Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mikasa Again!




I recently learned that Mikasa, a division of Lifetime Brands, Inc., is bringing back "The Great Dinner Party." As many of you know, it's a website where people who love to entertain and set beautiful tables can share photos of their table settings (all dinnerware is welcome), menus, and recipes with their family and friends and gain inspiration for their next entertaining event.

I thought it would be fun to use my set of Mikasa Parchment dinnerware for you today in celebration of the Great Dinner Party's re-launch.






I've only used the china in one previous tablescape post. It was in the spring, and the centerpiece featured arrangements of (mostly) garden flowers. I followed my natural inclination and made it ever-so-slightly over the top -- lots of shiny silver serving pieces, champagne buckets, layers of lace, clusters of grapes among the flowers. You can see it
HERE or just get the idea from the image below:


Today's version is, well, not exactly casual, but decidedly scaled back. My goal was to strike a balance between earthy and ethereal -- definitely a challenge when the dinnerware is truly elegant, with a beautiful scrollwork design and platinum border.


I think of dishes like these as comparable to "investment pieces" of clothing -- the kind of quality classics that give our wardrobes "good bones" and credibility. Personal style comes from mixing in vintage pieces, heirloom jewelry, and so on.




It's not only accepted, but fashionable, these days to mix couture fashions with fun pieces from thrift and consignment shops. Why not take the same approach to table setting?





Some of my favorite tables reflect a "high and low" approach. What do I mean by high and low? I think it's important to include a variety of heights for interest (candles at multiple levels, for example), but I definitely love to create table settings that mix higher-end items (whether new, vintage, or antique) with very basic things from thrift and discount stores.


Instead of using the Mikasa soup/salad bowls this time, I decided on vintage clear glass salad plates, Duncan & Miller Canterbury (1939-1955). I like the way their scalloped rims and bases repeat the graceful lines of the scrollwork design of the china pattern.


I'll be serving shrimp cocktail appetizers in these timeless, blown-glass martini glasses (from one of my favorite boutiques -- Dollar Tree!).


The Wm. Rogers silverplated flatware is a recent estate sale acquisition. It's easy to tell it's from the 1930s, because of the deco design and the then-popular grille/viande shape (long, graceful handles on the dinner forks and knives, with shorter tines and blades).





Since the sale was almost over, I was able to negotiate the price for the service for 8 (in a beautiful wooden silverware chest) down to only $25! That's less than we'd pay today for an inexpensive set of lightweight stainless flatware.




The "table runner" is an embroidered sheer curtain panel I picked up at a different estate sale. It was still in the original packaging, and I think I paid either fifty cents or a dollar for it. I thought it might help the transition between the formal china and the decidedly un-fancy centerpiece. More on that later ....





I suppose the nice folks at Lifetime Brands liked my previous Parchment table. I received a very kind e-mail from them, and they requested my address, so they could send me a "thank you" gift. Isn't the Parchment coffee server stunning?




They also sent me a set of pretty Parchment water goblets. I had trouble remembering where I put them, so they were a last minute addition to the table. In fact, if you'd like to play "Where's Waldo?," you'll notice that I didn't get the blue Mikasa stickers removed from most of them! I peeled one off, removed the residue with Goo Gone, and thought, "I don't have time for this! I'm about to lose the light, and I want some daytime photos!!!"





I promise I'll get the rest of the stickers off and wash the glasses before guests arrive!





The centerpiece wasn't terribly expensive to create. OK, not at ALL expensive. Two bags of colorful gourds (reduced to 99 cents per bag at Kroger), hedge-apples picked up along the roadside, and a handful of perennial button mums from the garden. I say hedge apples; some call them horse apples or osage oranges. You can read about maclura pomifera
HERE. The tend to exude a milky, sticky sap, so they're not ideal for long-lasting interior use. But I love the color and texture they add!


I did polish the silver flatware before I set the table, but I resisted the urge to make the candleholders shiny. The warmth of the tarnish somehow seemed to work well with the colors of the gourds and flowers.


OK, I have to include a disclaimer here. I normally would NOT have the cups and saucers on the table until time for the dessert course. And I definitely wouldn't put the napkins under the plates and martini glasses! It reminds me of the old magic trick -- you know the one ... the tablecloth is snatched from underneath the china, crystal, and silver on a beautifully-set table (with disastrous results, unless executed perfectly!).





I wanted you to see the cups. Which meant the napkins wouldn't fit to the left of the forks. Plus, the color of the napkins makes the lines of the Canterbury plates easier to see in the photographs.


I think this table's going to rely heavily on the ambience only candlelight can create ...




Lifetime Brands also gifted me with the sugar bowl and creamer. I was truly appreciative!


I seem to remember that cocktail forks go to the right of the spoons (the only forks that go on the right). But don't you think they look prettier this way? Since I didn't have cocktail forks that matched the flatware, I went with a totally different pattern that has a decidedly Victorian look. I think it's better to make "mix-and-match" obviously intentional. "Almost matching" can tend to look rather sad.


The champagne flutes are from Goodwill. It was a 50% off day, so the total cost for all 8 was only $4! The simple glass bud vases are also thrifted -- 25 cents each.


Since the table was nearing overload space-wise, I put the Duncan & Miller Canterbury candleholders on the bar. The scalloped rims around the bases of the candles repeat the shapes of the plates and serving pieces.






The candleholders' shapes remind me of both flames and ocean waves. Those designers of the depression/elegant glass era definitely knew how to create timeless, beautiful objects.


I literally dumped the gourds from the bags and stuck in the hedge-apples wherever they'd fit. The flowers practically arranged themselves. I rather like the way the informal combinations of objects from nature and the tarnished silver create an interesting juxtaposition with the formal dinnerware and elegant stemware.


I felt really fortunate to find the Canterbury iced beverage glasses at a local antiques shop last week. It's one I rarely visit, because they specialize in mostly Victorian furniture and almost never have "smalls." I saw the dusty glasses sitting on the counter and inquired about them. The owner said he found them at a yard sale somewhere, and he'd take $2 each for them. Oh Happy Day!!!


Yes, I took a lot of photos by candlelight ...





And, purely by accident, a "blue hour" reflection taken from the sunroom.











I hope you've enjoyed your visit!






I'll be serving "tied up" chicken -- filleted chicken breasts and thighs, pounded flat and rolled with thinly-sliced ham and mozzarella cheese, secured with cotton cording, and sauteed in half olive oil/half butter, with white table wine poured in at the end to create a subtle, tantalizing sauce (naturally, the strings are removed before serving).






Side dishes: sauteed "skinny" green beans (in butter again), white rice with enough saffron rice mix added to provide color and flavor (but without providing too much sodium) ... with butter (hey, Julia Child never skimped on the butter ... or the wine!). Viva la Julia!



The way I make shrimp cocktail is HERE. The salad will include greens and veggies that aren't in the cocktail.




Dessert? Hmmm ... still deciding. What would you suggest? I've been known to make what guests say is a truly tasty Tiramisu. It'll wake you up and relax you at the same time!



Rumors claim that tiramisu was created in the town of Siena for Duke Cosimo de Medici. The other main story is more racy and alleges that tiramisu, which translates to “pick-me-up,” was used by ladies of the evening to revitalize their stamina. Both tales bear some truth in that layered cakes have been around for a long time and that the eggs, sugar, and caffeine in tiramisu are energizing.






Well, I already have lady fingers in the freezer waiting to be transformed into a treat for the bon vivants among us. But I could always return to my Southern roots and bake you a sweeter-than-honey pecan pie.



If you missed the recipe the first time, here it is again:



While I can't lay claim to being an accomplished cook, I grew up surrounded by those who were. My father's sister published a cookbook filled with recipes she loved, lettered in her own hand, illustrated with drawings she'd done, and seasoned with stories of her childhood and her (my) family. I've tried a number of pie crust recipes, but hers is among the simplest and most reliable.






Plain Pastry

2 c. sifted enriched flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 c. shortening
5 to 7 T. cold water

Sift together flour and salt, cut in shortening with pastry blender or blending fork till pieces of fat are the size of small peas.

Sprinkle water a T. at a time over part of mixture. Gently toss with fork. Push to one side of bowl. Sprinkle next T. of water over dry part. Mix lightly and push to moistened part at side. Repeat until all is mositened.Gather up with fingers; roll into ball.

For double crust pie divide dough for lower and upper crust. Form each in ball lightly and roll 1/8" thick on lightly floured surface. If edges split, pinch together. Always roll from center out to edge. Use light strokes.
Makes enough pastry for one 10" or 9" lattice top pie or one 8" or 9" double crust pie.

For the filling, I did what I often do. I read various recipes, picked and chose from each what sounded appealing, and then merged them into one.



Here's what I used:
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. corn syrup
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/8 t. salt
1 T. cornmeal (I used 1.5)
1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans


Mix together all ingredients, stirring in chopped nut meats last. Pour into 9" pie crust. I added a layer of pecan halves on top for beauty and toasted nutty goodness. I didn't measure, just placed them in circular rows until the top was covered.
Bake in hot oven (450 degrees F), ten minutes. Then reduce heat to moderate oven (350 degrees F) and continue baking until a silver knife blade inserted in center of filling comes out clean.









Other recipes say to cook for 40-45 minutes at 375 or at 300 for an hour. Probably any method would work. I should have used a ring of aluminum foil to protect the rim of the crust for the last 15 minutes or so to prevent excess browning. Otherwise, it turned out well, not runny or syrupy sweet (a miracle considering the list of ingredients!).










It's best consumed soon after baking (or microwave on high for about 15 seconds just before serving). Top warm pie with a scoop of vanilla or caramel praline ice cream and, if true decadence is desired, add whipped cream (atop, or instead of, the ice cream) drizzled with zig-zag lines of caramel syrup. A drizzle of coffee liquor is an even more sure-fire hit!




Try not to think about calories; focus on the health value of consuming good ol' Southern pecans!



No less an authority than the Georgia Pecan Commission states:



"Pecans are an excellent source of oleic acid, a fatty acid found in abundance in olive oil and other monounsaturated fats. These fats have a protective effect on the blood, lowering total blood cholesterol and preserving the good HDLs that help combat heart disease.In addition to improving cardiovascular health, pecans contain hytochemicals and are believed to be helpful in fighting some cancers, including colon and stomach cancers, according to Frank Sacks, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.




The nuts have also been proven to be effective for diabetics, especially those placed on low-fat diets. The fiber in pecans is mostly insoluble, which has been linked to reduced cholesterol levels and shown to be helpful in warding off colon cancer. The pecans also contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber (see nutrient values chart).Comparing fat and calories with other nuts, pecans fall right in the middle with 189 calories per ounce. However, only 1.5 grams of the pecan's fat is saturated.



Please join Susan of Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursdays. And watch for the launch date of Mikasa's "The Great Dinner Party!"

P. S. I have a great recipe for buttermilk yeast rolls. I let the electric breadmaker mix the dough and do the first rising. Then I take it out and form it into cloverleaf rolls that, after the second rising and being in the oven for a few minutes, absolutely melt in your mouth. Well ... as long as you add a big ol' pat o' butter while they're still hot from the oven!






Let me know if you want the recipe, OK? It can be made somewhat healthier (ugh) if you substitute whole wheat bread flour for half the white.






Have a great week!



64 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, Bill! I am absolutely speechless! Your table is simply gorgeous...so much attention to detail! I love the glow in the candlelight! And I am a big proponent of mixing heirlooms with GW finds, so I love that aspect! A fabulous setting for a wonderful dinner! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

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  2. Wow Bill! You go away for a while and come back with a bang!! What a gorgeous table...You blended all the elements so beautifully! I love the picture of the table from a distance...Gorgeous with the lighting!
    It's a good thing I don't live close by because you would be shooing me away!! Seriously!! Better wipe off my nose print from your window!!
    Your menu sounds divine and I'm drooling at the thought of Pecan Pie! (What time did you say to come)???
    I think I am jealous you got those additional pieces from Lifetime Brands/Mikasa! What a wonderful and generous gift!
    Your "table runner" piece is perfect- what a creative idea (again)!
    Your mix of natural elements with the crystal and silver look wonderful. I do believe you achieved your goal of a mix between earthy and etheral!
    Kudos!
    Liz

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  3. Ok Bill, you just raised the bar for any of the rest of us who might be involved in The Great Dinner Party!! My goodness, as always this is just fabulous! I do love that pattern, and the coffee server is beautiful!! What a wonderful gift! I love your Duncan and Miller candleholders especially. You are the master at this. I think I'll go back to the drawing board:-) Stunning as always!!

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  4. Beautiful! I love your inspiration china. Your attention to detail is always amazing. The candlelight photos are so romantic.

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  5. Hello Bill:
    Mellow yellow, what a perfect ambience for the season and what a spectacular table setting you delight us with today. We totally agree about mixing vintage with newer pieces to give an exciting contrast rather than a 'newly married' match. You have very skilfully combined the old and modern, each with echoes of each other, in order than they enhance the colours, shapes and designs without producing a mish mash of styles.

    Very elegant indeed and a delicious menu. Pecan pie for pudding please!

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  6. Love your high and low table - drooling over the coffee server! I love osage oranges for decorating also -hedge apples is a new term to me, but I like it!

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  7. Spectacular table! I love the dishes and glassware; the sparkling elegance combined with the organic feel of the centerpiece and bouquets of mini mums is striking! Love it!
    The candlelight photos are amazing, as usual!! I really love to mix and match, old & new, inexpensive and expensive, too....I'm always glad to see that I'm not the only one and that I'm not as unfashionable as I think!

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  8. Welcome back Bill. You came back with a resounding roar! King of the table. I love your china and your beautiful glassware. How nice that the glasses came! Great find on the others too. I love your mums.. ooh they look so regal on this table. Your night shots, well they should be publishes.. Glad to know the great dinner party is coming back, I did post a new table on there a few weeks ago.. or last week ... You've brought me much joy today.. xo marlis

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  9. Wow ! What a beautiful table.... !!! I love the flowers in tall holders... and the coffee server looks soo lovely... with delicate designs...!!

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  10. Your table setting is knock-out Bill :o) Absolutely stunning by candlelight too - such a lovely scene looking in through the window.

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  11. Wow! Your table is glistening, Bill! It's stunning and every piece is just gorgeous. The whole set up is so elegant, whoecer eats here will feel like a Hollywood star. Beautiful elements all throughout...Christine

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  12. Hi Bill,
    your table is like a peek into heaven. Shiny light, sparkling and glittering around. The hedge apples catches my eyes immediately. What a great texture and outstanding color and all is true nature. Very intersting fruit. I always admire your flower and fruit decorations as much as the fine china and crystal. Thank you for entertaining us again.
    Best greetings, Johanna

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  13. Majestic and beautiful.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

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  14. A stunning table, Bill. A literal feast for the eyes!!! Warm and elegant! Truly a pleasure to visit!

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  15. Don't you just feel FABULOUS to read all these accolades?! All a well-deserved tribute to your incredible talents. The table is gorgeous (again), and the recipes sound absolutely wonderful, but I also love your commentary, Bill. It's always a joy to take your work in, as one does in the presence of art. Thank you. You enrich our lives with your many talents.

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  16. Awwww, Sweet Bill....I'VE MISSED YOU, & your tables!!! What an exquisite effect you've created with all these beautiful pieces, so expertly combined. You are truly a master at this tablescaping art & now I read that you COOK, too??? Amazing!

    Yes, please DO share the recipe for your cloverleaf rolls? My Dad always made them but I've never bothered to even try.

    Hugs,
    Rett

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  17. Absolutelly stunning! My dearest Bill, you just gave a feast to my eyes with such exquisite elements you use to stage such elegant tables over and over again, tables with such glitter and refinement fit for a king!!You are also a very talented photographer dear Bill, it amazes me every time! Thank you so much for sharing. Lots of hugs, FABBY

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  18. Oh, thank you for the pie recipe, it looks perfect, as the tables you set...pure perfection at it's best! Hugs, FABBY

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  19. Just beautiful, Bill. I used Osage Oranges ("horse apples" when I was a kid) in a recent tablescape, too. They add such wonderful texture and burst of color, don't they? Amazing that you received unexpected gifts. I can't think of anyone who would appreciate -- and use -- them more! Congratulations!

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  20. WOW is all I can say! Not only a beautiful table but a history lesson as well! Love your photos of the blue hour with the sparkling chandelier!

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  21. I am SO glad to see you back this week. I have been wondering about you and might have even been a little worried had I not taken into consideration how busy we all get this time of year. I assumed you were knee-deep in all that is necessary to prepare for the holiday season that is now squarely upon us. And you came back with a vengeance, my friend! This table is stunning and beyond!!! "Parchment" is probably my favorite pattern in the Mikasa line. It is so pretty!!! Hooray for you scoring some nice pieces from Lifetime Brands! I just visited your "favorite boutique" today with my mother. I am really amazed at some of the cool stuff they have in there!!! My Mom bought me a bunch of stuff that I would have paid oodles for otherwise. Hooray, Mom!!! The hedge apples (that's what we call 'em here!) and bumpy gourds look fantastic! The texture really is fascinating, isn't it? I love the long line of florals, too. Very chic! I am doing pecan pie (or maybe the pecan cobbler recipe from my Southern Living Cookbook...or was that in Southern Lady?) this year, too. Mine won't turn out nearly as pretty as yours, but I ALWAYS make my crust from scratch. There's just no other way in my kitchen! My Mom tried to talk me into getting some Pillsbury ready-made crusts today to "save time" when I'm doing all that cooking next week. Uh...that's what Thanksgiving is all about! You stand in there and cook 'til you can't stand it! Then you get all the glorious, loving praise from your family and friends who appreciate it that you took the time and made the effort. Scratch, baby! Scratch!!! I'm going to try that cornmeal in the filling this year. I'll let you know how it turns out. Gorgeous table, glad to see you back, and if I don't talk to you before next week, have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!

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  22. Your artistic talent abounds! I love the comment about Dollar Tree-made me laugh. I'm so glad bloggers aren't snobs. Around here hedge apples have the reputation of being able to repel spiders if they are kept in the house. We have to but ours as they don't grow here.

    Your butter reminds me of the vegetables we had in Wales-we asked our hostess how she fixed them because they were delicious compared to ours. She told us how she cooked them with butter--lots of it. No comparison to our bland steamed veggies!♥♫

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  23. Wow Bill, your table is my most most favorite...I love all the dishes blended seamlessly...of course the sparkle is to die for..the mixed glassware is something I love doing, it makes your eyes jump around to see all the beautiful things...I think your specialty should always be "the more over the top the better"...simply stunning...Phyllis

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  24. beautiful, beautiful.. I especially like the 'blue hour' photo. Happy Thanksgiving to you..

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  25. Bill, it's always a special treat to see one of your tables, and today you've even added pecan pie. I'm ready to bake my own next week. A friend just brought me 6 lbs of Louisiana pecans. Texas pecans didn't have a crop this year. Happy Thanksgiving to you! ~ Sarah

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  26. Love, Love, Love the post. I think I have read it about 4 times! Beautiful tablescape. I think I have some of the timeless elegant martini glasses from the same Dollar Tree boutique!
    Thank you for sharing!

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  27. I always love your tablescapes, Bill, as they are always so beautifully done. I like the through the window shots of the dining room in candlelight. Thank you and happy thanksgiving to you. Pamela

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  28. WOW Bill, you don't miss a beat with your tables. This one is no exception. I love love love the shot looking in through the windows. It looks like it could be in a story book. Enjoy the holidays!

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  29. I can just imagine the beautifully dressed guests and the clever banter going on. This dining room is so elegant ...just stunning....and yes, my first reaction to these pictures was WOW!

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  30. I had to come by again and see your table! It's like a favorite magazine you want to see several times! Beautiful job!
    Liz

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  31. Lovely table as always Bill! I have missed your posts lately and I always look forward to your fabulous table settings. You have so many beautiful ideas.

    I would love the recipe for the Buttermilk Yeast Rolls you mentioned above. They sound like something that would make a great addition to my Thanksgiving table. Thanks so much!

    Mary L (another Tennesseean)

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  32. I am thrilled that I found your blog! You sir are extremely talented.

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  33. I'm new to your blog, too, and I am just astounded! I love how you tell all about each element of your table. How lucky people are to be a guest at your table.

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  34. I pledge that someday, I'll learn to take candlelight shots that are nearly as amazing as yours. As always, I love every moment of your design...and pecan pie is my all time favorite. I'd love the dinner roll recipe, too! How about Brandy Ice for dessert? Half gallon of premium vanilla ice cream, 6 oz. Brandy, 1 oz. Drambuie, 1 oz. Triple Sec, and 1 oz. Creme de Cacao. Mix in blender and refreeze...you can return it to the original ice cream carton. Guaranteed to please your guests. Happy Thanksgiving! Cherry Kay

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  35. I, too, am happy I found your blog, love your posts.

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  36. Magic! I don't know how you do it, but the way the table sparkles certainly must require some legerdemain. So nice that you were gifted with the coffee service and the gorgeous goblets. "Parchment" certainly makes an elegant table.

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  37. Bill, I love the hedge apples! I remember them as I kid in Pennsylvania, but haven't seen any since I moved to Raleigh. They add such great texture. Too bad it's temporary. Maybe replace with with some moss balls? Love the candlelit shots! And, you've inspired me break out my taper candles. Haven't used them in a tablescape in years in favor of pillars. Really great tablescape! Think I'll follow you ;)

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  38. your photos and table are stunning~

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  39. That table is absolutely gorgeous! There is such ambiance in the room. I would love to sit down to that delicious meal there!

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  40. Bill, this is sooo beautiful. I love your candlelight pics...they are awe inspiring! Thanks for the recipe...that pecan pie looks insanely good!

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  41. Beautiful beautiful beautiful!!!!!!
    And I so love your dining room! That paneling and chimney is just gorgeous!
    xx
    Greet

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  42. If beauty contained calories, I would have gained twenty pounds just looking at your table! You have mastered the trio of gorgeous tables, artistic lighting and stunning photos. I am in awe.

    Elaine
    Creating Wonderful Spaces

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  43. Exquisitely beautiful and perfectly appointed as usual! I love the "feel" of this table~ elegant and classic and just one of the most spectacular tables I have seen!
    Yvonne

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  44. Bonjour Bill, vos présentations sont toujours aussi magnifiques, vos photos et éclairage à la bougie sont de pures merveilleuses. Merci pour ce spectacle.

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  45. Hi Bill,

    This table is splendid!! Your candlelight pics are breathtaking. I love your dishes (such an elegant pattern), your crystal and silver. And the centerpiece is just right for this time of year. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

    Denise

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  46. Thanks for sharing your beautiful tablescape. Loved the candlelight, mixed dinnerware and hedge apples. I search for linens at tag sales too. The curtains are perfect as a runner. Nice post.

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  47. Many Blessings to you and your love ones this Thanksgiving..Hugs and smiles Gloria

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  48. Just stopping by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, Bill!! Hope you have a wonderful day! Love your candlelight tablescape photos, and thanks for sharing your recipes.
    Best,
    Gloria xxoo

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  49. Greetings Bill!

    Another beautiful creation! Just stopping by to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. Thank you for always inspiring us with your amazing talent.

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  50. Bill, I love that table!!! You got me wanting more crystals on my table this year for Christmas.

    Lovely finds and wow! I love that outside shot!

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  51. Simply gorgeous and the pictures..!! they do your table justice with perfect lighting and candle glow!!

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  52. Bill,
    You are so talented. This is absolutely beautiful. What a treat for guests.

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  53. Beautiful post, wonderful table setting style, fabulous home and they should use your pictures in an add, makes me want to run and get these dishes. Thanks for sharing. Richard from My Old Historic House

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  54. A stunning table set up. I love the photo taken from the sun room. Pecan pie is my favorite. I will have to give your recipe a try. It sounds delicious.

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  55. CHRISTmas Blessings from my mountain top to your home…May it be the best one ever..Hugs and Love Gloria.

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  56. Bill,
    Merry Christmas from down here in Georgia. Hope your Christmas and New Year are the best ever!
    Babs

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  57. Been missing you & your gorgeous tablescapes. I'm sure you're very busy right now, but I wanted you to know I'm thinking of you &
    Wishing you & yours a very Blessed & Merry CHRISTmas, Bill!

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  58. WOW Bill, Your photography is amazing. I aspire to your level of amazing pictures. The candlelight ones are beautiful, my favs. I love to sit down at a beautiful table. . . I'll be right over.
    Have a Merry Christmas,
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  59. I have the computer tonight, and I came straight over here (like a glutton) to feast on your tablescapes. This is gorgeous, and those centerpieces! Just stunning.

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, my friend. I still have things to clean up. Everything is rinsed and cleaned, but it needs to go through the dishwasher on china cycle. I had kiddos yesterday. And today, I could barely move. It will get done. LOL!

    Love to you...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  60. Hi Bill, I saw your article on Great Dinner Parties by Mikasa and wanted to see your blog. I am not disappointed. You are very talented and have such flair and style. I just signed up to follow you. I am a new blogger of six weeks and have found some outstanding blogs, yours being one of them. I look forward to seeing many more wonderful things here from you.

    Best Wishes and hoping you are having a great New Years Eve.

    Nann

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  61. The table arrangement is just too divine Bill. A scrumptious feast for the eyes.

    Paul

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  62. Your tables are to die for. Just gorgeous. I am so glad I found your blog.

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