Friday, August 1, 2008

Guessing Game

My Mother was a great hostess; my Dad always credited her with at least half his success as an officer in the Navy, knowing that her gracious entertaining went a long way toward furthering his career.

She wasn't always a great cook; there are funny family stories about her early attempts to provide dinner for Dad's bachelor friends. They weren't always appreciative of her cooking prowess as a new bride, nor were they diplomatic about it, sending her from the table in floods of tears when they criticized her cooking, then standing in the doorway of her bedroom, shifting from foot to foot and asking plaintively, "Jeez, Floss, what did I say?"

As her responsibilities grew to international hospitality, she actually kept records of what she served to each foreign visitor and how she decorated the table so they wouldn't grow bored with a repeat of the same meal.
For Japanese visitors, the table would be set with a beautiful obi down the middle of the table or an ikebana centerpiece. Korean visitors enjoyed ribbons in the bright stripes of the Korean flag or perhaps a brass replica of a dragon boat.

By then, her food was always tasty and well prepared, the menu was usually on the elegant side and the table setting was always perfect, right down to the details. All dinner parties, whether foreign or domestic, included an elegant little touch made by this gadget.

Do you recognize it? Kudos to the first reader who identifies it.

Although she went to heaven many years ago, whenever I set the table for guests, my Mother is leaning over my shoulder, straightening the silverware and making sure the centerpiece is just so.


Blogger Chilebrown said...

Zesting tool?

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger Kitt said...

At first I thought it was a corn stripper, but at every dinner? No. Is it something for making pretty garnishes, like rose-carved radishes?

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Butter curls?

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger Michelle said...

I don't have a clue what that thing is, but after hearing what a lovely host you are (cookiecrumb ratted you out!), I can see where you get it now! I can even picture your father's friends standing in the doorway from your perfect description of them.

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger katiez said...

For making butter curls - I have one!

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Chilebrown, hey, thanks for the apples, which are already a crisp and nope, not a zesting tool.

Kitt, you're getting close - it's sort of garnishy.

Cookiecrumb, bingo!

Michelle, see Cookiecrumb's answer - she's got it!

KatieZ, yup, you got it!

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger namastenancy said...

HA! I thought butter curls before I saw that the question had already been answered. I remember eating dinner in Europe and one of the delights were these lovely little dishes of delicious butter, all nicely curled and laid out on top of cracked ice. Now, THAT'S BUTTER!

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I'm proud to say I totally GUESSED that answer, and then I immediately went to Google images of butter curlers, and... Yup!
Boy, that is so "not me." At my house, you'll have to get your butter from the still-paper-wrapped cube.
But, really. Just lovely. Do you use it?

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

NamasteNancy, see what sophistication our Navy background gives us? :-)

Cookiecrumb, not often, but every now and then, when I have a fancy-schmancy dinner party, I do.

Friday, August 01, 2008  
Blogger peter said...

I thought it was an armadillo zester.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008  

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