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Holding On To Summer

On Monday out on the island, we did everything possible to enjoy supper outside. The eve before it was pouring rain and we enjoyed our Sunday supper inside with a fire roaring. This last week of Summer has been anything but here in our little corner of the PNW. But any ray of sunshine has us scrambling to get outside. This is pretty comical actually. I snapped this table of blue with the potted scented geraniums taking center stage. I went it to start cooking while the lightest misty rain flew by, hardly upsetting the table setting in the least. Right as we sat to enjoy the meal the sun was setting. Just glorious. As we were taking our last bites we felt the drops begin. As we quickly finished we disassembled the table lickity split, laughing along the way, determined to savor every last bit of the season.



 

 

A Table For Two, West Coast Version

We are drawn to water and dining outside. Last week it was at the long picnic table across from the pond, last night it was at the zinc topped table on the deck looking out to Colvos Passage. This time of year we grab any chance we can to dine alfresco. It was interesting as someone posted on social media how lovely that we still set the table when it is just the two of us. Oh my yes, we must honor the meal! Always. I even set the table when we have a quick breakfast of oatmeal. A lovely napkin, flowers, a few objects–they all elevate the experience. Even if it is the simplest of meals. Truly can’t recommend it enough. On the menu, catfish that I topped with warm chèvre & olives. Bailey snoozing away on her pillow next to us. By the time we had supper the boat traffic had slowed to just a few so the water was quite calm. The red geraniums dictated the theme for the table. As a purist, this by no means was the end of Summer. We still have three weeks of it left and we are going to enjoy every drop of it.

Sending many safe thoughts to any of my readers in the path of hurricane Dorian. We are thinking of you…



 

 

A Table For Two

Actually make that a table for three, as Bailey slept on a blanket curled up next to me on the bench. But you get the picture. We are grabbing every chance we can to dine outside, savoring every moment of this divine season called Summer. We had a busy week-end of entertaining so it was relaxing having the meal outside be just us, having leftovers. Yep, even leftovers deserve setting a table. The view to the pond cleared up since we acquired the property along with Little Hawthorne. It sits in a wetlands area that we are going to foster naturally, allowing all sorts of divine creatures to thrive. It is a view we have longed for and take every chance we can to enjoy. The crickets, cicadas and an occasional frog the music for the evening. The big galvanized bucket we found a pair of at Brimfield awhile back. Completely forgot we had bought these big pots of geraniums on our last stay, so they were a pleasant surprise to me when we arrived. The pink blooms adding to all that green happiness as the sun set and the flicker of the candles set the relaxing tone as the eve slipped away.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 214

As Summer progresses look for amazing deals on flowering plants, like these geraniums, at garden centers and farmers market stalls. The vendors are clearing their stock, always happy to have you take them off their hands to enjoy the heck out of them. They add an instant jolt of happiness as they are flowering and are as sweet as can be.



 

 

Sunday Supper and Dancing Dahlias

The white dahlias looked too good to pass up at the Market, so they set the theme for the Sunday supper table last week-end. They danced down the middle of the table in low clear drinking glasses. I cut the stems super short so the heads sat right on the rim. It can make a simple bundle of blooms much more significant. To me they become the focal point of the table. If they were massed together in a vase in the middle, they would be less prominent. These beauties needed to sing! Or dance! Or maybe both. Then it was about pulling a bunch of blue things to pull the table together.



 

 

Summer Sunday Supper

Summer out on the island can be pretty heavenly, and we love to share the experience with our friends. Sunday is when we entertain primarily at WestWard. Folks arrive by ferry at 2. Drinks when they arrive along with an assortment of nibbles. It is a lovely way to catch up and relax all at the same time. If the tide is out, a beach walk might happen too. A toast to Bastille Day was in order. The red, white and blue that is the color story at the house right on the mark in honor of the day.

Then Mister Sive heads to the grill to begin preparing the meal. This past Sunday he made fresh pesto before guests arrived. Then he grilled shrimp, salmon and sausages to have atop pesto pasta. I sliced up a big platter of tomatoes, salted them to bring out their juices, then they received a generous amount of aged balsamic. Then right before we sat for the meal I crumbled tons of fresh made on the island goat feta atop the whole thing. The bowls of Rainier cherries on the table could be enjoyed throughout the meal. Dessert was a browned butter olive oil cake our friend Erika had made.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 209

To spice things up when wanting to set a creative table, chose one color and run with it. From the flowers to the dinnerware to the linens, use the hue in many forms. Have fun with playing with it all!



 

 

A Gift Sparks a Table Setting

Sometimes all it takes is one thing to spark creativity. Be it to paint on a canvas, create a stylish room or set a comfortable table. My friend Kathy drove up from Portland the other day. She brought us the most lovely gift of Italian horn handled flatware from her collection. She knew of our fondness for horn as she has seen me set tables using it over the years. It was the driving force for the table setting last night for supper–I could not wait to cook a meal so we could use it. Celebrating/using/enjoying gifts we receive is of great importance to both of us. So much so for me, it is the business I am in! It honors and pays homage to the giver. The knife and fork set the tone for the table. New square placemats we carry at Watson Kennedy I have been eyeing had to come home with me for this table. English silver salt & pepper shakers, French napkins and horn napkin rings, as well as my favorite dotted glasses, all from WK, got pulled into the mix. Then it was a simple Wednesday night meal at the table with Bailey curled up on her blanket on the floor between us.



 

 

Peonies & Lavender

I thought on this Solstice day a past table with peonies (a nod to Spring) along with a bucket of lavender (a nod to Summer) seemed in order on this Flower Friday. May the new season be awesome for you and that it includes a few or many meals enjoyed outside! X, Ted



 

 

A Candlelit Breakfast

Adjusting to time zones from traveling can be a challenge, for both two and four legged creatures. Since our last Hawthorne stay, Bailey is up at the stroke of 5 each morning now that we are back in Seattle. I am generally an early riser, but lately I absolutely am. This morning the light from the sunrise was so pretty filtering through the shutters. While still quite not light yet, I decided to light the candles for an early candlelit breakfast. TPS still asleep so it was a table for one. Bailey fast asleep on her Burberry blanket at my feet. An early morning walk and breakfast always puts her in a sleepy mood the moment we get back to the apartment. In honor of Flower Friday the peony I bought yesterday at the grocery store just in the initial phase of starting to do their magical thing. This light pink variety with dark streaks of pink to almost red on the underside a favorite. This is the first in the season they have made their way onto our table. These will be even more amazing when they fully open. Happy start of the week-end to you!