I keep all my Christmas RED & GREEN colors here in the kitchen,
where the *grandkidlets* spend most of their visits with me.
The rest of my home is much more formal & done in soft creams with gold tones
for Christmas but the kitchen is all about FUN with the kids!
I made peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips as well as Nut Gem Cookies
(aka "Butterballs or Russian Tea Cakes"...recipe from book below)
The pedestal mugs are by Pfaltzgraff &
the little woven ceramic basket, holding lemon drops
was a gift from a sweet friend, long long ago.
I found the 3 RED polka-dot plates at T.J. Maxx but I didn't care if there were only 3.
I never hesitate to purchase an odd number like that. I figured I could just use 2 plates for tea & cookies with Caroline or perhaps for dessert with just hubby & I.
If one plate somehow was broken later on, then I'd still have a back-up to complete a pair.
A few weeks later, I luckily found 3 of the LIME GREEN polka-dot plates, same maker, at the same place.
So, now I could mix & match & have enough for 6 people. Back in January at the clearance sales, I found the really
FUN & WHIMSICAL Department 56 cake cover with
the RED bow & LIME GREEN polka-dots.
Remember when Susan found hers? You can see it here Between Naps on the Porch
The cover was going on eBay for $50-$75. She found it at TJ Maxx for $19.95. I paid $10 after Christmas...shhhh, don't tell her!
I'm joining her Tablescape Thursday party today.
It fits perfectly on my Mikasa Christmas cake stand with matching server.
I wanted to include a review of this little book, Christmas Teas of Comfort and Joy,
by Emilie Barnes so I could join Jain's Food For Thought party on Saturday.
Jain is reading & cooking from all Christmas/Holiday themed books this month.
I've missed being a part of that wonderfully creative & well-read bunch!
Emilie Barnes is a new author to me & she has a whole series of wonderfully thoughtful &
inspiring little books, all with a tender, meaningful theme of some kind to them.
It is a very sweet & inspirational book with recipes for cookies &
Wassail punch as well as traditional tea party items such as cucumber &
watercress sandwiches included.
It would make a great stocking stuffer!
Nut Gem Cookies
1 Cup butter
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons rum extract (I used maple...I like that flavor better)
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
Roll in powdered sugar after balls are slightly cooled.
Repeat the powdered sugar rolling if desired, just before serving.
She gives lots of suggestions on how to make your home
more special over the Christmas holiday season.
Speaking of special homes, I'd like to tell you the story of how I came to own this treasured Department 56 Gingerbread House.
My parents loved to attend flea markets together, once my Dad retired. They never spent much money on items they found. They just loved the fun of the hunt!
I doubt that my Mom paid more than $3 for this little gingerbread house, if even that much.
She gave it to me when my only child, a little daughter, was very young. (sweet Caroline's Mommy!)
For years, I put it out at Christmas, not even knowing what Department 56 was all about.
My DD grew up & married (sweet Caroline's Daddy!) & his family started giving my daughter Department 56 Christmas in the City houses each year as one of her Christmas gifts. Her collection has grown over the years & one day she was visiting & happened to pick up the little Gingerbread House to examine it closer. It had the Department 56 sticker on the bottom.
DD: "MOOOOMMMM, this is a Department 56 piece!!"
ME: "What's a 'Department 56' ?"
DD: "MOTHERRRR, don't you know anything about them?? This is a cherished collectible!"
A bit like Woody in the movie, Toy Story.
Well, it turns out, she was right! It is one of the original series in the Snow Village collection.
Worthpoint says "This Department 56 item is a bit of an original from most of the houses in the Snow Village collection. The Gingerbread House, item#50253, was issued in 1983 and retired in 1984. It depicts a house made of Gingerbread dripping in a multitude of confectionery delights. the roof is brown and has a heart made out of Candy Canes on each side, a bay window on one side of the house and cookies and candies covering both the front and the backside of the house."
I just know my Mom is smiling down from Heaven every year when I put it out on display!
Lots of other mementos complete the bakers rack shelves...little Lolly the Trolly favors from a party we attended one year, that included a tour of the Christmas lights in downtown Cleveland via the Lolly the Trolly cars . Looking back across Lake Erie towards the city lights from the west side of town is just spectacular!
Have you ever tried Lemon Drops in your tea for a sweet-tart touch of flavor?
Now for a sewing project...
I made this VERY EASY little table runner for the baker's rack last week.
The pattern is called Easy Striped Tablerunner ...
I know, I hear you laughing
"very original", huh?
The Quilt Company & has only 5 seams.
You must use a border or striped fabric & a 60º triangle
to get that special effect of the stripes angling together at the ends.
Very specific & precise cutting methods required but after that it is simple assembly & quilting.
The top, prior to quilting, is shown below.
I forgot to get a picture of it after I quilted it...
I was so anxious to get things into place & the house decorated!
Since it has poinsettias on it, I'm joining Beth's Poinsettia Party on Sunday
at her beautiful Food as Art blog.
The party runs from Dec. 5th through the 15th, so you still have time to join in.
I hope you're enjoying some old fashioned holiday fun in your homes &
have some well-loved rituals & cherished collectibles
to help celebrate this most wonderful of seasons.
I'm joining in The Tablescapers "Seasonal Sundays* for the first time, too!