Empress Dresden Flower Dinner Plate.  Several years ago, I scored a "deal of the century" on a service for 10 in this gorgeous vintage pattern, and I've added additional pieces here and there.  I always imagine that Marie Antoinette might have enjoyed dining on this pattern...or not...Marie and I were never really that close.

Acting as an "extra" in the ensemble, I used the Haviland Ranson Schleiger #1 Luncheon Plate just to add an extra spark of white to the stack...to frame the...

  ...Empress Dresden Flower Accent Plate, a.k.a. salad plate.  The accent plate would eventually...

 ...host our Nana's antique French crystal compote and under plate...

 ...the perfect prop for our first course...Strawberry Soup.  Are you reading "whimsy", yet?

I had fun with a number of small details today...a supporting cast, if you will...

She she china screams for she she silver...Reed & Barton's Francis I.  The individual salt cellar is also Dresden Flower.  I found them in an antiques store.

Our Nana's given name was Minnie Adeline.  I adore this antique linen napkin with its monogrammed organdy insert from her collection.  Today they are held with the Coalport Countryware Napkin Ring.

The Empress Reticulated Ramekin was placed on the table to hold butter for each guest.

As long as I was playing with some of the "good stuff", I chose to use two of my wedding crystal goblets...

...The Lalique Treves Goblet was used for wine,...

...The Lalique Angel Flute held Mimosas, served as we took our seats.

The angel face carved at the base of the bowl is such a special touch for this goblet.  If I had to choose all over again, I'd still choose this piece.

...And as always, the Waterford Simply Pink Goblet gives another strong performance in this ensemble cast.

 Holding court in the centerpiece is the Rosenthal Sansoucci Tureen, an estate sale find, surrounded by a quartet of...

 ...classic Lenox Urns filled with a variety of blooms from my concierge florist...Sam's Warehouse, of course!

A single pink heart in each arrangement is the lone reference to Valentine's Day.  Instead, I told my seasonal story with color.  The lacy mercury glass votives added a spot of shine when lighted.

After our Strawberry Soup, I served  Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto.  It was accompanied by a Spinach Salad and Hot Bread.  Dessert was my mama's Brandy Ice.

As snow flakes steadily fell outside, we dined and visited long into the afternoon.  It was a marvelous winter day for fellowship with dear friends.  I would dearly love to create a table for you if you happen to pass my way!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday is the 48th edition of Cuisine Kathleen's meme, "LET'S DISH".  I'm excited to be a charter member.  Pop over (pun intended for the Chef Supreme Kathleen) and join the fun!

Lots of great ideas to be gathered when you visit Yvonne at Stone Gable forTUTORIALS, TIPS, & TIDBITS.  Don't waste another moment...hurry on over!  
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 THURSDAYS."   Hop on over and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 10:00 AM on Thursdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.

I always enjoy February as we begin to pass from winter and anticipate Spring.  How about you?  With thankfulness for her dedication and efforts (even in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy), I'm joining the multi-talented Tablescaper for her fabulous meme  SEASONAL SUNDAYS.  Hope to see you there! 

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 "The Tag Hollow Sessions""  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!             



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