Happy Birthday Aunt Kat!

My mother and her sisters are “Irish Triplets.”  From April of 1957 to April of 1959, my grandmother, Mimi, had three daughters in said time span. My family has had this bizarre timing of doubling birthdays, these three gals’ birthdays are of no exception.

Mema (my great-grandmother), Mimi (my grandmother) and Mama (my mama) – all three generations– have the same birthday. Mama’s older sister and younger sister missed each other’s birthdays by two days, but to some avail, the younger sis was born on our dear Aunt Sally’s birthday, Mimi’s sister-in-law. Maggie and Granddaddy share the same birthday and my cousin Gray and I are only three days difference on the calendar. Anniversaries of no exception either, for Mimi and Granddaddy, my parents, and Aunt Kathy and Uncle Gerry all were married on the same date – different years of course.

So, birthdays are a fun monthly soiree for this clan. Rarely do we celebrate one. Yet, this latest birthday dinner I hosted was for one, since geography and schedules impeded us from gathering all three of the aunts with April 17th and 19th birthdays. I had the honor of hosting Aunt Kathy’s birthday dinner this year. As a multi-faceted and talented dame, she deserved a fabulous tablescape.

Since she actually owns a dinnerware company, I thought a stray from her deliciously beautiful dinnerware a fun vein to explore. I use her dinnerware daily, and I have used it in photo-shoots for magazines, my books, my blog and in clients homes. Most recently I stocked a whole cabinet full in my room at the ASO Decorators Show House Atlanta. I figured Aunt Kathy would not mind my veering from her line for a fun tablescape.

Color – marvelous colors – in the tints, tones and hues of jewels, flowers, and ceramics with metallic shades - all meld together on my table for a fun scene. Spring is in high fling here in my corner of Dixie and the colors of this season are found in the flowers abounding. Snapdragons  in particular are spectacular this time of year and the pops of coral, salmon, fuchsia, magenta and deep lilac – all set against the newness of the greens that have bravely and boldly told Winter to scram. These blossoms from my garden set in vintage bottles were the perfect floral accouterments for the dinnerware I chose for this evening, Nathalie Lete’s line for Anthropologie. The colors on these plates are delightful, charming and whimsical, as are the creatures featured on each. 

Mama helped me set the table and lent me her favorite stemware for the party. Shades of cobalt, chartreuse green, lavender, terra cotta and canary are held above frosted stems and these heavy glasses have graced many a tableau for my family. They even disappeared for a couple years and magically turned up in Aunt Kathy’s barn fairly lately. Perfectly apropos to use them for their reemergence at this event I felt! Decades old pea green linens, mother of pearl chargers and flatware all danced atop my table and a heard of cerulean Fu dogs gave an always fun nod to chinoiserie.  My black chiavari chairs further embraced the Chinese Chippendale/chinoiserie bend I relish. Besides, an element of black always adds drama and grace for any setting. 

We eat with our eyes first. Why not set a beautiful table and present your food elegantly. As for the latter, Mediterranean pork loin stuffed with goat cheese, spinach and wrapped in bacon with a wilted green salad, garlic biscuits with honey butter, snap beans with Vidalias, tomato and zucchini casserole and some birthday pie –  coconut cream and chocolate ganache. Pie Shop ATL... need I say more. Susie gilded the lily with her famous whipped cream piled high and garnished with toasted coconut and shaved chocolate respectively. When Susie, Mimi and I get in the kitchen, you know something good’s on the way!

We ate, we ate some more, and then we ate pie. Pies (plural of pie singular) to be exact. Ha! What a way to celebrate Aunt Kathy!