Setting the Table for 2013


One of my first chores as a child was to set the table. My mom would put place mats or a table cloth on the round table in our kitchen. She would stack the dishes and glasses on the table because I could still not reach to safely remove them. I would get the utensils and napkins and complete the task.

Without realizing it my mother was teaching me etiquette and responsibility. I learned the proper place for the fork and knife (even when I was too young to use one) and which side the napkin is placed. Weeknights did not require complicated dishes or utensils so I needed special help at holiday time. I will always remember cleaning the silver (watching her do it, really…) before holidays. I have loved a pretty table since I was a child.

2013 table

There was a famous and expensive restaurant in Buffalo called The Cloister on Delaware Avenue. It was a very special treat to dine there with my parents. One of the things that impressed me was that every table had different chairs giving it an intimate feeling. I loved the way they
I love a table set with beautiful dishes, especially when the dishes don’t match. As long as the color scheme is compatible and the flatware is complimentary a mismatched table is very elegant. folded the napkins and how they treated children just like any other honored guest.

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I love dishes. I mean, I really love dishes. I once flew home from Rome with pottery carefully wrapped and on my lap for the 8 hour flight.

Can you blame me? I cradled that bubble-wrapped baby to the right like it was my job. I absolutely love it!

I know many families sat in the same spot for every meal. Our family of five was set in perfect nine o’clock, high noon, and three o’clock with me and my sister at five and seven. My high noon brother had his back to the window and was stuck in his spot since our nine and three parents surrounded him. So, whenever he wanted anything he would simply say “while you’re up can you get me…” and being up and out of our chair was of no concern to him.

Well, I’ve waxed poetic long enough. It’s time to chat about what I hope my foodie year will bring.

Foods I will learn more about:

Tea, Honey, Beets, Key Lime, Chia

Foods I will use or prepare for the first time:

Almond Paste, Duck, Hollandaise Sauce

Special dishes for special events:

Beef on Weck Sliders for the Super Bowl and Gramma’s St. Joseph Pasta Con Sarde

We are going to talk about:

Manners, protein and portion, and how foods are not good or bad, okay or forbidden

I will share my travels south this year:

Southern California, South Florida and the South of France after a visit to Paris

We are going to shake and stir and sip this year:

Cocktails using Pisco (a grape brandy from Chile or Peru), we are going to infuse vodka and other clear alcohol to make our own signature cocktails, and focus on French wine

I’m a home cook, “classically” trained by my mother and my own experience. It is very likely you are, too. Whether it was your mom or someone else in your life, you learned not only how to cook but how to share love with those you care about.

2012 was a big year for me and my writing journey. You have been with me for a very fun ride. Because we are in this together I would love for you to share with me what interests you and throw out some ideas of what you would like to learn with me.


Let’s do this together.

Let’s have a yummy year!

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Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie


7 thoughts on “Setting the Table for 2013

  1. The Cloister! Haven’t thought about that restaurant in years!!!!!……I too am interested in beets….saw on one of my favorite TV shows…. Home cooking and home grown are back in style….and I say YEA!!!!!

    • I remember my parents taking us there for their 25th wedding anniversary. 1949 plus 25 = 1974 I was only 16 but my foodie tendency’s were growing strong! The building is gone…long live The Cloister!

    • Thanks, Jen! I’ve made beets but love them and want to be a little better versed. Hollandaise is just the vehicle for Eggs Benedict, a most favored meal. And, I like duck a lot but have never attempted to make it. Life is just one cooking adventure after another, isn’t it?

      Thanks for reading and playing along!


  2. Love to read about your journeys. Beets are great, never cooked them before. I am interested in turnips ( never tried them), capers(not even sure what they are), and artichokes in new ways to please my palate( I love the nutty flavor and creamy texture).For the record, I have heard of almond paste but never seen nor tasted it. I have not traveled south any farther than South Carolina.I am sure I will enjoy the journey through your writings and experiences. Happy to have found your blog. Oh, one more thought to share- I could not help but to think of how cool Knead the dough in Ransomville looks with the different settings and tea pots so I can imagine how awesome elegant dinnerware would look in variation for an intimate dining setting.

  3. Pingback: Nothing Tastes Better Than The Food We Remember | Jude The Foodie

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