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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Club Entertaining: The Help

Last night I hosted my monthly book club. This month's book was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Everyone knows I love a party-no matter what the size- so I planned this little soiree for nine around the some of the little details in the book. It seemed impossible not to serve the food on silver platters as polishing the silver (and whether the maid had stolen any of fit) is regularly mentioned in the book. And if you've got it, you might as well use it. This of course meant that I was actually going to have to polish my silver-something I dread with a passion and one of the only reasons I don't have one of those fabulous displays of a silver collection in my house even though I really want to. I was really wishing I had some help myself. But it turns out that all along I'd always been using crappy silver polish. I called one of my friends who is skilled in these things and she told me to use Wright's Silver Cream. It works! And it was easy! I am now committed to polishing my silver and putting it on display. Grandma's tea set here I come! But I digress.
Next up was the food. I wanted to do something with Southern hints since the book takes place in Jackson, Mississippi. I decided to go with a bowl of fresh peaches, watermelon and feta skewers, bruschetta with a Bella Cucina spinach and artichoke spread, cucumbers topped with the world's best ricotta and dill, and Mixed Berry and Whipped Cream Biscuit Sandwiches.
I posted the recipe for the biscuit sandwiches over at Parentables if you want to check it out. They were a huge hit. And of course there was plenty of wine, lemonade, and co-cola flowing throughout the evening.
We certainly don't usually offer favors at our monthly meetings, but there was a passage in the book about how one of the woman had a neighbor who shared the fruits of her garden with her and that was the only way she could really eat a lot of the time. Since I happened to have a bunch of basil that had reseeded itself and was springing up in my garden I thought this was the perfect opportunity to share it, and so I potted it up into these little pots for each of my book club friends.

You don't have to have a big event to think about the little details that make a big impression.

Oh, and if you haven't read The Help yet, I highly recommend it. The group rated it a 9 out of 10, and I was so sad that it ended. I'll definitely be checking out the movie when it opens on August 10th.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bright Idea: Crate and Barrel Mack Lamps

As I've mentioned in the past, I love the look of all the clear glass lamps out there, but one of my biggest pet peeves is the ugly annoying cord that nobody can seem to hide. At last, a fabulous solution to the problem. Crate and Barrel's Mack Lamp makes the cord an integral part of the glass lamp's design by adding a splash of color to it. While it might not be the look you're going for in every setting, it sure is the first attempt at fixing this "cord issue" and I think it would be quite fun in a lot of different rooms. I love good ideas!