Easter Sunday is a special day in our household, and for years I have designed table settings ranging from polka dots to Old Country Roses. Anything pretty much went, but I had longed for at least a set of salad plates just for this important holiday. A few years ago, I spotted the cutest bunny plates at Pier 1 Imports, but alas, they didn't ship that particular pattern. (No wonder they're in bankruptcy; this isn't the only pattern they wouldn't ship. Not everyone can get to the nearest Pier 1 Imports store, which can be hours away!) By the time I got to Pier 1 Imports in Great Falls, Montana, they were long gone. So, the following year when the plates re-emerged online, I called the Great Falls store and asked if they had any Sofie the Bunny salad plates? Yes, they said, we have lots of them. Would you please set aside 8 of them and I will be there in a couple of hours? Yes, they replied, but only until the end of the day. Fine! I came home with my cute salad plates! The rest of the set is attractive, but I could only afford one piece, so the salad plates were it, because there is a lot you can do with them, and if you have at least a salad plate, you can make the table setting successful without much effort.
Easter is about resurrection and rebirth, so the table setting this year is a reprisal of last year's masterpiece, by pairing Sofie with my Seltmann-Weiden china set. The set is made in the Bavarian region of Germany. Based on my research, the set would have been made starting in 1954, but a cut-off date is uncertain. This set is obviously made with German households in mind, with their "kaffe" time, featuring coffee and a cake of some sort. The set is a service for eight, with the exception of the salad plates; there are sixteen of those, and a coffee pot, but no tea pot. This is not an easy set to find, at least here in the States. The shape is called Renate by the company, but the pattern itself is apparently unnamed. Replacements, Ltd. simply calls it "SLT1". The set also comes in gold trim, and I have seen a cake serving plate advertised, so almost assuredly there is one in the silver trim. Also, there is a mini coffee pot that I don't have in addition to the cake server. I also need two cups one saucer to complete the set as they were missing when I bought them at a local thrift store, and I would like to replace the coffee pot and soup tureen lid, as both were broken when I bought them. I fixed the lid, the knob broke off, but the handle on the coffee pot is broken but can't be fixed and there is damage to the spout. However, the set is absolutely gorgeous and I would have been foolish to just leave it!
This year's setting combined my Irish pieces (which are still out, by the way!) with Sofie and the Seltmann-Weiden set. Great-grandma Mayer's Coronation silver plated flatware by Oneida was used, along with my Thanksgiving/Harvest Waterford Crystal (Cashs of Ireland) old-fashioned glass for water, and white wine glass for the White Zinfandel served with the holiday meal. Individual pressed glass salt and pepper cellars are at each setting (thrift store), and antique lustre bread and butter plates (thrift store) are at the ready for Pillsbury crescent rolls. The yellow hemstitched linen look napkins (Mainstays, Walmart) compliment the yellow flower in the bunny plates, as well as the daffodils on the Charles Gallen and Company Irish linen table runner (QVC).
The centerpiece is simply an open compote bowl that is the match to the stemware (eBay), a pair of Waterford Crystal candlestick holders that go with a Wedding Unity Set (thrift store), and a pair of pearlescent bunnies found at Walmart. I bought the lone standing one last year, and luckily the matching sitting one came back this year!
On the menu:
Ham studded with sliced pineapple and Maraschino cherries
Gravy made from the ham drippings
Mom's Super Secret Shrimp Salad
The fruits that roasted on the ham (so good...sweet and salty!)
Strawberry jam cake