Friday, January 04, 2008

Tea time, or where do I put all this stuff?

I'll have to continue our storage series tomorrow. I've had company in and out all day.

Sometimes I start to mutter, "Why did I collect all this stuff in the first place?"

Then, the next time I have a guest, I remember. Even a glass of water looks nicer when poured from a special pitcher.

Below, half a pear sliced thin, a handful of grapes, crackers with cheese, cream wafer rolls from Aldi.

One of my husband's coworkers brought her daughter--the bride--over. They wanted a catered breakfast for the mothers and bridesmaids at the salon, but couldn't work out the logistics.

As our gift, I offered to prepare, set up, and serve breakfast while they have their hair styled.

... a good excuse to polish the silver and set up a folding bistro table, so they could check the size while we planned a menu.

My mom helped me clean the house and brought some serving pieces over. Most of these were $1 bargains that have been stowed at her house. Now I have to make room for it all--in my house!

29 comments:

Trina said...

Wow, I am always so inspired when I come to your blog! You are like a titus 2 woman to this young homemaker!

The Chatty Housewife- said...

I do that as well! I like to collect cake plate like pieces, because they are fun to stack during a tea part/buffet type meal.

nancyr said...

Those trays are gorgeous! Were they garage sale finds, too?

Kacie said...

You're always such an inspiration! Thank you for posting your pictures and sharing all that you do.

I know that the breakfast you'll be preparing will be beautiful and delicious, and the bride will be so grateful to you.

Plus, while it's valuable to no end, you won't have to plunk down a lot of money on a tangible wedding gift.

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

I'm excited to see what/how you are planning for the breakfast. Keep us posted. Your snack tray looks delicious too.

Anonymous said...

Meredith, I have a new name for you...Wonder Woman...I wonder how in the world you do all that you do and find time to take pictures, blog it, and still be a wonderful wife and mother. Thanks so much. You are so special. I know the bride to be will be so pleased. She is a very lucky bride. Roxie

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh. So pretty! What a wise investment of those dimes and quarters!

Sophia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sophia said...

Okay, let's try this again ... I made a terrible spelling error but don't know how to edit a comment. :)

That is the most beautiful glass pitcher I've ever seen! And the silver pieces are stunning, too. No one would ever know you didn't spend a fortune on them.

Just a quick question about silver pieces - are the silver-plated (as opposed to all silver) pieces worth picking up for a good price? I'm never sure about quality and scratch resistance. Thanks!

Meredith said...

Actually, "all silver" (referred to as sterling silver) scratches and dents far more easily than silver plate.

All of what you see here is silver plate, except for the two footed dishes used for nuts and candy that you can see in the foreground.

You can find my post on buying old silver and what I avoid by clicking here.

Kathy said...

That looked so pretty! You did a fine job.

Morning said...

How hospitable! You're sure to have fun, and it will mean a great deal to the bride -- after all, it may well be the only meal she eats all day! I remember at my wedding being too busy and excited at the reception to actually eat.

Mrs. Fussy Fussypants said...

Little Miss Cutie looks adorable in the kitchen!

Melissa said...

I'm never disappointed when I visit here! Thank you Meredith for all that you do!

Many Blessings,
Melissa

A.D. said...

Beautiful silver! And the link back to your discussion on old silver was very helpful. I didn't know to avoid "International Silver"; I see it all the time. But just today I found a little silver cup at the thrift stamped "sterling". Only $2.98! Yeah!

ancient one said...

I always enjoy my visits here! I'm going to check out that siver link.

Anonymous said...

Water is water
I don't think people care if it comes from a plastic Koolaid pitcher or not.

Maybe you're getting so wrapped up in all this stuff that you forget what the point is.

Don't you think your making people feel like they can't show hospitality unless they have your stuff?

Jan said...

Folks from different parts of the country have different ideas about hospitality. Your pitcher is lovely but if I served water in it, or anything else as a matter of fact, the folks here in northern Maine would think I was putting on 'airs'. Hospitality is all about making the other person feel comfortable. You are doing a good job in your area, I am sure. "Bloom where you are planted"

Christi said...

Meredith,

You are a beautiful example of a thoughful friend and hostess, a good steward and a wonderful helpmeet to your husband.

I love learning from your ideas!

Shannon@Idylwild said...

Hospitality is a matter of attitude. One can surely make others feel at home and welcome with a plastic pitcher as well as with a silver one. And I don't think Meredith has ever implied that one can only be hospitable with a houseful of stuff - actually she promotes a "use what you have on hand"attitude. But it does make guests feel very special to see that their host has put some thought and effort into making their visit beautiful. If you can buy a plastic pitcher for &1 at Walmart or a beautiful one for &1 at a yard sale, who wouldn't prefer the beautiful one?

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea for a gift. It sure beats the impersonal gift card or cash and is much more creative that the registries that are so popular in my corner of the world.
~Julie

The Chatty Housewife- said...

Just wanted to reassure you that I loved the post and that I learned some things from it that were positive. I didn't get anything negative out of it and I think there are some comments on here that you do not deserve.

Anonymous said...

The ladies who think that you are "putting on airs" aren't getting it. This is a gift. For a wedding. It's SUPPOSED to be fancy and on par with a professional catering job! I am all for casual when that's the atmosphere for the moment, but I think that we as Americans are way too obsessed somtimes with everything being casual, to the point that no event or circumstance is ever worth the little bit of effort it takes to go a little bit beyond the regular and routine. I think that the silver is lovely, and that the breakfast will be a fun and exciting morning! I love all things like this that are happy...weddings, new babies, anniversary celebrations....these are milestones in our lives that only come once and, as such, deserve to be treated in a special way. And I think it's a blessing to us when others make us a part of these special occasions in their lives. Go, Meredith!

Michelle said...

I found your blog a while ago and LOVE to see what you can do on a shoestring. I too like to get the most for my money. I think you do such a great job!gobnpfrc

And what a great gift idea for the bride...breakfast!

Michelle said...

Not sure how those strange letters got there! They don't stand for anything...I think it was the post code...oops!

The Chatty Housewife- said...

"I am all for casual when that's the atmosphere for the moment, but I think that we as Americans are way too obsessed somtimes with everything being casual, to the point that no event or circumstance is ever worth the little bit of effort it takes to go a little bit beyond the regular and routine."

AMEN "anonymous!"

Anonymous said...

I was sorry to see the negative comments on this post. I think it is terrific if one can have beautiful things for entertaining, especially when they are bought for a song! I always pull out my lovely items when I entertain in the Midwest. (I too have silverplate and lots of pretty milkglass that I bought on the cheap!) I am never accused of "putting on airs." In fact, I think people feel quite welcome in our home because I think they are important enough to show a little effort. That bride will feel loved on her special day!

amd said...

I am hoping that you can help me on finding/buying silver pieces. I read your link but I am still not to sure. I was at a thrift shop this weekend and there where several platters, with no markings on the back side, but they where tarnished. How can I identify what to buy and what are decent prices- I love what you do with all of your finds!

Meredith said...

I wouldn't pay over $5 for anything, unless it said Sterling, 92.8, or had a British hallmark.

If a tray doesn't say anything at all on it, even a company name or silver plate, it's probably not worth buying. I would guess that it was a Made In India piece with a sticker instead that had just rubbed off.

Again, a brooooooad generalization, but one I would go by until I knew better.

If a tray were very heavy and very ornate and had tarnish but NO flaking, then maybe I'd bite.