Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Pretty Shower Table

Intimate Shower Lunch for 8

Showers are not always giant affairs.  Because the Mother-to-Be's family lives several states away, the ladies of the father's family held a small lunch for her.  I got to set the table while the other guests brought the food.  Although I love to cook, it was a fun break for me to eat someone else's food.  I knew the baby was a girl, but didn't want an all-pink table so I brightened it up with lime green.
The first layer was a pin-tuck lime green to-the-floor cloth with a vintage white square on top that has small pink and white flowers.  The first dish layer was a frosted pink glass charger.

Vintage white cotton damask napkins were held in a roll by antique rhinestone buckles tied with hand-dyed pink silk ribbon in the back.  Each buckle is different and I found most of them during our antiquing trips to England.

Place cards were in new holders shaped like chairs in four different designs.

The centerpiece was a vintage 50's paper and tulle umbrella with ivory ribbon and paper lily of the valley flowers.

Glassware was a frosted pink water glass with opalescent stem and foot and for our white wine, a pink glass with clear stem and foot.

For our Caesar salad, I used new pink glass 8" plates with antique hand-crocheted doilies between them and the charger and antique ivory handled English tea knife and fork sets.  I included a knife because the person making the salad left it all "chunky," with whole Romaine leaves and homemade garlic Ciabatta croutons.
I used "White Orchid" flatware made by Oneida starting in 1953.  There's a couple at The Depot in Round Top who I always shop with for silverplate flatware.  I keep index cards of my sets with a photo on the front and an inventory on the back so I'll know what pieces I need and which ones I already have.
Small, floral china butter pats were used to hold salt and pepper with sterling salt spoons in a Lily of the Valley pattern.  (I collect all things Lily of the Valley because I have a "Lily" Granddaughter.)

For the grilled salmon main course I used an Edwin M. Knowles pattern that I don't know the name of. Pedigree doesn't matter to me.  I buy things I love.  
With the yellow, peach, pink, blue and green in the transfer there are lots of great choices for linens and glassware.
White cake wedges with lemon curd, whipped vanilla buttercream frosting and fresh raspberries were served on little 5" cake plates, each with a different floral border.   Ice cold champagne was in new, but vintage looking, etched crystal glasses.
Since the "sun porch" we ate in is not near the kitchen, we chose to serve the food buffet style, instead of plated, on an oak and rattan table covered by a white base cloth and a vintage square one in pretty pinks and grays.
The whole-leaf Caesar salad was arranged on a new platter that looks like leaf lettuce and was served with a new salad set that has stainless handles that look like an asparagus spear.
Salmon, with a peppered lemon sauce, was served on a piece of my Majolica collection that includes a "creamer" that was perfect for the sauce.  Majolica can be an expensive collectible but I prefer to take my chances and use mine on special occasions.

Gotta love those Victorians - all of the items you could think of had special serving pieces.  I used my Majolica U-curved tray and tongs to serve our asparagus with smoked sea salt and shaved peccorino.

Instructions for a fancified White Cake 

One good quality white cake mix
1-8 ounce jar of lemon curd
2 cans of Betty Crocker whipped* vanilla buttercream frosting
3 half pints of fresh raspberries, color of your choice (For this occasion I chose "gold.")

Make the cake according to the package directions in 2 - 9" round cake pans.  Cool on a rack.  Put one layer on a footed cake stand, top side down.  Spread with a generous amount of lemon curd.  Cover curd with a layer of raspberries.  Cover raspberries with a layer of whipped frosting, gently pushing down and around the berries.  (*Frosting needs to be whipped so it will not be so firm that it mashes the berries.)  Set the second cake layer on top, top side down.  Fill in any gaps between the two layers with more frosting.  Apply a very thin layer of frosting all over the cake top and sides and let it dry for a few minutes to keep crumbs from coming off and getting into your final layer of frosting.  Use the rest of the frosting on the top and sides, smoothing it out or making it wavy, your choice.  Dot more raspberries around the top edge and the plate-level edge.

Serves 8 to 12 

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