It was about this time in 2020 that I began work on a chapter in my friends’ book, A Loving Table, by Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Shelley Johnstone Paschke. Surely a perfect topic for my family that had hosted a day-after-Christmas party for 35 years! Not only was my nostalgic mother reluctant to let Christmas go, but there was that particular issue of what to do with all the leftover turkey. As we were Southerners, of course it became another excuse to have a party.
I’m thrilled to be included in this singular book (with it’s happy pink cover), a joyful celebration of meaningful family traditions featuring 34 stylish hostesses from around the world. This was truly a collaborative project, which started during quarantine, spearheaded by designers Kimberly and Shelley. As Kimberly offered, “In times like these…traditions, the ways of elevating the everyday, are more important than ever.”
To add a special overlay to this project, it snowed as we were finishing the last photographs. A very providential occurrence considering that my table was decorated as a peaceful snow scene (featured image above).
And, don’t you love the red scalloped napkins with a “scroll-y” Christmas tree (from Haute Home for Ronda Carman).
A welcome tip…the traditional English Christmas crackers provide double service as a place card when tied with name tags.
The curry I mentioned has served us well over many years. Aside form being yummy comfort food, it has so many other merits…this family favorite is easy to make, cost efficient, can be doubled or tripled to serve a large group and can be eaten with just a fork, making it a simple choice for a buffet that may require eating from one’s lap. And it also freezes well!
An added plus? The long list of condiments can make for a festive and photo-worthy presentation that will tempt even the fussiest eater.
But, the surprise centerpiece of the story is the elegant Kugelhof, filled with sliced almonds and decorated with sugared orange rinds, a perfect accompaniment to curry (the cake was suggested and produced by my dear gardener, Kathleen Cotta).
And, I couldn’t resist incorporating it into my “gold theme” on the salon mantle. Aren’t we always looking for alternatives to our Christmas decorating? This was a first!
Take it from me, you’ll truly enjoy the trove of stories behind the decorating, entertaining styles and recipes so colorfully presented in A Loving Table. What a treat to share my family’s Christmas traditions (and our recipe for turkey curry).
Hope this post has added even more cheer to your holiday preparations. Merry, Merry…
All images credit (unless otherwise noted), Molly Lo Photography for A Loving Table, by Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Shelley Johnstone Paschke, © 2022 Gibbs M. Smith, Inc.