Posts Tagged ‘Tenugui Cloths’

Tenugui Cloth Napkins


tenugui cloths

Lydia and I were so excited to see gardening editor Stephen Orr’s Thanksgiving table setting in the new Martha Stewart Living.  The picture hasn’t made it online, but if you flip to page 106, you’ll see why.  Stephen set his table with a few of our favorite things!  Lots of natural elements like branches, quail eggs and individual flowers in low vases as well as Lydia’s Heath plates in mixed colors (French grey, mist and aqua) and my tenugui cloth napkins in mixed prints and different shades of blue.

The article inspired me to purchase a new fall collection (you can see my old one here) so that I’ll be ready for my Thanksgiving guests.

I’ll be doing all-white plates and mixing napkins in navy, burgundy and gold.  Each tenugui costs $13 at Tortoise General Store and each cloth makes 2 napkins.  You simply cut them in half and toss them in the washing machine.  They come out as soft as an old T-shirt with frayed edges.  Use scissors to clip any long strings and press with a hot iron before setting your table.

Can you believe we’re already thinking about Thanksgiving?  We’ll be sharing our centerpiece decor, tips for executing your feast in a small kitchen and our Turkey Day countdown in the next few days.  Number two on the countdown?  Make sure you have enough napkins.  Check.

Have a wonderful, candy-filled weekend!


How-To: Halloween Table


Halloween table decor

Remember our sneak peek from Friday?  Here’s a behind the scenes look at our Halloween table for The Daily Meal.

Halloween decor supplies

Mini pumpkins and one medium-sized pumpkin for spray painting, plus some white mini pumpkins for keeping natural.
Spray paint.  We went with an enamel finish in black and gold to add some gloss.
Painter’s tape (for covering the pumpkin stems)
Burlap (available at Michael’s or other craft stores)
Votive candles
Black ribbon
Black spiders or spider rings (available at the drug store or craft store)
Candles and candlesticks
White place settings
Matching napkins
Wine glasses
Water glasses

Note: spray paint the day before your party so your  pumpkins have time to dry.

Wrap your pumpkin stems in blue painter’s tape to keep the stems natural.


Shake your enamel can and start spraying. Keep the spray can a good 6 inches away from the pumpkin.  Otherwise the force of the spray will wipe off your first coat.  This photo was taken before I learned that lesson.

1-2 coats only. Repeat as necessary to paint all your pumpkins.

Gold, too!

In case any of the enamel was still sticky, we put parchment paper under each pumpkin to protect our plates.

Gold pumpkin, white plates, pewter flatware, and black and white tenugui cloth napkins.

arranging burlap table runner

Now the centerpiece.  Arrange your burlap strips so they have some height.

Ground your display with one medium-sized pumpkin.  A leopard print sweater really adds something!

Layer in the rest of the pumpkins.

Add in your candlesticks and votives.  We only had silver votives so we wrapped them in thick black ribbon and secured with double-sided tape.  Work with what you have!


Creepy and elegant.

Happy Halloween!



Grilled Pizza and Glamping


Angus and I snuck away to go glamour camping, a.k.a glamping at el Capitan Canyon in the Santa Barbara foothills.   Glamping means enjoying the wonders of nature from your own private creekside glen without having to pitch your tent, scavenge for wood or wonder what was THAT? every time you hear a noise.

Aren’t the cabins beautiful? We had a king-sized bed,  fireplace, soaking tub, kitchenette, and a wide porch perfect for reading.

Glamping, my friends, is utter relaxation.

Here’s what I packed for food prep (from L-R)

My moka for grill-top espresso (you can just see the tip of the spout in the upper left-hand corner)

1 bag ground intelligentsia black cat decaf espresso

1 bag Maldon sea salt (the best!)

2 deck towels for triple duty–as tablecloths, porch blankets and beach towels

A moleskin journal and my Penguin Classics clothbound copy of The Odyssey

Hershey bars, graham crackers and marshmallows for lots of you-know-what!

1 bottle of olive oil and my dependable Mario Batali pepper mill.  Mine is the design prototype from my days with the man himself and has served me well for 8 years now.  I highly recommend them.

1 chef’s knife, 1 pair tongs, 1 fish spatula, 1 regular spatula and two tenugui cloths for napkins.

My carryall is a Reisenthal collapsible market tote which Lydia and I use every single day for carting groceries to our clients’ homes.  They’re also amazing for road trips and days at the beach.

Next time I’ll bring a cutting board as well.

Here’s our cook-top.

The first night we had delicious charred corn with grilled salmon and asparagus.  Simply drizzle the corn with olive oil, add salt and pepper and place directly on the grill until the kernels blacken, turning occasionally for even cooking, about 3-5  minutes depending on the heat of your fire.

Our second night was really special.  We grilled store-bought pizza dough and and topped it with a smear of goat cheese, grilled eggplant slices and heirloom tomatoes.

To grill the eggplant, we followed the same steps for the corn but left it on the grill for about 8 minutes per side until it was charred and soft and smoky.

We didn’t have a rolling pin and my olive oil bottle is square (a round one works in a pinch) so we simply ripped hunks of dough from the ball and stretched it by hand into mini rounds.  We daubed the dough with olive oil, sprinkled it with sea salt and laid it flat on the hot grill.  Grill until the first side is marked, about 1 minute, then flip and place your toppings on the cooked side.  Continue grilling until the second side is marked and your cheese melts, about 1 minute more.

We tore fresh mint leaves to cut through the smoky richness of the eggplant and goat cheese and ate standing up, anxious to get our next mini going as quickly as possible.

Doesn’t a burning fire make everything taste better?

Note: grilled pizza is best when followed by lots of s’mores.

Read more about glamping at The Red, White, and Green