It seems curious, as it gets cold here in late November, that I would be thinking about dining outdoors, but I have a secret. I collect images of ultra-romantic outdoor furniture suitable for dining and tabletop accessories in hopes of styling one of my client’s country gardens for a photograph one day. Since most of these are so over the top, I never do it, always opting for simpler props and photo styling.
As part of my design process – including the outdoor kitchens that are a mainstay of my design studio’s business, I think about the dining experience. I like that there is something inherently decadent and luxurious about dining outside with china, crystal, beautiful fabrics and fabulous food. So as the long northeast winter begins, dream with me about dining al fresco…click image to enlarge or visit the original at Olioboards. Stop here if ‘eye candy’ isn’t on your menu…
Here’s the overall look I’m after…and a recipe.
And for the table–an old recipe from Gourmet (which I miss a lot!) There’s nothing like fresh fruit from the garden in season…it’s what I miss most in the winter.
Prosecco and Summer Fruit Terrine
2 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from two 1/4-oz envelopes)
2 cups Prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Arrange fruit in a 1 1/2-quart glass, ceramic, or nonstick terrine or loaf pan.
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup Prosecco in a small bowl and let stand 1 minute to soften. Bring 1 cup Prosecco to a boil with sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture, stirring until dissolved. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup Prosecco and lemon juice, then transfer to a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. Cool mixture, stirring occasionally, just to room temperature.
Slowly pour mixture over fruit, then chill, covered, until firm, at least 6 hours.
To unmold, dip pan in a larger pan of hot water 3 to 5 seconds to loosen. Invert a serving plate over terrine and invert terrine onto plate.
This time, I’ll leave the garden and the cooking up to you…
Links to the rest of the Garden Designers Roundtable posts today:
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA
Shirley Bovshow : Eden Makers : Los Angeles, CA
Susan Schlenger : Landscape Design Advice : Hampton, NJ