A Cool Way to Dine
Once fall temperatures start to show themselves, entertaining outdoors can be a welcome relief after months of blistering summer heat. Ready to move on from summer themes and colors, I wanted to highlight the surge in popularity of the backyard garden as people began looking for projects to help pass the time and soothe their souls in their newfound normal.
After a quaint dinner with dear friends, starring their freshly picked greens as part of the menu, garden vegetables became the inspiration for this autumnal al fresco piece. I commandeered my family’s harvest table quite a few years ago, and as a result, it is consistently moved to the patio or backyard for gatherings. I adore it.
A harvest table is by definition a narrow, long table with hinged drop leaves, but for this idea any large table will do. One can’t help but think of lush vegetables, garlands and flowers strung down the center, showing off the literal fruits of your labor for a gathering. The well-worn patina of my harvest table is the perfect backdrop for a composition of golden orange beets, multi-colored carrots with long stems, green gourds and deep purple eggplants.
Adding to that, foraged magnolia branches give the arrangement some depth. While I didn’t personally pluck these vegetables out of the ground, the organic feel of the centerpiece is unmistakable: informal but full of texture and eye-catching color. White plates, fiery orange linens and gorgeous glass and flatware make the setting sing. Pillar candles in gray-toned terracotta bowls are a crowning touch.
The setting is meant to conjure feelings of simplicity and grounding, as well a gratitude for nature and the things we nurture … be they our relationships or surroundings, both require care and attention, and the result is bountiful.
All tabletop from Culinary Kitchen, 7222 N Western, OKC, culinarykitchen.com.