Now, more than ever, I'm reminded how important it is to keep close the people I love. My maternal grandparents Dottie and Eddie—or Mom-mom and Pop-pop, as I call them—are still with us today and for that, I'm so blessed. If you could meet them yourself, stay for dinner and hear their stories of a Life lived together, you'd know immediately the gifts they've passed onto me. From Pop-pop, a horticulturist for an estate in Greenwich, I learned to appreciate the beauty of flowers. And from Mom-mom, a homemaker in the purest, more inspiring sense of the word, I learned to cook, to bake and to take pride in creating a beautiful home.
In her prime, Dottie loved to entertain, gathering friends and family every chance she got. She was a collector, too, of beautiful things for the table and used them often. Growing up, there was always one particular collection I loved, a set of pink swirl dishes from Anchorglass, a gift at her engagement party 60 years ago—and a gift she has since passed onto me.
Now these were Dottie's everyday dishes, so with time—and countless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—they've since faded, their pink hue growing paler and more beautiful every year. But that's why I love them so much and continue to use them myself. 60 years they've been together, growing closer every year, so what better way to celebrate than by setting a joyful, summery table with the dishes she received so long ago? To start, there would have to be a big, beautiful cake with buttercream frosting made from farm stand eggs and local, homemade butter.
After baking and refrigerating overnight each of the four layers, I cut the crusts off from every side, leaving nice, even layers of yellow cake, ready to be frosted. Be sure to save the crusts for a toasted crumble over ice cream!
a thrift shop in New Orleans.
vintage jadeite servingware at varying heights on the table. vintage red Bakelite flatware in a slag glass pot from a flea market in Lambertville.