This whole day is a COMPLETE surprise! It is our friend Barbara C’s birthday so my mom and I ran up to her house and using her own dishes, we set a birthday table for her. My mom brought the pink roses and all the elements for a small yet elegant dinner so we raided Barbara’s china cabinet, turned on the barbie-q and cranked up the stove.
Barbara had NO IDEA what we were up to, and her husband Marshall kept her distracted in the back of the house. When we were done we had him call her to the dining room and we yelled “Surprise!”. This is a woman who really doesn’t like celebrating her own birthday so she was surprised, in a good way : )
She thought the table looked so nice, and when I pointed out it was all her own dishes she said “Yes, but I don’t use them. You can’t replace them.” Surely she is exaggerating, I thought, you can replace ANYTHING in this day and age of ebay and Replacements.com.
“No” she said, “These are different, they are special”. They are by Rosenthall and the pattern is Shadow Rose. When her first husband was in Germany in 1955 he went to the Rosenthall factory to choose china and sent her several samples to look at. What she chose was a wheat design but when he went back to order it they were impressed by this American who spoke nearly flawless German so they took him in the back and showed him this set. They said it was reserved for royalty but if he liked it he could buy it. He purchased 12 placesettings and most of the serving pieces and shipped them back home. She never got her wheat but loves the roses!
There are the standard dinner and salad plates, cups & saucers, footed cream soup bowls, a relish plate…
…this amazing covered veggie serving bowl WITH stand…
…the small coffee server with creamer and sugar.
There are even adorable salt & pepper shakers as well as Reed & Barton rose silverware to match : ) It was my mom’s idea to use the pink vase and napkins and she brought my grandmothers crystal candelabras to make sure there would be candlelight for dinner. You can just see the gravy boat in the back left corner, peeking around the edge of the candles.
There are more serving pieces in the hutch behind the table and let me tell you, I was just in awe : )
So in just a couple of hours we put together a totally impromptu birthday dinner party and had a WONDERFUL, laughter filled evening. I’m still trying to explain the joys of facebook to them, if only to keep up with their one daughter who lives in France and the three grandkids : ) I’m trying, Sharon, I’m trying…
Happy Birthday, Barbara!! I hope the rest is filled with wonderful surprises and laughter.
And speaking of surprises…as we were talking in the kitchen before dinner Barbara mentions some dishes she still has in a box out in the garage. She explained them as “they’re kind of swirly with some purple and blue in them…” and Marshall went and pulled out a dinner plate.
THIS is the “Swirly design with some blue and purple in it…” I mean, how absolutely COOL are these? I’ve seen them before, at flea markets and antique stores, usually with a hefty pricetag attached.
And now we get a whole set to play with : )
There is more fabulous-ness afoot…
Tomorrow – Lavender and yellow leaves
117 days to go!!