Friday, August 7, 2015

Autumn Inspiration



I love my neighborhood. Not just because it is close to everything while, at the same time, being a bit off the beaten path. Not just because it is quiet and serene, and that I love my cozy, light-filled house. It is mostly because I love my neighbors! Remember when you were a little kid, before predators, and you could walk down the street at any time of the day or night and feel completely safe? When you knew everyone, and when you felt like socializing all you had to do was simply walk out the door? It's like that. I have met some of the most amazing women in the three and a half years that I have lived here. We meet once a month at a local cafe for coffee, and sometimes we meet for wine and cheese (or whine and cheese, it all depends), and then sometimes we go on lunch and shopping jaunts.

Last week was the latter when fifteen of us traveled in a three-SUV convoy to Wildwood, MO for lunch at Imogene's and shopping at Three French Hens. Imogene's was a cute place with a lovely shop, but for me and another woman who ordered the exact same thing, lunch was forgettable. I had the pricey combination of lobsterless lobster bisque and a cold crab cake. Cold. Weird, I know. (Those I make at home are so much better and equally as cute.  Oh, and they are warm! Find the recipe
here.) When I dine out I tend to order something that I wouldn't ordinarily make at home, but I have to tell you that I was really eyeballing the BLT that someone at the end of the table had ordered after one bite into my crab cake.
The lobster-less Lobster Bisque with shrimp garnish.  Honestly, they could have used a shred of lobster for garnish instead of shrimp.
 
The pretty but cold Crab Cake. The relish was tasty, but this could have taken the heat and been a lot better.

 But, food aside, it was a fun and lively lunch. I expected to enjoy it more than the shopping, something that may sound strange, but I honestly didn't think there was a thing that would interest me at the shop because, first of all, it tends to be a bit pricey and, second, I just didn't need anything. Boy, was I wrong. I often shop to get ideas. So largely, for me, shopping is just wandering and thinking, thinking and wandering. That's it. I am struggling with a rather long and narrow-ish entry hall, trying to figure out just what to do with it because I'm not particularly over the moon with what I have currently done, so this interested me. Not $800 worth, but enough to have me giving thought to a wall-mounted rather than free standing unit.
I really liked this wall-mounted shelf/table and all of the accessories.  I think I would have had to sell a kidney to have been able to afford everything.

One of the many pretty tablesettings throughout the shop.

I was entranced by this place setting with the cloche, but then wondered just what one would do with it after uncovering the food.  Pretty, but probably not practical.

As we were about to leave, I wandered past the fall display, muttering under my breath just how ridiculously early it was to be displaying fall things. And then these appetizer plates caught my eye. Well! I had to have these!  They were unique and affordable and would work equally well for Halloween as they would Day of the Dead, so I collected four, and then backtracked to where I had seen some placemats that I'd liked and got them too. I was thrilled.
I do think, though, that my purchase of the skull plates rather scared one of the women who looked from them to me, gave a bit of a nervous laugh, and then slowly backed away from me. No problem. I like to keep people guessing.


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7 comments:

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Haha. You are not only a fabulous cook/baker but have a great eye for beauty, a fun-loving personality, humorous writer and probably a great neighbors too :)

Linda said...

Lol!! I love those plates - especially because they look like they are grinning with good humor. :) I love that wall-mount also - now I'm going to want that look for my entry. I think your place settings are prettier than those in that shop.

Marigene said...

Cool plates...can't wait to see how you use them!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Love the plates and place mats. Great choice. Maybe that woman doesn't decorate for Halloween.
Sounds like you ladies had a great time eating and shopping. So sorry that your good didn't turn out well. But, you are such a wonderful cook, it would be hard to give something that you haven't tried before.

Have a great weekend.
Mary

crisdsanchez said...

I don't usually like skulls but these are cute. I really like the place mats.

Angelina B. said...

I was just commenting to my husband how I missed shopping at Three French Hens! I love the pictures you posted of the place, wish I could go back, wahh!

Pam Lauren said...

My daughter would love these plates! In fact, that is why I clicked on your link. So while one person may back away, another is saying 'Let me see those close up!" Have a great day!