Friday, May 19, 2017


It's her fault
My mother loved to set a table. So much so
that every evening we dined by candlelight
in the dining room. Not only was it a genteel
way to end one's day, it was family time. A
chance to enjoy each other's company. Yet
Ethel is not entirely to blame for my love of
all things tabletop. Frank claims that the only
reason we moved into the Passion Pit was
because I needed more room to store all of
my china, silver, and glassware. As usual he's
right. However the idea for what he now calls
the "great wall of china" came from another
source. One who may be the biggest dish diva.
The ultimate set up
Recently another blogger posted a video set
up starring Carolyne Roehm. During which
she claimed that some have called her the
"Imelda Marcos of dishes." Long ago I had
the pleasure of touring her country manse
Weatherstone. It was there that I first stepped
into her butler's pantry - a veritable tabletop
treasure trove. However said crack house did
not solely fuel my addiction. Rather it was the
discovery of e-Bay that fueled my downfall.
That and the antique china department on
Bergdorf Goodman's ninth floor. Whatever
the cause, even I realize enough is enough.
Missed opportunities
All reports indicate that setting a proper table
is now a lost art. A dear friend was helping
a relative set up Mother's Day brunch at their
home. Soon she discovered her hostess had
only eight linen napkins and no more. Given
money is not the issue, she wondered what
drove such an obvious omission. Why is it
that most of opt to dine sans the finer things
in life? Does laziness drive our preference
for dishing things out of "to go" boxes? Or is
it simply that elegance has gone out of style?
Whatever the reason, it seems we've lost our
appetite for civility. Which I find distasteful.
Easy does it
There is no excuse for not making an effort.
Eating a mundane meal is not only boring,
it's a waste of time. Making things special
does just that. Adding something out of the
ordinary makes life extraordinary. I'm not
suggesting you hire some footmen. Nor is
it necessary to open up the silver vault. All
that required is one or two special touches.
Are you too exhausted to plop some grocery
posies on the table? Or light a few candles?
How about using all of that dishwasher safe
china that sitting hidden in the side board?
Or lay out cloth versus paper napkins?
Just desserts
Life is short. So why waste valuable time
in a state of compromise? Sitting across the
table from those whom you adore should
be a treated like a special occasion. It's not
about pomp and circumstance. Rather it's
all about treating those we care about with
love and respect. Most important, spending
quality time over dinner with family and
friends doesn't hurt anybody. More than
satisfy one's appetite, it feeds the soul. So
why not set up those you love for success
by giving them all that they deserve? It
might end with something off the menu!