Moving to the South brings an entirely new experience to culinary endeavors. Having grown up in rural Virginia, I was quite familiar with the customs and traditions of good old Southern cooking. In the South, we don't eat to live-- we live to eat! My dear friends- the Millers- moved into their new southern home a couple of weeks ago. Last night was the first dinner party in their home. What a delight to watch the entire family around the massive kitchen island- chopping and chatting! It is a culinary dream come true- complete with a professional Wolf range, Wolf steam oven, ice maker, large Sub Zero refrigerator, plus Sub Zero freezer drawers in the island! A dish pantry, a crystal cupboard and lot's of storage are available to fill with more dishes than anyone could ever imagine! This kitchen is obviously the heart of the home. I promise more pictures of this gorgeous kitchen very soon.. but today is about the perfect southern house warming gift for a very dear friend-
So what to bring as a southern style housewarming gift to the girl that has more antique dishes, crystal and silver than she could ever possibly need? More antique dishes, more silver and more southern culinary treats of course! After all, we are in the south-
Starting with a great silver tray that I found at Vintageville in Biltmore Village, I began to gather culinary treats to fill it's surface. Hendersonville, NC proved to be quite fruitful in this quest. They have several antique stores that are great- Jane's on Main Street and Village Green, a large antique mall, a couple of doors up the street. I had a blast there- gathering all sorts of treasures. I didn't want the day to end.
The first thing that I spotted as I walked into Jane's was a silver server and fork with JM initials. I could not believe my eyes- my friend's initials in a beautiful script!
These would be perfect for serving pies or cake or even fish!
Several doors down at the Village Green antique mall, these beautiful cobalt blue and gold lace filigree plates had stopped me in my tracks. A must have- perfect to go with Jill's flo-blue collection and the perfect plate to serve a piece of southern pie! A theme was beginning to emerge.
In the back of the store, a dealer had neatly tied up lots of vintage silver in bundles. Scouring through the big tray of silver, I could not believe my eyes- ice cream forks! Did you ever try to decide whether to use a fork or a spoon for a ice cream accompanied dessert? This little utensil solves the problem- you can easily eat your pie and your ice cream too!
The bowl of the spoon was detailed with a beautiful embossed detail- so pretty.
Silver is a very southern thing to me. When I got married, we received 17 silver trays for gifts- most of them monogrammed. Silver candle sticks, revere bowls, silver casseroles were received as well People in the south use their silver. My mother in law kept her sterling in the kitchen drawer and used it every day. Jill and I have talked a lot about using our beautiful things everyday and not tucking them away. I think she will actually do it in this home!
Also in the tray of flatware, another treasure- citrus spoons. With a pointed tip and a deeper bowl, you can easily dig into a grapefruit half and take out the fruit.
Notice the monogram- another southern favorite detail.
I am not sure if it is an S or a J- it really doesn't matter. I am buying them anyway!
Next it was on to the Sage Gourmet in downtown Hendersonville to look for a basic Southern cookbook and I found it! From cornbread to grits, everything is covered!
While browsing the store, I spotted this smoked Carolina honey!
Perfect for a hard cheese or a pork tenderloin!
Bourbon Smoked Pepper- another fun find for the gift.
Then it was time to go home and assemble the gift. I purchased several magazines about Autumn in the South, Table Settings and Fall baking to tie up and place on the tray. The silver serving set was polished and tied with hand dyed French seam binding and a Carolina turkey feather.
Same ribbon for the ice cream forks too!
Next I tucked in the plates, some feathers, acorns and the adorable velvet pumpkin and velvet corn from Hot Skwash that I found at another great gift store in Hendersonville- Benson Bab Interiors.
The velvet corn has real corn shucks for the topper.
The blue velvet will be the perfect accent color for the living room.
Tucked in the food products-
I made another trip to the flower farm in Mills River to get a bucket of dahlias for the Millers- the perfect autumn flower and they are just glorious now!
I was told by the ladies at the antique mall, that the best Apple Pie in Henderson County was at
Coston's apples. When leaving the flower farm, we drove to the orchard and purchased an apple pie made with Honey Crisp apples to place under the crystal pie dome from Horchow. In the past , people stored pies in pie safes or screened cupboards.
I think this crystal pie dome is more fitting for Jill's new kitchen.
With the dahlias in fresh water and ready to travel-
The tray wrapped and tied with a bow and feathers-
I had so much fun assembling this gift that I am sorry that it is finished.
Time for Autumn in the South at the Miller's new home!
I hope that I am invited back for pie!