Ordinarily whatever happens to be on the dining room table inspires a dinner, but this time around the reverse was true. I really wanted to make lobster risotto for our gourmet group which made me think an Italian theme would be a nice accompaniment. After looking around to see what would work to make that happen, these old olive oil cans and an antique corkscrew from a Florence flea market got the table started.
From there creating a look with an Italian flair got pretty easy. Of course, I couldn’t resist adding a few bottles of flowers from the garden. All were on a beautiful handwoven textile made with threads as fine as a strand of hair.
There was no question about what dishes to use. The colors in the centerpiece made these harlequin patterned ones the perfect choice. These are among my oldest, and I never tire of using them as they lend themselves to such a variety of accessories. Here the plate is on a copper toned charger which added a touch of texture.
Also from Italy, Cortona I believe, are my favorite napkin rings cast to depict a variety of herbs.
Because I’m not a real rule follower, I like mixing and matching. This time I chose to do that with flatware.
My rule for setting a table is to keep it as simple as possible for the comfort of guests so I avoid using more pieces than are required for the meal. Here only a bowl for the risotto and a salad plate were necessary.
Keeping it simple doesn’t mean sacrificing warmth or interest which together welcome guests to your table.
A word about the lobster risotto or any risotto for that matter. Many people steer away from risotto thinking it has to be made just before serving. Not so! You can make it ahead of time saving enough liquid to add at the last minute. Then all you have to do is heat until all the liquid is gone, dish it up and serve. That takes all the stress away.
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