Saturday, December 8, 2012

Off, in the Nick of Time

It’s a longer story, but the farm to table planned for today at Kelly’s was postponed as of Thursday.  At that point we already had a lot of food on hand, and I had set up a whole salmon for gravlax, and was ready to crank out lots of desserts.  While I was in a certain sense relieved that the event was postponed, I was also wondering what to do with the gravlax and many of the ingredients that I had been given to me by several local farmers and purveyors.  One of my friends was having a dinner for 40 this weekend; so I decided to drop off a big slab of salmon and some pretties.  A white cake with crème frosting and cassis/blackberry filling; I love a camellia on top~


I also sent 12 pears in the Belle Helene chocolate topped style that I love; about 30 small cups of lemon curd and chocolate pots de crème, topped with local berries, and a platter of chocolate truffles infused with Earl Grey tea~


It was later in the afternoon Friday that I handed off all these trays of desserts, and once that was done and everything in order with my parents’ office, I arrived home and began to start packing for my trip.  First thing I pack, my passport.  But my passport is now kept in my safe deposit box at the bank, since earlier this year, when my friend Liza convinced me that this was the solution to keeping track of my jewelry and documents and such.  Problem was, the keys to the box were not where I thought they were.  Oh Sh*T. I spend the next 3 hours turning the house upside down; with the knowledge that when I lose something in this house, it is often lost for five years, or at least 10 months.  Panic set in, and I phoned the bank and said I can’t find the keys, and was told the box would have to be drilled out and probably not on a Saturday.  There is no way to get a passport over a Saturday at the passport office in LA.  Double Crap!! Must find keys!!  In desperation, I tucked a large French Miraculous Medal and a mass card from Rome into my yoga pants, et voila, I found the keys in ten minutes.  They are now in a safe place, after I retrieved the passport today.


Once I knew the passport was “safe” so to say, I got a good night’s sleep and was up at 5am to set the dinner table for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Mom is really anxious about me leaving, but I think she feels better seeing the dining table set and knowing that there is a dinner in two weeks.  She will be counting off each day, with the dogs at her side.  I have cleaned the frige and stocked it with most of what they need for two weeks; I got her a pretty amaryllis to look at while I am gone~


I set the table with what Mom loves; one of the tartan runners that I had made for the farm to table and lots of candles; though Mom says the table is always fine, it reminds me of when it’s your birthday and someone brings you their favorite cake versus your favorite cake…this table was mostly what my Mom loves~


One of my sisters called this week to say she wanted to come for Christmas Eve and Day.  As such, and given I am arriving home on Christmas Eve, I set the table for clam chowder soup and the anticipated Christmas Day French Chicken dinner for me and my parents, though I expect that Sis will also show up with her family~


The plates are mine, and the double handled soup cups are my parents’ from post-war Germany.  Mom knows them, Dad laments all the plates in a stack and that my Sis is coming for dinner, but in the end it will all be fine~IMG_0426

I changed the lamp shades in the dining room as well as powder room to red instead of ivory; inspired by Bergdorf Goodman of a dozen years ago, red for holiday is always in good taste~


But oh, my mind is in France, and I can’t wait to get our Christmas tree, which R says they are selling at Casino our grocery store this year; and to get it decorated, polish the big front door and put a wreath on it….I am lucky everything I need from toiletries to clothes are there, so I am just packing supplies for R and a few things for the Canaries.  I will be taking lots and lots of photos and hope to be blogging daily.  There is a light dusting of snow today, which makes the vineyards perfect for photos, if it sticks.

Tonight at 7pm I was in a panic again about my wallet the passport; had I left in my grocery cart? Where is it? All was well, I found it with the spice and coffees and such that R wants me to bring. I leave in the morning, and pick up a car at CDG or take the TGV to Dijon, depending on how I feel. I may make a detour to the Canary Islands on the return…..stay tuned…right now I feel like I just need to get out of town, before I lose my mind!


  1. Your styling is always tasteful........and now to France! I wish I was there too, but hopefully next summer we will catch up in person. I tried to Skype you yesterday and will try again today. Bon voyage et gros bisous.

  2. I was wondering how you were emailing me info on copper pots while planning such a large dinner.

    Then I was dying reading about the key. To come this so needed this trip. Miraculous medal indeed. Praise Jesus.

    I am headed to the kitchen to make something yummy for Eric's birthday breakfast. There will definitely be British bacon and something sweet with blackberries.

    My best to R. and L. and you too of course.

  3. Bon Voyage! Joyeux Noel!
    I'll be following and watching the magic!

  4. Wow what an amazing daughter to leave things set up for Christmas dinner for your parents to calm them during your absence. So glad everything worked out for your trip. Have a wonderful time and look forward to pictures and updates.

    Sheila in S.F.

  5. So glad things worked out for your trip. The table looks so pretty and a good idea for your parents' reassurance while you are gone.
    Have a marvelous time and look forward to pics and updates.

    Sheila in S.F.

  6. Bon voyage...can't wait to hear and see more of your trip. Your table is gorgeous. You have a gift with using candles and fine China.
    We used your antique mahogany mirror (with the brass finial) in a place of honor in your sister's pretty.
    I think our family needs a trip to's been over a year since our last one. Have a great time.

  7. So sad that the dinner was cancelled. Glad someone else was able to enjoy all that wonderful food.
    I have days like that where nothing is where I think it should be. Today I lost the stamps for my Christmas cards. I found them.....down the back of the sofa cushion where I was sitting.
    Slow down and enjoy your time. You are so sweet to have the table all pretty for your mother.

  8. What a beautiful holiday you will be on, and dear you have it so together I can't imagin you ever losing your mind. Your settings are divine every seat set with euro-chic grace and beauty.
    Love the table dinner ware, looks to be sterling if not? It has the richness of fine flatware, simple lines with a look of handed down history, the best look in my oppinion.

    See you when you get back, please visit.

  9. Dearest Andrea, you are the best friend and daughter in the world. I am sure your friend was thrilled to receive the grand desserts and the salmon!

    The Holiday table is beautiful, love to see your golden rimmed dishes all stacked!

    Have a wonderful time!!

    2012 Artists Series,