Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week 58, 1-29-2017

Thoughts and Quotes: Yard by Yard, it’s very hard; but Inch by Inch, it’s a cinch.

I know this. I preach this. I finally decided to practice this. I'm always complaining that I can never get to my books. Joey told me to drop everything and just work on them. Bev told me to just do a little at a time and soon it would be finished. So that's what I'm going to do. Instead of Tidying up the house on Tuesday, I tidied up my mind, which was going in a million directions.

I'm working on three books: Tablescapes, Teas, and Theme Dining.

A Year of Everyday Tablescapes will have 52 tables (one per week) and will be a photo book with a recap of where I found the things to do the tablescape.

A Year of Everyday Teas will have 12 teas (one per month). I showed you a sample of one of the teas last week.

A Year of Theme Dining will have 24 meals (two per month). Each meal has the tablescape, invitation, menu, and party favor. This book started it all, and it's just for fun. The other two are to encourage young people to have friends over and eat family dinners at a nice table instead of on a tray in front of the TV.

So I cut it down from "yard by yard" to "inch by inch". If I do four tablescapes, one tea, and two theme meals per month, I'll be finished in one year. I'm already a month behind, but some of this is ready to go - I haven't completely lost my mind to think I can do it in a year; actually eleven months since January is almost history.

However, I do have the Spring Tea, Summer Tea, and Fall Tea for my Cooking Club also. I can delay the Winter Tea to January. And don't forget Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The books don't require that I actually have people over, but all of these do. Maybe I should do a book of Holiday Dining as well. This would be a good start. We'll see. I've already done New Year's Day. I could add a Mother's Day tea and Super Bowl Sunday or Chinese New Year and Voila! A Year of Holiday Dining.

So for January,  the four Winter tablescapes are: 

Tiny Doll



Snow Village

Of course, the book will have more photos of each table. This is just a sample. I'm not entirely pleased with the Snowmen table. I might redo it, and I need to refine the table explanations as well.

The Winter tea I've already shown you back on Year 1, Week 4, and it's completely finished.

The two theme dining meals would be Black and White Indoor Picnic and Winter Wonderland. I didn't intend to do this book, so I have photos only, and I didn't always take photos of the food, but I think it's part of the fun. I also decided to add recipes.

Black and White Indoor Picnic

I haven't even one photo of food for this table, and I would need the recipes for the Bean and Corn Salad and the White Chocolate Nut Cookies.

Winter Wonderland

I'm not happy with this table. I can do better. I have some food photos, but most have people in them so need to be redone. And I'd add recipes for the Chicken Pie, the Frozen Fruit Salad, and the Baked Alaska.

I have my assignment - now to just concentrate on January and do it. We'll talk about February next week.

Thread: Not something I created, but I wanted to show you this. My top button came off my sweater top. I've never liked these buttons, so I changed them. I think it made a big difference.

Thank You: Joey gave me the Red Copper Square Pan which they advertise on TV. It's all they advertise and more. I cooked scrambled eggs in it and it looked like this:

It was a real mess - everything you see was glued on. I washed it with a dishcloth in soapy water and it came out looking like new. I highly recommend that you get one.

Muffin Tin Monday: Carrie ( suggested this recipe from Pillsbury. It's called Tiny Ham and Pineapple Pot Pies. You can get it HERE.

I didn't love them, but I don't care much for Hawaiian pizza either. They're really cute though, and I discovered that I can use 3" circles of ready-made pie crust to make Pecan Tassies - a real time saver.

Tidy-Up Tuesday: As I told you, it was my mind and not my house.

Where to Wednesday: We went to Zio's and I wish I'd taken photos of the restaurant. It's very Italian and very cute. 

Some highlights were Martha's Chicken Cannelloni:

And the Chicken Parmigiano which Joey and I chose:

The service was great. The temperature was perfect. The music (a nice Italian tenor) was subdued. I'd love to go back soon. They graciously substituted all Romaine for the lettuce mix in my tossed salad.

Try Something Thursday: I tried a new recipe which I loved. It's a perfect take-along and also the perfect dessert when you don't have much time. You have to like coconut, though.

(5 Ingredients or Less Cookbook)

1 pkg white cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 15 oz can cream of coconut
1 8 oz. Cool Whip
7 oz shredded coconut

Bake the cake in a 13” X 9” pan as directed on the package.

Mix condensed milk with cream of coconut. Set aside.

While cake is warm, pierce all over top with a fork.

Cool cake in the refrigerator.

Frost with Cool Whip and sprinkle with coconut.

Note: Look for cream of coconut in the liquor or international foods sections. One brand is Coco Lopez.

And yes, the cookbook title should be 5 Ingredients or Fewer, but it was prepared by Home Economics teachers, not English teachers, so we forgive them.

Friends Over Friday: This still hasn't happened. We went to Neighbors Mill to celebrate Mim's birthday and then I helped Sally do her table for her Supper 8 group. We finished just as the guests started arriving, so my photos aren't great. The ladies got to take the flowers home, and hopefully will remind the gentlemen that Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

I'll try to stick to the weekly schedule this week, but my focus will be books. I need to catch up and Valentine's Day is coming soon. 

For sure we'll do Where to Wednesday. This week we're going to Beth's Bake Shoppe and Tea Room. Here's the LOCATION and the MENU. Everyone is welcome. Hope to see you there.







  1. The snow village tablescape really captured my imagination what a joy.

    1. Then I shall show you more of that table next week.

  2. Your table settings re very beautiful. I like best the green one 'Tiny Doll'. Happy week!

    1. If you lived near me, I'd invite you over and use that table setting.

  3. I look forward to seeing your different tables! It will be lovely to follow through the year.

    1. I'm open for suggestions. If something doesn't look right or needs something added, please let me know.

  4. Oh my Patsy girl - you are my HERO!! If anyone can accomplish those books beautifully it's you!! I'm amazed at your spirit...just bright and bursting with ideas and can do attitude. You amaze! I truly love everything you've been doing so far and I can't wait to see where these take you. You are a table rock star!

    And what a sweetheart for trying the muffins for me. I'm not as much a Hawaiian pizza fan either - but my Ad and Annie sure I guess I may have to try it for them one of these days. Annie could help me make them. ;)

    And when you were talking about your Italian meal out I was literally salivating! That is probably my very favorite food in the world. Good pasta, good salad and bread and a great glass of wine. Just doesn't get better in my book.

    Keep working only inch by inch gorgeous Gal. Don't take on too much!! Blessings on the rest of your week Patsy.

    1. Thank you, My Number One Cheerleader.

      Just finished redoing the Snowmen table. Don't like the photos, so off to take more.

      Might jump off schedule, as I just bought the supplies for an Autumn tea. We'll see.

      Love to you, My Little Friend

  5. Hi Patsy,

    I just found your blog from Carrie's (Northwood Scrapbook) and so glad I did! I absolutely love everything to do with tea :-) I have been doing tablescapes and tea parties with my girls since they were little and they still enjoy them today. My 11 year old loves setting her own up for me to surprise me :-) I also love to entertain and it's sad not many people do anymore. I know I'm going to enjoy following your blog. It's great to "meet" you! ;-) Good luck with writing your books! Here's a little quote I thought you might like. "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. 'tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning" Mark Twain :-) My oldest daughter and I love to write! Have a wonderful weekend!


    1. Welcome, Jill, and it sounds as if we're traveling on the same path; but alas, I have no daughters to play tea party with, so my old lady friends humor me.

      I started doing theme dinners years ago, which somehow evolved into tablescapes and then teas. I can't paint a picture, write a novel, or compose music, so I decided to do a tablescape book to leave behind. It all snowballed. So happy you've decided to join me on this adventure.

      I love the Mark Twain quote. He's one of my favorites, and just today my friend was showing me a clipping about a restaurant in Hannibal, Mark Twain country. As we live in Missouri, we've decided to finally go visit. Not this year - if you've seen my goal list, you'll understand.

      I'll look for your blog and hope to see some of your tea parties and tablescapes. What lucky daughters you have.

      Best wishes for a wonderful weekend.

  6. Oh my goodness, Patsy, I just love all your pretty tablescapes! Everyone who shares a meal at your home must absolutely feel so special. I love your ambitions - something to really keep you busy and creative, for sure! The little pies looks so yummy - don't you love Carrie? I've been following her blog since she first began. The coconut cake looks like something I could dive into head first :) Just sayin'.....I am a big fan of the 'inch by inch' philosophy. Sometimes when I get totally overwhelmed, I just break it down into 'inches' and it all gets done. I need to copy that wonderful quote. Thanks for sharing your fun posts. Sending hugs and blessings for a wonderful weekend. xx Karen

    1. Confession time: Some of my tablescapes have never been used. When I first started, I had company over, but it took a day to plan the food and do the table, a day to shop and do any prep, a day to cook, entertain, and clean up. It dawned on me that I could just set up the table, take the photos and pack it away. I've done two tables in one day before. They were just for my book and I needed 52 (one per week). However, they're everyday, usable tables, not the ones which are beautiful, cost mucho dinero, and have plates and bowls stacked five or six high. Eventually I'll use all of them. And I have more dishes I haven't even used or photographed. Maybe I'm a bit obsessive?

      I left out a step on the coconut cake recipe - correction coming on Sunday's post.

      Thank you for your kind comments. They keep me going.

  7. I relish the idea to add recipes...and I just can't pick a favorite tablescape
    The new buttons do make a big difference.

    1. Don't choose a favorite yet - lots more to come.

  8. I love all your tablescapes and the black and white indoor picnic one is so pretty. The coconut cake looks delicious:)

    1. And we had hamburgers. I left out a step in the recipe for the cake. Corrected this week.

  9. Your tables look amazing. I am completely in love with your black and white picnic!

    1. Hadn't planned it to be a picnic. Don't remember how that happened.

  10. So many yumy things and beautiful decorations! My absolute favorite ist the snowflake-pottery!
    I wonder, where you can store all the nice potteries. I have some different too, but the space is not enough for all of them and I must give the things away so often :(

    1. I've very lucky, Mascha. I live alone (with Mr. Pepper Kitty-Cat), and I have over 2800 sq. ft. plus an over-sized 3-car garage with only one car. All three bedrooms have walk-in closets and two of the bathrooms have linen closets. I have a pantry in my kitchen (full of teapots) and another pantry in the laundry room. Everything is jammed.

      I'd be in good shape if I didn't also make greeting cards, because the tools and supplies take up an unbelievable amount of space. So, when you open a drawer expecting to find soap, it might be filled with envelopes, or beads, or ribbon. The bathroom linen closet has tons of candleholders as well as towels. That kind of thing. When I'm gone, my kids can have a giant garage sale.