So, the plan was to have a near-last-blast of summer patio dinner party…but the forecast was dim. In the high desert to have 30% chance of rain might mean that it comes and goes without a trace. But then again, it can produce a deluge and soak everything like “hope somebody called Noah.”
In an effort to thwart the storm, I planned an alternate indoor table setting, just in case. Usually that – like washing your car and the rain comes – will produce the opposite outcome. So by having the alternate plan I felt confident that the patio party would be saved. But, alas…
The theme was Mexican. I had planned a shrimp cerviche appetizer (fresh corn, serranos, onions, avocado, lime, tomatoes, cilantro…), followed by a shredded beef taco – baked and marinated in a richly savory coffee-chipotle-cinnamon-garlic-tequila reduction, freshly made (that very morning from a local mercado) lovely, light corn tortillas – accompanied by an array of salsas: garden fresh pico de gallo (vine-ripened tomatoes and equally freshly picked peppers), luscious guacamole, tart tomatillo, sour cream with traditional Hatch, New Mexico roasted green chile, and tropical twist mango salsa. The plan was festive, the weather was suspect.
In anticipation of moving the fiesta indoors, I needed a table-scape that fit the scene. The scene needed to be a combination of the theme and the setting. The patio had been the better setting for the brightly colored combination of linens and accoutrements that I planned – but inside was a more formal venue and required a bit of restraint – but no less fun!
Therefore, the so loved beach table-scapes that we have enjoyed creating in Mexico came to mind. But we were NOT at the beach so a modification was in order. I went to the local stone yard and hand-picked river rock to scatter down the center of the table. Mixing that with gravel from our side-yard gave the sense of a randomly stone-strewn arroyo. The focal point was a large, verdant green pottery “lotus bowl” by local artist Penne Roberts into which I placed a clear glass Revere-like cache-pot and two succulent aloe plants. Now, the rocks work for a desert-scape, but, the aloe is decidedly tropical and not native to our high desert – but the combination was richly organic and had that hint of south-of-the-border that was needed to carry-off the Mexican feel. The bling came with placing the Orrefors “lightstones” among the river rocks. The combination was fabulous. The solid, heavy, clear, smooth shapes of the tea-light ” lightstones” perfectly complimented the primitive, raw rubble of stone scattered down the center of the table.
We love to bring the indoors outside and the outside in – melding the two – creating ever-expanding living spaces and experiences.
For more information regarding artist Penne Roberts pottery – large lotus bowl centerpiece