Entertaining is something I love to do. Over the years I've served dinner to family, friends and clergy in California, Louisiana, Texas and Colorado. I've collected dishes, serving pieces and flatware to enhance most any celebration. I'm versatile in indoor or outdoor events as well as tackling small, intimate gatherings or larger shindigs. I entertain with tea parties, ice cream socials, barbecues or holiday dinners.
Family Backyard BBQ Fun!
To pick up hints on entertaining in the best way possible, I have perused many books on the topic. I have tea party books, bed and breakfast books, Martha Stewart books, theme party books, regional books and many more.
Tea Parties are a Favorite of Mine!
I even have another blog started with my love of tea cups: https://travelingtealady.blogspot.com
One book (sadly I don't remember the name of it) inspired me to rethink my dinner table. When the children were young, I had a rather large, rectangular table with two leaves that easily sat 8 to 10 people. When all the children had left home, I thought I'd be down-sizing so I passed the table on. I didn't realize I would still he hosting a growing family, only now one including adult children, grandchildren, college friends and other visitors.
Grandkids Have the Most Fun Sitting at Their Own Table, Even When We Eat Out!
At one of my holiday meals a while back my guests were seated at two smaller tables put end to end. The table looked beautiful but it definitely hampered the conversation between everyone. Waving down the long table was the only way to connect with those at the far end.
I started to notice that my favorite tables in restaurants were round, about 60-inches across and could fit a bunch of us around it. It might be a little crowded but it was easier to converse with everyone. No one seemed to mind the coziness.
I got it in my head that I "needed" to find a round table! Preferably one that was five-feet across. I already had a smaller round table and loved it but it wasn't round after I put a leaf in it. After starting my search for the perfect table, I found one that was intriguing. It was in a decorator store with a rather high price tag. What I liked about it was that it had leaves that attached to the edges of the table, thus maintaining its round shape when it was enlarged. What I didn't like was the heavy, strange base and the soft wood that would chip easily. I even brought my husband, Rex, to the store to show him what I had found. It was close to what I wanted but this wasn't it.
Since another holiday was nearing, Rex and I were prompted to do a serious search for a larger table. A round table was my preference but it appeared that the need outweighed the availability. We considered a number of rectangular tables with leaves, almost buying one that luckily was out of stock. After a day of searching, we had one more stop to make.
We had looked in lovely, pricey stores but our final stop was at a consignment store in a new shopping mall. Immediately we felt hopeful as we wandered around the showroom. There were a few table sets all reasonably priced and worth considering. As we made a complete circle through the building we spotted what we wanted in the front corner of the store.
Our table had been waiting for us! There sat a 72 inch round, wooden table with drop down sides and a green wooden base. As we marveled at how perfect this table was, another couple noticed it and indicated interest until they saw that we had dibs on it first. So, with our new-found prize, we were additionally excited to find that with the drop down sides, it would fit in the back of our SUV which saved a hefty delivery charge. As I waited for Rex to back the SUV up to the door, a lady who worked at the store came over to visit. She told me how she wanted this table and she even went home and measured her dining room to see if it would fit. Lucky for us, her dining room was too small!
Our Table is Considered a Carpenter's Dream. I Love the Folding Legs.
A few days after bringing the table home we had our first holiday dinner on it. We had 10 people and it was delightful having everyone sitting around the new table. I had achieved my dream.
A Family Christmas Dinner
However, we found out quickly, getting in and out of the table arrangement to go through a buffet line was complicated. It was decided that we needed a very large lazy-susan that everyone could reach. Another search began. Since nothing was available in the size we needed, a perfect round cutout, 36 inches across was found at a hardware store. Rex stained it and put a contraption on the bottom so it would spin.. I don't know what the proper name for it is but it works wonderfully!
Lazy Susan in Place for Easter Dinner
Our new lazy susan became an immediate focus of fun. At our Easter dinner we put all the hot dishes on it and passed the cold bowls between us. As the lazy-susan spun for each person to serve themselves it often was moving before the serving spoon got put back in the proper dish. We were a crowd of hungry people that kept the circle moving!
Thanksgiving rolled around and it was fun looking forward to another family gathering. I love Fall and the time of Thanksgiving. Even the quilts I make lean heavy on the autumn colors. My Fiesta Ware helps me in celebrating the colors of each season with colorful plates to mix and match with even more added color in round placemats that reflect the shape of the table.
Ready for the Festivities and Family to Arrive!
Let the Feasting Begin!
Please Pass the Butter
Major holidays aren't the only time we load up our table for fun gatherings. We use the table all year round. Birthday parties, summer gatherings, celebrations of all kinds brings the family together.
The table sits quietly most of the time with one leaf dropped down, thereby making room to push the table against the dining room wall. The base has movable legs that fold up when a side is dropped. I was told that the table is a replica of an antique style. I sometimes wonder who had the foresight to own this unique table before us and why they were willing to give it up. However, it's found it's place in our home and it feels like it was always meant to be ours. A round table is welcoming and I hope all family, friends and clergy we entertain feel this warmth and welcoming in our home.
Welcome to Our Home and Table!