One of the best parts of Jim’s job is that we often have amazing people around our dinner table. In the past few months alone we’ve broken bread with a retired four star Chief of Staff, a retired four star STRATCOM Commander, the man who conceived of and orchestrates the American300 Warrior Tours, the president of Centenary College, a sherpa from Napal who was on K12 on its deadliest day, Olympic athletes, and the president of Ploughshares, an organization that promotes zero nuclear weapons. How’s that for a wide variety of dinner guests?
We also host dinners for Jim’s senior staff and for our local civic leaders. In those groups we’ve shared laughter, drink and food with our very own Monsignor, the Generals, SES’s and Colonels who keep the wheels of Global Strike Command turning, and the businessmen and women of the Shreveport/Bossier area who are so instrumental in taking care of our Airmen locally.
All of these people and often, their spouses, have graced us with their presence in our home and enriched our lives. Because of this I enjoy making the evenings special. That means indulging the artist side of me with the table settings and the menu cards. Not only does this give me a reason to haunt Hobby Lobby and Michael’s for even more papers and art supplies but it also lets our guests know that having them coming to our home is a special event for Jim and I.
Tonight’s dinner was for some of our civic leaders and because I’m celebrating the first day of fall (my favorite season!) I was really looking forward to setting the table.
I usually use a very simple napkin fold with coordinating Mardi Gras bead napkin rings but tonight called for a special fold. Thank you Pinterest! Appropriately enough, this is a fleur-de-lis fold.
And a new menu card design. Check this out….the card unfolds to make a box! Inside I placed a few chocolate mints, the menu, a signature card and a little something fun once the recipient takes all that stuff out.
At the end of the meal we pass hand out pens for the signature cards. Each guest signs the top of his/her card and passes to the person on the right. When the card has returned to the person who started it, it stays. This way each guest ends up with not only a remembrance of what was served for dinner, but also a record of who ate with them at our table.
Here’s the full effect when our guests sat down this evening.
And now I must give credit to the people who make our dinners possible. None of this would happen if it weren’t for Jim’s enlisted aide, TSgt Sarah Morgan, who takes care of all the details of our beautiful historic base quarters and is an excellent chef. She is assisted by our Protocol Staff. With this team we are able to entertain far more often than if we had to rely on Jim being home to cook. (Anyone who knows me well, knows cooking isn’t my strong suit!) The part of the evening we’re always amazed and thankful for? When dinner is over and we go out onto the patio or into the living room for after dinner drinks and conversation, they are hard at work in the dining room and kitchen, cleaning up.
This is how calm and serene my kitchen was after a recent dinner, just minutes after the last guest left.
There’s no doubt that Jim and I are blessed with all that we have, the people we’ve met and the experiences his job as afforded us.
Love your creativity! Elizabeth, who is in Hangzhou, China tonight, having just arrived from India. La!