Even on those very rare nights when we were allowed to eat in front of the television...corned beef fritters were usually on the menu coupled with a Disney movie. We still had a place mat each, a fork and a paper napkin folded in half.....and the salt and pepper shakers on their own placemat with the sauce (yes...he was allowed to just stand there naked in his bottle the devil!).
When there was celebration in the air, flowers were picked from the garden and arranged daintily in a vase, tall candles were lit, the crystal salt and pepper shakers came out. And most wondrous of all....Mum turned linen napkins into fans and bishop hats with a flick of her agile wrist.
As soon as Bijou was old enough to eat in a high chair we have been setting the table and having our family meal together. It didn't take her long to cotton on that our meals looked far more appetising than her "slop" (slop: noun. a delicious mix of seasonal vegetables that Mumma has pain stakingly peeled, cut, cooked and puréed for her lovely and hungry little miss) and refused point blank to continue on with the charade. She has eaten the same meal as we eat for a very long time.
And now that she is older and absolutely desperate to help out in any way, she lays the table. One placemat each, one piece of cutlery at a time, plastic cups for water (Daddy always gets the pink cup...). The look on her face after completely this task is pure gold!
Inspired by the ever talented Kelly of The Crafty Minx I made a set of quilted placemats for a treasured friend's birthday out of some linen and vintage sheet scraps. I love them so much that I had a bit of trouble parting with them....but Bijou simply wouldn't answer to the name Ava no matter how hard I tried. What's a Mumma to do?
Make a set or two for her own bonne famille. Wishing you a week full of sit down dinners, effervescent conversation and tinkly laughter. Go on...use the good dinner set!