Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Boeuf Bourguignon Family Dinner

French Fäience Figural Mustard by Alcide Chaumeil

It's Tablescape Thursday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch. Let's see what the chef has planned for dinner.

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

With the change of seasons, the cooler weather is the perfect time to make a stew, and what better choice than Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. To quote Julia, "As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good bouef bourguignon. Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, and can well be the main course for a buffet dinner. Fortunately you can prepare it completely ahead, even a day in advance, and it only gains in flavor when reheated. "

Boeuf Bourguignon with Boiled Potatoes and Snow Peas

Those of you who follow my blog know that my husband is the chef in our household. Not only do I and our family and friends benefit from the fruits of his labors, having my own personal chef allows me more time to "play with the dishes" to set the table.

Dinner for Four

That's just what I did this week when we invited family over for dinner. While my husband was busy preparing the beouf bourguignon, I put together this setting for our meal.

I started with pewter chargers topped with white dinner plates in Wedgwood Nantucket. The flatware is Lauffer stainless in the Bedford pattern.

I like to use folded tea towels as placemats because of the size of the chargers. These are 100% cotton made in France for Williiams Sonoma.

The woven details in these linens are lovely. The borders are woven in tones of gold and tones of taupe and feature cows, chickens, rabbits, and ducks with vines and flowers. They offer a charming French country feel to go with the theme of a casual one dish dinner.

I used napkins in olive green and aubergine which are also from Williams Sonoma. The pewter napkin rings are each engraved with a different flower motif and are from the Netherlands.

I decided to use some contemporary Quimper pottery that we purchased about ten years ago. We have dinner plates and wide shallow dish bowls in this pattern. The plates have a scalloped rim so I included them on top of the white Nantucket for a touch of variety to the concentric circles of the other dishes.

These dishes are not typical of most pottery made in Quimper. They were produced at Fäiencerie Kéraluc by the artist L'Helguen. We purchased them at Gina Linzza's charming shop, Méli Mélo, in Houston, TX

You can see that the bowls are wide and shallow, perfect for stew. I often use these bowls for pasta dishes or main course salads.

The glassware is a mix of Ralph Lauren crystal in the Glen Plaid pattern and stems of Arte Italica's crystal with pewter bases.

I pulled in the metal 

leaf dish for bread service.

Each of the plates and bowls of the Quimper 

set are a bit different but of the same stylized flower theme.

I like the gray tones of this pottery 

with the pewter and the gold and taupe of the linens.

For a center piece, I used the wooden container of horse apples and ceramic acorns that I showed in this week's Outdoor Wednesday. You can read about them here.

I added small containers made of natural horn to hold votives and mixed in a few of the oversized ceramic acorns.

The glow of the candles through the natural horn adds a bit of warmth to the setting. I purchased these at Gump's several years ago and like to use them for small bouquets of flowers as well.

Dinner is ready, 

so sit down and have a bite. 

 It's delicious!

A glass of red wine is perfect with this dish. 

 Julia recommends a Beaujolais, a Bordeaux, or a Burgundy.

The sides of boiled potatoes and snow peas are the perfect compliment to the beef cooked in red wine with bacon, onions, and mushrooms.

We enjoyed apple cranberry pie for dessert with a scoop of Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream. The individual pies were made using a nifty mold from Williams Sonoma. Can you tell where we like to shop?

The pie molds come in various shapes (star, heart, apple, and pumpkin) and make perfect little pocket pies for individual servings. You can check them out here at Williams Sonaoma. I used the pie curst recipe found on the box and the apple cranberry pie recipe found on the WS site here.

I pulled in some more of our Quimper collection to serve the pocket pies. These dessert plates are part of a set made by Paul Fouillen, c1950. I used pumpkin shaped doilies under the pies, but this is what the decor is like. Each of the twelve dessert plates, the cake plate, and the server are all hand painted with a different stylized creature from the sea. The browns, greens, and rust colors of this fäience are definitely the color pallet of autumn. Notice the rim of these plates are hand crimped. They are very delicate in feel.

Paul Fouillen and his son, 

Maurice Fouillen, are known for their distinctive pottery.

Thanks for joining me today. Please leave a comment below so I know who stopped by. Then click here to visit Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch where you'll be treated to some fabulous tablescapes.