This post is dedicated to my Mom, Senator Yvonne S. Wilson (Retired)
If the past couple of months have taught me anything, it’s that LIFE HAPPENS. Everything you know – or think you know – can change in the blink of an eye. Even though I know better, for some reason I forget that from time to time, and I procrastinate. For the entire time my Mom served in the Missouri House and Senate, I put off hosting a dinner for her and her colleagues. I threw her birthday parties, parties for the Governor’s Ball, parties for the Legislator’s Ball…heck, I even put my decorative touch on her retirement party. But never in all that time did I engineer an intimate sit-down dinner that would allow her to enjoy a relaxed evening with just a few of her colleagues in the comfort and quiet of home. Bad, bad daughter!
Could have, would have, should have….didn’t. Here’s a look at the “Show Me State” dinner that never was!
I take my cue from “For the Royal Table – Dining at the Palace” by Kathryn Jones. Love this book! Yes, I realize this country does not have a monarchy. Borrowing tidbits of style and protocol from the palace, however, lends a touch of ceremony that I think my Mom deserves. If this were the real deal, I would most definitely rent gold ladderback chairs for the occasion.
Homage is paid to our great state with Missouri’s official seal.
Nearly every party I have ever thrown in my Mom’s honor has been in hues of pink and green. This one in red & white, however, takes on colors consistent with those of our national and state flags. (Crimson and cream are also the colors associated with my Mom’s sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. Close enough!)
Royal Scotland china sits atop goldleafed glass chargers.
Linen dinner napkins emblazoned with the state seal.
I would undoubtedly want to serve several courses. The table, therefore, would creak under the weight of goldplated flatware
brazenly pilfered borrowed from my Mom and Dad’s house. (It’s her own fault, really. She needs to learn to frequently change the locks and alarm code! :-))
Borrowing another idea from “For the Royal Table”, the menus are simple and staid. The outside bears the State seal in gold. The inside bears the same seal as a watermark located between the date of the event and the place in which it was held. (Sorry, no castle here…just a lowly subdivision!) The dessert would include our official State nut – the black walnut – and, of course, all wines would be from local wineries.
I chose these water glasses because they have a very courtly look to them, and the embellishments complement the design on the china. The wine glasses, from my Mom’s collection, are etched with the state seal.
Our official state flower is white hawthorn blossom which is a member of the great rose family. Red roses grace the table, however, because I could not find white hawthorn blossom at any local nursery. Go figure. These are displayed in simple glass vessels made a bit more special with the addition of a beautiful crystal bobeche. Who says bobeches are just for candlesticks? Not me! Go on and bling up those vases!!!
(Click here and scroll to Table Tip #24 to learn how to easily strip thorns from roses.)
In 2003 the Norton/Cynthiana grape was adopted as Missouri’s official grape. My parents used to grow them in a small orchard on their property. They are prized by many Missouri vintners who produce lush dry premium red wines of world-class quality and distinction. Again, unable to get my hands on any Norton/Cynthianas close to home, I settled for their juicy cousins displayed in beautiful gold and crystal compotes borrowed from my Mom. The Limoges salt & pepper cellars are a gift from my Mom.
And there you have it: the “Show Me State” dinner that never was.
Here’s to you, Mom!
Substitute the Missouri State seal for Kentucky’s and deep-six the flags, and you have yourself a wonderful Kentucky Derby tablescape!
Other patriotic-themed tablescapes on this site:
“Stars & Stripes”
“All-American Seafood Boil”
“Lauren in the Library”
“4th of July Coastal Style”
“Red, White & Blueberries”
“American Royal Tablescape”
Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for once again hosting Tablescape Thursdays!
Join us, won’t you? And please…In support of our troops and their families, join me for The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriotic Palooza Party”!!!