An Indian Dinner

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Happy Saturday to you!

I’m a little jet lagged, having just recently returned from London. I’m excited to share some highlights of our trip once I’ve had a chance to download and compile all my photos. I actually went away with just my tiny Leica and the download cord, but no battery charger. So dumb. Don’t you just love packing?

Those of you that follow me on Instagram though have seen several of my holiday snaps there already. The old iPhone (and I do mean the old one) takes a pretty good shot in a pinch.  OK so, wait…I’m off track already, bloody hell…the London post will be arriving shortly (it is coming from overseas after all!)

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few photos from the Indian Dinner table I set at ‘Casa Paley’ shortly before we went away.

890A8441We were excited to be having very dear old friends over for dinner and inspired by the spate of beautiful late May weather in Santa Barbara (before  “June Gloom” arrived, right on schedule as I’ve been informed, June 1st) I thought it would be fun to serve up a big old curry with all the fixings.

09ea16a6bd9e11e299e522000a9e28c4_7My Instagram shot of the cookbooks we used:

“Mangoes & Curry Leaves” (gorgeous book, somewhat complex recipes),”Tangy Tart Hot & Spicy” by Padma Lakshmi (easier recipes) and “Vij’s” from my favourite Indian restaurant in Vancouver-even though they don’t take reservations which drives me insane. Maybe because I’m mentioning his cookbook I might not have to wait outside the next time.  Do you think??? Hey, It could happen. If you know him, please put in a good word for me :)

I’m afraid I don’t have any photos of the food but this is what we served:

Vij’s Family Chicken Curry (OMG-SO good. and I’m not just saying that because of the no reservations thing. Swear)

Prawns in Coconut Marsala

Sauteed Arugula & Spinach with Tofu (because we couldn’t find Paneer)

Ginger & Jalapeño Basmati rice

Green Beans with Toasted Coconut & Cashews

Cucumber Raita

Shredded Carrot, Cranberries & Cilantro Salad (Gorgeous & delicious-so wish I’d taken a photo) from Padma’s book

Huge crispy Poppadoms, Naan bread and lashings of spicy chutneys

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890A8452Different flavours of salts on the table are always a nice touch.

I found the porcelain and copper “burning match” votives “At The Table” in LA  years ago.

890A8462I actually have a “Salt” post in the hopper as we speak. Keep an eye out for it. I know. Exciting, right?!

890A8457As usual, I like to really mix it up, so here we have a huge vintage Suzani used as the tablecloth (that’s how much I love/trust these friends :) )  little silver votives from Pottery Barn, Cristofle silverware, vintage ocean liner water goblets, black & white striped cotton napkins from “Paradise Lane” in Sri Lanka, and all the black & white dishes are from Target. The roses are “White Iceberg” and “Hot Cocoa” from my garden.

Here’s the recipe for the curried chicken:

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Taken from “Vij’s” cookbook with love and respect… and patience.

What?? I’m not hinting at anything!

890A8520Christofle silver vase (a present for our 25th wedding anniversary last month)

For another Suzani inspired table setting check out this older post HERE -I just noticed that it was also done in May, in 2011. Goes to show how much Spring inspires us to bring the colour indoors (you might also recognise that suzani from my recent post about updating our conservatory) Vintage textiles are such a worthwhile investment, aren’t they?!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

and

VERY HAPPY FATHER’S DAY WISHES TO ALL THE WONDERFUL DADS OUT THERE!!

xoxox

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Forget The Turkey, What About The Table?

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Slim Paley photo

An intimate & casual Autumn lunch at my beach house. You wouldn’t really expect gourds to mix well with objects from the sea, but it worked.

 

Slim Paley Photo


And now, my favourite part of November- setting the Thanksgiving table, particularly fun, as Fall’s bounty is so plentiful and I love a great Over The Top, Bring It ON table for ‘Giving Thanks’.

 

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How chic, this black & white Thanksgiving table from Domino.  I have some black & white transfer ware- but not nearly enough.

I do have feathers though, and might just throw them into the mix this year.

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Martha.

Martha, Martha, Martha. If you’d only let me come to that cooking class all those years ago…we coulda’ been Buds!

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credit unknown (what if it’s martha?!!)

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Photo Luca Trovato for House Beautiful

An interesting and sophisticated table by Janice Feldman (Founder of Janus et Cie)

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Slim Paley Photo

I could do an updated version of my Sun Valley Thanksgiving table from last year…

BTW,  I’m going on record now- I don’t want to hear  “J’accuse” if I use a version of this photo again on my upcoming Plaid post!

Think of it as recycling. Plaids not the easiest subject.

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Photo via Linda Ervin

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“Her” again

Love this.

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Slim Paley photo

I’ve used those colours too  ( apples and hydrangea from my garden :))

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But ever since seeing this photo recently…

 

(Oh…let’s say British Homes & Gardens)

I’m feeling the urge to do a ‘Spicier’ tableau

Something about the heavy linen and very fiery flowers is really inspiring me.

 

I have copious amounts of Cranberry glass, which I would love to mix with mustard and brown.  You heard me.  There’s some interesting foliage in the garden right now that would work well with these colours, though I don’t have brown dishes, or at least not enough for the number of guests this year.  I might be taking a run down to P.B. or the local antique collective to see what I can find- because, really, it’s just not a Holiday for me unless I’m leaving everything until the last possible moment.

Don’t read my New Year’s Resolutions from last January about being more organized .  I’d obviously been drinking.

 

 

Some of the things I’ve pulled together so far….

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Slim Paley photo

Cranberry glass, mushrooms, quail eggs, antique books, and old letters…

 

I’ll keep you posted.

Do I win anything if I get the table set before Saturday?? (which would be absolutely wonderful, considering I’m out of town Thursday and Friday )

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Do you favour tradition and set the same table for the Holidays every year, or do you like to shake things up too?

What’s your favourite part of the holiday; the cooking, the table setting, or

the Clean up?!

(if you answer #3, we have one more place at the table :) )

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