One of my favorite movies is Julie and Julia, the story of a woman, Julie Powell, who blogs her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” It’s brilliantly performed, and the food… oh, the food… it makes me salivate just thinking about it! The chocolate almond cake, the bruschetta, the boeuf bourguignon. Yum, yum and yum! If you’ve seen the film, towards the end Julie Powell throws a dinner party in celebration of her accomplishment of making her way through all 536 recipes in 365 days. The scene takes place on the rooftop of her Brooklyn apartment and she adorns the area with white lights and flowers, and she’s wearing the cutest white sundress, serving Julia Child’s Pate de Canard en Croute (boned stuffed duck in a crust) and a delicious wine. There’s just something about the atmosphere, the mood, the festive environment she creates. Part of it is her dinnerware. She uses mis-matched, vintage-ish dishes and serving trays, but it totally works beautifully!
Watching this scene in the movie always inspires my entertaining bug! I love to entertain. Two people, 200 people, it doesn’t really matter. I just love throwing parties, showers, soirees, you name it. One of the foundational principles I’ve learned with entertaining is to be confident with what you’ve got and work it to the max! Whether you’ve got Lenox chinaware service for 18, or you’re working with paper products from the corner store, there’s no limit to what you can do to create an inviting and ambient event.
I love, love, love our everyday ware, though. It’s Provence in ivory from Bed, Bath and Beyond, and it’s beautiful! It looks delicate, but is super sturdy. Great for certain members of my immediate family who sometimes drop things in the kitchen. ;) I also have a set of clear glass dinnerware that I got from Old Time Pottery (they’re a fantastic deal!) that I sometimes use to do a little something different.
Although I have my everyday dinnerware with service for 24, there are those times when it’s just not feasible to use them. Lack of time, lack of energy, lack of clean dishes… all valid reasons to go to plan B (at least that’s what I’m going with!). It’s then that I’m so grateful for places like Family Dollar where they have paper-products-a-plenty for JUST. ONE. DOLLAR. You can get 14 plates for a buck. 16 cups for a buck. 20 napkins for a buck. And all in a myriad of colors from red all the way through the rainbow, even teal, silver and gold! My husband even stuffed my Christmas stocking with some festive napkins to keep in my paper product inventory.
So, be at ease. Throw a party. Be confident with what you’ve got and use it to the max!
A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men. | Proverbs 18:16