Care for some brunch? I invited my dissertation group to my apartment for some quiche and muffins last week, and this is what it looked like after they left.
I made a spinach quiche, lemon poppyseed muffins (note to self: whole-wheat pastry flour shall henceforth be used more sparingly). Some whipped honey butter and Bonne Maman's strawberry preserves rounded out the spread. The vintage tablecloth was a Christmas gift from a dear friend; it has been washed so many times that it's as soft as well-worn t-shirt. It makes me so happy. Which is why I've kept it out long after Christmas. Which is also why I haven't taken down the tree yet.
The lemon-poppyseed muffins are from Cooks' Illustrated, and sadly they were a bit dry. Too long in the oven, I think. I take full responsibility, as Cooks' Illustrated, like Tim Gunn, is rarely wrong.
Note the hand-embroidered initials on the vintage dishcloth. Who, pray tell, are CR and PG? CG, otherwise known as Capucine Robert, grew up in the smallish town of Souillac in the southwest of France one hundred years ago. Her mother taught her to embroider, and she practiced on a set of lovely red and white dishtowels she received on her wedding day. Capucine had a daughter, Paulette, who married the dashing Jean-Jacques Girard, the son of the town's boulanger. On her wedding day, the dishtowels were passed down to Paulette. Remembering the dishtowels fondly from her childhood, Paulette, now Madame Girard, added her initials below her mother's. After Paulette baked her famous madeleines, she would wash her hands, dry them gingerly with the red and white dishcloth, and think of her mother.
The story above may or may not be a product of the imagination of yours truly. But I like to think it's true.