I love a beautiful placemat or a sumptuous tablecloth, but what I most love is leaving a tabletop bare or exposed. The beauty of the wood grain and variation of color becomes part of the overall table setting. Not every table is set-up to be left exposed, but if yours is, it is fun to try it every once in awhile. Our 1863 French fruitwood dining table has been in our family almost since we met. The memories of meals and stories and amazing times spent at that table make me teary just typing this. So often, we leave it bare. The variations of tans & browns weaving about all the things placed on the table and the dinnerware a comfortable resting spot for the eyes. The table gets a good cleaning and waxing often, but you can just see the love and usage and wear from over the years. It is all part of a patina, and a story, that we love. Oh what tales that beloved table could tell…
Our niece Caitlin was recently visiting us for a little vacation. She is a chef in New York, and the restaurant she works for closes for the July 4th holiday week, so it was a perfect time for her to make a trip to Seattle. We have spoken for years about her making a meal for a dinner party when she was here. This was the time, and it all could not have been more lovely. The meal was off the charts.
I apologize in advance. This is the only course I snapped a photo of. When I first started writing the blog, I made a promise to myself that it would only enhance my love of living in the moment, not hinder it. Once the meal begins, the wine is poured, and the stories begin, the last thing I want to do is start taking photos of the plates. But, it was my best intention to try and take more as this was such a special meal, but only the salad course was photographed. Caitlin created quite a meal, working away all afternoon creating each and every last bite. Here, in words, is the glorious menu that was served.
We started off with an assortment of oysters from Taylor Shellfish that Caitlin had made a red wine tarragon mignonette for. Then an arugula salad with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, asparagus, roasted red & golden beets, with a chèvre croquette. The main course was pan seared rainbow trout, tomato marmalade, crispy polenta cakes with roasted corn, and thyme roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes. There was also a delightful mixed herb salad that was placed on top of the trout, but for the life of me I am not finding the proper French spelling. That aside, it was delightful. Dessert was a chocolate pot de creme, with Chantilly cream and mixed berries with a blueberry syrup.
It was an evening filled with much laughter and love. Taking photos at the table while all the festivities are taking place is another thing I generally don’t do very often. Again, back to that living the fullest in each moment. But, this crowd insisted I snap a few. There were times I was laughing so hard I was crying.