Happy 60th Birthday to one of the funniest, most generous, creative & prolific writers I know!
(who doesn't look a day over 35 & I'm told by a close relative, does not have a single grey hair yet!)
The Novel Bakers have gathered a
few friends together today,
to wish Michael Lee West
a very "HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY!!"
With each new book she writes,
her stories get you more & more involved,
until you’ve fallen in love with each of her characters and
feel like you know them,
Her kitchen adventures are just as entertaining, too.
You never know what type of culinary concoction she’ll whip up for her extremely popular “Foodie Friday” blog party each week.
She is really an outdoor girl, at heart,
with precious poochies & farm animals...ducks & goats, a mule, some lambs & chickens galore.
Although this year, I think she should have stayed indoors more!
(mosquitoes & ticks seem to LOVE her as much as we do!)
In honor of ML's big birthday bash, I set a very autumnal tablescape with all the rich, deep colors of fall to celebrate her birth month of October.
Browns & orange with deep purples & reds...all the colors of the leaves at this time of year...at least, up here in the northern half of our country, anyway. I don't know about her state of Tennessee.
I mixed the good crystal & china with some decorative salad plates from Walmart.
Michael Lee was the first person to make me feel like that was okay to do.
She uses Big Lots white dishes along with her exquisite heirlooms all the time!
I pulled out the Dollar Tree "Happy Birthday" wine glasses...these have every color
in the rainbow & match any tablescape beautifully.
They're so fun & festive...they just make you smile!
The wooden napkin rings have carved leaves on them & they match the brown chargers.
The heavy cream linen napkins echo the cream china with gold rims... ("Eternal" by Lenox).
The centerpiece is VERY special to me!
This cut glass basket was my Mother's...
it was a wedding gift & is almost 80 years old.
It sat on top of her refrigerator for as long as
I can remember.
I think my Mom kept it up high so it would be out of the reach of her 8 kids! LOL
Before she died, my Mom gave it to my oldest brother,
who now lives in Kerrville, TX.
His wife recently sent it to me to treasure & pass on in the family.
Thank you Chuck & Liz!
To say I was thrilled is an understatement!
I told Ms. C. all about it & explained to her how she would eventually get to own it & how she would have to promise to be very careful with it.
Family & heirloom treasures are very important to Michael Lee, too & something she incorporates into all her novels.
The tales of various family cooking adventures in "Consuming Passions" are hilarious!
I have filled my basket with beaded fruits that remind me of my childhood as well, as we had a neighbor who used to make these types of fruits by hand.
The pillar candles, in my Ralph Lauren candlesticks,
have a wonderful mulled cider fragrance to them that fills the house with the scent of autumn.
Familiar scents can trigger waves of nostalgia & this is a very nostalgic post, full of family & memories, just like
I was surprised at how perfectly the beaded grapes echo the patterns on the plates.
I hadn't noticed that until after I took the photos.
I love those little bits of serendipity that the camera finds!
A double decanter wine carrier, holds two bottles of white wine so we can celebrate Michael Lee's birthday properly.
In hindsight, I think CHAMPAGNE would be more appropriate!
(but the wine bottles matched the color scheme so well)
Now, if you've read ANY of Michael Lee's books, you'll know that PEACHES
figure very heavily in many of her stories.
A frequent main character in her books, Teeny, is after all, a very Southern Belle...like Michael Lee!
Instead of making her a Birthday Cake...
(I've already tried her recipe for Vanilla Peach Coffee Cake here )
I peeled & chopped those peaches,
added 1/2 C. of sugar & 3 tablespoons of flour to them.
Plopped them into a pie shell & this time,
I wasn't taking any chances on trying to get fancy with cut-out leaves...
(remember THIS DISASTER?)
I just used my cute little pie bird from Sur la Table.
Doesn't he look like he is singing
"Happy Birthday to Youuuu"?
Perfect Peach Pie for a Sweet Southern Belle!
(peach was my Dad's favorite pie, ya' know)
Thank You, Michael Lee, for all the ideas & inspiration
you've provided over the years!
Be sure to stop by Michael Lee's wonderfully entertaining blog, Rattlebridge Farm, to wish her “Happy Birthday” & see what she is cooking up for the next decade of her life.
Also, try to find time to visit all the other participants who are doing special blog posts to honor Michael Lee today. They are the following:
Jain~ a quiet life
Kitty~ Kitty’s Kozy Kitchen
Sarah~ Hyacinths for the Soul
Sam~ My Carolina Kitchen
Rett~ The Gazebo House
Jenna~ The Painted Apron
Lynn~ Happier Than A Pig In Mud
Linda~ More Fun Less Laundry
Debbie~ Mountain Breaths
Jacqueline~ Purple Chocolat Home
Pam~ Sidewalk Shoes
Mary~ Home is Where the Boat Is
Thank you to both Jain & Mary for organizing this very "NOVEL" virtual surprise party for Michael Lee.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ML…may you have many, many more happy & healthy years to celebrate in your beautiful new home.”
I'm joining Yvonne at Stonegable for Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits,
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for "Tablescape Thursday",
Michael Lee for "Foodie Friday",
Cuisine Kathleen for "Let's Dish" & The Tablescaper for "Seasonal Sundays".