Food, Tablescapes

An Every Night Thing

tablescapePeople ask frequently if I set a table every night.  The answer is yes even when it’s just the hubby and me.  It only takes a few minutes, and for me it’s a simple way to say I care about who is gathered there.  As silly as this may sound, I also think food tastes better when it is presented attractively.

tablescapeSeldom is a table bare at our house.  There’s always some fabric detail or colorful flowers or something whimsical atop it.

 tablescape99% of the time real dishes and cloth napkins are used. I reserve paper and plastic for picnics! 

Folding napkins is a fun part of setting a table and is one of those touches that adds a little something special.  

napkin foldnapkin foldnapkin foldLinda  054 (1)Nothing could be much simpler than this one that makes a little pocket for flatware.

tablescapeWith the table all done, I put the finishing touches on dinner.

Curried Vegetables/RiceThis night it’s a very easy to fix a curried vegetable dish that uses what was in the refrigerator and one of my favorite ingredients, coconut milk.  Though we are not vegetarian or vegan, we do not have meat every night and find this kind of meal to be very satisfying.

Fresh Vegetable Curry

2 T. canola oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 T. ginger,  julienned

1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into thin strips

2 bay leaves

3 cloves minced garlic

1 t. turmeric or coriander

2 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped

14 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 c. water

3 carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1″ pieces

1 1/2 c. cubed butternut squash

1/2 lb. green beans cut into 1″ pieces

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, ginger, jalapeño and bay leaves and cook over medium heat until veggies are softened.  Add garlic and turmeric or coriander and cook for 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and mash lightly until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and water, season with salt and bring to a boil.

Add carrots, cover and simmer over low heat until crisp tender.  Add squash and beans, cover and simmer until all veggies are tender.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve over rice.

Serves 4-6.

What I like about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.

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33 thoughts on “An Every Night Thing

  1. This is a very pretty table! I love that you don’t take shortcuts, Eating at home with your hubby is special. I don’t have a dining room so I am constantly shifting everything from our dining nook to the counters and back again! I wish I could set the table in the morning and that would be it. Sometimes I also serve straight from the stove, making plates for both of us so that I don’t have serving pieces to wash, too. It’s not laziness…I’m conserving water and my time is important. I think place mats and pretty dishes are super important and I get the best paper napkins I can buy (see my recent post for a place you will love to order from!). I have more cloth napkins than one could ever need but they aren’t appreciated all the time. Anyway, Lulu…I DO love your table and I you definitely are an artist! And the recipe looks delicious, I’m trying to branch out into some Middle Eastern and Indian recipes. Thank you! 🙂

    Jane xx

  2. where on earth do you STORE all these things? I have a large house and I have NO ROOM for that much stuff looks great but a storage issue for sure

  3. I totally agree on making everyday mealtimes special. I don’t always set the table but love presenting our food in a variety of combinations of colorful dishes and containers wherever we might share a meal.

  4. I agree that setting the table is important. Each of my children has a day of the week that their responsible for setting our table and sometimes they surprise me with the nice job that they do. It’s the little bits of civility that make life feel good. Love your table!

  5. I do that most of the time too, Lulu, unless I am alone, then I eat in front of the TV in the family room. Your tablescape is very pretty and the food looks yummy….Christine

  6. That’s so nice that you take time to do that. I guess I never thought much about it but I do leave something on the table as a centerpiece and we always set down to the table with matching place settings and try to make the meal important. That recipe looks and sounds real good!

  7. You are a woman after my own heart. I love to set a pretty table and use cloth napkins. I am sort of obsessed with napkin folding and consider that as half of the fun. Like you, I really do think a meal tastes better when served in pleasant surroundings. I love all of the vibrant colors here and the vegetable curry looks delicious as well.

  8. You are good for setting the table every night. I admit I do not. I got out of the habit when I married Ramon. He worked through the dinner hour most nights for the first 22 years!!! Now that he’s getting home at a more reasonable hour, I’m having to rethink my strategies around here.

    Enjoy your weekend!!!

  9. Table setting is a pleasure not a task for me, and even if it’s buffet style on the island it’s fun to add special touches. I love that you use your things and make dinner special~ your meatless meal sounds very satisfying, and so beautifully presented!

  10. Beautiful table…love that runner. I totally agree with you on having the table set and I do so as well most nights, although I do admit to eating in front of the tv more than we should since we have become empty nesters.

  11. Lulu! Lovely table AGAIN! Like you, I set a proper table every night, with real plates and usually on of my 3 sets of sterling, a tabletop decor and at least one candle! My husband enjoys this romantic touch!
    I find plastic and paper fine at a picnic….but food doesn’t seem to taste as good!
    Happy Halloween!

  12. Wow! It’s impressive that you do that every night. You do it so neatly too! My plates and bowls are all square or rectangle too. I love it than the traditional circular plates. And yes, you eat better with better table setting and meal presentation.

  13. What a lovely setting for your delicious Vegetable Curry. Hope you are having a great fall day and thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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