03 October 2009

Festive Tables

Raymond Waites' tables are not merely festive, they are wildly opulent. He never met a gold leaf he didn't like. While I am sure I couldn't live with his Festive Tables every single day, for an extravagant party, this guy is right up there. While the recipes in this book seem like a mere foil for the place settings, some them are quite nice.

While Waites offers up a microwave solution to traditional boiled corn (well he offers that up, too), he presents it on laid on a plate with a gold shell salt server and matching spoon! Take that microwave!

The book features several soups because what is more spectacular than a giant tureen of soup, especially it it is a gold leaf pumpkin, or in a lovely gold-trimmed bowl sitting on an underplate sitting on big charger. Here is a recipe for the perfect accompaniment to any winter soup.

Honey-Oatmeal Crackers

3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl mix oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, and salt.
3. Stir in butter.
4. Add egg and vanilla.
5. On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop half teaspoonfuls of batter two inches apart.
6. Bake 5 minutes or just until brown.
7. Allow to cool, then remove with spatula.

Did I mention Raymond Waites is from Alabama? Alas, he went to Auburn. He studied under Maltby Sykes, who a great friend of my friend Harry Lowe. A book about Sykes' work, The Spirit Of The Modern: Drawings And Graphics By Maltby Sykes, was published in conjugation with an exhibition of his work.

Both Sykes and Waites have been featured at the The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn.

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