Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall = Chicken Noodle Soup!

"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.

Each year when Fall saunters onto the plains, my mind quickly turns to the pleasure of friends gathered around my table sharing a simple but satisfying meal of homemade chicken noodle soup with crusty hot bread.  Today I invited the Garden Friends to join me for lunch after we finished our Bible idea of a perfect day.  Yesterday I prepared a table for 8 in the dining room, and early this morning I constructed my soup in the crock pot.

 Come on in and grab a seat.  

When I design my tables, there is usually one element that captures my attention and starts the ideas flowing.  Today inspiration came from the April Cornell Paisley tablecloth, an inexpensive eBay find.  I loved the addition of the pops of blue with the golds, browns, greens, and dusty corals found swirling through the paisley pattern.  I kept visualizing the floor of a forest in Autumn...a tapestry of fallen leaves proclaiming the splendor of Fall.

 I wanted a shot of strong blue at the base of my place setting.  I chose the Pottery Barn Outdoor Collection Cobalt Enamelware charger because...

 ...It was large enough to pair with the Maryland China Company Minuet charger...

 ....which I thought was the perfect frame for the Booth's Real Old Willow dinner plate.  Tidbit:  The Booth's Real Old Willow is an opaque Silicon China made in England between 1906 and 1981.  When the Booth factory went out of business, the pattern/mold was purchased by Royal Doulton.  Royal Doulton made The Majestic Collection, Real Old Willow as a translucent fine china pattern from 1982 until 1999.  The Royal Doulton version is still widely available on the secondary market.  The original Booth's can  also be found in several variations of the lattice pattern on the verge, but not in the same abundance.

  I placed the white charger behind the Real Old Willow because it made the design pop against the busy pattern in tablecloth.

  Look at the motif in bottom right of the picture.  Can you see the blue outline cozied up next to the white paisley with the brown accents?  Now look at the plate and the stack.  The designs played well together and became the source of my inspiration.  The brown handled flatware came from Howchow.

 I always enjoy using the AJKA Arabella cobalt wine goblet.  It's a perfect size, and its superb balance makes it a pleasure to hold.  Tidbit:  AJKA is the source for some of Waterford's most lovely cased crystal.  It is a quality crystal available at relative reasonable prices.  Today I have paired it with the Vietri Optic Smoke goblet.

I began building my centerpiece with a trio of blue and white import lidded jars from Nell Hill in Kansas City.  I elevated them each on oriental wooden stands.

Three pair of antique Barley Twist candlesticks continued my Fall forest story line....think tree trunks!  The burlap and twig pumpkins and the meandering fall leaves garlands, found on sale at Michael's, continued my vision of a forest floor in Autumn and added an interesting texture.

  Can you hear the leaves crunching under you feet, yet?  Pondside, I keep thinking about you on your beloved island, walking through your beautiful woods.  As you embark on your amazing adventure to China, I hope you'll tell us if the Chinese have an opportunity to walk on crunchy Fall leaves, too.

I captured some candlelight shots last night...

 and for those of you who have inquired about the dining room crystal cabinets...

 My wedding crystal, Lalique Treves, Rosenthal Iris, and Lalique Angel Flutes, and Waterford Simply Amethyst....

 Nana's Lalique Palm Frond tumblers (my name...I don't know the real name.), Nana's antique French crystal champagnes, tumblers, and wine goblets....

 Waterford Simply and Nana's French crystal chillers (for Shrimp Cocktails), and my Aunt Ida's antique Imari charger plate....

 and Waterford Simply goblets.

The soup was plated in the kitchen and served in our everyday Burleigh Blue Willow.  I think that it works well with the Booth's.  There are abundant Blue Willow patterns from which to choose.  Do you have a favorite?

It was a beautiful Autumn day...

Everyone had seconds of the soup, and we lingered and laughed into the afternoon.  If you're passing my way, let me know.  I'll put on a pot of soup just for you!

My post is currently featured on the AJKA website, Crystalacarte.  Check out all the lovely crystal at:

This week I'll be joining:

Let's Dish with Cuisine Kathleen
Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch



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