We have celebrated Valentine's Day with the same group of friends for the past five or six years. Usually we go to a restaurant but this year we decided to change it up and we all ate here at our home. Everyone contributed something so it was kind of a classed up potluck. :D I pat myself on the back for having great friends that also know how to cook.
As for me, I had known about this dinner for about a week but how did it get to be February 14th so fast?
You know I have never claimed to be anything like a cook but I have usually taken some pride in setting the table. For some reason though, this time, I found myself totally unprepared.
Earlier in the month I had added a few Valentine vibed decorations throughout the house and I even had something for the dining room. It never occurred to me to buy something for the table because I didn't think we would be eating at home.
Anyway, the morning of our dinner I discovered that I didn't have any napkins to go with my red table cloth. I also didn't have a plan for the centerpiece. Well, that isn't entirely true. I had this garden like angel made out of stone that I have been planning to paint for maybe two years now. I thought he resembled a Cupid and that I could have him holding a heart or a valentine wrapped box of chocolates or something and he would look very "Cupidesque". I remembered him the morning of our little soiree but I thought he might still smell of spray paint by dinner. I had to move on to plan B but, damn, he sure looked good in my head.
With only hours to go before our guests arrived, I headed out on a search for red napkins, fun napkin rings and some sort of centerpiece. I was hoping to find vibrant pink napkins because I was going for a pink and red palate. I somehow have a knack, though, for always wanting the odd thing that nobody else wants and as a result the thing that none of the stores stock. I finally settled for a red napkin that blended well with my red table cloth and I found these cheerful napkin rings that leaned a little bit pink at Pier 1. They aren't really Valentine themed but they will be easy to use again and will work well with other colors too.
I figured the easiest thing that I could do for the centerpiece would be a collection of crystal candlesticks in varying heights but after multiple stops at department and discount stores and still coming up empty handed I had to move on to a plan C.
I was running out of time and I still needed to stop by the store for some champagne. It was there that I spied these pretty tulip plants so I bought two of them. I wasn't sure what I would do with them but, hey, they were on sale, I would make them work somewhere.
I put one on the buffet and created a little vignette.
But what to do about a centerpiece?
I had this plate holder and big glass bowl that I thought I might use. I could float flowers or candles in it.
Unfortuately the bowl was too shallow to float enough to make much of statement.
Where am I now? Plan D???
Well I decided to take some Valentine ribbon I had on hand, wrap the plate stand with ribbon to create a basket effect and I nested my second pot of $10.00 tulips in the middle and called it done.
I was cutting it close. I still had to change clothes, clean some veggies, and make the easiest appetizer ever.
Because I had bought the champagne just an hour or so before I was worried about getting it chilled so, of course, I threw it in the freezer for 45 minutes.
I knew I might get distracted and forget it so I set the kitchen timer to remind me to take it out.
The timer apparently went off while I was setting the table. I stopped what I was doing to go move it to the refrigerator.
What I didn't show you is that with all the effort, not to mention the gasoline, that I spent pulling this table together I completely forgot to set out spoons! Guess that is what I was doing when the timer went off.
Seriously? No spoons? How did I not see that? Yes, I'm slipping.
I remembered to light candles throughout the house, set up an "In the Mood for Love" playlist, and even made room in the frig for party trays. The only thing I forgot were spoons... kind of a basic.
Funny thing is, my guests never mentioned it. Not one of them.
I think this may be the reason why...
This morning. Yes, they are all empty.
My friends weren't just being kind. I don't think any of them noticed.
Hope yours was a Happy Valentine's Day.