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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Of Want and Plenty

I got an odd comment on my blog post yesterday.

It confused me at first (remember I am on cold-chasing medications, so kindly factor in the grogginess).

It was this, copied and pasted from my comments:
Itinerant Interlocutor said...

thanks, Mom :)

also, spread the news that you can text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10 to the red cross, right from your phone!

Huh? Why, I wondered, is a wandering straight guy from a vaudeville act writing to me, and why is he/she/it calling me MOM?

Then came the epiphany: Itinerant Interlocutor is my daughter Alida. Philosophy grad students talk funny.

However, the gist of her message was about a simple and quick way to donate to the Red Cross, for devastated Haiti. So far, the Red Cross has raised three million dollars through cell phone donations. Three million dollars, as of 10:00 this morning, ten bucks at a time.

Lots of people doing a little, ends up being a lot. That you can text "Haiti" to 90999, and donate ten dollars to help the rescue and recovery -- it is amazing; every bit helps, many bits help more.

(Update: You will be charged the ten dollars on your cell phone bill, but there's no other fee. The money does not go to Haiti directly, but to the Red Cross. Even the State Department has endorsed this way of donating. There are many other reputable organizations deserving of contributions; just be wary of groups that spring up overnight looking for money for Haiti -- check the bona-fides of any organization before sending money.)

That's the Want of today's post, now for the Plenty.

One thing in generous supply at That Old House is . . . dishes. We have plenty of them.

I haven't been playing with my dishes much lately; too busy feeding crowds of people to fuss with the china!

But today is Tablescape Thursday, and Thrifty Thursday, and who can resist that? Not I.

You are invited for a simple supper, just the two of us -- a cozy little bistro meal,
lovely for a chill winter's night. On the menu is
Boeuf Bourguignon, which is simply good old Beef Stew with Red Wine.

Come back next Friday for the recipe and pictures; I'm not doing real cooking this week. In fact ask Howard, and he will tell you the truth: I am not doing any cooking this week. (Sneeze sneeze, sniffle sniffle.)

I'm thinking we'll dine in the conservatory where Dr. Crane, our aging Frasier Fir, is still valiantly holding court. Dr. Crane has seen better days, but what with all the goings-on here last week, and my cold this week, he won't be denuded and kicked to the curb until the weekend. Meanwhile, he lives on in blissful ignorance of his future as mulch.

Season's Greetings? Well, it doesn't say what season!

Red. We'll do red and white tonight. Red to heat up the January cold,
and white to echo the drifts of leftover snow outside the windows.

A simple table, no folderol.
We can tuck our crusty bread on the sides of the underplates, which came from Dollar Tree,

or put them right in the bottom of the bowl to sop up the stew.

The Boeuf Bourguignon is ladeled into flat bowls from The Christmas Tree Shop.
It's hard to find just the right size bowl for stew and pasta;
I am in love with these; they are the perfect size and shape.

We'll use 150-year old Rogers Nickel Silver flatware,
simple and big -- peasant flatware for peasant food.

Boeuf Bourguignon is not fancy fare; it evolved so that poor folk
could cook and eat stringy, tough cuts of meat. Savvy people, the French.

We'll drink the same wine we put in the stew, in big sturdy Dollar Tree wineglasses.

White daises remind us of the spring to come,

and cozy little red tea light holders (Dollar Tree) give us just a bit of candlelight.

I love crackly finishes. You can see me taking the shots, reflected in the tea light holders.

Placemats and napkins are from Home Goods.

Total cost of this tabletop, for everything except the table itself
and the flowers -- $15.00. Now that is thrifty.

Conversation provided by . . . us.
And I don't think we'll ever run out of things to chat about, do you?

You bring dessert; chocolate mousse would be nice, or a simple pear tart. I've done enough cooking! -- Cass


Now hop on over to Susan's Tablescape Thursday blog party at her Between Naps On The Porch blog.
It is worth your while!

For brilliant thrifty ideas and inspiration, visit Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday.
Just click and be transported!


  1. I have a great and easy chocolate mousse recipe on my blog Cass. I would make it and bring it to you but I don't want to catch your cold.
    Your red and white table is simple and inviting. Beef stew no matter how you refer to it is perfect for making you feel better.

  2. Your red and white dishes are so festive! And the daisy centerpiece... well how could I not love those?
    But I think the thing that really caught my eye was the gorgeous oak table they were sitting on. :-)
    Hope you are feeling better very soon sweetie!

  3. Thanks for the update about Haiti...I will check this out. LOVE your thrifty tablescape...that chin is soooo AWESOME...can't believe you got those red tea light holdersat the DOLLAR TREE! Hope you have a great Thursday.


  4. Love the beautiful red and white. The bowls are just wonderful, and you are right, they are just the perfect size and shape. The Dollar tree plates, glasses and votives are all wonderful. Love that place. The stew sounds wonderful. Hugs, Marty

  5. You poor thing - I hope you're feeling better!

    Great job on your tablescape while under cold medicine grogginess! :D

  6. Cass - a lovely and clever table, as always. Hop by Linderhof for last week's Tablescape Post -- it featured "our" tureen . . . . and I linked back to your post with your tureen!

    I love that tureen although I also yearn for a really big blue and white one! Sigh -- probably all I'll ever do is yearn! (when things have $$$ dollar signs -- sigh -- they are not for me!)

  7. I love those beautiful flat bowls, they are so pretty on the setting with the plates and all the other red things, very pretty...

  8. Sounds like a lovely evening and what a cozy table setting to enjoy it by. Love the bowls and plates.
    I cracked up when I read the tree's name.
    Hope you are continuing to recover from your cold.


  9. Cass I hope you get to feeling better real soon my friend...Great dishes and I like you have no shortage of dishes at my house...Thanks for the text infor. Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  10. Pretty table setting and dinner sounds good. Hope you are feeling better.

  11. I heard today on NPR that texting your donation to Haiti wasn't the best way because of fees.

    I know this organization, they already have people in Haiti, and the money sent to them will get to Haiti:

  12. I have caught your cold, dear friend. Sniff, sniff. My back is also acting up so I am in a bit of a fog from my pain meds. But...your table is lovely and the thought of stew with red wine sounds heavenly. Now, if I could find someone to prepare it for me! Love the dishes, the are so wintry!


  13. Wow that is so pretty and I can't believe how thrifty it is too! Your menu sounds so good..would love to have that tonight.

  14. I am watching a special as I write in Haiti, it is so devastating. I will contribute, thanks for the info. YOur table is so bright and cheery! The fact that it is THRIFTY too is wonderful!!!! I posted too, so please come take a peak! XO, Pinky

  15. Very pretty table setting, warm, happy, and comfy. Hope you get to feeling better soon, been a rough few weeks for you.

  16. Those plates are lovely, the warm red color is a good idea about now. Hope your sniffles are gone soon.

  17. Hi Cass,
    Hope you feel better very soon!
    Your $15 tablescape is wonderful!
    I think I'll challenge myself to try to do one for that amount ... hmmmm, it might be a tea tray for one ... with no teapot ... and no TEA! ;)

    Warmest regards,

  18. What cheery table for a gloomy and rainy day (remember, I'm writing from the wet west coast). How about a nice light lemon souffle to offset the Boeuf Bourguignon? I'll just find my snow boots in the attic and scoot right over.

  19. Hi Cass, feeling better yet??? I sure hope so, with all that you have been through its normal to catch a cold. :( I would like it if you have time to be-bop :) over to my blog and take a look at my little house, believe me, it is nothing like yours but it is mine and it's kinda cute. I posted some before's and after's take care my friend. I care.


  20. I think I leaned in a little to close to the monitor and caught your cold! Hope you are feeling better than I am.

    I love the big bold design of the says use me, use me! They are great...unfortunately, no CTS in my area.

    Thanks for sharing.

  21. I love those bowls from CTS! Isn't it fun to go there? I was there Wed.
    Found a few goodies...They also have the best red cabbage...:)
    I am sorry you are not feeling up, you've had a stressful few weeks...

  22. How beautiful! Love the red!


  23. Hi Cass,

    Love the simple setting! so clean and fresh! I love those red and white plates (That's why I grab them as well back in the summer!) and I agree with finding the right size bowls. We just got a Christmas Tree Store near us and I made my first visit into it the other day and fell in love!

    Have a wonderful day!

  24. Hi Cass!

    I LOVE that tablescpae and those red dishes! I also love the tealight candles.
    My prayers are with Haiti. Such a catastophic event.May God be with them.
    Sorry I am so late. As it ended up, we did have a (6 hour) 2AM-8Am stint in the ER with my son. Praise God, all is ok. But,it's taken me some time to recover from being up all night. Alas, I am late in getting around to everyone this week. My apologies.
    Sincere thanks for linking up to Tales from Bloggeritville Thrifty Thursday!

    Tales from Bloggeritaville


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