Monday, December 14, 2009


 My favorite daughter-in-law, Carey, (OK, I only have one, but she is still  my favorite) bought this book for me.  It is a wonderful book full of stories and recipes from the Great Depression.  The author of the book, Clara, is 94 years old. 

Adam and Carey have been on a tight budget and Carey has been using the recipes in this book to save money on their grocery bill.  Since bread is one of the cheapest and most versatile food items, people relied on it heavily during the Depression.  In the cookbook, Clara included the recipe that her mother used to make 6 loaves of bread, twice a week, for the family.  My daughter-in-law, Carey, now makes this bread for her family. 

I have heard many stories from my parents about the depression and know that most everything was home grown and homemade.  Most food items were made from scratch.  Only the basics like sugar, flour, cornmeal, etc. were purchased at the store.  Making everything yourself is alot of work, but it tastes so good.  Everything is fresh and so flavorful when it has not been filled with preservatives.

I have alot of cookbooks and not one of them include a recipe for ketchup.  It definitely is a forgotten recipe.


6 ounces tomato paste (homemade or canned)
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 TBS. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all the ingredients together and put in a sterilized jar.  Keep refrigerated. 

Friday, November 6, 2009


I did not post a Friday Recipe last week since I was at First Monday in Canton. However, I have a special treat for this week. As I mentioned in my last post, I did find a few cookbooks in Canton to add to my collection. I was very excited to find "The El Chico Cookbook". Now there are still a few El Chico Restaurants around, but they can be hard to find. Let me give you some background information so that you can understand why El Chico holds a place in my heart.

My husband and I hated Mexican food of any kind when we were children. We connected Mexican food to our Mother's tacos. Both of our mothers bought those hard shell tacos that came in a package, added ground beef to them and baked them in the oven. Can you say gross? As teens, Monterey House was as good as it got for us. Then El Chico came on the scene. It was Tex-Mex at it's finest. They featured Quesadillas, Chilies Relleno, Mole Sauce, Empanadas and Flan before there was a Pappasitos.

I dug this El Chico cookbook out of a pile of books on a shelf from a vendor that had tables full of, well, junk. This cookbook is from the 1970's. Since I missed posting a recipe last Friday, I will post two today.

The first recipe is for regular cheese nachos. My husband and I recently were complaining that Mexican Food restaurants seem to have forgotten how to make plain, old fashioned nachos. They pile them high with meats and Guacamole. There is nothing better than the simple nachos from the 1970's. Simple can be better.  Here is El Chico's recipe.


Grated Cheddar Cheese
Corn or Flour Tortillas

Spread grated cheddar cheese over tortillas cut into the shape of triangles. Place in oven at 375 degrees until cheese is melted. It takes 3 to 5 minutes. Place a small jalapeno pepper atop each nacho once the cheese has melted.

The next recipe is a favorite of my husband. It may sound different but it really is good.


2 cups Enchilada sauce
3 cloves garlic chopped very fine
1/4 cup chopped almonds
3 Tbs. peanut butter
1/4 cup cooking oil
3 tbs. chocolate syrup
2 tbs. sesame seed, pureed
2 tbs. coriander of fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Saute the almonds in the oil. Mix all the other ingredients and add sauteed almonds. Serve over chicken or enchiladas.


Thursday, November 5, 2009


Last week I went to Lake Livingston to visit Bubba and Dorothy.  On Thursday, Dorothy and I got up early and went to Canton for First Monday Trade Days.  The threat of rain kept alot of people away, which made Dorothy and I happy. 

There are always fads and trends at Canton and I thought that I would share some of them with you. 

The first thing we noticed was that an unusual number of women were sporting these boots.  Now granted, it was suppose to rain, but all too soon it became clear that these were more of a fashion statement than a way to keep your feet dry.  These boots came in a number of colors and styles.  The animal prints were very popular and most booths were sold out the first day.  Many of the women wore these with their jeans stuffed in them so that the whole boot was displayed.  Also, a number of ladies had shirts that matched their boots.  However, we were really amazed at the ladies that wore these boots with dresses.  As usual, Dorothy and I were way ahead of the trend.  I bought pink rubber boots in Galveston 4 years ago, but I used them when I beach combed in the winter.  Dorothy also has a polka dot pair that she has worn for several years while she dug clams in Oregon.  We were so silly - we thought these were for muddy activities! 

On the craft scene, old silver platters were re-purposed.  I really loved this as I love menu boards of all kinds.  This is so cute and so simple.  Why can't I think of these things!

Of course, what would Canton be if it did not have tons of booths selling dry mixes of all types.  You know the ones!  You only have to add a few ingredients and presto, you have a gourmet dish.  We saw booth after booth displaying samples of every kind of soup or cheese ball known to mankind but we were very skeptical.  Then we discovered Homemade Gourmet.  Dorothy and I were very unsure about these mixes as they are just so "instant" to us.  Not that we are against easy, but we want a homemade taste.  We had to be coaxed into trying the samples but one taste and we were sold.  We really loved the Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake Mix.

Of course, Dorothy added to her wrought iron collection and I added to my vintage cookbooks.  Yes, it was a successful trip! 

Friday, October 23, 2009


I love kitchen gadgets and I can be easily persuaded to purchase them. In my defense, I have purchased many that proved to be great time savers and performed as promised. And, my dear husband totally encourages me in this endeavor, as he looks hungrily at the pictures of the tempting food displayed on the box of the latest miracle gadget. However, not all can be winners, right? Who knew that the omelet pan that was divided in half, so that you could fold the other half over to make the perfect omelet could never be perfected. Oh yes, and there was the stove top pancake maker that closed so that you could flip the pan instead of having to flip the pancake. The problem with that was that it worked perfectly, but you could only slowly make one pancake at a time. I still love the boiled egg maker that is shaped like a chicken and clucks when the eggs are ready! And then there was the . . . well, you get the picture.

My husband is a huge breakfast person, but how many ways can you fix eggs? It can be quite a challenge. Frankly, I have just about run out of breakfast ideas, especially those that do not require hours in the kitchen. Besides the typical eggs and bacon, I've made every type of french toast, pancakes and muffins known to Southern cooks. Also, we have run the full gamut of cereals. I had to give up my Cocoa Cocoa Pebbles for Kashi and you know that is no fun! I have also made every variation of oatmeal and grits, and they are not the instant kind.

So, I was quite excited when I was at Marshalls, in Katy Mills, and came across this egg thingey. This new gadget cooks omelets in the microwave. I know, you are thinking, yeah right, but I decided to try it.

You crack two eggs in a bowl, mix them well with a fork and then add your favorite omelet ingredients. This was for my dear husband, who was watching this whole procedure with skepticism in his eyes. I then added cream cheese and fresh diced tomatoes, onions and cilantro. So far so good, as this is so easy and much faster than a traditional omelet. Last, you put the lid on and microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. OK, I'm impressed.

Out of the microwave it came, off came the lid and well, I had what looked like an egg ball that had been deflated. At this point, my husband began slowly inching towards the cereal box, never mind it was Kashi with flax seeds and wheat germ. Oh ye of little faith! Let me at least dump it out onto a plate and get a closer look.

That was the secret. Once on a plate, you chop it with a fork and it magically unfolds to a full size omelet that is soft, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. Now granted, it is not your neatly folded kind, but it sure tasted like it. We were amazed. If you insist on the traditional folded omelet, just close your eyes while you eat it. You will never know the difference.

I am so glad that I had sense enough to buy two of these so that I could make breakfast for both of us at the same time and in only 5 minutes. My dear husband, who is known for dropping things, decided I should buy at least one more, just in case there was an accident. After all, it is shaped like a slippery egg with no handles, so we know it is just an accident waiting to happen. So, off to Marshalls I go and every other kitchen store. There are none to be found and it has been several months since I have been on this egg hunt. So, if you happen to see these, grab them. Oh and please pick me up at least one more.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Well, I just could not resist this one. Today's Forgotten Recipe is Tomato Soup Cake. This recipe came from a 1935 advertising booklet titled "Successful Baking" by Martha Lee Anderson. It is printed by Church & Dwight Co., Inc. which was established in 1846. Wow! That was before the Civil War. This booklet features recipes using Arm and Hammer or Cow Brand Baking Soda. I vaguely remember this cake when I was a little girl.

Tomato Soup Cake

2 cups sifted flour

1 1/2 tsp. Arm & Hammer or Cow Brand Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg, well beaten

1 cup raisins, cut once

1 can tomato soup

Sift flour once, measure, add baking soda, salt and spices and sift together three times. Work butter with spoon until creamy. Add sugar gradually and beat after each addition until light and fluffy. Add egg; blend well. Add raisins. Add flour alternately with tomato soup, a small amount at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Turn into two greased 8" layer pans and bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 40 minutes. Frost with Boiled Frosting flavored with orange and almond.

Boiled Frosting

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cook sugar and water together stirring only until sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking until syrup spins a thread when dropped from the tip of a spoon. (238 degrees). Remove from fire. When syrup stops bubbling, pour in thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly. Continue beating until frosting stands in peaks. Add vanilla.

I know that tomato soup as a cake ingredient is a little strange, but remember that tomatoes are a fruit.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have decided to start a Friday series called Forgotten Recipes. I love cookbooks and have been collecting them for years. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to make Red Velvet Cake which was a favorite of mine when I was a little girl. I called my Mom and she couldn't find the recipe. I looked through all of my cookbooks and not one of them had a recipe for Red Velvet Cake. A search of the Internet provided a modern version, but I wanted the original, old fashioned recipe that I so fondly remembered my Mom making.

A month later, while I was at Canton Trade Days, I dug through a pile of old cookbooks laying on a dusty shelf in the back of a booth. I found a 1950's Red Velvet Cake recipe in one of the cookbooks, along with a trip down memory lane of the party foods of my childhood. Thus began my love for Vintage cookbooks!

I can spend hours in an Antique Shop looking through the bookshelves, on the hunt for my next vintage cookbook. Just ask Dorothy Kay! I really enjoy cookbooks from the 1940's, 50's,60's & 70's. I have found if they are any older than the 40's, the ingredients can be hard to find.
Some of the best recipes come from the recipe booklets that were included with kitchen appliances and the vintage pictures of old stoves, mixers, etc. are really great. I also like the Advertising Cookbooks that were put out by companies such as Jello, Nestle, and Pet Milk, just to name a few.

For years, I have collected community and fund raising cookbooks, especially when I travel, as that is the best way to get regional recipes. I consider it my souvenir. So, when I find a vintage one, I feel like I have hit the jack-pot. Of course, no one is probably surprised that I snatch up all of the vintage French Cookbooks. I don't have very many of those, but there is always tomorrow.

To me, vintage cookbooks are like history books. They give you a glimpse of the life and culture of another decade. Throughout time, most important events, holidays, and family occasions are celebrated with meals. Reading cookbooks that describe those long ago meals and celebrations is like stepping back in time. So, if you have any old cookbooks lying around that you want to get rid of, please send them my way. I will give them a good home and you might even get a chance to sample something that I have made from them.

Red Velvet Cake was and still is most common in the South. Due to the red food coloring that is used in the cake, it became very unpopular in the 1970's when red food coloring was linked with behavior problems in children. Despite the fact that red food coloring formulas were changed, the damage was done and red velvet cake virtually disappeared. It began to gain popularity again after a red velvet cake was featured in the movie Steel Magnolias. The armadillo shaped red velvet cake served as a groom's cake for one of main characters. In recent years, it has become so popular that you can find it on many menus and in bakeries. Since my search for Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake started my love for vintage cookbooks, it is only fitting that the very first Friday post pay honor to it.


For the cake:

2½ cups cake flour

1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

1½ cups vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons (1 oz.) red food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1.Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.

3. Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
4. Divide batter evenly between 3 greased and floured 8″ round cake pans.

5. Bake cakes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened

4 cups sifted powdered (confectioners') sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. NOTE: Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla extract; raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally).
Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. NOTE: May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Makes enough to frost a 3 layer (9-inch) cake.

Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate, level off with a serrated knife, and spread one-quarter of the frosting on top.

Set another layer on top, level, and repeat frosting.

Set remaining layer on top, level, and frost top and sides with the remaining frosting.

Tip: after leveling cake, turn it upside down to reduce numbers of crumbs. .
Chill for 2 hours to set frosting.
* There are many icings that are associated with red velvet cake. When I was very small, Mom made a 7 Minute Icing, which is a white fluffy icing that reminds me of marshmallow cream. However, she began making the cream cheese icing when I was older and it is my favorite, so that is why I have included that icing recipe.
**To make this even more delicious, I add a layer of chocolate ganache to each cake layer. Remember to let the ganache dry on the cake before spreading the cream cheese icing. Also, I love cupcakes and recently have been making red velvet cupcakes instead of the layer cake. Again I put a layer of chocolate ganache and then the cream cheese icing. For a recent bridal shower, I baked a chocolate kiss in the middle of the cupcake to give it that chocolate punch and I think I like that even better.


It is October, mid-October, and the weather, my allergies and my blog still think it is summer. I was so happy because I had no allergies during my usual time of late spring to Sept. Of course, I realized that it was because of the drought which kept the Johnson grass from blooming. However, I thought that Johnson grass had a season to bloom like wildflowers. If the Bluebonnets have a bad year due to drought, it is over until the next year. Apparently that is not the case for Texas Johnson Grass, but I didn't know it.

I happily spent all spring and summer traveling and doing outdoor activities, instead of writing on this blog. I was free from allergies and asthma. Free to enjoy the outdoors. I was so excited when Sept. came and thought I was home free. After all, Fall and Winter are my allergy free seasons. However, between the rain and heat in September, the Johnson Grass came forth like there was no tomorrow. The bad side of this is that I haven't felt like doing anything for the last 6 weeks because I can't breathe. The good side is that I have cleared out lots of space on the DVR so that Sonny can record his hunting and fishing shows.

Apparently the weather in this area does not know that summer has ended either. We have only had two cool days so far. The high for today was 91 degrees and the "feels like" temperature was 101 degrees. Don't you just love these fall days in the Houston area.

Also, my blog doesn't know summer is over because I have a back up of summer time postings. Here are a few of the summer happenings below:Cousin Day in Chappell Hill at Jeremy's and Aunt Victoria's.
Notice that Victoria and I are smiling because we are about to have lunch at a wonderful Italian restaurant in Brenham.

Papaw with Ethan, Jeremy and Emma.

Notice how he is smiling and looking so rested in this picture. He took all of the Goode grandchildren swimming at the Blue Bell Aquatic Center, by himself. He didn't look as rested when he returned from an action packed day of swimming, McDonald's and soccer practice. He was still smiling!

We also celebrated Ryan's birthday in late August. We had fun but missed Matt and Jenny.

Ryan usually requests a homemade cookie cake for his birthday. Of course, Mom always makes him one. These are the pictures that I took before anyone arrived. However, I did my usual thing of laying the camera down as soon as the first person arrived and never picked it back up. So, I have no pictures of the other food or the guest of honor. I hate it when that happens.

Monday, September 14, 2009


The patio was expanded to include an area for my swing.
A new sitting area!

We also now have a nice place to keep all of our pits.

This was one of my old patio tables that was painted white. I just could not get rid of it as it has always been my favorite table. So, I painted it chocolate brown to match the new furniture. It really turned out well. I love Rustoleum spray paint!


For our summer home improvement project, we decided to "re-do" our patio. As you can see, it really needed it.

Sonny says that these are not really "Before" pictures as we had already cleared off all of the old furniture and junk before we remembered to take pictures. For some reason, he refused to put it all back just for a picture!
This old patio served us well and there are lots of memories here, but it was time to update it. We spent alot of time trying to decide whether we should build a deck, tile it or go with concrete.

We decided to pour right over it and expand it. By the way, remember the drought that we were having? It had not rained in weeks and it rained the day we poured, of course.

This is the "during" picture.


Here are the July Birthday Girls having a birthday lunch at McCormick & Schmick's.

They really spoil you at this restaurant. Each of our menus were printed with our names and birth dates. They also served us this delicious dessert.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We have always enjoyed New Braunfels and loved spending time there this summer. We had so much fun at Schlitterbahn and especially enjoyed the local restaurants. Being tourists, the local citizens have always been friendly and warm and have welcomed us adding to their local economy. However, this trip was different. We ran into a bunch of New Braunfels residents that were, well, I might as well just say it, rude! It was a good thing that we did not have our hearts set on playing golf, because these residents took over the golf course and could obviously care less if anyone got to play!
If you look up into the left hand corner of the below picture, you can see that they had no regard for the golfers trying to finish their game. Why these guys would just walk across the green and give a dirty look to anyone who dared played while they were around. They held up many a game.
The really bad part is that they are not tax paying citizens, yet they seem to think that they run the golf course!
They are not very friendly either. I tried to take this guy's picture and he turned and just walked off. Also, you will notice that he is giving me the evil eye. This picture was taken when the golf course was closed for the day. Obviously, everyone is suppose to be off the course. However, these guys don't care. As a matter of fact, even more of their friends joined them. I tried to get a close up of the trespassers, but they would run as they obviously did not want their crime to be documented on film. We got out of our car to try to get a good shot, but they were not happy at all about that. They even posted lookouts to watch us. All I can say is that they better enjoy it now. November 1 might bring an end to their life of crime.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We love the Hill Country and always try to visit at least once a year. This year we spent our summer vacation enjoying all of our favorite spots there.

One of our favorite restaurants is The Gristmill.
This is one of Sonny's favorite foods to order when we are there. I admit that even I like them and I am not a french fry girl.

We always enjoy the view of the water from our table.

And you cannot get much better than this as far as a sunset. Thank you God for blessing Texas with the Hill Country.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Why am I showing you my shoes and hat without me in them? Well, as I have looked back through my photos, I have discovered that the majority of my vacation pictures show me in these type of shoes. Yes, they are water shoes, instead of one of the many pairs of cute and fashionable heels that I own. Yes, water shoes! Now they may have been different colors over the years, as they tend to wear out pretty quickly, but they are still water shoes. You will note that they are very unglamorous water shoes at that! You see, most of our vacations involve water - ocean water, lake water, river water, Schlitterbahn water, underground cave water and even Louisiana swamp water. There are probably more, but you get the idea. These same vacation photos also show me in a variety of very unglamorous hats like the one shown below. I am also usually in some type of bathing suit cover up or a very large t-shirt, slathered in suntan lotions of various kinds. Are you getting the picture yet. There is an opening in the back of the below hat. My hair is usually in a pony tail, hanging out of the back opening. My bangs are also smashed flat by the bill of the hat. Not a very pretty sight!
Looking back at all of these pictures, I am always soaking wet, so the hat, shoes and shirt/cover up really look limp, baggy and generally very unfashionable, along with my hair, which may have even started out as a summery and cute "do".
I also have alot of pictures with "snorkel mask face". This is what happens when you push your snorkel mask up on to the top of your head and your husband takes a picture of you with a huge red ring around the upper part of your face. Oh yes, and your hair is also pushed up and stuck underneath the mask in a very unbecoming manner.
I even have a variety of pictures that show me in a tube floating down Hill Country rivers. No matter who you are, these are never flattering. I usually have on a cowgirl hat, much to my daughter's complete embarrassment.
Now I do have cute bathing suits and cover ups, but you can't wear them during our water activities. They just will not hold up to black tubes and river water or salt water. Also, one trip to Schlitterbahn leaves them in shreds.
As I sadly looked back over these photos the other day, I thought about what future generations would think of their great, great grandmother pictured in various forms of soggy attire. Sure there are family holiday pictures of me all dressed up, but there are many, many more of these soggy vacation pictures. They will think that I spent all of my spare time participating in some water activity. Then I realized something. Since the majority of these pictures show me happily involved in a water sport, my future heirs will think what a cool, athletic woman I was! They will say, "Wow, wasn't she something! She was a total water athlete and at her age, can you believe it. I bet that is why little Karen (named after me of course) is so athletic!!!" It made me smile. Those of you who know me well would never even think of using the word "athletic" in your description of me. So, I tucked all of those pictures back into their various boxes and albums, secure and happy in the knowledge that a whole new generation of relatives will think I was an ATHLETE!
Note to self: Delete this post when I get a little older so that future generations will not read this, which would totally spoil my athletic image!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


This use to be an entrance hall coat closet. It has now been redone into a sewing/craft closet. Did my husband do this for me? No! Is this my closet in my home? No! Instead, this closet is in the home of son and daughter-in-law, Adam and Carey. Why is this not in my home? I don't know. Not that Carey doesn't really, really deserve this. After all, she did give us three wonderful grandchildren. Also, she sews better than anyone that I know. She is so talented. She also sews alot!!
Notice how when the door is opened, you see this! A neatly organized and creative space. Did my husband, father of Adam and Papaw of the 3 gorgeous grandchildren help with this project? No! Did he even show any interest in letting Adam teach him how to do this? No! Instead he was just very impressed and so proud that Adam and Carey created and completed this beautiful work space.
Not that I am bitter about this in anyway. Carey sews alot of what the grandchildren wear, complete with elaborate costumes for school activities. She even recovered a couch in the blink of an eyes. I am constantly amazed. However, I do wish that my husband would also take an interest in home improvements like his son!! Hint! Hint!

OK, so I don't sew much anymore but I can still be jealous of this space. Dear husband, if you are reading this, maybe I would sew more if I had this space. Or maybe not! However, I do love organized and pretty spaces and who wouldn't love to open up a closet and see these beautiful color coordinated jars of ribbons and notions. It is definitely inspiring.
Adam and Carey, can you keep the talent a little more hidden? You are making the rest of us look very bad! Love you two!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I also love to decorate my dessert bar. I like to put my dessert forks in some type of holder. This is a shell vase that I have and it was perfect for my forks.
I threw a decorative net over my buffet to complete the look. These nets are available in Wal-Mart's party section. These are the same ones I have used before on my table. Just throw them over your tablecloth for a nautical tablescape . Carey made a cream cheese pecan pie, but I do not have any pictures of it. It was delicious. I will get the recipe from her and share it with you. However, I did get a picture of these cute little babies!

These are brownies and let me tell you how I made them. Bake your favorite brownie recipe in a mini muffin pan. While the brownies are cooling, make the hamburgers. For this, you will need mini vanilla wafers and 4 small bowls of butter cream icing. Tint the icing brown, red, yellow and green. Take one mini vanilla wafer and turn it upside down. You will then layer the icing-brown for the hamburger patty, red for ketchup or tomato, yellow for mustard and green for lettuce. Then top with another mini vanilla wafer. You can use a knife to spread each layer, but I used cake decorating bags with a round tip.
When you place the hamburgers on top of the brownies, dab a little icing on top of the brownie to help hold the burger in place.
So cute and very easy. Enjoy!!


Normally, I use the traditional red, white and blue decorations for my table on the Fourth of July. However, this year I did something different. I decided to have a nautical tablescape.

Please notice the wicker chargers with the shell border. Last year, I forced, um I mean, I had Sonny accompany me into Pottery Barn. He looked around and finally said, "Out of all of this junk, I actually like these." He was pointing at these chargers which were on a table in the bedding section. I picked up one and almost fainted at the price. Two weeks later, I had an appointment near the same Pottery Barn. To kill some time, I forced myself to go in. In the clearance section, there were 2 of the shell chargers marked 80% off. I grabbed a sales lady to check in the back for more, but I was told those were the only two, which was why they were marked so low. Then I remembered the table in the bedding section, which I had thought was strange when Sonny & I saw it there on our previous visit. The chargers were still there because everyone had forgotten about that table and they gave them to me at the same price. The runner is also from Pottery Barn. I found that in Austin. It was $6.99! There are bargains to be had at Pottery Barn, but you have to be there at the right time, which can be hard to do.

I used my shell dishes and placed cute decorated cookies as a favor at each place setting.

These hurricanes are some that I have had for several years and that I usually use in the Fall. I partially filled them with white decorator sand and placed silver coated shells on top of the sand. The silver shells are available at Pottery Barn. However, wait until the end of the season, like I did, and they deeply discount them.
The napkin ring holders are from Target. They were in the party section and were $1.99 for a set of four.

This tablescape was fun and easy. We made the food easy also. We threw steaks on the grill and had a yummy salad and a really easy potato dish that I will post soon.