ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Tablescape Thursday Sit-Down- a new adventure is coming...

Happy Thursday All!

It is HOT here in NC- I mean brutally, the- streets- are- barren, HOT! And tomorrow is supposed to be hotter. Oh, yay. Thank heavens for central air!

Today's table is for you parents out there. Those of you with children all understand the need for some grown-up time now and then. Time to connect, time to catch up, and sometimes- like tonight- time to discuss.

As it happens my parents, who share our home, had a dinner tonight and all the kids were scattered at various friends and babysitting jobs. I've been hinting to you all about some changes at Casa Bramasole, and tonight Mr B and I took advantage of the "alone time" to do some brainstorming.

The study seemed like a nice quiet spot...

I did some mixing and matching...

a little Noritake...

a little Haviland Limoges...

the white dinner plate is a simple English ironstone

Waterford- cased and clear...

my favorite orange roses

my favorite old crystal bowl holds the roses

on one of my favorite vintage hand embroidered supper cloths

such beautiful crisp linen

this cloth came from a dealer in England that I worked with in NY- he'd probably die if he knew we were eating on it! :)

I love the look of old brass and gold

the sun stays bright till much later in the evening these days, but I wanted candles

so I lit candles (they help me think!)

a simple Caprese salad...

and some garlic cheese bread to start

I just noticed that one of the candles was out here- oops...

decisions, decisions....

so rare to have a quiet house (it didn't last long!)

Well folks, it's not set in stone yet, but it looks like  the time has come for a change. We're looking at putting our home on the market and making a move. We have so loved our time here and many forever friends have been made. Our Miss Allie isn't too happy with us right now, but sometimes parents have to make decisions for the long term good of a family that just aren't very popular. I trust completely that our wonderful children will adapt well and understand. The translation for "Bramasole" is to yearn for the sun- it is a state of mind and a state of the heart. We will carry Bramasole with us and hope you'll come along for the ride.

The reality is, unfortunately, that houses are sitting on the market for some time, so we're not anticipating that this will go very quickly (though it would be nice). I am NOT looking forward to keeping a house "show ready" with kids, parents, clients, and sundry children constantly in and out, so you may hear a few raging vents here and there :)

With everything going on today I simply didn't have time for a recipe, so I thought I'd repost one from a few months back. As it happens, I did make it this week with the wonderfully sweet strawberries I got at the local farmer's market. Enjoy!

Strawberry Risotto
3 cups of milk 
1 cup of coconut milk from 13.5 oz can 
1/2 a vanilla bean, scraped
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoon of butter
3/4 cup of sugar 
1 cup of  arborio rice
1/2 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoon of orange liqueur 
1 cup plus 1/2  cup sliced strawberries 
Toasted sliced almonds for garnish
 Heat the milks, sugar, vanilla and lemon peel in a largish saucepan until the liquid is simmering. Blanch 1 cup of berries in liquid for 30 seconds and remove.
Reduce the heat and keep liquid hot.
 Meanwhile in  another saucepan melt the butter. Add the Arborio rice and saute for a minute or two till coated and translucent.  Stir well.Add orange liquer and stir till absorbed.  Add 1/2 cup of hot milk  mixture at a time waiting till each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next and stirring well.
   The process takes about 45 minutes to complete. I've noticed that it seems to take longer with the milks than with broth- I'm guessing due to the lactose and thickness of the coconut milk. Meanwhile puree the blanched berries in a blender or food processor
When done, add the heavy cream, half at a time. Stir well to completely incorporate. Remove from heat and add the puree and sliced strawberries, stir slowly, cover and set aside for about 15 minutes.
Add some more strawberries for garnish and sprinkle with almond slices.

We're linking up with Between Naps on the porch for Susan's fabulous Tablescape Thursday party!! Come join us for some fun and inspiration. And join us tomorrow for Foodie Friday at Gollum's.

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Oh what a beautiful table and how wonderful to have a few minutes alone to just relax and catch up with life together. Your china and all of your crystal is just stunning. I so hope that your move is an easy one. Hugs, Marty

  2. Dear Pattie and Allie:

    Loved your china. Your caprese salad looked and garlic bread make for a great yummy dinner! Moves are hard for kids and everyone -- we made one three years ago. Hope your home sells quickly! Hugs! Joni

  3. Pattie, The table is lovely...I have the same Waterford goblets, mine are red.
    I think that's one of the most exquisite linens I've ever seen. I bet your friend would croak if he knew you'd dined on it! lol I hope you and your hubby had a romantic, wonderful evening. I can so relate to needing time with your spouse or with no kids in the house. We've had two home the past few days and it's been pretty relaxed and quiet...well quiet compared to six kids here!
    I hope your move is smooth and to someplace you want to be. Best wishes with your decision!


  4. Pattie, Your table and study are beautiful. I would want to dine there often! A table with a window view! Now that is a wonderful place to eat and chat!

    The embroidered supper cloth is one of the most exquisite I have ever seen! And I would use it too. It's ashame that people don't use their lovely things, isn't it? And this table linen is far too beautiful to be put away and not seen!

    Your limoges really got my attention. What a fabulous pattern. It is so whispy and detailed and the green is so unusual! You paired it perfectly with your Noritake hocks. It is just such rich elegance.

    This is one of my very favorite tables you have done.

    I pray that your home sells quickly and you re-establish Bramasole as soon as you move. The new community that you will be moving into doesn't know the treasure they will soon get! I'll keep you and your moving process in my prayers.
    Give Allie a hug for me!

  5. What a beautiful and romantic table. Hope you had a lovely dinner, just the 2 of you! Hope you're not moving too far?

  6. Your table for two is so lovely, Pattie. You've assembled all your treasures so perfectly, and I think it's wonderful that you are using your exquisite supper cloth.

    It sounds like you have a very busy time ahead. I pray that it all goes as you want it to.

  7. That supper cloth (a new term to me!) is just exquisite! But I'm glad you're using it as it's meant to be used, not merely cherished in the linen closet. Best wishes as you enter the real estate market. It is SO hard to keep one's house show-ready, especially with children. Our daughter slept on a sleeping bag rather than have to make her bed every morning!

  8. Beautiful table -- love that tablecloth! Good luck with your plans -- we were amazed when my father in law's house sold in one week! You just never know.

  9. What a beautiful table! Your table linen is just gorgeous! And your dishes and crystal are the perfect addition. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Ms. Sharlotte's...Southern Reflections

  10. Beautiful romantic table, Pattie...that tablecloth is exquisite. The green in the plate goes so nicely with the wine hock.

  11. So beautiful, so elegant and so grown up! Good luck with your life change - I hope your house sale goes smoothly and that a year from now - you will be settled and decorating! Best wishes.

  12. This table looks like it is right out of the movie Remains of the Day. I love the table cloth and the waterford crystal. Nice job, and good luck in selling your house.

  13. So pretty and elegant! I love your crystal and china! Good luck with all your changes, I hope everything goes well!


  14. Beautiful tablescape. Looks like the perfect place for a couple to sit,talk and plan!
    My prayers for you and your family as you prepare for these changes. Hope your house sells quickly...did you follow your advice you told me to help have a quick sale!
    Sweet thoughts sent your way :)

  15. Keeping my fingers crossed for a quick sale of the house. It is no fun to be show ready, I hear ya. will be cking back to hear more about the move. The table looked amazing! And I have a similar tablecloth, which is a family heirloom. I have framed mine. The thread is a gray silver... I want to say it is made in the island of madeira by male artisans. If yours is from the same, your english dealer is right and you shouldnt' be eating on it. It costs a fortune! :)

  16. What a lovely, "together again" table you've set for you and your sweetie. Your dishes are just beautiful...I have a little gate-leg table, much like was my mother's and it is round. I will do a 'scape on it soon.
    Praying your house sells quickly and your move is an easy one.
    xo bj

  17. So elegant and romantic setting! Beautiful tablecloth.


  18. Beautiful! I love Haviland...and the lace patterns are beguiling and intricate. Heavenly. It's hot here, too. My mom went outside to walk her Shih Tzu and got violently ill. She's better today. I hope this weather isn't a portent of hotter days to come.

  19. You table is incredibly beautiful. The dishes and the stemware are out of this world; and as someone who embroiders I am drooling over that tablecloth. Thanks so much for sharing this post. I empathize with the heat -- they say it's the humidity though.

  20. I love to mix and match, and the way you did it is oh so nice. Your linens are beyond fabulous. Enjoy a nice evening alone. Thanks for sharing and happy TT to you!

  21. What a lovely table! It looked peaceful and charming; perfect for a quiet talk. Having just moved last year with teens and preteens, I know how hard it is to uproot them. I also know about moving because it's the best thing for the family in the long run. My fingers are crossed for your house to be the exception and to sell quickly.

  22. Beautiful tablescape! Good luck with your move! I hope your house goes quickly for you!

  23. Pattie and Allie, it's the sun of Bramsole which makes the golden shine on your table. That is so beautiful with that heavenly Haviland plates and that outstanding tablecloth. Such an adorable fine work. I wish you all the best with your movement. You will carry your spirit with you and Bramasole will be at every place, where you are.
    Greetings, Johanna

  24. Hi Pattie...

    Well my friend, you set an absolutely beautiful table! Ohhh...I just adore those gorgeous table linens...they are exquisite! Loved your place settings as very perfect...right down to those beautiful roses! I do hope that you and your honey had an enjoyable dinner! I do remember a time when things were so busy that it was difficult to find the time and solace to think. My sweet friend, I send all my love and prayers in regards to your upcoming decisions! You're right, taking up roots and moving isn't an easy thing...and yet it may be the very thing needed! I certainly understand and speak from experience! Best wishes, sweet lady!!!

    Chari @Happy To Design

  25. I love the table you were dining on. The supper cloth was nice also. Beautiful quaint tablescape. Thanks for sharing. Hope your transition goes well.

  26. Your table is just so inviting and wonderful, it is nice to time alone sometimes...Love the dishes so much and the beautiful crystal, wow so sorry about the unbearable must be humid there, not sure about your weather, in Calif. it is warm and sunny with not much humidity, beautiful weather, hope your house sells soon, I have a feeling it will

  27. Pattie, I absolutely love the elements that compose this table. First, that cloth! OH, it is GORGEOUS! The hocks are exquisite, too, and the Haviland. I'm a huge Haviland nut, so my eye immediately recognized it! And the roses and that garlic bread... YUM!

    I will definitely keep you in my prayers as you go through this time of transition. I know you, and I know that you will carry through well with all of it. I pray that you get a great offer on your house and that it sells and that you make a seamless move.

    Sending you much, much love!


    Sheila :-)

  28. Lovely! Your table is the epitome of old world elegance. I grew up in a three-generation household and know how special that can be. I also know how treasured alone-time is.

    Best wishes in your move.


  29. Pattie, I have always believed it is a family that makes a house a home. I am sure that no matter where you land your family will grow even closer and that is an awesome thing. I will pray for a quick sale and easy move! Allie, I moved when I was a senior in high school. I remember being devastated but.....if it was not for that move I would have not met my husband! You never know what is in store in your new adventure! Best of luck ! Annette

  30. Beautiful table with old world touches and linen and furniture that is my taste. I hope your move will be smooth and that we continue to see your talents in a future new home blog. Where ever you move your future neighbors will be blessed. Take care~Emelia~

  31. you know you're playing my song with that adult table for 2.. There havent been any kids here since 1994 lol.. I love this setting and me and hunnyhubs would be thrilled to sit at that table. Since he does most of the cooking I'm sure he'd be thrilled with your cooking too.. I too have AC in NC so I pray every night for those folks here that dont and for all who must work outside.. its just plain Miserable out there and so early in the season too. Imagine what late july and august will be. its that humid heat too which is so much worse than the dry heat they have in other areas..
    Come visit me please , I have some issues I'd love your input on...
    hugs and happy thoughts


  32. Your table is beautiful and the risotto is perfect and out of the ordinary. I hope that the sale of your home gors as smoothly as these things ca. It can be a wrenching experience. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  33. Hi Pattie!

    Just a lovely table for two! Your dishes are gorgeous and the glasses, to die for!

    I will pray and do a little "Sell this house ...NOW" dance for ya!!

  34. Patty-Well, with all these plans and thoughts swirling round in your head, you and Mr. B did need a quiet spot! It's beautiful! Houses around here are beginning to sell again--two in my neighborhood in less than a month (for the asking price!) I pray it all turns out the best for you! And yes, kids are like cats--they land on their feet :) Allie will be just fine :)

  35. Your tablecloth is absolutely magnificent. I say, the best way to appreciate it, is to use it. It pairs well with your beautiful china and gorgeous stemware. You share the most delicious recipes.

    All the Best,


  36. The supper cloth is an absolute treasure. My mother -in-law taught me to use the things I love rather than hide them away-something that my mother always did.
    I pray your move will come quickly and that God will hold your family in the palm of His hand.
    Remember, you are not leaving us. You will give us more stories and adventures to share.

  37. That table is lovely, and you dine like royalty!
    I know it is hard to make these decisions. I will say a prayer for you for guidance! Lord knows we all need some of that!

  38. Hi Patty and Allie,
    What a lovely table for two... such romantic dishes and wine goblets! Very sweet...
    and the strawberry risotto... Mmmm sounds awesome!
    Have a weekend filled with gentle moments ~ Maria

  39. Absolutely gorgeous! I loved everything about the table, especially the Haviland and the wonderful tablecloth!

    Good luck with the listing, showing ... moving (oh my! hate moving!).

    Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

    Warmest regards,

  40. All the lovely things in your post aside, I want to wish you well on decision to move. I know this is a scary thing in the eyes of a teenager. Will you be staying in NC?

  41. Pattie, I can relate to UNHAPPY children because of a move. When we built this home, 25 years ago our kids were 14 and 12 and NOT happy to leave their "real house". But they adjust quickly. Yours will too. Now, your table is exquisite, especially that table linen! I am so happy you do use it! Too pretty to hide away! We just got back from vacation with 22 of us in a house (and it was WONDERFUL), and now with just the 2 of us it is TOO quiet:) Have a great week. XO, Pinky

  42. I agree! The heat has been oppressive - I thank God for living now - love the conveniences...
    otherwise I'd love a taste of the rhythm of a slower-paced life.
    A little grown-up time is always good. Love your setting,

  43. Pattie Your tablescapes are always so elegant. I love how you always use the special things you have as every day is a special occasion isn't it?

    Good luck with selling your home and moving. I know it is never an easy decision. I will be praying for you that is all goes smoothly.

    ♥ Pat

  44. Well, your table speaks volumes for family gathering around the table to dine on delicious food. Nice tablescape, I especially like the footed dessert glasses and the napkins.

    All the Best,



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