Archive for November, 2011

Tabletop Accessories for the Holidays

wine carafeI love the holidays. Just looking at my empty dining room reminds me of all the good dinners I’ve hosted, the set table with napkin rings on dinner plates and holly between candlesticks that anchor each side of the long table, ready for the guests who will soon fill the room, hungry and thirsty, ready and excited to see each other after so long, passing tabletop accessories and admiring what lies inside glass cake stands.

Even in preparation for the holidays, weeks in advance of them, I remember the feelings of elation and modesty I have when Uncle Johnny or Aunt Allison bring gifts for host and I have to accept them, the ice cream maker, the wine carafe, so that I can make the next time even more special with fresh ice cream and purely elegant wine.

Such feasts embody the spirit of holidays, and the life that goes into them. We are eating and drinking and making merry — living it all to the fullest, not worrying about anything but how much cake we can eat after dinner, and it all comes and goes so quickly that it makes it that much more special. I’m ready for the holidays already. Can you tell?

Your Thanksgiving Checklist

tabletop accessoriesIt’s nearly here. Turkey day. If you haven’t already you should:

Defrost your turkey with one day  for every five pounds.

Have canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce (many people prefer sliced canned cranberry sauce over a homemade sauce. Americans.)

Dust your glass cake stands and prepare them for the menagerie of pies coming your way.

Organize your wine cellar and have a good idea of what to serve on the big day.

Tidy house and make sure the bathrooms are clean. Have plenty of paper towels and toilet paper.

Do your last minute food shopping — ice, coffee, nuts and nibbles for appetizers.

Make a cooking schedule so you know that everything will be ready on time.

Set the table, prepare the barware and make sure that you have enough tabletop accessories, that they match, and are clean.

Clear out the coat closet and make sure you have enough counter space to hold all of the gifts for host you’ll be receiving (as well as food).

That should about cover it. The earlier you get these chores done, the more time you’ll have to relax. You don’t want to worry about the details come the big day — you want to be thinking about cooking and eating.

Pie Season and Glass Cake Stands

The winter is pie season. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, chocolate pie.

glass cake standThe way pecan pie is kind of caramely and chocolatey incorporates aspects of chocolate pie and pumpkin pie. It’s especially delicious with ice cream, but what pie isn’t? The one thing you must keep in mind is that children love pies. In fact, pies are only second to cookies on most children’s most desired dessert lists, followed by cakes. They won’t want to wait for them to cool. They’ll smell the scent and their mouths will water and they will try to sneak a crust or a piece without your knowing. Which is why you need a glass cake stand, which obviously doubles as a glass pie stand and protects the pie while it cools.

Even if you’re going to another house for Thanksgiving, you can still bring glass cake stands as presents. It says much more than a bottle of wine and because there will likely be so many cakes and pies, there will certainly be a need for it.

And, the best thing about glass cake stands is that after Thanksgiving and the holidays are over, you can still use them to protect against children’s hungry fingers.

Prepare for Thanksgiving Tabletop Accessories

tabletop accessoriesIt’s nearly Thanksgiving , which means it’s almost time to begin preparations. Think about how many people are coming over and begin to compose a menu. You can start buying the canned supplies for dinner, like pumpkin and jellies, and then start thinking about your tabletop accessories.

Are you going to use paper napkins or cloth? Do you have enough plates and cutlery? Do you want to invest in Ravenscroft decanters to make an autumnal punch? There are many different options, especially when it comes to drinks, but because there’s such a smorgasbord,  it can be hard to find the right beverages.

If you want wine, the low tannins in pinot noir work well with turkey, and a sauvignon blanc or a Riesling is a good white. But, if you want to include the kids and your Ravenscroft decanters, try a Pilgrim’s Punch: 3 oz of grape juice, 3 oz cranberry, 4 oz cold sparkling water, and a squeeze of lemon. Since it’s a 10 oz drink, it’s easy to multiply the amounts to fill a large decanter or drink dispenser.

Once you decide, you have to get the supplies, and before you know it you’ll have to start shopping for the turkey. Start now and save yourself the worry later.

Throwing a House Warming Party, Flatware Caddy and All

When it comes to having your own place, it’s an exciting time. And you want to invite friends over to celebrate that awesome time but you need to be prepared. You are hosting for the first time in your own space and you want to come off as gracious and prepared as possible. That means having everything organized and ready.

Make sure all your dishware and barware is ready to be used. Things get dusty and dirty when wrapped up and packed so wash everything before serving guests. Keep everything easily within reach that you know you’ll need. Make sure your flatware is organized as well. A flatware caddy can really help with this and you’ll find it’ll end up being an essential piece from that point on.

No one expects you to have the most amazing tabletop accessories layout because they know you are just getting settled, but have the basics. Maybe some nice candles or an easy and quick centerpiece. Even a bouquet of flowers adds some charm to the room.

Lastly, be welcoming! Guests will feel comfortable if you feel comfortable in your own place. And that’s the most important part of all!