Show Me State Dinner

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.

IMG_1238WMI 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.)

IMG_1255WMIn 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”
“Peacefully Patriotic”

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”!!!

57 thoughts on “Show Me State Dinner

  1. You look radiant, A, none the worse for the trials you have gone through! Good for you, Don’t let the *&$##! ‘s get you down!
    The table is perfection, very state dinner like. I am sure your mom will love seeing it!
    Here’s to her, and you!


    • Hi, Kathleen! Thank you! I look radiant because look at what’s in my hand! I’m not radiant…I’m toasted! 😉 I hope she likes it, too. I would have much preferred to have done it for real, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Thanks again!!!!!!


  2. Oh Alycia, this table is très chic! I love how you incorporated the MO state symbols into the tablescape. The menu sounds delish!! I have no doubt Senator Wilson (retired) is proud. It’s the thought that counts. I’m sure your mom will love this post!


  3. I’m sure that it’s more meaningful for your mom to know what a lovely person she raised than to be the guest of honor at another dinner. You honor her with your every breath. I love this theme. Very very creative, my friend. It’s so sophisticated and refined. Refined is hard to do for us dishaholics, right?
    Linda @ A Toile Tale


    • Hi, Linda! “…sophisticated and refined”, huh? Why, thank you, madame! I know my parents wanted me to be an attorney in the worst kind of way. My Dad still talks about it to this day. I had to follow my dream, though, and this is it. Creating environments that will hopefully let people know how much I care. Any time we have a guest in our home, it is my goal to let them know that every detail was planned and executed with them in mind. Every fork, every dish, every morsel of food…just for them. It’s small, and perhaps just a little OCD…but it’s all I’ve got! 😉 Thank you for stopping in today, my sweet buddy! Can’t wait to see what you’ve cooked up this week!


  4. Gorgeous table and gorgeous tablescaper, Alycia.

    Are those MO Blue Books in the first photo? I bought MO Blue Books, at the friends of library book fair this summer, published in the years J and I were born. That was a loooonnnng time ago.

    This post makes my heart sing!


    • Hi, Pat! Thank you!!! Yes…those ARE Missouri Blue Books! I have them for each year my Mom was in office. I could only stack 2, though, without it looking weird. That is so cool that you have them from the years you were born!!! I should follow suit. I think Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House when I came kickin’ & screamin’ into this world. 🙂


  5. Hi Alycia~ Hail to the Chef & Tablescaper!

    What a wonderful dinner & table you’ve prepared for your mom! I’m sure she is proud! You’ve represented the Show Me State with such aplomb! You’ve thought of everything from the grapes, flowers & state seal! Your menu sounds wonderful too…my taste buds are all set for Black Walnut Cake and Caramel Ice Cream for breakfast 🙂


  6. You just make me smile!! Your table is so, well regal!! I think if we all asked your Mom she would definitely say you have been an attentive and loving daughter!! But yes, time does fly by, and we think we have so much of it. So while we’re here, pull up a chair, pour a tall one, and enjoy! Love those water glasses! And red and gold are so elegant together! I’m sure your Mom appreciated this stately table dedicated to her!! I know I enjoyed seeing it!!


    • Hey there!!!! Thank you! I don’t think she has seen it just yet. She doesn’t get on the Internet as often as I do. She’s too busy having fun in her retirement! 🙂 Last week you and I had tables with similar colors. If you have a red & gold one this week I will know we were born joined at the hip! Your son is headed off to school in a few days, isn’t he? I’ll be you’re busy readying him (and yourself!) for that. I’m pulling for you. I know it’s one of those “mixed feelings” sort of things. Thanks again for stopping in and for saying such nice things. You make me smile!


  7. Looking good as usual. I need you to send me a photo of the states seal and one of the capitol building for her memorial quilt. Keep up the great work!!


  8. Hi Alycia! I’m glad I spotted you this time for TT! Your own blog is not highlighted on your profile page, and I didn’t find you there after you visited me! But Thanks! Your table certainly is regal. I love the ceremony of it all. The seal is a nice touch, and I love the roses!


  9. What a beautiful homage to your dear mother, Alycia, with a gorgeous tablescape like this! You are a GOOD and beautiful daughter and the dinner sounds fabulous for Congress lady. The china and those goblets are very perfect for a state dinner, I’m very impressed my friend…I want to go to the dinner too, so place my card on my seat: “Fabiola” (complete name,lol) thank you! Lots of hugs. FABBY.


  10. She would still be very proud of you seeing this, Alycia. After all, it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? This looks so formal and official, perfect for a Senator! And the chef looks lovely!…Christine


  11. Just beautiful! I couldn’t take my eyes away from those water goblets…simply magnificent. I think that your mom must be all puffed up with pride. I’m pretty sure that she’s smiling. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous design. Cherry Kay


  12. Alycia, this is a most wonderful table.. An incredibly beautiful tribute to a most remarkable lady. Your special touches of the crest, the colors and the embossed seals add so much authenticity to this setting. Love the flags too. Your china is fabulous.. gosh so elegant and just pretty.. Great job.. so happy your happy is returning. xo marlis


  13. What a beautiful table you set! The dishes are so elegant and those drinking glasses are so unique! I’ve never seen anything like them! What a lovely tribute table!


  14. Really fun to have the flags in the background, surely feels like a state event! How fun, your apron is just great. Love the state emblem on the napkins too. I would feel like an honored guest at this table.


  15. Alycia, you make me smile! That last photo is just wonderful! I love this gorgeous table. You have such an eye for detail. Each item is so well thought out and perfect for occasion. Lucky you to have your mother’s treasures to enjoy too – that flatware is gorgeous! I think that you should be in charge of all state dinners. 🙂 It’s been a rough year around here too and I am hoping like me, you are moving away from the bad into the good.


  16. Alycia, This is soooo fantastic. I know you are so proud of your Mother, as well you should be. What a legacy she has handed down to her family. To serve others is the greatest gift.
    Apparently you received her training well. From your own words you love to make sure everyone who enters your life is well taken care of and served.
    I am happy to see you smiling. Your table is stunning. Every detail is perfectly executed and don’t we just hope Mom never changes those locks.
    Blessings, Ginger


  17. Dear Alycia,

    Firstly my dream was always to be in politics and get into White House thats why I studied law in LA but didnt happen after graduating from college I became HR Manger so I am soooooo happy to have met you as I want to hear all the memories from you and Senator Wilson (retired) just loved reading your post.

    Your a lucky lady Alycia to have such a talent for creating amazing tables, Senator Wilson (retired) (your mom) most be very proud you did a wonderful job.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Karin Şen Cankan


  18. Really loved the white goblets and wanted to know more about them. Vintage?? Maker?? Nice design around the top. I liked how you put the gold seal on the napkins – very clever. I used to live in St. Charles many decades ago and loved to drive down to Hermann to the wineries – this brought back memories of that time.


  19. Very beautiful and elegant! I’d feel like a Queen at your table. What time do we eat? I must get my ball gown ordered! Thank you for sharing your beauty with us.


  20. Regal and elegant table indeed. Stunning setting. What a lovely daughter you are! Great tribute to your mom. She must be so proud of you.
    Thanks a bunch for your lovely comment on my blog. I always enjoy your visit:)
    Have a great weekend!


  21. Just beautiful, what time should I arrive? LOL! I love your setting, and the china is just glorious. You always do such a good job with these tablescapes – inspirational for sure!

    Listen, I have a new series on my blog called: “A Picture is Worth …” I’m trying to get back to posting pictures about my house, and I’d love it if you’d come by and see the bar in the dining room! 🙂



  22. I have two words….:”BEAUTIFUL” and “ELEGANCE” all wrapped in one package! This is fantastic… your creativity inspires me…. what a wonderful tribute to your mom. Loved those Royal Scotland china and golden chargers… and the napkin with the seal is sooooo elegant…. such a stately tablesetting…. feels like royalty! Thanks for sharing this beautiful tablescape with us and for stopping by and leaving me such a loving comment. Have a nice evening!~Poppy


  23. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! Wish I could have been the first to see and rate this post. I’m speechless. I must find a way to e-mail this to my colleagues. Most of all, I must visit your site more frequently, for YOU ARE THE GREATEST when it comes to tablescapping. Bring my stuff back that I did not know that you had. You made good use of it, however.


  24. Your table is so elegant! It is a great tribute to your mom! Thanks for stopping by my post. It is great to meet new people! Blessings to you, Lynn


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  29. Hi Alycia – I lingered on every word and every picture. Your Mother was a Senator? Wow, I am so humbled to be your friend! Every detail was perfect, and what a sweet way to honor your Mother and her career serving the great state of Missouri. Thank you for sharing at the Patriot’s Palooza party and Happy Memorial Day to you and your family! Hugs, Holly


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