Wednesday, September 14, 2022

A Movie and a Supper. What Happened to Conversation?


What? Doesn't everyone put a picture of a movie playing in the background on their blog posts? Sorry, but Sergeant York is one of RH's all time favorite movies and he was about to have a hissy fit when I had supper ready and suggested turning off the television to take pictures.

But there's a story behind those two green pitchers I used as vases so I'm going to tell it. It looks like a flower design on them, doesn't it? No, they're cabbages.

I first saw them in a British magazine, my favorite Period Living, in October 2018. 


See? It says Ceramic Cabbage jug, by Paperchase, only 12 pounds--what is that in dollars? Anyway, that's my kind of green and I remembered them.

Two years later a large and a small jug sat on my kitchen shelves, for only $15. 

I found them, unbelievably, in our local antique mall for $30 but everything in the shop was 50% off. They were mine!

The jugs make perfect pitchers for sunflowers because sunflowers just turn the water nasty looking in a glass vase.

Thanks to Lorrie and Gretchen's advice I finally cut some of our zinnias to go with the grocery store sunflowers. They were past their peak but pretty in candlelight.

And I brought the pretty little cabbage tureen from the kitchen to the table too. I don't use it for food as it says Holland Mold and I'm afraid it might not be food safe.

Did you notice the pretty farm tablecloth with the sunflowers? It's my favorite tablecloth for August and early September. 

That's chicken salad in a croissant sitting on the pretty French faience luncheon plates I found at the Goodwill years ago, a dozen taped together for a dollar each, if I remember right, which I may not. The chicken salad is a mix between Ina Garten's and the chicken salad we had in Blowing Rock, North Carolina at the Storie Street Grill but no recipe here because everyone has their own favorite version.

And the Cauliflower Soup is Lulu Powers, link here.
I think next time I'll add a little dry mustard to perk it up a little and maybe add a couple of potatoes for more body.

And I'll break my pretzel rod garnish into much smaller pieces but  the simple recipe for them was really good. 

 They're Seasoned Pretzels from Half Baked Harvest's Super Simple that goes with her Broccoli Cheddar Soup. 

My daughter-in-law Court gave the cookbook to me for my birthday and some of my new favorite recipes are from it. 

Her Strawberry Pretzel Tart, that I made back in May, is in this cookbook, much prettier than mine, but so delicious with its Whipped Mascarpone filling. 

I tried to find a link to the recipe online but couldn't find it. So many of Ms. Gerard's other pretzel-strawberry desserts are online so maybe this 1922 cookbook hasn't yet been linked to recipes online? I haven't tried a single recipe from the book yet that we didn't like.

 Time to say goodnight. Fair warning, I wouldn't be surprised if most of any future supper table pics here include the television in the background. We're both tired by evening, too tired to talk much, and feel that we deserve a good movie. And then it is football season and I wouldn't dare try to turn a game off. 

Conversation at the supper table? It used to be so important that I even have a label for it. Not so much anymore but don't judge, please, at least not until you reach our age.



  1. Well, Dewena, I confess that we almost always watch television while eating dinner, unless we are out on the deck, or have guests. It started a few years ago when my back was too sore to sit at the table, then we discovered that we both talked all day and were happy to not to have to make conversation for a bit. It's on for about an hour and that's it. We do talk plenty!
    A little vase of zinnias is so pretty and the more they are cut the more they grow! I follow Half-Baked Harvest on IG but haven't used any of her recipes yet. They do look so good!

  2. I get that, Lorrie! Of course since there is only one place in our living/dining room for our dining table to work--behind the sofa--we're facing the television anyway so it is tempting to have the TV on. I've seen blog friends like Melanie cook from Half Baked Harvest a lot so was so happy to receive one of the cookbooks. And thanks for the hint about zinnias. It's a little late in the season for new blooms now I think but next summer I'll be cutting zinnias all summer.

  3. Reading your blog posts is a delight for the eyes (love your food and house photos!) and a reading pleasure: You have such a wonderful gift for story telling!
    Your tablescapes astound me because they're so beautiful with your different dishes and tablecloths. I swear your photo looks straight from Period Living itself!
    I love things with a history and even better if they were passed down from a beloved family member or bought at a thrift shop for a fantastic price. Your green pitchers are gorgeous, and so are your dinner plates.
    I love chicken salad and cauliflower soup, so I bet your dinner was yummy. Even with a movie playing in the background! We don't do that yet (or should I write it as YET, ha ha), but we do play a board game such as Backgammon or Yahtzee during dinner. So it's not like we sit there and just talk - we have something to distract us while we're eating, just a different mode than TV. ;-) When we still had children at home, we never had the TV on or played games. The four of us (or three - me and the boys - if Brian was working) always had sit-down meals with conversation.
    I am so happy that you're enjoying Tieghan's cookbook and recipes. As you know, she's one of my favorites! I have the cookbook you showed us, as well as her newest one - Every Day. I also have signed up for her daily emails, as she sends a new recipe every single day! Sometimes her daily recipe appeals to me, other times they don't. We have liked every single recipe of hers that we've tried, whether from one of her cookbooks or one of her daily online recipes - except for one. It was one I made last week with chicken, broccoli and rice, and it was simply too bland and dry for us.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you so much, Melanie! I'm quite flustered over your compliment! And encouraged that you and Brian are carrying the flag for no TV during supper. Playing games while you eat is a new one on me and shows your powers of concentration are much superior to mine. Keep it up, it's bound to be good for the gray cells!

  4. You set a beautiful table, Dewena. I love the cabbage tureen AND those lovely cabbage pitchers. I confess, we watch television during dinner, more often than not. I won't even confess that to my kids, because we never allowed it when they were growing up! But, Dan and I have our coffee time in the mornings, and a sit down with wine before dinner, so there's not a lot left to chat about come dinner time:)

    1. Thank you, Karen! Yes, the daytime for us is more for conversation too. And I promise not to tell your kids about the TV!