|Lee Chappell expertly uses shapes,colors textures to create fall place settings|
|A mini pumpkin becomes the bowl to hold a pureed pumpkin squash soup|
Deck Your Tables With Seasonal Bounty for the HolidaysLast week I had the great good fortune to be invited to a home cooked meal at the residence of legendary nightlife party thrower and promoter of creative expression Mr. Lee Chappell. Lee has an eye for talent and knows how to throw a party be it large or small regardless of the venue. Using local seasonal fare and exploiting the red, green and golden colors of Fall the effect for this dinner was warm, inviting and dazzling. The center piece was no more expensive than New York State apples like Jonagolds, and Cortlands set in an attractive bowl in the middle of the table. Lee is expert at mixing in real ingredients with naturalistic looking props creating a rich and sensual feast for the eyes. Beaded napkin holders, glass acorns, gold rimmed stemware and orange colored "leaves" worked perfectly with the patterned yet more subdued table cloth. As for the dinner itself, the ingredients were found in the local markets no more than a few blocks radius from his home. As you see here, a mini pumpkin was used as a bowl to serve a popular autumnal soup of butternut squash. The pumpkins were baked the night before and hollowed out after cooling. The seeds were saved to roast with the leftover pumpkin meat pureed and added to the existing soup base. Once the lid was removed the roasted pumpkins seeds were revealed to be sitting on top of the soup with an elegant flourish of thyme and rosemary used as garnish. Waste not want not. Talk about good and good for you! Everything was edible including the bowls as the pumpkin skin was tender and thin after baking.
As we sat in wonder my appreciation for every season grew even those we have been taught to regret. As my grandfather says "Everything God makes is good but you need to know how to use it. " Indeed.
Traveling to the Green Markets
What have you planned for the holidays? How will you be incorporating natures bounty artfully into your festivities? I'd love to hear it! Happy Thanks Giving everyone! Blessings to those who find themselves homeless post Sandy.