Saturday, May 16, 2009

here's an idea

Just wanted to share this idea with you. I found these incredibly inexpensive dishtowels at Ikea, but I'm sure you can find something similar at your local dollar-ish store.
I'm pretty rabid about using cloth napkins. I'd love to say it's an environment thing--which it sort of is/was way back when I started, but now it's just because I love having them on the table. Everyone thinks a special event when you use cloth napkins

So, when Kendall and I made a mad dash through Ikea after the March market and I spotted these, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them . . . use them as napkins. I brought them back to Clarksville and had them embroidered with the numbers 1 - 20. Not only does it look kinda cool, but our guests will be able to relocate their napkin
after returning to the buffet for seconds.

The best part is their generous, lap-covering size!

We're moving into those outdoor entertaining months. Do you have any al fresco dining traditions or ideas you'd like to share?
Thanks for your indulgence.


Karen said...

Our every day caddy to take napkins, flatware, salt, pepper and salad dressing to the outside table. Last year we we covered a 6-pack box with brown paper. I let Ethan paint it and then we glazed it with white glue mixed with water. The only thing you have to make sure you do is place the flatware inside the napkin because it can fall out of the bottom of the box. But Ethan is in charge of bringing it out and setting the table for the three of us when we frequently dine outside.

Nikki said...

We like to buy inexpensive plastic cups for each season. Little ones for the kids, bigger for adults. Enough so that if we have a get together, everyone can have one. I use a sharpie for the names. We always have "The usual suspects" at our house and it is nice that everyone already has their own cup. I have one for the neighbor kids, too. So when they are all playing outside in the cul-de-sac, I can bring out juice and cups and don't have to give them each individually packaged drinks. I store the cups with all of the other decorations of the season. Much better than disposable plastic.

Daddy Eric said...

Here's one of the best ways to start your day: Set oven to 400F and throw together some muffins (a quick recipe given below). Get your coffee going (I use an insulated coffee pot)and set your table outside. Snip one flower (even a weed will do!) and put in a shot glass or small vase on the table. Fresh OJ, maybe. Butter and jam. Aaahh! Nothing better than breakfast outside in the summer before it heats up. I love the fresh air and stillness. The set table and flower just makes the day start off right.

Quick bran muffins: Combine 1 1/2 c All Bran cereal and 1 1/4 c milk, 1/4 c oil and 1 egg. While you wait for the cereal to get soggy, in another bowl combine 1 1/4 c flour, 1/2 c sugar, 1 T baking powder, 1/4 t salt. grease 12-cup muffin tin or use papers. Combine all ingredients with few strokes. Divide into the 12 muffin cups and bake 20 mins at 400F.
Or if you like scones... set oven to 425F and combine 2 c flour, 2 T sugar, 1 T baking powder and 1/2 t salt and cut in 1/4 warm butter til crumbly. Beat 2 eggs and 1/3 c milk and add to rest with few strokes. Knead on floured surface 10x and roll or press to 1/2 thick round shape. Cut like pizza slices and place on greased cookie sheet. bake 15 mins. You can also add 1/2 raisins, craisins, chopped dates, etc for variation. Both these recipes are dead easy and quick and great fresh from the oven. Totally doable even on a weekday.

Paige Thomas King said...

Karen--I love involving the indentured servants--I mean children--early. Start early, then they'll hardly notice when, as teenagers, they're doing all of the kitchen clean-up while you enjoy socializing with your guests.
Nikki--the juices boxes/pouches are insidious. Reusing plastic cups is right in line with the same reason we (sisters) use the cloth napkins.
Daddy Eric--do you mind if i just call you Eric? I'll pick-up the All Bran at the commissary today. I love the concept of an outdoor breakfast, but don't get out there enough. (Do you have a screened porch?) I'm making a commitment to get out there in the morning!

Thank you all for your comments!

Michellem said...

Paige - How cool is it to see a link to you on Heather Bullard's blog!! WHOO HOO!! That had to be thrilling! PLUS a wonderful idea to boot - I LOVE IKEA!!

gina g said...

These are awesome!
Thanks for the tip!

Andrea said...

I love those ! said...

Just found this post from Heather Bullard. Love the napkin idea - I can't stand all the waste from paper and napkins. I'll have to get to Ikea before all the other bloggers buy them.


Vava (aka Virginia) said...

We soaked the labels off of white wine bottles (all the same wine), and use 4 + down the middle of my outdoor table for water carafes. (You have fun meanwhile because of course, the white wine must be OUT of said bottle).
LOVE your idea here!!!
Can't wait to soak up your blog! said...

I still love the idea of a bouquet of taper candles stuffed into any old metal bucket full of sand. It makes for a strong centerpiece. Elegant and primitive all at once!

Morning T said...

Coming to you via Heather Bullard. I have those towels on my list for my next Ikea visit and I just love your idea!!
Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

Paige Thomas King said...

Wow! I love that this old post was resurrected by Heather and so many oter creative people. My guests can expect a taper bouquet and wine bottle carafes at our next gathering! Thanks Virginia and Debbie!

Lori @ Projects Plenty said...

What a great idea... no wonder you were spotlighted on Heather Bullard's blog!

La Maison Fou said...

I got the same towels the last time I was in Frisco.

A great idea, mine went into the napkin bin too. I AM A NOVICE RECYCLER, BUT i DO LIKE A CLOTH NAPKIN TOO!

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