Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this?
Last week I prepared food in case some friends were able to drop by while they were in the city. Life happened and they weren’t able to come. So I rang around and invited 7 people for dinner the next night. I only had to slice some meat and throw some herbs into the butter for the garlic bread to be ready. So, I looked at the table and decided I wanted to use my new table runner that matches my new blue walls. I needed a centrepiece though.
I saw something on Pinterest (follow me here) that I loved (of course now I want to show you I can’t find it). It was a tall straight glass filled with water and a sprig of baby’s breath with a floating candle on top. Sort of like these:
Since my table is a bit on the narrow side, and would be crowded with 8 place settings several of these in a line down the centre would be great. Just a couple of problems. I didn’t have any tall straight glasses that suited, I didn’t have any baby’s breath (or Singapore orchids). Oh and I also didn’t have any floating candles. So, with 8 hours until guests arrived I went shopping. The Reject Shop was the only place with cheap straight glasses – 3 for $2. Of course that was about the fifth place I went. Then I discovered something interesting. Apparently there is an unspoken ban on floating candles in Hobart. I finally found some, but it took several trips across town and out to various shopping centres. Of course they were larger than the glasses I bought that morning. (Of course they were!) As a last resort I tried the Salvos for some wine glasses so I could do this instead. Wine glass votives. I not only picked up some nice wine glasses (which was good since I actually didn’t own any) but some gorgeous parfait glasses.
Raced home, turned on the oven, raced down to pick some flowers, then tried to get them to sit in the glasses under the water. The glasses werent’deep enough to add stones to hold them down, not narrow wnough to hold the sides – and quite frankly everything I tried looked like a bit of broken flower drowning, not swimming. Next time I’ll try actually blu-tacking some ivy sprigs to the bottom before adding water, but in the race against time to get the table ready and the food ready before everyone arrived I tossed the flowers out and decided to dye the water instead. In amongst this I also decided that 8 people around my extension table really wasn’t comfortable and decided to pull the fiddleback table out of the craft room and use that too. I was going to make one long table, (which of course the table runner would not have fitted anyway) but then had a brain wave. For months I’ve been drooling over a table I saw – a sort of a country style wooden with simple ladderback chairs – but square seating 8. I’ve told quite a few people of my dream to put a square table in the living room, and almost everyone has poo-poo-ed the idea. Oh, it will take up a lot of room, it will stick out, it would be to big. I took the extension out of the dining table and discovered my two tables are only a few millimetres different in length. So I pushed them together.
TaDa, square table, plenty of room for chairs without having to sit on the legs or around corners. But hell, what to cover it with? We’ve always had oblong tables which means a cupboard of oblong tablecloths. I pulled out a white damask cloth that I discovered when clearing cupboards last year. I think it may have been one of Mum’s that was discarded as being too big, or tossed for the couple of rust marks. It was probably put aside because Mum was going to cut it down to size and make serviettes or teatowels from it. The more likely reason I discovered, is that it was put out because it’s a bitch to iron. So the teal blue silk runner has been discarded, the white cloth ironed and fitted, the office chairs dragged into service (must get some more dining chairs if I’m going to entertain), the pasta bake and quiche are in the oven, the bench is covered with wet candles and newly washed glasses. I decide to throw some glass beads into the bottom of the candles and discovered that when I add water the glass colours up to match the walls. Yay, the mixing of food colours to try and get the right blue can wait till another day.
I was still buttering bread when people arrived and someone else sliced the tomatoes (fresh out of the garden), and the meat, and someone watched the bread under the grill. But hey, when people are invited for free leftovers they have to expect to work for it *grin* It was a great evening, and the square table worked so much better than long one. So, dinner party – 10 minutes work, centrepiece, 6 hours+. I’m not the only one who does this am I?
What do you think, can the room cope with a square table?