Fellowship Luncheon

A lunch to honor the Fellowship Committee in charge of all the food happenings at our church.  Excellent cooks, tireless workers, always with a smiley face and a kind heart.  Ladies, you deserve a break today.  Let's have lunch!

We started off with champagne and sparkly lemonade.   Have you tried Sofia?  It's from Coppola Winery, and named after his daughter who directed one of my favorite movies, Marie Antoinette.  The winery is a very special one in California's wine country history and is housed in the historic old Inglenook Winery.  It's a beautiful setting plus it has a fascinating museum of memorabilia from all the great  Francis Ford Coppola movies.  Fabulous and a MUST see when you visit the wine country!

The roses below are from David Austin's English rose, Graham Thomas.  A beautiful true medium yellow and a prolific bloomer that grows into a very large bush.  Dainty flutes are from Napa Style and pewter tray is Donatello from Arte Italica.

The table was set with mother's Imperial Candlewick and my aunt's goblets.

The table cloth is ancient thick linen with a beautiful hem, purchased at a Stanford University rummage sale for a song.  Big score for my linen stash. 

All the roses on the sideboard and dining table are also from David Austin.  This one is The Pilgrim and is a pale lemon yellow and is as pretty as a petticoat.   From another very large and prolific bush in my garden.

The vases are from a collection of old vintage medicine bottles and canning jars that I found in my grandmother's basement.  The napkins are from my collection of Le Jacquard Francais.

On the menu was this beautiful first course from Ina Garten, tiny wee puff pastry goat cheese tarts.  Try it!  You must!  A seriously delicious little treat using frozen puff pastry which I love love love to use because it's so easy and using it makes a big splash!  Like you've really worked hard and been cooking all day.  But you haven't. 

I used fresh herbs plus beet and chard thinnings from the garden and made them smaller since it was lunch.  I have an abundance of radishes so they were included for some spicy crunch.

Here is a picture of them before they went into the oven, they tasted even prettier than they looked.

Main course was provided by Maryann, my sweet co-hostess.  You can find the recipe for her Curried Chicken Salad here, (oops, not yet) on our new cooking blog, Presbyterians Can Cook! moderated by moi.  It's in it's infancy, but we felt it was perhaps the easiest way to share our recipes with each other, but of course you are invited to the blog cooking party too!  I'd love you to follow us, we have some great cooks that will be sharing their favorite recipes.

Dessert was served in mother's vintage Rosenthal champagne coupes.   We still have 10 and I love to use them for dessert these days.  I crumbled brownies into the coupe, added fresh blackberries, topped with chantilly cream and raspberries.  Scrumptious.

To my American friends, have a super Memorial Day weekend.  God bless our troops.

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Blue Suede Shoes

I've been back for a week, and while I did not bring back a tan, I did bring back some blue suede shoes and a pedi to match.  And as if it wasn't enough to paint my nails with Blue My Mind, I had to go and have them gilded with little crystals.  Maui does that to you.

I also knit two scarves.  My plan is to have five Cedar Leaf Shawlettes finished before our family vacation this summer, one for each girl in the fam.

First one is the green Berroco Vintage.  Love this yarn, it's a soft acrylic and wool mix, a perfect replacement for itchy Plymouth Encore.  Ravelry link.

The second one is this beautiful orchid Malabrigo Silky Merino.  This yarn is so soft.  Ravelry link.

I LOVE the pattern, so fun to make.  People in the airport were coming over to watch the knitting miracle of seeing the little leaves emerge.  It was a very nice way to share the love of knitting.

I'm just beginning my third one in dreamy Tosh DK.  I love to spoil myself!

Also on the trip I finished reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Oh my, I loved this book. I was fascinated from beginning to end as I didn't know a thing about HeLa cells.  The author does an excellent job of sharing the family's story while explaining the research, the medical discoveries and the fortunes made plus exploring the ethical questions.   This was a 10.

Tomorrow I'm having a ladies lunch and I'm going to share my table setting and my menu with you.  Ohhh, it's looking very pretty!

A Rosy Luncheon

Hello again!
Mother's friends were passing though town for the afternoon, 
and instead of meeting them for lunch I invited them over.
A made-at-home lunch is so much nicer, don't you think?

When I think of making a table setting, I always start out with the centerpiece, 
and certainly that would have to be flowers at this time of year,
definitely ROSES right now!
These are a combination of my beloved David Austin roses in pinks,
Gertrude Jekyll, Abraham Darby, Eden, Scentimental and St. Cecelia.

The flower bowl is a large Reed and Barton Revere bowl.
I have a set of these, and this one has a plastic liner.
These were popular wedding gifts when I got married in 1973.
They are simple and elegant and still look beautiful.

After I cut the flowers and made the arrangement,
I had an idea of using the table in my living room for the lunch.

The table is a large round that is topped with a distressed
mercury glass top that I got from Ballards.


We most often use this table for appetizers when we're having company,
but today with just 4 ladies, I thought it would be fun to set the table for lunch.


 I used mother's Haviland, pattern Delaware,
creamy white china decorated with pink roses.

As a girl, this china was a favorite of mine.
I remember putting my finger on the tiny roses when I was little,
way more interested in the flowers than the actual food on the plate.

Mother gifted the set to me when she recently downsized.  
She collected it and used it at a time when a set of china
included everything!  There are 24 dinner plates and 12 of everything else,
including espresso cups and saucers and these beautiful cream soup plates with saucers.

I have to admit they are a bit formal for me, but I still love them madly.

Doesn't the setting look so pretty and lady like?
We had cream of asparagus soup and a veggie frittata, simple but elegant.

Flatware, Reed and Barton 18th C
Stemware, Lalique Langeais
Napkins, grandmother's linen
Tablecloth, Ballard
China, Haviland Delaware

My granddogs came to visit me for a day this week.
They like to help me in the garden, yep!

I didn't tell you Dexter has a new baby sister?

Please meet Miss Bella. 

She is adorable and likes to be cuddled very extremely much.

Happy news, I'll be in Maui next week visiting my girlfriend
who has the good sense to live in paradise.
Girls only!

See you in a week.

Linking up to Kristen's Creations

Pink Baby Owley Cardigan and Quilt

Baby Owl Cardigan is a classic design, meant to be worn on a day when baby is feeling kind of nostalgic for the old days, like when grandma was a girl, and baby wants to dress the part.  Paired with a pretty white smocked dress and this baby will be ready for any elegant picnic that might come her way.

I just LOVE, absolutely LOVE this pattern by Janice Straker.  
Janice, Penny's mother, did not originate the idea of turning cables into teensy owls, 
but she was probably the first to write it down as a formal pattern. 
Ravelry link here.

I also made this sweater for a boy in palest blue that you can see here.

The cardigan was photographed on a pretty baby quilt that I made a few years ago 
when I taught my friends how to piece and quilt.

Baby might take this quilt with her on her fancy picnic.

The squares were cut from discontinued designer fabric samples 
and include some of the prettiest bits of fabric.
The white embroidered lace square is perhaps my favorite square of the quilt.
It's a sample from a discontinued Italian sheet from Sferra.

I backed the quilt in this crazy brown floral.  Quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted by me.

 Two more pictures of the cardigan, front and back.

And also a picture of a perfectly beautiful rose,
a David Austin beauty called Climbing Eden.


It's definitely one of our favorites
and covers one side of an arbor that is an entrance to our vegetable garden.

 That is it for the baby knits for a wee while.
I've got things for me on my needles right now
and looking forward to some lazy days of knitting.


Book Club Lunch

The first Monday of the month we have book club.  We meet downtown for lunch, catch up and talk about the book a little, actually very little talking about the book.   Mostly we are a social group.  We are 6 friends who love to read, love to eat together and love to travel together.  This book club has been going on for 27 years and we have know each other longer than that.  We've watched our kids grow up and now our grandchildren.  What a history we have!

I emailed the 4 girls this morning, 2 are out of town, 
and asked them to come to my house.  
Quick, I must have people over, while everything still looks great from my last party!

While there is still no weed in the garden.

While the windows are still sparkly and the flowers are still fresh!

Come over quick, the sparkle and the weed free garden will be gone in no time.

That's the thing about getting everything tidy,
it's back messy again in no time.

Might as well have some friends come over to enjoy it.
And really, I couldn't have a more appreciative guest list than
my dear book club friends!

For those of you that like to know what is on the table:

Portofino (discontinued pattern) porcelain and pewter plates from Arte Italica.
Placemats and napkins from Karen Lee Ballard.
Water and wine goblets are my aunt's, possibly Lenox?
Reed and Barton 18th C sterling flatware.
Napkin rings are mixed vintage sterling collected over the years.
Ceramic crackle glazed planter for the flowers is Smith and Hawkin from Target.

OK, so we do actually read.  We all read quite a lot.  Last month's book was Behind the Beautiful Forevers, I liked it much more than the other girls.  We rate each book from 1-5 and we ended up giving it a 3, but I think a 4 would have been better.  The book we choose for this month is Dancing to the Precipice.  I tried to talk them into the Hunger Games, but no interest.  Funny, because I just finished the 2nd one and love them and think they would like them too.

I served lunch, a simple salad dressed with lemon and olive oil, salt and pepper.  I roasted broccoli rabe, a red onion and a red bell pepper and added that.  I just can't think of anything nicer to do on a Monday afternoon than have lunch with the girls.

On my sidebar I decided to update my "What I'm Reading Now".   I have ignored that bit on my blog for years, but I usually have one or two books going on at once, usually reading one on my Kindle and listening to one on my iPod.   I will try to update it as I am reading.  Lots of readers out there, I know.

By the way, this is still a knitting blog.
Behind this gardener and entertainer
is a very dedicated knitter.  
I'll prove it to you in my next posts!

Until next time, zou bisou bisou!


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