Comfort(able) Eating

Tonight, we were having friends for dinner. It's been grey, chilly, and wet for the past week, so my focus was on warmth, cheer and comfort. Simple menu--slow cooked mustard/brown sugar glazed pork roast, baked pasta with cheese, roasted asparagus, homemade biscuits with herb butter--plain, hearty food, my favorite. (Who am I kidding? All food is my favorite, from pate de foie gras to bologna. Maybe that's why I've gone from being told, "you remind me a little of Jude Law" to you look like that chubby guy from "Knocked Up.) I also wanted to room to be warm, cozy and welcoming. However, I needed to spruce up on a budget.
For the runner, I took inspiration from all of the bistros in town that top their white tablecloths with white paper. I topped my wood (all right, I'll tell the truth--it's 70s formica---unfortunately in such pristine condition that I can't convince Thomas to let me paint it) with brown kraft paper that I already had. In fact, brown kraft paper is one of my staples---it looks great for presents tied with anything from twine to silk ribbon, it can wrap cut flowers from the garden, it makes great dust covers for books with too colorful jackets...I could go on, but you get the point. If you don't have a roll, go buy one--trust me you'll be glad.

I used a mix and match collection of hefty, rustic plates, stainless, and wood handled flatwear.

I pulled the centerpiece from things I already had: a tray to unify the disparate elements and some paperwhites i bought at the beginning of the holiday season. I originally intended to cover the plastic pots with moss, but never got around to it. That's okay: my trusty kraft paper came to the rescue.

I tucked in some herbs I haven't planted yet, and later added some satsuma oranges for color.

I used a mix of glasswear--crystal bubbles for the red wine, and thick amber hued glass for water. I like the look of mixing, but honestly it's a necessity. 3 moves, 1 porcelian farm sink, two cats, 1 hurricane, and 1 fanatical glass washing partner later, my stemware collection contains lots of sets of 3, 5, and 2.

Finally, glowing warmly and ready for guests.

It was a dark and stormy night; alas too stormy. A torrential downpour on top of several days of rain produced flash flooding and overall horrible conditions. In fact, conditions were so bad that our dinner guests cancelled (their own street had flooded). Still, I was glad that I had a warm and cozy (and cleaned up for company) dining room to enjoy. I was also glad that I had not spent any money on the table. While I was disappointed that my friends couldn't come, once I realized how much further 2 bottles of wine would go split between 2 instead of 4, I cheered up. After all, my wine glass wasn't half-empty. It wasn't even half-full. I filled that sucker up to the rim.


Sharon said...

As I read this I got such a warm and cozy feeling...even though it is pouring steadily outside right now. Thanks for the simple inspiration!

Karena said...

Yes, this image(s) show so much love and warmth. Beautiful decorating for the holidays! I love the mix!

mimi said...

The table is beautiful and you depict the evening so well in words, I feel the warmth!! Lovely, lovely.

carla fox said...

Yum....a feast for the eyes and mouth!! Love it!

dee dee said...

Beautiful table!... Dee dee

laurelstreet said...

"After all, my wine glass wasn't half-empty. It wasn't even half-full."

I should have this embroidered on a pillow - 'tis the story of my life ;-)

P.S. The table is a gem!

beki said...

It looks lovely!

Katherine Lee said...

Looks great! Thanks so much for the comment and advice over at Urban Flea! I'll be linking to your lovely blog for sure!

xo Katherine aka. Urban Flea :)

Visual Vamp said...

We were trapped in the house too!!!
I walked home from work in the dark in knee deep water! At least the water was warm and I had on boots.
The table looks fab, and those narcissus just might make it for Christmas, and for New Years Day for sure.
Please stop by my blog and leave a comment for charity - you comment and I donate.
xo xo

Chic Provence said...

I would have loved to sit down at this table and raise a toast with you! Lovely, warm, inviting, festive, thrifty...perfectly elegant!

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays you little Jude Law you!


Maria Killam said...

Looks like a designer lives there that's for sure!! Beautiful!

Katrina Foulkes-Taylor said...

What a lovely story, I am very inspired now I might just fill my glass to the top too! Home decorating must never be hard or too expensive as women we always like to change it anyway.