I ask you, is there anything on earth you can do for your loved ones (family, friends, and neighbors alike), that is more meaningful and genuine than sharing a meal? In the south we understand that the magic of relationship happens when you forget the challenges of daily living, push the pause button on the daily grind, and pull up a chair to break bread.
However, I assure the afore-mentioned family, friends, and neighbors will give testimony to my lack of talent, creativity, or anything that even resembles expertise in the ACTUAL kitchen (the area with the stove, pantry, and fridge). Not due to any lack of effort, mind you. I have “thrown in the white kitchen towel” on sooooo many occasions only to retrieve if after a time of healing. Well, as recently as Christmas 2015, I had finally recovered from the trauma inducing Texas Potato Fiasco of the 2012 Christmas at Cocherl’s Shindig (I’ll spare you the details). Suffice it to say, once again, I believed this time would be different! This time I would succeed!
Now, in my defense, there is a slight handicap that could be awarded should you so choose. Although there are some real cooks out there who overcome this handicap and achieve culinary mastery! I, however, will forever exploit this excuse and any other kitchen mulligan legally recognized. You see, we have a gluten-free kitchen! Both Tom the Great, Jr. and I have the dreaded celiac! So, there!
Still, the home-made, Gluten Free, Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing that we waited to serve with great anticipation, mind you, for after the traditional Christmas Light tour of the city, was yet another in a long-established line of culinary calamity. Let’s just say the Sahara has considerably more moisture than said cake! Not to worry! There is a Gluten Free bakery (with a Gluten Free Professional-Type Baker), less than a 10 minute drive away! So, let’s move on to an area where I just might have a tad more talent. Please!
Tablescapes. Yes, tablescapes. And, please don’t call it frivolous or an unnecessary time waste just because is not life giving sustenance! We all have various and sundry gifts. (Remember, as my friend Marilee said when our elementary school tried to take away soccer and kickball at recess, “We can’t all win the spelling bee!”, or something like that. It was perfect, smart, witty and right on point! If you know her, you know the girl can turn a phrase).
Now, in keeping with the color scheme from the foyer and living room, the dining room is bedecked with the most charming colors of all time, peach and blush! (Or, Blush and Bashful if your favorite movie happens to be the same as mine–Steel Magnolias). Let’s start with the table setting. Rarely do I use the entire four piece setting of china on the table. I do find a matching set mannerly, but for me it’s all about mix and match. What I’ve done here is mix 1940s Coral Federal Dinner plates with my Great Grandmother, Nellie’s (future blog subject), china. Although the history of this china that came back from my step grandfather’s brother’s WWII tour, is another post for another day! It is beautiful and my sweet mama gave it to me! Not sure where I was going with the gold crown, but I liked it once I arrived! Decidely French don’t you think.
Adding to the vintage feel are these 1950’s, lucite, blush colored grapes. I found them a while back, and at the time had no idea how I’d be using them. I just knew I loved them. They are mixed with more of the frosted greens I used in the wicker sleigh and stairway (also on the Christmas on King Lane ~ Home Tour Part One post). Those lace trimmed place mats were a gift from my dear friend (who was my mom’s best friend, Anna ((name sake of Annalisa the Beautiful)) (are double parenthesis even a thing, three would definitely be pushing it don’t you think), 35 years ago. They are a TREASURE.
Speaking of treasure. Did you spot the ornaments that started my Christmas collection nearly 25 years ago? (You can find the back story on these on the Christmas on King Lane ~ Home Tour Part One). There are years when the chandelier is the focal point of the room; and as such is adorned with garland and ornaments galore. This year the tablescape takes center stage, and I love the simple and elegant style of the crystal drops.
To add to the French vibe of the crowns, I brought my vintage french-like chalkware sculpture to the table. She’s ready for Christmas with ornaments in her basket and some frosted greens tied over her back with a blush ribbon. They (the professionals) say to add interest to your tableaus (their word-not mine), with home decor items in places that are unexpected. She checks that box for sure!
What we do expect to see on a table are flowers! You’re looking at two that I love, white and coral roses. A tip for my Kansas City locals~Trader Jo’s and even Wal-Mart have cheap roses that can be added to fresh Christmas greens for an unbeatable arrangement.
I’ve even tucked a couple fresh greens in with the garland above the “hutch” ~ Another unexpected use of what was once in the family room as a tv armoire (which in itself was an unexpected use of an armoire). Please award bonus points.
And finally, to a favorite and new Christmas decor item for 2016~the dining room teacup tree. If you are a “southern lady”, and you can’t see at least six sets of cups and saucers scattered throughout your home, I may be forced to relieve you of your “southern lady” card! I love home decor, but I only have a few collections: tea cups and saucers being one such collection. I started collected them when Tom the Great moved me from my beloved Tennessee to Kansas. I was thrilled to find a new way to display a few more at Christmas.
And there you have Christmas on King Lane ~ Part Two! Don’t be sad, now. I have one more room to share with you, the family room. So check back later this week for Christmas on King Lane ~ Part Three! Here’s a teaser…