Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Friday, August 17, 2012

When Is a Flower Vase Not a Flower Vase?

We love to entertain.    When we entertain we love to have fresh flowers on the table.    Husband Jim, however, has a "thing" about centerpieces being short enough so that people can see over them.   He hates centerpieces that are so big that you can't really see the person across from you  and when you want to talk you play the back and forth tag thing where you lean to the right while the person across is leaning to the left and you trade places and . . until finally you both are leaning in the same direction . . and then, you can have your conversation,  if you can remember what you wanted to say!!!!

Vases aren't usually short and squatty.   I do have some blue and white bowls that are smaller and an arrangement in them makes for a pretty centerpiece.   I also have a couple of flower "bricks" which are small and low and make for good arrangements.

In our opinion, an arrangement doesn't have to be big and massive and showy.   It just needs to be "fresh"!

A great luncheon centerpiece

Begonias from the garden in a wine rinser!    Which makes a perfect vase for a centerpiece!

Most wine rinsers are pretty plain

Wine rinsers date from the late 18th century to the early 19th.     They have little "spouts" on each side for a wine glass.    In those early days, there wasn't a glass for each kind of wine poured at dinner.   But heaven's you wouldn't want to put red wine in a glass that just held white wine and so the rinsers would enable a guest to rinse his glass for the next kind of wine.

I think they look prettier with flowers than a glass!

Those little "spouts" held the glass as a guest would put his glass in water in the rinser, swish around, and then pour the water out.    The glass, would be ready for the next variety of wine.

They're not big and each guest would have their own.    

One rinser makes a great centerpiece but for a grand dinner, a bowl in the center filled with either flowers or fruit and one of these rinsers at each place -- not for wine glasses -- but filled with flowers.    That would be an impressive centerpiece!

So when is a flower vase not a flower vase?    When it's a wine rinser, of course!

I'm joining Beverly for Pink Saturday.    


Denise said...

This is so interesting, Martha. I've never heard of a wine rinser, and I'm glad you told us the purpose and history of it. It does indeed make a perfect short vase for a centerpiece, and the fresh begonias are lovely! :)

Have a great weekend.

Denise at Forest Manor

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Wine rinsers. Wow. I learned something new. Very cool.

Gram said...

It amazes me what I can learn on your blog. I had never heard of wine rinsers. I looked on ebay, there were only 3, and they cost "a fortune."

Deb said...

I learn something new everyday in blogland.

Mary said...

That rinser thing is fun...had not thought of that.

Rowan said...

What a good idea - I confess that this is the first time I've heard of a wine rinser.

Rowan said...

What a good idea - I confess that this is the first time I've heard of a wine rinser.

Anonymous said...

Did they get little towels to dry the glasses off with as well? Very interesting story and neat use in a centerpiece.

Great ideas!

Happy Pink Saturday!

LV said...

Great idea and your center pieces are lovely.

Martha said...

Jenn -- I would assume they would use their napkin!

On Crooked Creek said...

Too cute!!! Very functional, as well!

Bookie said...

I had no idea what wine rinsers were! Thank you for teaching me something new, Martha.

podso said...

So interesting! I was relieved to hear that each guest has his or her personal wine rinser so it wasn't a common pot of sorts! I too like a low centerpiece. Sometimes I use a sugar bowl for a small arrangement. Or several small vases of flowers.

Unknown said...

Very interesting idea.Good to know about it.
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Michelle said...

I've never heard of a wine rinser, but I love to learn these things so I'll know one when I maybe see one at an estate sale! Very pretty with the Begonias!