One of the things I love about special event dinners is setting the table. I love this so much I have coined the term “tablescaping” primarily because it’s so much more than just setting the table. It’s about height, scale, proportion, theme, and balance of color. So when as Passover was approaching quickly on the calendar I started giving thought as to how I wanted to present my table.
Growing up my parents always focused the theme of their Seder around the Israelites fleeing Egypt. With this in mind the meal was something simple but with intention it was thought of as what might have they prepared in preparation of fleeing. So when I thought of my table the idea of something from biblical times was what was rolling around in my mind. But how do you do biblical gourmet?
Two years ago I was looking for a tablecloth that would give me that feeling of the period. While surfing the web I was on Houzz.com and saw Ethiopian Cotton Zarima Towels. With it’s natural fibers and the soft blue strips along with the string fringe it ticked all the boxes. Unfortunately it was just a little too small to actually be a tablecloth and too wide to act as a runner. I also came up with a simple spring floral arrangement. This arrangement came to me as I was walking around our acreage and the buds were just popping out on the trees and everything was just coming to life.
One of the things I love about setting a table is rummaging through the house to add more layers and interest to my table. For this setting I pulled candlesticks from the faux fireplace in our master suite and fake shrubbery from the bookshelves in the living room.
Last year was the first time I was able to get my husband to my parents house for Passover so that he could experience what I grew up with. While there, I pointed out the matzo cloth that my mom had embroidered, the wine decanter that was a family heirloom (I secretly hope gets willed to me, OK, maybe not so secretly), and then I pointed out the Seder plate. I commented that that was yet another heirloom that I would love to have one day and my dad indicated that it wasn’t the kind of heirloom I thought it was. This lead to a conversation about it and my husband being the amazing Googler in the time of the conversation tracked one down on eBay and ordered it!
This year I had forgotten I started a theme so as we were out I saw a blue and white tablecloth I loved but when I went to set the table I realized that it didn’t go with anything I had. Rather than returning the tablecloth I am keeping for Chanukah which I already know it will be perfect for.
I pulled out my Seder plate and my striped clothing and immediately saw a color scheme emerging. Then I pulled out my salad plates and gravy pitcher that are a natural stone which coordinate perfectly with the striped cloth. Seeing everything I had pulled together I new the perfect changers would be gold to pick up the accent on the Seder plate. That meant all I needed was a new tablecloth so I hopped onto amazon and found the perfect linen tablecloth. Thankfully with “Prime” I was able to get it in time.
Now all pulled together I have a table that works. The colors tie together. It pays homage to the biblical inspiration I was going for an grew up with but offered a bit of an elegant touch to it.
Now, all I have to do is make the meal!