Table Setting

My blogger friends Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita and Marie of Proud Italian Cook suggested that I enter this table setting competition sponsored by Barilla Pasta.

For many years, my friend Lauren and I would enter the Los Angeles County Fair Table Setting Competition in September. We would arrive early in the morning. We had one hour to set our tables, then spent the rest of the day at the Fair. The LA County Fair is one of the largest in the country. Some of our fair highlights include: sampling the Gold Medal wines, the garden and flower exhibits, betting on the horse races at Fairplex, barbecued corn on the cob, falafels, the livestock and my favorite - the piglets! The LA County Fair is fantastic, if you are in LA in September, definitely go! And make sure to visit the Table Setting Competition in the Creative Living Building.

The neat thing about this online competition is that I don't have to schlep the entire table setting to Pomona California, or anywhere else for that matter. Set it up in the dining room, take some photos, then upload!

And let me tell you, schlepping your table setting is a process. Because you are using all your nice china and glass, you have to wrap everything just so carefully.

Now the inspiration for this table came from another blogger friend, Simona of Briciole. A while back she wrote a post about pears and Italian expressions.  The theme for our Romantic Italian table is:

Cascare Come Una Pera Cotta
To Fall Head Over Heels In Love

No Italian dinner is complete without wine, tonight's choice is a 1990 Barolo. That is a 750ml bottle - it is dwarfed by the over sized wine glasses and over sized candles, and humongous basket. It is neat to spend time setting a table when you don't plan to cook. The creative energy is spent on the table itself. But if we were to cook, our pasta course would be a fettuccine with pears, gorgonzola, and candied walnuts.

Last weekend, my dear friend Peggy from Denver, was visiting me. We spent hours collecting objects from all over the house (and under the house; the "placemats" are terra cotta floor tiles) arranging our final setting. These are the photographs we submitted to Barilla. Win or not, we had a blast!

A special thanks to Peggy, Lauren, Maryann, Marie, and Simona.