In my city, March brings a festival which celebrates the blooming of over 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees. It is truly a sight to behold! Time to “think pink”!
Pink pancakes, pink poodles, balloon glows, free cherry ice cream being served in one of the downtown parks – just of few of the sights and tastes that we enjoy this time of the year. Even the local newspaper prints a pink edition each year.
We have our own cookbook, which contains only recipes using cherries as one of the ingredients. I will share one of the recipes with you at the end of the blog – White Chocolate Cherry Tart. Yum!!
My contribution this year is a luncheon table setting for six friends to enjoy, before going to the annual tour of homes. In keeping with the spirit of the season, almost everything is pink!
I so enjoyed bringing all of the pink together, but I started with a white “Peyton” tablecloth, which is made by Ralph Lauren and I bought it at Dillard’s. I thought that the pink would photograph better on white.
Pink placemats purchased at Big Lots for a ridiculously low price were added on top of the tablecloth.
Pink napkins and “pearl” napkin rings were purchased online.
The white plates on top of the placemats are Lenox Opal Innocence Carved. I love these plates – they are dinner plates, but large enough to use as chargers for older china patterns.
On top of the Lenox plates are smaller plates with marbleized rims. They are actually Johnson Brother’s “Rose Chintz” accent dinner plates. There are roses in the centers, but you cannot see them under the smallest plate.
The plate on top is a salad plate made by Narumi and is the pattern, “Mountain Cherry”, which fits into the theme perfectly!
The tall pink water goblets are from an unknown maker, although I saw some similar blue ones for sale on Etsy that were advertised as having been made by the Dugan Glass Company. I bought mine from Replacements. My daughter loaned me the other lovely footed pink glasses.
The pink centerpiece holding the flowers is an Indiana Glass compote in the “Teardrop” pattern. I bought this one on Ebay, but I have owned a clear glass one for many years. It belonged to my mother.
Also, decorating the table are two pieces in the Fostoria “Fairfax” pink pattern. One is a mayonnaise bowl.
The other is a bon-bon basket. I will use it as a butter dish with a round mound of butter in the center.
Pink Hocking “Block Optic” footed salt and pepper shakers are used at one end of the table.
Hanging from the chandelier is a Japanese paper lantern – who could resist, when setting a table to celebrate Japanese Yoshino cherry trees?
The place setting sterling flatware is “Strasbourg” by Gorham.
My favorite things on the table consist of the other two pieces of sterling silver. The pattern is a very old Blackinton pattern, which is named, “Cherry Blossom”! One piece is a master butter knife and the other is called a large cream ladle, although, it does not look that large.
I wish that all of you could join us in my city to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and witness the look of thousands of cherry trees bursting out in blooms at the appointed time, as though some magical alarm clock woke them just in time for our glorious Cherry Blossom festival!! Enjoy the recipe!
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY TART
1¼ cups butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bar, 3 ounces, white chocolate
Crunchy Almond Pastry Shell
¼ cup toaster sliced almonds
Cream butter until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and white chocolate. Spoon into Crunchy Almond Pastry Shell. Chill until firm.
Spoon Cherry Topping over tart. Chill up to 8 hours. Remove from refrigerator about ½ hour before serving. Sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds to serve.
Crunchy Almond Pastry Shell
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
¼ cup diced toasted almonds
3 tablespoons water
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse corn meal. Stir in almonds. Blend in water to form crumbly dough. Pat into bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart or pie pan. Chill 20 minutes. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
1 can, 21 ounces, cherry pie filling
2 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Combine cherry pie filling, brandy and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Blend in almond extract.