A spring table with mimosa

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This year, I had a bit of trouble getting my hands on mimosa – either there wasn’t any, or it was frightfully expensive – but I did manage to find some lovely bunches at my local florist. A lovely little lady who keeps her store open until late at night, and where you can sometimes find varieties of flowers or foliage that are hard to find elsewhere. As someone who doesn’t usually like yellow very much, I needed to bring a bit of this color into the house to brighten it up with a bit of cheerfulness. We had a very rainy January and February and it was quite dark in the house. Even though we’ve had the pleasure of seeing lots of hellebores and snowdrops in bloom, we all also felt the need to be in the presence of happier, more spring-like colors. All we had to do was ask! A number of daffodils have sprung up in large clumps over the last few weeks, both in the garden and in the forest, and have been used to complement my mimosa bouquets. I’d never paired the two together before, and found that the daffodil’s bell-like duet worked quite well with the mimosa and its tiny, fluffy balls.

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It’s great to use tableware and décor to mark the seasons, and to bring a little of that long-awaited spring freshness here. I recently found these pretty little Italian splatter plates in a lovely shade of green, which immediately bring a touch of fun to my table, which I’ve kept fairly simple (for once).

At the moment I use them for breakfast, but I also take them out when I need to serve a small appetizer. I’ve combined three patterns for this rather table setting : spots, stripes and checks, which go pretty well together, and to which I’ve added the light polka-dot pattern found on the glasses (Italian too). I really like checks, especially on these napkins I found during the winter sales, in a perfect shade of green (one of my favorite colors) and they are enhanced by a purple border, which brings a bright, complementary color to the table in a subtle way.

Instead of a large central bouquet, I opted for three medium-sized vases/pots: a modern one with very graphic stripes, framed by two pots from Anduze – that beautiful southern town renowned for its pottery – which I use throughout the year.

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I’m doing a lot of cooking these days, trying out new recipes and old ones that I’m trying to improve and vary. For instance, I love making very gourmet Pinsas Romana. I usually opt for the potato and truffle oil version, but I wanted to test another version and add more ingredients such as Italian ham, black olives, mushrooms, artichokes and rocket salad, all topped with a little Balsamic cream sauce. You can find the recipe here, and I recommend adding toasted pine nuts and a few sun-dried tomatoes with garlic and olive oil. These pinsas are very quick and easy to make, and I often serve them when friends drop by in the evening and linger over dinner. I was talking to my Mom about this recipe recently and she was curious to taste this version. She’s a great cook, but she’s getting seriously fed up with having to think about what she’s going to cook for the whole family when we are all together in the countryside most weekends. So we’re trying to come up with ideas together to save time in the kitchen while still enjoying ourselves.

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On a recent get-together in the countryside, I brought along the mimosas and my small Italian plates from home to set this table. We tasted my Pinsas Romana (I usually make two of them), accompanied by a glass of white wine, then we ate a homemade tiramisu – an absolutely shameful indulgence that earned us a good, long walk in the afternoon!

If you’d like to add a few citrus notes to the decor, you can add small lemon trees in terracotta pots from Anduze, or arrange a few lemons on the table. After all, it’s their season too, which reminds me that I have to make jam next weekend! After testing the lemon version and the blood oranges and Grand Marnier version last year, it’s time  to make them again and write down the recipe at last.

As you can see, it’s going to be a very culinary year, and a very floral one as well, with tulip season just around the corner…

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