Cruising by the sale table at the Booksellers at Laurelwood several weeks ago, I snagged the book Table Style, by Liz Benton. The method to my impulse-buying madness was to turn a nightly chore (setting the table) into a fun project. That evening I handed the book to my daughter and told her she could use any idea she liked if she would be in charge of setting the nightly family dinner table. I gave her almost free rein, putting only my grandmother’s wedding china on the off-limits list.
The first night she selected “Autumnal Supper” as her inspiration. It took about 20 extra minutes to get it the way she wanted (Type-A daughter of a Type-A mother, I’m afraid), but it did look lovely and made for an equally lovely dining experience.
Since then we’ve had “Baby Shower,” “Christmas Lunch,” and “Mother’s Day Lunch” themes, although all were amended to reflect the reality that none of those occasions matched the actual date of the dinner. We don’t have a theme every single night, but having the book has elevated even the simple non-themed dinner settings. It has also taken what was once an unhappy chore and transformed it into fun.
Food is best enjoyed with good company and good conversation. A pretty table doesn’t hurt either.
And now for this week’s menu plan:
This week will be wildness and mayhem at our house as we juggle sports, end of school schedules, and Memorial Day weekend. There’s nothing fancy on this week’s plan, as a result, and more than one planned evening of eating out. And then the following week we’ll embark on the glorious 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Summer, here we come.