Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Tale of a Table, a Yard Sale and a Funny Story about Moving Furniture

We are in the midst of a big re-arrange around here. Maybe it's the change of seasons but I think I have moved every piece of furniture in my house in the last several weeks. We have a nice "formal" dining room. Problem is no one but me wants to hike the seven extra steps to eat in there. The kids don't like the room... says it gives them bad vibes. This house was built in 1849 and there was a doctor's office in there at one time so who knows? Anyway, I am tired of eating at the kitchen island on hard stools. Plus we have a long rectangular farmer's table which is beautiful but we don't use most of it so I got it into my head that I wanted a round pedestal table with leaves so that you are using just the amount of table you need but can make it bigger on demand. I began to lust for this table. I thought about it all the time but oh... the price. A bit hard to swallow and since we have a perfectly good table it did seem an unnecessary extravagance.

So, I decided to participate in a yard sale with a friend. I hadn't done a clean-out in a while and there are certainly lots of things cluttering up the garage that we no longer use and projects that I will never get to (very difficult to admit that to myself...thus the hoarding). Well, it was a resounding success! I made over $400 but still not enough for my dream table. Someone suggested Craig's List. I had never looked before and was amazed by the amount of stuff available for reasonable prices! I found a great table..oak, pedestal, cheap price. I couldn't get down to see it right away and alas it was sold right out from under my nose. I was despondent for a few days but all the more determined to find a table. I was on a mission.

My husband suggested I look at a couple of antique shops around here and voila! Right across the river in Vermont I found it. Just the table for my spot. It even had leaves and was right in my price range. I loaded it up and took it home, excited that we would be able to have dinner on it that very evening!

My plan was to move the sofa and chairs from the sitting room adjacent to the kitchen into the old dining room and make this sitting area our new dining area. Well, it turns out this old house has very narrow doorways. There was no way that sofa was going into that dining room. In fact, there was no way that sofa was going anywhere without a major upheaval, including disconnecting some plumbing! The way we got it in is still a mystery but I think our new refrigerator sticks out more than the old one and the sofa was literally trapped. It was either get out the chainsaw or learn to deal with it.

Once again, I was despondent. Here I had my table...what to do? I pulled the sofa out from the wall and pulled the table up to it to think. My husband said, "Hey I kind of like the way that looks. Kind of like a coffee house". Well, he is a good salesman because it grew on me and I think I like it better all the time! Of course you have to sit on a pillow when you are on the sofa because it's a little low down but it works. And we didn't have to use a chainsaw..thankfully.

My daughter and I ran around the house playing HGTV and "staging" it with stuff we had. That was so much fun.

And then of course to celebrate we made a nice dessert to go with the corn chowder I made for dinner. This is a fruit kuchen and was made for me by a wonderful lady named Edith when I visited her home in Switzerland many years ago. I usually make it with apricot halves but you can use any fresh moist fruit. It is wonderful. Enjoy the recipe below.

Swiss Kuchen with Fruit

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp lemon extract

1 7/8 cups flour*

2 tsp baking powder

dash of salt

3 Tbsp heavy cream

Fresh fruit such as apricot halves, raspberries, strawberries, peach slices....

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour an 8-inch spring form pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs and beat well. Add lemon extract. Mix dry ingredients and add slowly to the creamy mixture while beating. Add cream and beat batter until smooth. Batter will be stiff but have no fear because the moisture from the fruit will seep in and you will end up with a nice moist cake!

Spread batter in the spring form pan and arrange fruit (artfully of course) on top. Keep in mind that you want each slice to contain fruit. Bake 35-40 minutes until done but not overdone.

This is just the right size for afternoon tea with the ladies. It is best eaten that day or the day after but usually gets gobbled right up around here. Serve it on a pretty cake plate with a doily and sprinkle with powdered sugar. If you really want to go crazy, you could whip some cream.

* (I know this is weird but this was translated from the Swiss recipe which was in grams. I just measure 2 cups of flour and then take 1/8 cup away)

1 comment:

Becky Shander said...

I love your final outcome...dining while sitting on a sofa is a fantastic idea. The whole set-up looks very cozy...enjoy!