Friday, March 19, 2010

Sweet 21

Normally, before a party, I get up at 3 or 4 am to get to work on baking or table settings or linens or something. Today? Forget it! I have been going so non-stop all week, I "slept in" until 6am. But at 6, coffee in hand, I set to work on the table for tonight's dinner; all 18 ft of it. The eve before I had abandoned the idea of pleats; but instead of my original vision of knife pleats, I went for a modified version; I made this out of burlap with muslin lining ($65 total):
Instead of sewing it, I used spray glue; great idea! Look how the corner fits here; the trick was that I ironed the pieces first; the whole thing took me 2 hours, for an 18ft table (made of 3 6ft tables). I hate to brag, but I thought I did a great job, and it was all by myself. Until 3pm when my niece Nicole called to say "the heat of the sun was melting the table". A little spray at 4pm fixed things. I will leave these tables up for Easter, and for the puppy brunch; After that, who knows? Can anyone use an 18th long cloth? Maybe I will cut it down for the markets....
I had placed an order with Johnny Suede for the produce for this weekend; he called yesterday and said he lost the list, but would fill what I need and send his foreman Joe to meet me. Joe reminds me of many Italians; weathered by the sun, tanned and lined. But if you look in his eyes, you see a many who knows the Earth and you see Life; I don't know him, but I immediately appreciated his work: the chard was delivered crisp and everything was freshly cut. Here is a man who knows and takes pride in his work. This can be said for most of the farmers; it's a life and a passion and they do it well. Why should I grow chard, which btw I can't do well here in Laguna (I've tried), when I can buy it from Johnny Suede? Here is the baby lettuce:

And the "butt kicking" baby Arugula:

And the Swiss Chard, which I steamed and served with anchovies; more on the anchovies later;

I sauteed fresh garlic from Johnny Suede with mushrooms from Dirk last Sunday; also fresh dill from John:
I used the fragments from Cargo & Company/Aidan Gray on the table; they looked fabulous; tomorrow I will add in votives, for Erin's party; everyone was confused by the two plates at each setting; one was for salad and one for entree, but everyone seemed to be eating dinner on an 8" salad plate; it looked great, but no one got it and I was in the kitchen so to busy to explain. sigh.....
The overall effect was SO pretty; I love it!

This is a good panorama; Nicole was so thrilled to see this, though she helped me quite a bit on the setup of the first lanterns; my Mom and I got to hang all of these:
Tomorrow we will have a 20th birthday for Erin; more photos then, more variations.


  1. What a festive and beautiful display! I only hope you had a wonderful time.

  2. Gorgeous table! So beautiful...

    E + J