Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gifts From the Kitchen Brunch #1

Saturday was the big day for my annual Christmas brunch. It is one thing I have in my home every year that I try to do extra special. I will explain the "gifts" part in the next post, #2.  I prepared all the food the day before and had things in control and ready by the time the ladies arrived. We were missing someone this time, my daughter-in-law who had to work. In this part #1 we will stay in the dining room.


 
The food is served from the buffet at the end of the room. We failed to get a close-up picture this time. I have settled into a few things that have become favorites which are served each year with ham and biscuits always present. I always spring a new recipe or two on them, too. Last year, a breakfast crockpot dish was enjoyed by all and was repeated this year. I hope to share that recipe before the series is finished. 

 
Another full table shot which shows everything ready to begin, with the strawberry tea in the bottles and citrus fruit in the little stemware cups. Also, especially ordered cupcakes from a local baker. The first time in twenty two years that I served something that I didn't do myself.
 

 
Always present is a special mocha punch recipe that has a "traveling" story which is too long to go into here.


 
Showing the punch/tea table from the other end.
 
 

 
My dear friend Lynda, who I shared the punch recipe with many years ago, comissioned a mutual artist friend to paint this picture. Lynda surprised me with a copy in time to have it displayed here for the brunch. It is such a treasure for me to have! Caryn used Lynda's punch bowl to picture in the drawing. I have had quite a few cups of Lynda's punch from that bowl over the years!
 
 
 
 
 
Caryn Dahm - artist
 
 
 
Now, back to the table. How many of you have seen the video of the lady folding a napkin into a tree shape?  It has been all over face book lately and is on Pinterest. It was easy to follow along and I was very pleased with how my napkins turned out.
 

 
I had a good practice with the place setting as I used the same thing at a Christmas Tea at the annual Orlando Area Historical Rose Society event the week before.
 
 
 
One more showing a different angle.
 
 
 
And another. Having the strawberry tea/punch in the bottles adds to the total look.


 
 
 
 
 
Now, for some close-ups of the cupcakes.  The Baker is an employee at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club, in Orlando, but not their baker. She does that business on the side. My daughter has been ordering wedding cakes from her for her Destination Occasion company events. Her cakes are so good and always well done. 
 

 
 
 
 
The ladies are beginning to dive in and I am filling my plate at the buffet. Unfortunately, my daughter, the photographer is not shown at all.
 
 
 
Gifts From the Kitchen Brunch #2 will follow soon. You will want to stop back in to see what everyone came up with this year for their containers and what they made in their kitchen to put in them!
 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Kitchen #2 - The Kitchen Corner

.......Since I posted Kitchen #1 my annual Gifts From the Kitchen required a lot of work and time but the brunch took place yesterday and was great fun. I will be showing pictures from it soon but now it is onward ho, ho, ho, in the kitchen corner.........

 
We will look close-up at this area. If you missed #1 you can click here to see it first.


 
Here on top of the brown cabinet are two of my new Christmas in a jar scenes.  As I mentioned last time, I gathered up tiny things that I already had to do these. I am most sure I saved the little mustard jar just because it is so tiny and cute. It is only two and a fourth inches tall. The little snowman and santa were attached to rings that were used to go on stemware glasses. Epsom salt works great for the jars. The Santa is made of resin and is the one I bought as an example for the many I made of clay.
 

 
 

 
 

 
I am backing up a bit to show the egg basket that I forgot to show last time. It hangs from the ceiling and nicely displays some bells.
 
 
 
Back down next to the snow scenes is the big snowman cookie jar.  It was my daughter's container for her Gifts from the Kitchen Brunch. She found these greatly reduced in price the day after Christmas one year and stored them, nine of them I believe, until time for the next brunch. She was very surprised, when she brought them down from the attic, and discovered they were full of cookies - very stale and dry cookies!
 

 
In the first picture of the last post the red cup and saucer was here but the cup was sitting on the saucer. I kept looking at this vignette and kept thinking something needed to be changed. I like this arrangement better.


 
Finishing off the top of the cabinet is a favorite transferware tea pot and berry arrangement.
 

 
You have noticed parts of this wooden sign in the previous pictures - enjoy the whole picture.
 

 
Now, up on the big shelf is farmer cow holding a Christmas wreath. Behind the cow is a metal top hat.


 
Have you ever seen a snowball decked out in a Christmas hat and scarf? As I think of it, I have never seen a snowball with a face either, until this one.
 
 
 
I usually leave the old crock in place for Christmas as it seems to fit in. By the way, the kitchen takes on more of an American country look at Christmas. It's always a little bit country but I aim for more of a French country look for the rest of the year. 


 
On over to the left sits the wooden egg Santa. I painted him many years ago. The oversized glass ornaments are in the kitchen for the first time.  

 
 
Standing behind the ornaments, a cloth gingerbread girl, a gift from one of my "Gifts From the Kitchen" ladies.
 

 
Moved from the dining room to this shelf this year is my large, pedestal apothecary jar. 
 

 
Returning for about the third time is the twine balls snowman. Maybe he will have a top hat by next year.
 
 
 
At the end of the shelf, an old sewing machine drawer, standing on end and again this year, holding the white yarn tree. A wee ceramic snowman completes the shelf.
 

 
Beside the brown cabinet - my Anita Bryant high chair. Some of you have heard the story of it so many times that I won't repeat it this time.
 

 
And lastly, the little wooden chair on the wall above. The goofy reindeer and wooden angels are always here at Christmastime but, the red bird is new this time.
 
We will stop here now and save the rest for another post - maybe two more from the kitchen.
 
I hope you enjoy my "show and tell" kind of sharing. I know I appreciate everyone of you that opens the blog and looks to the end.
~~~~~
I hope you are having great fun during the holidays.
 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas #1 - the Kitchen Corner

It's really hard for me to believe but, the time has arrived again! Tis the season! I started decorating early and now it is time to start showing some of it.

After blogging for several years, I am plagued with the feeling that some of you have seen most of my things over and over and can it possibly be interesting to see it once more!  Partly, with that thought in mind, I try to switch things around, eliminated some items and of course, there are a few new little items. So, here we go again......



 
This post will focus in on just this corner with mostly close-up pictures to show the details. Most of the kitchen Christmas ends up on this side. You already know I am all about fun more than formality. One general rule since I use so much, everything needs to blend with the total look.
 

 

 
Starting with this low table....
 
 

 
I keep getting more and more interested in little snow scenes in jars. I gathered up several miniature items that I already had to make some new ones this year.
 

 
A lot of things can look dignified and special when you put them under glass.
 

 
A warm glow in a simple arrangement.
 

 
Separate wooden pieces spelling out SANTA.
 

 
And, hanging on the wall above, the big framed picture of Santa. You might guess, I pack away a lot of things to be able to do so much Christmas.  It works out to leave nails in place and after Christmas the same things take their place back on the walls.
 

 
A goofy, wooden, polka dot stocking.
 

 
And, a small wooden stocking stretcher with a little stocking on it.  Did you know that people used to stretch their wet stockings in this way? They were probably made of cotton or wool that would shrink when washed. This little one looks like it needs washing! It is stained that way on purpose to look old.
 

 
On over to the left, the white drawer cabinet holds this assortment.


 
 A cup wearing a sweater - one of the several things I made from a Goodwill purchased Christmas sweater.  It holds cinnamon stick santas, painted many years ago.
 

 
My oldest snow scene in a jar.
 

 
The stacked boxes snowman that my sister-in-law, Bernice painted. I always remember her fondly when this gets unpacked each year. We had a lot in common, enjoying much of the same things. As soon as I get this post finished, I will go line the boxes up like they should be!
 

 
A goofy white snow bird. I have a lot of "goofy" things that I love.
 

 
Up on the little shelf on the wall is this proud prancing reindeer.....
 

 
.......and these three bottle brush trees, something else I have really taken a liking to in recent years. I used to think they were so ugly.
With this, we will end the tour and  then continue on around the room after a day or two.
 
It has been said that decorating reveals who you are. Hopefully, my decorating gives you a feeling of warmth and comfort and that you will want to hurry back to visit again soon.
~~~~~~~