Dining Tables Dressed for Fall
Every season brings us its own culinary delights. With the arrival of fall come those rich and hearty foods that seem to impress our dinner guests the most. With butternut squash bisque simmering on the stove, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin roasting in the oven and a gooey caramel pecan pie tempting your dinner guests, you’ll want your dinner table to celebrate the spirit of fall as much as your menu does.
In choosing your centerpiece or focal point – be creative! Some of the most stunning elements that guests will find unforgettable are random pieces gathered from around your home. Just go searching inside and outside of your home and use your imagination. Dead branches from your yard, for instance, can be integrated into your tabletop theme. Or collect mossy rocks from a desert trail and pile them in the center of the table. Tuck in stunningly simple bromeliad flowers and several votive candles among the rocks. Finish the arrangement with layers of moss and sand. Its beauty is in its unexpectedness.
Fall table design should be natural and organic. Create a centerpiece of fall fruits and vegetables. Hollow out mini pumpkins and fill with fall-colored flowers. Use squashes and gourds in abundance. Purple and yellow yams make a beautiful combination. Collect or purchase fall leaves such as oak, aspen and maple and lay them about the table. Fall is an excellent time to use dried flowers or dried herbs. Try tying them in bundles with rustic raffia. Think burlap, rustic wood, galvanized metal…keep the style natural and organic.
Clever napkin rings can be made by wrapping the long stems of fresh maple leaves around the napkins, leaving the striking leaf as the focal point. Or, use natural colored raffia to tie a grouping of red, yellow and orange chili peppers into a ring. Again, it’s unexpected.
For place card holders, tie three or four cinnamon sticks together at the ends and lay horizontally with the card inserted between the sticks. Or, delicately score a line in a pecan and place the card within. Have fun with your table and just think “fall”!