Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Decorating and Dining - Christmas

Christmas is now less than two weeks away and I am feeling fairly well organized. Gifts are wrapped and packages have been mailed to nieces and nephews we won't be seeing. I am still working on the holiday cards that seem to go out later every year, but I am hopeful they will be posted by Friday. After that I will be enjoying time with family in Rhode Island.

Most fun this week has been menu planning with my sister-in-law, Genie, for a few days of family get-togethers . Genie, editor of the beautiful, quarterly magazine Edible Rhody, is not only a great chef and food writer but, by virtue of her work, knows all the best resources - the finest butcher, where to get fresh oysters, who has great wines and cheese, and so on. She and my husband will run be running the kitchen, as usual. I won't even be baking because Genie makes the most exquisite Buche de Noel.

I will focus on supplying a little holiday 'cheer' for those who have been working on feeding the rest of us so well. Yes, friends, I have been back on eBay buying vintage glasses.

And here is what I will be filling them with this year: Blood-Orange Champagne Cocktails.

Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed or frozen blood-orange juice
2 750-ml bottles champagne, chilled.
Directions: Pour 3 tablespoons juice in each glass, top with champagne, and enjoy!
Easy and delicious, recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.

I have also been thinking about table centerpieces, and how to keep children of various ages entertained and involved in preparing for the festivities. Following are some ideas from Better Homes and Gardens for table decorations that could not be simpler to make or easier to assemble, don't require too many materials, and likely include some you already have or that can be gathered outside. Several are suitable for little hands to help with. Most plant material should be available at your local florist, nursery, or grocer.

A block of florist's foam in a wood container (use a plastic liner so you can keep it damp) is the base for mixed greens, juniper sprigs and citrus fruit on picks. Clove studded orange pomanders smell wonderful - my girls have loved making them since they were young.

Assorted pine cones (these have been spray painted) and small bunches of tulips in colored glasses.

Layer two glass cake stands with evergreen sprigs, pine cones, glass ornaments and red berries.

In the middle of a shallow dish is a vase filled with white hyacinth stems surrounded by boxwood and pine cones.

Mini bouquets in a painted glasses wrapped with gold ribbon. (An opportunity to use your glue gun.)

Felt wrapped vases make oversize votives for candles, and etched glasses are filled with bayberry stems.

Seedling yew trees in a shallow metal tray layered with moss and white and purple eggplants. I would use pomegranates, crabapples and mini forelle pears.

An amaryllis with cranberries in a glass hurricane; red ribbon and an evergreen sprig.

Wishing you and yours the best this holiday season and for the year ahead!

1 comment:

  1. These are some beautiful pot plant designs, thanks for sharing! The fresh pastel and neutral colours used always go in well with households, and help to create a calm and modern feel.


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