Sunday, April 15, 2012

A lunch in honor of my mother and Barbara

Table set for Lunch

Tomorrow would have been my mother's 86th birthday.  She joined my Dad in heaven a year ago this coming July.  My dear friend Barbara is in town from Italy and I always love having a lunch for her when she gets here.  She is one of those friends that you just love to be around - she is kind, warm and you always leave her presence feeling better.   So I am combining the two occasions and having a ladies lunch!

My mother could have written a book on entertaining.  She was an amazing hostess and she was Martha before Martha.  Not in the crafty do it yourself way but in the way that her generation appreciated.  My parents had a very busy life, they traveled all over the world and my Dad had his hand in politics on both sides of the aisle.  He was an indiscriminate critic.  As such they entertained a great deal.  My mother threw two major dinner parties each year - for 100 people sit down dinner in our apt - as well as smaller dinners throughout the year.  She planned each and every one with immaculate attention to detail.  She planned the tables months in advance and the tables were always set two days before the dinner.  Her philosophy was that you should always be a guest at your own party.

My parents lifestyle was the result of the American dream.  Both children of immigrants and the depression they literally pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.  When they got married they used orange crates for furniture - they were poor and proud and wanted to better themselves.  As a result of their hard work they were able to achieve their goal of a better life.  During their lives they accumulated a lot of "things" - which while not necessary for happiness now represent to my brother and me and our children the life that they lived.

As I set the table yesterday my parents were both there.  The bird plates are plates that they bought at an auction, the tablecloth and napkins were from our dinner table, the pink glasses and glass plates were my grandmothers.  I am lucky to have these memories!

Placesetting with family treasures
Mom always believed in flower arrangements that were simple, enhanced the beauty of the table and did not interrupt your line of sight to the guest across the table.  One of her favorite flowers was the tulip and I think that she would have loved these.  I bought them at Costco yesterday (they have the best flowers and the least expensive- $9.99 a bunch and they last!).  You always buy flowers two days before you need them so that they can open up.  These tulips are a kind I have never seen before - they dip the way you see them on purpose.

Pink and White tulips

As I walk by the set table I smile thinking how much my mother would have liked this table.  I am sure that she is looking down and nodding with approval.

I am off to the kitchen to make desserts (I always serve three) and to start prepping the luncheon menu.  Stayed tuned for more recipes and entertaining tips!


  1. Thank you for that sweet memory. It is always nice to hear such heart warming thoughts especially from someone I don't even know :) A friend from facebook i believe via farmville

  2. You do set the most amazing table! Gorgeous, and your mom will be proud! Have fun tomorrow!

    1. We will - I have the most amazing group of friends and love having them over!

  3. Gorgeous table Suzanne - as always! You are every bit as wonderful an entertainer as you described your mom was.... Linda <3

    1. Thanks Linda - looking forward to seeing you soon - can you only imagine what I have planned for Nantucket??? - tee hee! I am having the time of my life planning this party