Friday, April 26, 2013

Cocktails for Two

Classic Cocktails

Generally my husband and I have a first course of soup or salad with dinner, but occasionally I switch it up and we have a cocktail.  (This occurs only when I'm preparing something that can be cooking on its own like a stew or roast so that I can sit down and not worry that dinner will burn or overcook.) Right off our dining room we have a round wine room and this is where we like to have our cocktails.  This one was the classic raw oysters on the half shell with champagne cocktails.  Although expensive, I use my Majolica.  I don't buy anything made for the table that I can't actually use even when it means extra care and hand-washing.
I used the "Majolica"fish (Japanese?) for cocktail sauce with an ivory-handled sugar shell.  All flatware with ivory, mother-of-pearl, or bone handles needs to be washed carefully and never, ever put in a dishwasher.  Do not even submerge the handles in water, just wash as gently as possible with warm water and a touch of gentle dish liquid on a cloth or sponge.

I used the grape cluster tray, a wine-related motif we collect, for saltines.  The champagne glasses have a silver base with an etched glass insert that comes out for washing.  I would guess they are from the 1930's or so.

For linens I used a vintage white-on-white organdy place mat and a new cocktail napkin with an embroidered lime slice & leaf.  The oyster forks are in the lovely "Carnation" pattern, first produced in 1908 by the W.R. Keystone comp.  They were probably meant to be pickle forks.

1950's Cocktails

The color coral and martinis, a 50's match made in Heaven.  Anyone remember, like I do, "Poo-Poo" platters that one could order in tropical-themed restaurants like Trader Vic's?  I still like doing poo-poos with cocktails.  Have even been known to make a whole meal of poo-poos.  If you don't know, poo-poos are mixed hors d'oeuvres, like a sampler platter.  With our vodka martinis I did blue cheese stuffed celery, pate, and a small camembert cheese ball, all recipes from The Cordon Bleu Cook Book , published in 1947.  (I also collect cookbooks.)
I started with vintage linen place mats in black & coral with a fish motif & matching napkins. I added English tea knives & forks, also in coral (you can find them in lots of colors!), square plates I got at Central Market, the Texas version of Whole Foods, & my Waterford "Lismore" cut crystal martini pitcher & glasses.

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