Happy New Year!
I thought I might come back and share a few more photos from Christmas, but once I get to New Year’s Day, I’m pretty much done with Christmas and figure everyone else is as well.
Joel and I like to have our parents over for New Year’s Day but have missed the last two years. We were excited that it finally worked out to have them this year! It’s our last hurrah of the holidays!
I honestly was not planning to decorate the table, just set it. That was the plan. And so began an internal diologue with myself.
‘Set the table, Alinda! Don’t decorate! Just. Set. It. Plates, glasses, silverware, napkins.’
Buuuut, on New Year’s Eve, I came across an inspiring woodsy table arrangement on Instagram with a plaid scarf runner, green dinner plates, pine greenery, and twinkly lights.
‘I already have EVERYTHING for this table-setting!!’, I thought to myself. ‘How can I NOT do this? It will cost me NOTHING!’
And it really did cost me nothing, not even time. Well, not much. I had just washed the plaid scarf so it was hanging up and fresh. I pulled the napkins out of a drawer and didn’t even iron them–it’s a rustic, woodsy theme, so no ironing necessary, right? Seriously, this table went together in a flash!
It created a warm and inviting setting for our guests to enter in to on this frigid, wintry day!
We had some Hot Wassail and Egg Nog Dip ready for everyone. I used the very last of my Biltmore Wassail Mix so I guess the holidays are truly over now. Sigh. The Egg Nog Dip is nothing pretty to look at, but it was so good and we’ve enjoyed snacking on the leftovers.
This year we went with a traditional Southern plate! No twists with this New Year’s menu. I mentioned before that I’m not much in to the superstition of the menu, but the tradition. And Southern tradition calls for pork, greens, peas, and cornbread!
Joel grilled and glazed some pork chops, I made collard greens, my mom brought black-eyed peas, and Joel’s mom brought the corn bread. I also put out a jar of Paula Deen’s Sweet Potato Butter, a hostess gift given to us at the company party. It was delicious on the cornbread! Since Joel’s birthday was the day before, ended our meal with his birthday cake of choice–Italian Cream Cake.
The “naked cake” is all the rage right now in cake decorating (if you can even call it decorated), and I knew it would suit our woodsy forest table. They are quite lovely in their simplicity, and I was curious to try one out with some fresh greenery and berries atop. So I first iced it in this new style and snapped some photos. It was really pretty. I liked it’s presentation. But I knew my birthday guy was going to want more icing than that! There are cake people, and there are icing people. Joel is an icing person. This cake wouldn’t cut it. (No pun intended.)
I then thought to myself that I would pipe something more masculine than my default jumbo swirls. I selected a few different piping tips and asked Joel if there was a style of piping he would like. His response was, “Do those big swirls you usually do because that gets a lot of icing on the cake”. Well, there ya go! And so swirls are what he got!
Same cake but with a lot more icing!
We had a wonderful afternoon with our parents. We ate, sipped, lingered. We laughed. We reminisced. Wilton demonstrated his new Christmas toys, and the girls showed the grandmothers their new bedroom décor they got for Christmas.
I’ve decided to leave the table decorated like this for the month of January. The girls and I are enjoying the glowy lights at night, and I sometimes find myself lighting the candles just to look at it for a few minutes before putting them out it again.
I used to never really care for the winter months after the new year. I’m not a cold weather person, and I terribly miss being outside and having the daylight last well into the evening. But the last couple of years, I have better embraced this season and have learned to appreciate the charm and coziness and quiet of the winter months.
Whether you’re a winter person or a warm-weather lover, and whether you’re a cake person or you like a little cake with you’re icing, I pray you have a blessed 2018!