Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Entertaining on a budget

We had our church Tables of 6 group over Friday night. I wanted to use what we have to decorate the table for dinner. On our photo session walk that we went on that morning we picked up leaves that had turned red and yellow, anything that looked like an acorn or wood ball, and other natural items to use on the table.I put some of the fall leaves down into the hurricane globe.
I scattered the natural things that we picked up down the runner.
The kids glued fall flowers to ribbon for napkin holders.
We picked up all these green ball shaped things on our walk. They were growing in a tree but some had fallen off. They are very tough and we had to work to open one. It has flesh and seeds inside. Does anyone know what they are? I tried to google them but did not find anything.They look great in a bowl- if they don't start smelling.
I put 3 small pumpkins on my buffet.
I changed out the top of my antique dresser. It had a spring looking tray and pitcher with hydrangeas on them. I need to tweak this arrangement. I was rushing around so let it be for now. I got these pear shaped candles for $.10 at a garage sale. That is for all of them not a piece!
It is hard to get into fall with 90 degree weather, but you all are rubbing off on me. I was surprised to see leaves on our walk because I have not seen the leaves changing yet in our neighborhood.

For more table setting go to Between Naps on the Porch


PamperingBeki said...

Oh! I know this one! :)

The funky green ball things are hedge apples. (not edible.) Cool, huh? They grow all over Kansas. I've thought about stopping and picking some up on the side of the road just to decorate with. haha!

Great job!

Tracye said...

I love those green balls! When I saw the pic of your son with them I thought they were cool.

Feel free to delete this; I know it will be long. I got both of these off the internet somewhere, but I don't remember where.

Here's the recipes:

Texas Flour Tortillas
(adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)
Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.
Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.
In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.
Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.
While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.
Makes eight tortillas.

Christine's Homemade Laundry Detergent

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
1/4 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda - look in the detergent aisle)
1/4 cup Borax
A bucket that will hold 1 gallon

Grate the soap. I use my cheese grater. Mix it with about 1 1/2 pints of water in a saucepan. Heat on low until dissolved. Stir in washing soda and Borax. Stir until thickened and remove from heat. Add 1/2 quart of hot water to bucket. Add soap mixture and stir well. Fill bucket with hot water until you have about one gallon. Mix well again. Let set 24 hours, or until thickened.

It will be funky goopy. I use a big spoon to stir it up and then use a funnel to pour it into an old detergent container. I use 1/2 cup per load.

You can use 1 bar of ivory soap, instead.

Ivory: $0.29
Borax: ??? bought so long ago I don’t remember
Soda: $2.75 only used ¼ cup

I make a half batch, and mix it up in a large bowl. It will be a semi-solid once it's ready. At that point, I use a large mixing spoon to kind of break it up, then I pour it into my KitchenAid with the whip attachment and mix on low speed to make it more liquidy. While it's mixing, I add ten to twenty drops of sweet orange oil, just to give it some smell. Then it gets poured into old detergent bottles. One half batch will fill up a large detergent bottle.

Let me know if I wasn't clear.

This really gets our clothes soft, too.

blessedwith5 said...

Love your pictures! I agree - hedge apples - DO NOT EAT!!!

Jenny said...

The green balls actually look like black walnuts to me. The green shell turns black eventually and the walnut is inside. I have a tree like that in my back yard.

Valarie said...

I have those pumpkins! I know where you got them :)

I need some of those green things. I wonder if there are any in our woods? I will have to take Big Logan with me though, cause the snakes are still out. :[

sarah said...

oh it looks great, love the hedge apples and the hurricane lamp, great ideas to pick that up from nature


Michelle said...

Everything looks so good....

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

It looks beautiful...I bet you had a great time!! I am lovin' that we are CVS buds. I haven't been as diligent with posting my finds like you have...need to do that. That's why I did the video...complete short cut with no prep time. Did you get my email about the Homemade Gourmet info you wanted? So easy to "eat for free" with them. That has been my goal - to pay for our groceries, and I am.

April said...

we have the green balls things...the kids call them brains :)

ceekay said...

I think using the things you found on your walk is a wonderful way to decorate the table. My aunt used to do that all the time and I remember it to this day!

Brown-Eyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brown-Eyes said...

Hi...I'm coming over from Susan's and I find you have set a very clever tablescape...good idea mixing in the natural things. We always called the green things 'horse apples' and it is almost impossible to get the residue off the knife you cut them open with... ;-) Bo
P.S. I had to delete my previous post...spelling errors..haha

bj said...

When I was a kid, there were hedge apples every where in my neighborhood...we always called them 'horse apples'...and you are right, they look fabulous in a bowl.
Your natural tablescape is just perfect. I love every thing you did! hope you had a great time with your church group.

Lana G! said...

Fabulous idea to bring some of the outdoors in for your decorating! Will have to do that!

RetiredAtLast said...

Here is a link with pictures, that you might find interesting:
Love the arrangement down the center of your table runner. Your children are learning valuable skills that will help them in life, plus being able to spend quality time as a family. Everyone did a great job.

ellen b said...

What a great fall table! that's a great way to bring the outside in. I love your sideboard...

Carrie said...

Beautiful fall decor. Your tablescape has a light and airy feeling. Very nice...

salmagundi said...

Your table looks great. I'm sure your church group enjoyed themselves. What a great idea to involve your kids in the decorating. Sally

aswewalk.com said...

Oh, what's a Church Group Table of 6? Do y'all have church at tables, like at Milligan? I just read about that.

santamaker said...

First of all , what a beautiful family you have and bless you for having the patience to raise 5 kids!!! I had 2 girls and would be frazzled by the end of the day ! HOW do you do it!?!
The tablescape came out beautifully, I like how you made it so natural and colorful and there was still plenty of space on the table for food!
Be good,

PamperingBeki said...

By the way, we were inspired by this post so my kids and I went out on a hedge apple hunt. :) We gathered up quite a few and put them in a bowl, so I"ll post pictures this week on my blog.