Thanks for inviting me to participate in Centerpiece Wednesday!
I decided this week to repeat a fall favorite tablescape from last year. This was a fun one to do and contains many elements of autumn and my home state of Virginia -- I hope my new friends will enjoy seeing this for the first time and my old friends won't mind seeing this again.
Here we are approaching our Very Virginia tablescape. This sort of reminds me of the Colonial taverns of Williamsburg. One of my favorite places in Virginia -- It's where we went on our honeymoon.
A closer look at our centerpiece showing a pineapple, apples, magnolia leaves, oyster shells and peanuts. This probably seems like a strange collection..unless you've been to Virginia.
The pineapple is the colonial symbol of hospitality (we're not tropical enough to grow them here). However, you'll find many roadside stands selling bushels of wonderful Virginia apples this time of year.
I love the magnolia trees and their beautiful blossoms in the summertime. Virginia is also famous for peanuts and I don't think you'll find any finer oysters than from our own Eastern Shore. You'd see lots of this very sort of decorating in Williamsburg - particularly at Christmas time.
The tourism theme for Virginia for the past 40 years has been "Virginia Is For Lovers" -- it's won many awards and is as recognized as "I Love NY" and "What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". Virginia IS for lovers..not only for it's romance -- but for Beach lovers, mountain lovers, history lovers, hiking lovers, golfing lovers, wine lovers -- we've got a lot to love here. We are known as the Mother of Presidents - having eight presidents come from our state: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, WIlliam Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson. I believe that all of their homes are open to the public.
Here's a closer look at my tavern style place setting.
My black and white checked cloth napkins came from Walmart. The white napkin rings from eBay and the wooden cardinals came from an antique store. The cardinal is our state bird.
Here's a side view of our state bird.
The red transferware bread plates are Johnson Brothers Strawberry Fare.
Ready for the tabletop strip tease? First we have individual pewter soup toureens from ebay.
Red salad plates from Marshall's
We got three pewter plates when we got married and I've filled in with more from eBay in just the past two years or so. I don't know why this picture makes them look a little gold. My flatware has a shell design -- this came from a restaurant supply store.
An overview of our table top.
An overview of our center piece.
Hope you've enjoyed a look at Virginia on my tabletop. Now what would your "state dinner" look like?
When we honeymooned in Williamsburg, I had to get a cookbook.
One of our favorites, was brunswick stew from Chownings Tavern.
Brunswick stew and Smithfield country ham on a biscuit -- you really can't get more authentic Virginian that that!
Chowning's Tavern Brunswick Stew
1 stewing hen 6 lbs or 2 broiler fryers 3 lbs ea. ( I used a package of thighs and a package of breasts) 2 large onions, sliced 2 cups okra, cut (optional) 2 cups fresh or 2 cans 1 lb ea. tomatoes 2 cups lima beans 3 medium potatoes, diced 4 cups corn cut from the cob or 2 cans 1 lb ea. corn 3 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon sugar
Cut chicken in pieces and simmer in 3 quarts water for a thin stew, or 2 quarts for a thick stew, until meat can easily be removed from bones, about 2 1/4 hours. Add raw vegetables to broth and simmer, uncovered, until beans and potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Add chicken, boned and diced if desired, and the seasonings. Note: If canned vegetables are used, include juices and reduce water to 2 quarts for a thin stew, 1 quart for a thick stew. also note: Brunswick Stew is one of those delectable things that benefit from long, slow cooking. It is a rule in some Virginia homes never to eat Brunswick Stew the same day it is made as its flavor improves if it is left to stand overnight and reheated.
Thanks Susan for hosting Tablescape Thursday each week. I hope you'll visit her at "Between Naps On The Porch" for inspiration and temptation!
I am a wife of 35 years, mother of two grown children. and grandmother to 4 adorable grandgirls. I love crafting, tablescaping, decorating -- but am probably not terribly talented at any of these. That doesn't stop me however. I'm so honored that anyone chooses to visit me -- I hope you find this blogspot to be a welcoming spot to visit -- come on in and stay awhile -- let's have a nice chat.