Monday, November 28, 2005

A Well Dressed Thanksgiving, III

Gorgeous Tabletop A Well Dressed Librarian is more than a gorgeous, gay,Jewish, bookish guy. He is also a host. Thanksgiving planning (as any worthy event) starts several months beforehand. Ordering roses, buying the proper tapers, picking out the wine, and deciding which dishes to use is very important, and should have much thought applied.

You see dear readers, our friends and families count on us to remember the details.

My Thanksgiving is Grandmotherly. I'm all about traditional (whatever that means), and while I don't require my guests to wear black bucket hats with silver buckles, I do ask the guests to "dress smart".

Cream colored table clothes, autumnal colored napkins, little cast iron squirrel place card holders (with the guests name painted in watercolors), napkin rings, wine glasses, water glasses etc. I think next year I'll invest in 8 more settings of Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles. Though I admit, the contrast was lovely this year, against the gold rimmed dishes from my Mother-in-"Law".

Thanksgiving has, for the past 5 years, meant new people in my home. I host a Thanksgiving dinner for those people who either can't go home, don't want to go home, or have never experienced it before.

The table is set with fabulous china:

aren't you jealous?

The roses really captured the idea of a old world dinner. I know during the War, they may not have been able to use roses, but the idea is nice. I put two of the arrangements in tortoise shell vases, and 4 in depression era amber glass coffee cups. I ended with lavender and ivy that I cut from my own garden. The guests thought they were breath taking. They were.

Dinner was a wonderful experience. I am not one for praying, but do like to elicit from my guests what they are thankful for. I like this part best because it ensures tears at some point - and a sure sign of thankfulness. Or allergies. But that is beside the point. I'm talking about me here.

After dinner, when you serve dessert, break out the vintage coffee service, it is a delight to guests who don't ususally use a coffee service. And of course, more vino:

johnson brothers coffee service

I used a lot of dishes this year:

17 wine glasses
17 water glasses
17 forks/knives
17 dessert forks
17 dinner plates
17 dessert plates
17 coffee cups & 17 saucers
17 demitasse spoons
Assorted serving pieces & serving silver
2 creamers
2 sugar bowls
2 coffee pots
the cooking things (bowls, pans, spoons, whisks, pots)
5 pie plates
6 port glasses
6 whiskey glasses
4 butter plates
2 sets of salt and pepper shakers
17 napkin rings (though - I didn't have to wash them)
17 place card holders (again, no washing up there)
17 cloth napkins (twice)

It was like playing house. Who am I kidding?

G-d. It's no wonder that it took me 4 hours to do all the dishes & put them back! Even with the help of one drunk guest who managed to put a dessert fork down the garbage disposal(! - I'll recover, eventually), it was a seamless and perfect evening. Besides everything looks beautiful under the glow of candle light. Well, almost anything. That's a whole other blog.

So you say, what does this have to do with being a librarian? I respond, it has everything to do with being a celebrity librarian. Our skills are put to the test, everything in order, timing things properly, asking the right questions (who is a vegetarian?, rather, "Are all the lesbians coming to dinner vegetarians? - Imagine my surprise when I found out they weren't! At least they all liked folk music and had dogs...)

It is more than keeping up appearances. It is BEING. Faking won't cut it. This is the ultimate test, and much to my delight, I think I aced it.

Most rewarding, were the flower arrangements the morning after, on my mantle. The morning light really made them look spectacular!

everything is perfect

Moral of this blog: Well Dressed Librarians. Amen.

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