Wednesday, March 5

Spring Fever

Image House Beautiful Entertaining/Home of antiques dealer Michael Trapp

Image Real Life Entertaining by Donata Mggipinto/A beautiful DIY bar

Winters in Scotland are quite different than those I knew growing up in Texas. I can remember many Christmases picking out a Christmas tree in shorts or begging my mom to turn on the air conditioning just so that we could light a fire—it rarely worked!

After three years of living abroad I find the cold rainy weather really does not bother me, as I love four seasons and cool weather. However, it’s about this time each year I begin to understand what is meant by the term spring fever. The mornings are getting lighter and the Spring crocuses and snowdrops are pushing their way through the autumn leaves. It’s also about this time each year that I am ready to gather friends and entertain! It seems as though everyone retreats after the holidays and seldom makes an appearance before March. I am just as guilty. When it gets dark at four o’clock in the afternoon all you want to do is withdraw inside your home with a good book and a cup of tea.

With entertaining on my mind I have spent the past few days dreaming up a cocktail party and pulling out all of my old standbys for reading. Two books I return to over and over again are Real Life Entertaining by Donata Maggipinto and House Beautiful Entertaining. Both books were published over 10 years ago, but the classics never do go out of style. I find both books to be just as beautiful, charming and captivating as the day I bought them. And, you can get them for a steal on Amazon!

Images House Beautiful Entertaining/The dining room of the late Geoffrey Beene

House Beautiful Entertaining includes Bill Blass’ meatloaf and James Beard’s onion sandwiches. The story goes that the late great James Beard was bored by crudités, but loved these delicate sandwiches, which he invented in the 1930s when he was a caterer.

Onion Sandwiches

8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
16 slices good quality white sandwich bread
1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt, preferably sea salt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Bunch parsley, finely chopped

1. Butter bread slices on one side, then put a thin layer of onions over butter on eight of the slices. Lightly season onions with salt, and then assemble sandwiches with remaining bread slices. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter cut out two small rounds from each sandwich, making 16 small sandwiches in all. (Discard trimmings.)

2. Spread some of the mayonnaise around the outside rim of each sandwich. Roll the rim of each sandwich in parsley to coat completely. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Serves 2 to 4


Anonymous said...

Great post Ronda! I am longing for springtime too!

Anonymous said...

WOW! So cheap on Amazon. Thanks for the tip. I love onion sandwiches. My mother always made them for her cocktail parties.

Kwana said...

Thanks for sharing Ronda. I too have spring fever. I can't wait to sit out on the deck again and enjoy lunch outside with a friend.

ALL THE BEST said...

Sounds lovely Kwana! Wish I could join you!!

ALL THE BEST said...

Grab them now anonymous or they'll be gone...
A perfect cocktail party food!

Thanks Linda. Think spring!

The Peak of Chic said...

Ronda- Both books look like treasures! OK, I must tell you that I once made Bill Blass' meatloaf recipe, and I just didn't think it was anything to write home about. Have you tried it? Is it the recipe? Or my cooking skills??!!

ALL THE BEST said...

I have to admit that I've not tried the meatloaf Jennifer. Has anyone else tried it before?

Anonymous said...

Rhonda you rock! Both books are less than a $1!!!

suzannemarques said...

the onion sandwiches sound scrumptious!
i totally have spring fever. (i work outside everyday, so i love warm weather)

pve design said...

Love the Bill Blass meatloaf - it is great!
Did you know that I interviewed with him, what a classy gentleman!
Adore onions and those sandwiches sound delightful.
Just no important meetings afterwards! Haaaa!

cotedetexas said...

Hi - good thing you aren't here - you would really have spring fever! I was in a a sleeveless t shirt today getting a tan!! even though it got freezing at night the past few nights, the days are just gorgeous. COME HOME!!!!! :)


Red River Interiors,LLC said...

Yeah, David both books are under a $....sounds good to me!!
What happened to winter this year?
We only had one good snow in the DC area... It's been spring all winter long... Fay

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking I have spring fever,but reading this reminds me that I really don't have anything to complain about. I don't like cold weather.

Alkemie said...

I absolutely Love the shiny, lacquered black dining table in the photos!


Anonymous said...

the wallpaper or fabrics in Geoffrey Beene's home remind me of Alan Campbell's work.

Love onion sandwiches. My Mom made them similar, and also with Pepperidge Farms square white bread with pesto mayo and paper thin red onion slices. Both are delicious.

Things That Inspire said...

I have had these onion sandwiches at a party and they are delicious! I had no idea that James Beard was the originator.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

The DIY bar deserves to be a still life a la "Cocktail" by Gerald Murphy.... "just the juice of a few flowers...."