Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Cozy Gathering

Over the weekend we invited the Mr.'s boss and his lovely wife;
 old and dear friends, over for dinner.

I wanted to prepare a simple Autumn menu that would appeal to all.

So I pulled the trusty 'Good and Easy' off the bookshelf. 

This little cookbook, printed in 1954, was my Mother's as a young bride. 

She passed it along to me as a young bride and it has been my 'Old Standby' ever since. 

As I planned on using my mid-century modern Franciscan bowls,

I thought it would be perfect to use my 1950's cookbook! 

I chose my version of one of my family's all time favorite recipes,

Good Brown Stew!

I can tell you, it really is good.

These little cookbooks can still be found at yard sales and flea markets.

Don't pass it by, as the recipes are wonderful. And easy!

I love the menu suggestions.

The graphics on every page are so charming!

These make wonderful presents for housewarmings, newlyweds or college students
 that are just learning to cook.

Throughout the whole book are tips and techniques for the beginning cook.

I learned how to cook using this wonderful vintage cookbook.

Of course I had to use my mid-century modern Italian fruit, cheese and wine platter (which I loaded with just those very things before our guests arrived).

This little beauty was mine, all mine when I spotted it at a garage sale for $1.00 a few years ago.
I love when things like that happen!

Blown glass pitchers mimic designs on the platter.

Hydrangea's from the garden fill my blue striped crock.

Hand blown water glasses from Mexico complete the setting.

I love hand blown glass. This green glass wine set was a gift from my daughter.

Along with the Stew, the menu included Irish Brown Bread, with Apple Crisp for dessert.

The 1961 'Hotpoint Automatic' felt right at home with the theme
 as it simmered stew and baked bread and dessert.

A vintage apron, potholder, timer and baking dish also made cooking stylish.

A hearty meal, good friends, wine and candlelight made all the preparation worth the effort.

As we watched the autumn sky rival the fiery changing leaves,

we savor the sweet harvest of friendship and laughter.


Thank you for being such wonderful friends.

I wish I could invite you all to dinner!

Oh, the conversations we would have!


"We take care of our health; we lay up money;

we make our roof tight, and our clothing sufficient;

but who provides wisely that he shall not be wanting in the best

property of all, --- friends?"

Ralph Waldo Emerson 


  1. This post feels just like time travel! I love your vintage kitchen and collections. The candles make such great ambience. So homey. I just passed down one of my old recipe books to my daughter for her birthday. The last time she was in town she curled up in a chair and went through it. She's never been particularly domestic, but the timing was right!

  2. how very cute - and delicious, too!

  3. Bela cozinha e refeição...Espectacular....

  4. Oh Karen this is so special your guests must have felt so special all the attention to detail it would be very impressive indeed. I just love your Mom's cookbook it is very very special. I always love the way you put so much into everything you do, you are truly one of a kind. I would love to come for dinner I know I would feel very special and enjoy all your recipes.. Truly a work of art in my book. Hug B

  5. What a lovely evening, such lucky friends. My mother had those exact same dishes as your soup bowls, when I was a kid. And I have the same cookbook, from when we first were married. I love the table settings and all the lovely pieces that make the dinner so warm and cozy. Everything goes so well together.

  6. Mmmm....I do love that stew and Irish soda bread! It was such a beautiful day Saturday, I'm sure the view was breathtaking. You always make every visit so special. I love you Mom.

  7. Nothing beats a good stew when the weather is cooling off and the apple crisp looks just perfect so does the brown bread.
    Merle........... ................. ..........

  8. Oh my Karen I really enjoyed this post! Your closing quote was a perfect ending.
    I watch a lot of cooking shows and may I say your lovely dinner was 'well plated'!
    My daughter collects coffee and tea cups and a few years ago when she lived in her first apartment she bought a tea cup that matches your bowls. It always reminds me of the old cartoon The Jetson's for some reason.
    Your attention to detail is superb.

  9. This looks like such a wonderful, comfortable, delicious gathering! I love the way you put everything together!

  10. This looks very nice. i love stew! Especially when it comes with a good red wine ;-)

    Warm greetings from the Netherlands,

  11. delightful post -- Cook books like that remind me of high school home-make classes. I have never had brown stew nor Irish Brown Bread I need to try these two items but I have had many time over apple crisp... I can never get enough of seeing your photos of your views you get WOW evening shot..

  12. Looks like a very special time, Karen. Love that you still have and use the cookbook!

  13. Beautiful post Karen, the stew looks so good...as does the soda bread... Hugs May x x x

  14. Great post. I adore old cookbooks. I have a few myself. I like your mountain photos on the side. Will be taking photos of mt hood and hopefully adams soon.

  15. Hi Karen! Somehow, I totally missed this wonderful post! Oh, the memories it brought back. Sitting here, sighing in my rocking chair. xxoo, Maureen

  16. What a lovely vintage dinner with friends!!! Boy do I love that cookbook and those candlesticks are beautiful!!!! Your night sounded fantastic!!! Happy weekend friend!!!!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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