The time is late and the date is no longer the 25th. But Christmas Day here doesn’t end until the lights are out. And right now, they aren’t out yet.
It was a day full of joys and bittersweet memory, a little tears and laughter and sweetness. Losing someone precious is never easy. But we’re rejoicing in the hope of heaven and thanking God for providing a way through Jesus. We shall all be together again some day. Here’s to good times, good food and laughter. Here’s to love and family!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. ♥
We are still eating delicious Thanksgiving leftovers so it’s fitting that the house is still decorated for fall. I’m glad we were back in time from Japan to see the maple turning red. The color was spectacular this year! Brighter than it’s ever been, even on a cloudy day.
The table was set. Even with the heavy overcast, the new windows provided splendid light.
I asked one of the guys to label the serving dishes to make filling them faster when the food was ready. He labeled the water glasses! So funny.
The turkey was small this year, barely 14 lbs. It was the perfect weight for me to lift by myself. It was nice being able to use the rosemary and thyme growing in the kitchen planter.
Not all the family was present and we missed those far away. But everyone here was in a jolly mood and we were happy to be together.
We started with a salad course. One of the guys cut the peppers into leaf shapes. We made our own house dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, cracked Tellicherry pepper, water and a bit of boiled cider. It was delicious!
Then on to Pumpkin Bisque. We tried a new recipe this year. The cardamom was prominent and very good with pumpkin.
After the salad plates and soup bowls were cleared, we placed the rest of the food on the table. Here are some of the dishes.
The turkey was taken to the kitchen island for carving. This was the first year we used a fresh turkey. It was delicious and tasted much better than a frozen turkey. It did cook faster than I thought though, so we’ll remember that next time. Look at the steam rising! Delicious.
We didn’t take any more photos. There were many wonderful moments, such as when grandson “cooked” his real food in the toy oven. But I was so thoroughly enjoying the baby and grandkids, eating pie and participating in our myriad conversations and laughter, that I completely forgot to take photos.
This morning I finally got around to washing the crystal. The glasses sparkled in the sun. As I held a glass, I wondered whose hand had held it and extended it in a toast to family. Even the grandchildren got to hold the crystal in toast this year. My beloveds were here! That’s a warm and happy thought indeed.
The latest additions to my gratitude journal are even more full of thanks. Being thankful ALL the time is truly a choice. You can’t complain one minute and be thankful the next. Choose optimism, choose joy.
This year we placed his cutting board in the center of the table. Thank you God for good meat, for good bread, for good wine. Thank you for family and friends. –I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 — Thank you for helping us see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, here, now.
Today I made the apple pie I didn’t have time to make for Thanksgiving. Today we’re still giving thanks.
Thank you Ethan and Gabe for taking some of the photos and thank you Holly for the delicious Candied Carrots and Baked Squash. ::smile::
I’m packing today and I’ll see my daughter and her husband soon! In Tokyo!
Despite all the trip preparation, I still fit in crafting time. My granddaughter had her heart set on a “Princess cone hat” so here is the hat I made for her to wear with her princess costume this year. We worked with the materials on hand… a poster board cone, pink acrylic paint, plastic gems and pearls, and an antique silk handkerchief. The ties are made of a multi-stretch fabric, I can’t remember the name right now. It’s the kind of fabric used for bathing suits and worked beautifully for a comfortable fit.
She loved the hat!
The timing was right… It was Rosanna’s 8th Annual Tablescape Contest, my daughter-in-law’s birthday, and I was finally healed enough to tackle an ambitious baking event. What better way to celebrate all three than with a Dessert Tea!
Here is the table before I started adding all the desserts. I made the tablecloth from an old bedspread with fringed edge. (You can see scraps from that old tattered bedspread in the photos of Tea by the Sea. Crafters don’t waste any scrap. Ha!)
I adore Rosanna’s style and was hoping to enter her 2013 tablescape contest last summer. But we didn’t get the remodel done in time and I wasn’t very mobile back then. The china cabinet was emptied so we could move it around and all the china was stacked on two tables in the living room. That’s when I got the idea for a blue and white and yellow theme for a table.
After I decided on the serving dishes, I wrote a list of tasks, desserts and a tentative baking schedule.
There were two main focal points for the table, Rosanna’s elegant Luxe Moderne mugs for the centerpiece, and her La Mode fashion plates.
I used four of Rosanna’s mugs on a vintage dessert pedestal to make the centerpiece. I was so excited about this design. It has a lot of potential and I plan on using four mugs as a centerpiece base for other tablescapes.
Sugar cookies were painted following Rosanna’s designs on her mugs. I wrote about the cookies here. It was challenging to paint the designs! I have new respect for Rosanna’s design skill.
The fashion plates are so pretty!
This tiered server used to be bright red, yellow and blue but I painted it all white with acrylic paint. Instead of using round plates on the server, I used two rectangle trays on the bottom. It looked great!
To continue the fashion theme, I cut 6″ to 8″ squares of fabric for petite tea napkins and fringed the edges. Each napkin was folded and draped over hangers to look like dresses. Most were folded diagonally. Each was tied at the “waist” with ribbon, a little flower tucked in the waist and a small piece of trim was draped over the top to look like a collar.
The tea service was on the back of the table, behind the desserts. I wrote how I made the Sugar Bonnets here.
On the tiered server, top to bottom: Spritz, squares of Fudge and Shortbread, Butter Cookie Dresses.
I experimented with a new baking pan to make the Layered Desserts. They were delicious and so pretty! I will post the recipe some time.
I only had four covered glass dishes but that was enough to place four Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel and Macadamia Frosting.
The birthday cake was a White Chocolate Praline Cake with homemade Strawberry Raspberry Jam topping.
All together, the table looked lovely and the event was a huge success!
I submitted my photos and won an honorable mention in the tablescape contest… happy face! =)
My daughter-in-law was thrilled with her birthday, the girls loved the dress napkins and all our guests enjoyed the delicious desserts.
And it was the perfect event to celebrate the return of my health and stamina after such a long recovery. A sweet day indeed!
She’s six now. Last year she carried a ship to the beach. This year she carried a picnic basket.
The delicious treats filled the tray.
The blooming tea was still warm.
Coconut Cream glaze dripped down the blueberry pomegranate jam-filled cakes. Some were topped with toasted coconut and macadamias, others were topped with sugared rose and lilac petals. Vanilla pearls were sprinkled on top of shell-shaped spice Madeleines. Tiny oranges looked like blooming lotus blossoms and green and Concorde grapes filled the bowl. Crumbly Lavender Lemon Shortbread squares and tea cups were piled on the picnic basket top.
She poured a cup of tea and waited by the sea.
The sunset was soft and dreamy.
The breeze was warm and welcome.
The colors were slipping away and still she waited.
She didn’t stop hoping
And finally her mom sat down. Even when the sunset is gone, Tea by the Sea is best with mom.
[We had a wonderful time making the treats for this, setting up the table and photographing it all. Thank you, Gabriel Monroe, for being second shooter and lighting expert. Thank you, Donna, for your lovely suggestions and help. Thank you, Uncle Butch and Aunt Dilly, for the use of your beautiful chair! We had a splendid time and it was perfect.
The lovely lace-embossed Filigree appetizer plates, bowl and infinity tray are by Rosanna, Inc.]