Monday, September 22, 2008

Buzzer Shot


Would you be worried if you were throwing a dinner party for twelve people with someone and you showed up at 5:30 and this was as far as she had gotten on the table?


Fortunately for me, my co-host is lovely and unflappable.  She and Mr. Blandings had divided the cooking duty and the menu was in tip-top shape.  Occasionally, during the week, she'd ask, "What are you thinking about the table?"  "I'll know it when I see it.  It's evolving."  But it wasn't, really.


The weather in Kansas City has been unbelievable all week so we agreed that dining outside would be a treat.  A few years ago Mr. Blanding's family planned a 50th birthday party for the eldest sibling.  When we went to meet with the event coordinator he showed us two colors of blue tablecloths, the one below and another, deeper blue.  We agreed the other blue was best for the event, but when the planner left the room I clutched Mr. Blandings's sleeve and said, "I know I said I wanted to be cremated, but now I don't; I want my casket lined with these tablecloths.  I need them for eternity."  Decades old, cotton that feels like silk, washed dozens and dozens of times with care, their hand is indescribable.  

Branches from the crab apple out front, cloches from Pear Tree, amazing chocolates from Annedore's and we were finally set.  If I had had my vision before 3 p.m. the tulipieres could have been filled with parrot tulips instead of having to make do with a few.  But I learned my lesson for next time.

The event was a Progressive Dinner for the boys' school.  It's my favorite school sponsored event as you have the opportunity to meet parents outside your usual circle.  No exception, we had a great mix Saturday night.  The ages or our oldests ranged from three to fourteen and most folks did not know each other that well if at all, though I'm sure any neighborhood eavesdropper would have thought we were the best of friends.

Our dessert hostess was gracious about our slightly tardy arrival.  As our co-hosts fretted over the piles of dishes we left towering around the kitchen, I told them not to worry.  They'd done enough.  Even if they had not brought Chester's Favorite Apple and Parsnip Soup I would have been satisfied with their sentiment when we had finished setting the table and I went up, finally, to take my shower.  "It's so nice to feel so at home when you're not at home."  

It was a perfect evening before it even started.

19 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Lovely!

I know this meal must have been one over which the guests wanted to linger all night.

Love the color of the cloth (reminds me of that little blue box we all long to see), the crabapple branches spilling forth from the overturned vase (clever!), the cloches covering the bon bons, the Grand Baroque by Wallace, and the white china (okay, you stumped a china junky here, Mrs. B, is it perchance Haviland?), and the use of the stemmed goblet with the tumbler.

I think at some point we need to have a virtual dinner party!

Fun post. Thanks for sharing your beautiful table.

Sheila

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Patricia, you have me looking at your china pattern again. Herend often has a similar decorative edge. Is it possibly a Herend pattern???

Sheila (baffled... which is not unusual)

Cote de Texas said...

Just beautiful=I love the tulipieres = those are gorgeous!!

pve design said...

Oh that tablecloth is a marvelous robins egg blue. Like a Tiffany box. Perfect for any the inside of any box or urn for that matter.
I love the "inside" chairs taken out for a dinner under the stars. Did the Blandings boys serve or steward?

linda said...

Brava, Mrs B! How perfectly lovely.

Style Court said...

Lovely. Amazing shade of blue. So glad you got the pagodas after all! Glad it was a success.

Kwana said...

What a table! Lovely.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Sheila - you're spot-on on every piece. And, yes, Herend Golden Edge, purchased because it would mix with so many things - of which I have purchased none.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Patricia - The Blandings boys made their best contribution to the dinner by being so excited to spend the night at their grandmother's. God bless her.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Joni, Linda, Courtney and Kwana - thanks! It was a fun night.

MIMILEE said...

Dinner alfresco....my favorite!

Mrs. B , you're table was divine!

Lovely, lovely , lovely! The robin's egg blue tablecloth is to die for!

Pigtown-Design said...

Good job! I am sure that the school really appreciates people like you stepping up to help with their events.

signed,
a fundraiser!

GrannySmithGreen said...

Lovely table setting. Is that Grande Baroque I see?

Lecia said...

Lovely...

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Thanks, Patricia, for sating my curiosity. Very nice choice. You can't go wrong with Herend.

For years, I've been in serious lust with the green version of Chinese Bouquet (though the raspberry's pretty incredible, too). Those lemon handles on the serving pieces set me free! ;-)

Sheila

Brilliant Asylum said...

Looks like a fun evening at a pretty table.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous. Love the knives, too - are they antique? What did you serve?

Love your blog!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments.

Meg, it is an auction item for us and yes, it raises a good little bit of money so the school is grateful. All the hosts do such a great job.

Anon - one set of the knives are old, though I can't vouch for antique, and the other was a wedding present, which practically makes them vintage.

Mr. B and my co-host served up the apple and parsnip soup, mixed green salad with cranberries, walnuts and goat cheese croutons, beef tenderloin with yummiest sauce, brussel sprouts and a potato dish. It was delish! And I can say that because I didn't even chop.

katiedid said...

Thos crab apple branches are just perfect! And the cloches! LOVE. It looks like a table set for a perfect party.