Monday, December 28, 2020

Vintage Inspired Holiday Tablescape: Delight in Red & White

This is the darling tablescape my mom and I came up with to enjoy the quiet days after Christmas. She came to stay with us from Christmas to New Years, and one of the things we enjoy is chosing the dishes/tablecloth/placemats/centerpiece every few nights.

My mom brought Hester & Cook placemats with her because that's how she packs (clothes, shoes, placemats) and they were the perfect complement to my vintage Santa and reindeer. After we had set the table with her mother's Spode Jewel china, my mom noticed my antique paper house on the other side of the room and knew it would round out the presentation. 

I'll show you the vintage paper house a little bigger in this photo. It is the wonder of a pop-up. When you fold the two halves together, it collapses completely flat the size of a 12" record. I saw it and bought it on the spot. This is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for when I am antiquing. Have you ever seen anything like it?

Isn't it cute? It was just the three of us having split pea soup, but we had fun making it look special. We didn't have the big family dinners in Michigan that we love, but it was Christmastime during Covid and at least the three of us could be together.

#christmastime #antiques #christmastable #holidaytablescape #redandwhite

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Little Mince Pies at Christmas

I made these darling individual mince pies as part of my Christmas baking this year. I got the idea to buy a jar of Cross and Blackwell mincemeat and enhanced it with fresh chopped apple and orange from Paul Hollywood of the Great British Bake Off. The BBC has posted his recipe here.

This bake was also influenced by another famous British personality, Nigella Lawson. She cuts her pastry into stars to top her holiday mince pies, so I knew I had to too. Before I slid them in the oven, I brushed them with an egg wash and sprinkled them with white sanding sugar. It gave the crust a delicious sweet crunch.

Can you see the little slips of parchment paper? I learned this tip by watching the Great British Baking Show. Individual desserts can stick in metal tins that are small and deep. If you crisscross strips of parchment paper in each tin before you fit the crust in, the strips will remain and provide a handle to lift the baked pastry out of the hot tin. It worked like a charm.

They didn't take long to bake and when they were ready, the three of us ate warm mince pies and watched an episode of the British series, Last Tango in Halifax on Netflix. When Dan started in on his second pie he said, "You have to make these every year now." Success!

#christmasdessert #englishsweets #christmas #britishinfluence #britishchristmas #mincemeat #christmasdinner #baking