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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

That's Italian! Dinner Party Italian Style!

To me, the sign of a good party is the way the table looks after everyone has gotten up from the table 

The empty wine bottles, the napkins, the wine glasses the candles burned low -- it's a sign that a good time was had here!

Every year at our the Annual Chamber Forks and Corks event (which we founded), we donated a dinner for six.    Six friends can join us for a multi course wine pairing dinner.

And this year's lucky high bidder chose last Friday night!

The theme this year was Italian -- I like to cook Italian and everyone seems to like Italian.

 The dining room with lace tablecloth, blue and white Spode plates, grandmother's cutlery and wine glasses and wine bottles -- all Italian wine including a chianti in a fiasco.    The kind we remember from our early married days where we would drink the wine (which was barely potable) and then drip candles down the side of the bottle.    In those days all of the Italian restaurants in the city had one of those wine bottle candleholders on the table!    We thought we needed one too when we served spaghetti and meatballs and chianti to our friends thinking we were so chic!    It was, after all, "foreign" food!

White flowers in a blue and white vase -- I adore these type of vases for they're both vase and flower frog!    And they're low enough for a dinner party.

For dinner parties, we always have placards and menus.     A souvenir to take home and everyone did!

The table -- all ready for company.    Wine in place.    I love the dining room at this time of the evening -- the time just before people come -- all expectant!    I like this moment almost as much as the "after" moment!

Bruschetta in the living room with limoncello martinis.    We make our own limoncello and with a bit of vodka added, it makes a very "Italian" cocktail!

While everyone was finishing their cocktail and enjoying their last bit of appetizer, I lit the candles in the dining room.     When everyone is seated, we turn out all but one table lamp in the living room since the room open to one another.     We don't want any distractions from dinner!

The Menu

To get from the menu to the plate,
this is what you find in my kitchen
Clippings from newspapers, recipes printed from the computer and a cookbook
(or two or three -- sometimes!)

Actually, until Friday morning, my salad was entirely different
and in that morning's paper I saw the citrus salad and immediately changed my menu!
That happens sometimes!

The risotto came from Ina's book and it's great dinner party risotto for it's oven cooked -- not as good, perhaps as old style, but when you're feeding 8 and want to be part of the party . . . . that morning's newspaper with the salad recipe and the others which I printed off from the internet.    A great source when I'm trying to select a menu.

And I do what everyone tells you not to do -- I never try the recipes before hand.    I just make them and go!     For company!    I never tasted that salad, but it sounded good and it was -- it was my favorite part of the meal!     The cake as well was the first time I made it.    I will make it again for I adored the frosting although I think it might be as good with Grand Marnier as it was with Amaretto!

And the food:

Zucchini and Parmesan Soup

Citrus Salad with Olives and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Roasted Vegetable and Penne Pasta

Chicken breasts, risotto and green beans

Amaretto chocolate cake and amaretto for dessert
(amaretto served shamelessly in our limoncello glasses!)

And after everyone has finished!

* * *

A good time was had by all!  

It's Thursday and I'm sharing our Italian Dinner Party with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.


Beth said...

Martha, What a beautiful table, with such attention to detail! The food looks great too. It would be an honor to be your dinner guest, Martha. :)

Pondside said...

Lucky, lucky auction winners!

Rue said...

Goodness gracious! I would fight for an invitation to one of your dinner parties.

Beautiful table, great food, candlelight and good company, who could ask for more?

I need to throw a dinner party and soon :)


megan said...

Everything looks so beautiful and appetizing, Martha.
You are always a good hostess!

Anonymous said...

Looks beautiful and delicious. Lovely table, as always.

candlelightsupper said...

A beautiful welcoming table. What an enjoyable evening one would have sitting at this table. Delicious!

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

"To me, the sign of a good party is the way the table looks after everyone has gotten up from the table"

I always love a brand new original way of thinking of something. and this certainly is one. :-)

and of course, all the *before*, was lovely and yummy looking too.