Monday, December 17, 2012

Decorating Progress . . .

I'm still decorating, but the tables are set.
This year I decided to create some Christmas table scapes so I could enjoy a few of my holiday dish sets.

This is the kitchen table.

This is the dining room table.  

The goblets belonged to my great-grandmother.  The little presents hold name tags on top and a little chocolate truffle inside.

The tree plates are hand painted plates by Blue Ridge Pottery.  When I was young, eating off plates like these at my grandmother's house was a tradition I fondly remember.  I also remember that the plates had to be washed by hand after the meal.  My grandmother's plates are still in the family, but I was able to find a few for my own table setting.  

Since the plates were hand painted, each one looks just a little different.  These plates were made over 50 years ago by Southern Potteries in Erwin. Tennessee.  At one time that company employed over 1,000 workers.  The factory closed in 1957, after the invention and wide acceptance of plastic dishes!

I'm in the mood to try a new dessert for our Christmas feast. Last year I made Ina Garten's coconut cake, it was pretty enough to be on the cover of a magazine, but was as dry as the desert.  It sat in my cake dish for days before I finally just dumped it in the trash.   I couldn't talk anyone into trying a second piece.  Do you make a yummy Christmas dessert that you think I would like to add to my menu?  Pass it along, thanks!

My Wild Air geese are coming together quickly and stacking up, they're a nice diversion, sometimes, too much of one.

I won't address the tragedy that occurred Friday in Connecticut, I like my blog to be a happy diversion for folks, but it sure was hard writing about dishes, decorating and the upcoming holidays with such a heavy heart.


  1. What pretty table settings you have! Your great grandmothers glassware is lovely! I am curious- do most people in the US not use crockery or porcelain for their meals, but plastic??!

  2. Your tables are beautiful. :D We're rather sparse with our decorating this year, so soon after our move, and with my masters work. I'm really looking forward to doing this new house up proper next year!

  3. White Christmas Pie! It is - was - from a really, really old edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. It has whipped cream, egg whites, milk, almond extract, vanilla, sugar, I don't remember what else and coconut. It's a "must make this every year" sort of dessert.

    The other thing I make every couple of years is Hummingbird Cake using a recipe from Southern Living - I know you can find that one online as I think I read somewhere it is the most requested Southern Living recipe ever. Ever.

    The tables are beautiful and I love the story behind your lovely Christmas dishes.

    As for the last. Agreed. :)

  4. I love your decorations! It's definitely Christmas at your house! :-)

    There's a recipe in one of my cookbooks (can't find it) that my sister-in-law made one year. It's called Mint Dazzle. It was a frozen dessert. Loved it. You could really customize it and add chocolate, or all sorts of other decorations. I think it's in the Junior League of Austin's cookbook (Necessities and Temptations?). The book has a yellow and blue binding.

    If I find it I'll send it to ya.

  5. What beautiful Christmas tables! I have that same beaded garland you have on your centerpiece in your first picture. What a creative way to use them

  6. I understand. Even with the tragedy happening 80 miles across the state from me, it still hit too close to home. But we won't talk about it. I do LOVE your kitchen dishes!! How sweet. Your dining room table set is very sweet as well. I love the idea of the hand-painting.

  7. This is the best thing there is to eat if you love almon flavor and so very easy no mixer....
    Gooey Almond cake Serves 6-8. Cooking time 25-30 minutes
    3/4 cup melted butter
    11/2 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp almond extract
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    Pinch salt
    11/2 cups flour
    Granulated sugar and slice almonds
    Mix melted butter & sugar until well blended
    Add eggs one at a time
    Add extracts and salt
    Mix in flour 1/2 cup at a time
    Pour into 8 inch round pan
    Sprinkle lightly with sugar and sliced almonds
    Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes
    The shorter the baking time the gooier the cake

  8. Goodness, your table settings are so inviting! How fun to use dishes from days past. Sorry, but you will have to rely on a dessert recipe from another blogger... baking is not my thing... any family member of mine will vouch for that!

  9. Love your table settings, Thelma, and the ribbons around the dining room chairs -- so pretty and festive!

  10. I have found some great desserts on Pinterest. Check out my boards for Just Desserts and Christmas Eats.

    I just made a cake called Southern Pecan Praline cake that was good - would look pretty baked in a bundt pan with the topping poured on each piece.

    I know what you mean. I haven't felt like blogging about potlucks and gift exchanges. All the festivities seem so shallow and empty right now. I can't imagine those families with presents under their trees for their lostlittle ones.

  11. Go to Search: Chocolate Rum Cake.

    I won the office Holiday Bake-Off with this recipe! (omitting the nuts) It was my very first time baking it, and everything came out scrumptious! Be sure to use Pam Baking Spray in your bundt pan for easy removal.

    Topped it with the Chocolate Ganache recipe. The first recipe listed, with 9 oz. of chocolate....Heaven!

  12. i gotta admit - your table settings are making me more than a little ashamed of the red and green plaid paper plates that i was gonna use for Christmas morning coffee cake ... and thank you for the happy diversion - hearts are heavy all around, and sometimes i forget to NOT be morose.

  13. *raising my hand!! I want to come for dinner and eat at either table - how beautiful and special!! You rock, Thelma!

  14. Your tables and your dishes are just lovely!

  15. Your tables look amazing!!!
    I have to ask a question though - are they going to stay like that until Christmas Day? Where do you eat in the mean time?
    From New Zealand

  16. Your tables are beautifully decorated, Thelma! I love your Christmas tree plates and your Grandmother's goblets.

  17. OH Thelma... I love your table settings... can you tell me what the name of the top set is? I have never seen them and they are wonderful.

  18. Hi, Thelma! Do you like Red Velvet cake? A friend made one for one of our luncheons. It was fabulous. I can send you her recipe (boxed mixed, but homemade icing) if you'd like.

    Merry Christmas! I love dishes. Loved seeing your beautiful table settings.

  19. Thelma,
    You have a cloche!! Your tables look gorgeous all set for Christmas! The dishes and all your decor is beautiful.
    Have a Merry Christmas!


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