A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: Peacock Salt Cellars, Pink Salt and a Picnic

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03 November 2014

Peacock Salt Cellars, Pink Salt and a Picnic

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Lavender Honey Butter.
Pink Salt in Tiny little Peacock Plumage.
Fresh off the cast iron, scones full of butter pockets.
Sweet cheese.  Salty cheese.  Melt in your mouth cheese.
These are the ingredients of the perfect little fall picnic.

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

Thanks to Vagabond House for supplying the beautiful tableware seen throughout this post!
The Craft and DIY Nest Contributors will ALSO be sharing some fun ideas throughout the week -- check back for the links~

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

Today we are going to break down the perfect gourmet picnic into four basic parts.  Keep these simple ingredients on hand and some beautiful Vagabond House pieces at the ready and you will be prepped to host guests at a moment's notice.

The four categories are:  Nuts, Cheese (Protein)
                                           Unique Condiment (...like the lavender honey butter below...)
                                           Gourmet Sugar and Salt (Cheaper than gourmet anything else!)
                                           Fresh and Hot Main Carb (Can make or purchase)

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

The beauty of this little system is that the first three items can be kept on hand, while the fresh and warm carb makes the meal seem completely thought out and requiring hours upon hours of prep.  Let's start with the easiest one though:

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

Hello acorns!  Of course, acorns are fun, but take quite a bit of prep to actually eat.  Try almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pistachios.  Buy in bulk at your grocery store for the hands-down BEST price.  Of course, when you are ready to serve them, there is simply no better way than in the Squirrel Cracker Nut Bowl.  Isn't he charming?

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea


Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

The other protein option that I like to have on hand is cheese.  Typically, I will stick to more simple cheese, 
as I am more often than not serving children, but this beautiful Honey Bees Stand called out for something a bit classier.

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

This cheese is called Humboldt Fog -- an aged goat's milk cheese with an "ash rind" in the middle.
The mold is edible, but I don't care for it.  I have issues with blue cheeses - eating mold really isn't my thing.
It looks pretty on a plate though, doesn't it?  next time I will stick to the Cranberry Goat Cheese.

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

When choosing cheeses, try to hit 3 notes:
Salty, Sweet and Savory

Sometimes you can do that with 2 cheeses, sometimes 3.  Cheeses can be inexpensive, but look VERY pricey when
displayed on a beautiful Vagabond House serving piece.  Cheddar would look like a million bucks on this plate!

Cheese on Dessert Tray from Vagabond House

The cheese below is a Bucheron from France -- very salty and sharp flavor.
The cheese in the middle is more crumbly, while the outer ring is soft.
Bucheron Soft Cheese France

The third cheese on the plate is a cheaper goat's milk cheese from 'Vermont Creamery' and it is aCranberry Orange and Cinnamon mix.  It was the best of the bunch!  More on this cheese later... Before we move on though, you must take a closer look at these Vagabond House pieces.  They are heavy, solid and beautifully intricate.  These are the type of tableware items that become heirlooms.  If you are looking for a unique wedding gift they will actually KEEP, this would be it.

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

Vagabond House Outdoor Picnic Tips with Amy Renea

Onto my favorite portion of the picnic -- the Lavender Honey Butter!

Vagabond House Lavender Honey Butter Syrup Dispenser with Amy Renea
Vagabond House Lavender Honey Butter Syrup Dispenser with Amy Renea

Simply warm and mix one stick of butter, 1/2 cup of honey and 3-4 Tablespoons of fresh dried lavender.  

Vagabond House Lavender Honey Butter Syrup Dispenser with Amy Renea

If you would like the lavender flavor, but the flowers themselves are not wanted, simply strain them out.  They can often get caught
when pouring the butter from the dispenser.  However, I love the look of them so much that I leave them in.  To each his own!
Also note that this mixture is best used freshly made.  The mix will solidify back into a butter-like state and becomes difficult to pour if it is left to sit.  Think pan-gravy that needs to be used right away and not saved.

Vagabond House Lavender Honey Butter Syrup Dispenser with Amy Renea

Vagabond House Lavender Honey Butter Syrup Dispenser with Amy Renea

Speaking of the dispenser...this is the Honeycomb Glass and Pewter Syrup Pitcher.
...and it can do this:

Vagabond House Gourmet Picnic Tablescape with Amy Renea

Just another sign of the quality -- that lid seals TIGHT!

Now onto my very, VERY favorite item from Vagabond House - the Pewter Peacock Salt Cellars.

Vagabond House Gourmet Picnic Tablescape with Amy Renea

They are ridiculous...in ALL the best ways.
Hello mister!

Vagabond House Gourmet Picnic Tablescape with Amy Renea

Are you wondering what that luxurious pink salt is in the cellar? (Yes, the peacock tail IS the salt cellar...awesome, right?)
Well, the secret is that the salt is NOT pricey pink Himalayan salt.  Rather, it is simply salt I dyed in a matter of seconds.

Let me show you how.

Wilton Gel Food Coloring

See that little bit of red?  That is gel food coloring and it is STRONG.  The colors are super intense and a teensy tiny bit goes a long, long way.  I got a pack of Wilton gels about a year ago and I have barely made a dent in them.  Simply take the food coloring and pick a nice LARGE grain rock salt.(There are giant boxes for just a few bucks -- kosher salt it about as small as I like to go -- I like the CRUNCH of salt.)

How to Dye Sugar and salt

Simply stir the gel in and allow the color to turn the entire bowl pink!  Start with the smallest amount you can get on a spoon, then add more if you want a darker pink.  You can dye sugar the same way -- try sanding sugar for large "chunks".

Vagabond House Gourmet Picnic Tablescape with Amy Renea

Once your salt is good and pink, it can store for a LONG, long time. 
 It looks best hanging out on a peacock though, don't you think?

Vagabond House Gourmet Picnic Tablescape with Amy Renea

So, you have your salt and/or sugar, your lavender honey butter, nuts and cheeses stored and waiting.
Whip up a fresh batch of muffins, scones, bread or grab a delicious carb on the way home from the store and...


RELAX and ENJOY.

Vagabond House Gourmet Picnic Tablescape with Amy Renea

I chose to use the peacock salt cellars, squirrel cracker bowl, honeybee dessert stand and honeybee syrup dispenser.  Can I just tell you it took HOURS to pick.  No really.  Vagabond House has an amazing variety of beautiful, classic, high quality pieces and it was very hard to choose.  I was really into the Viking stuff actually, but knew it probably wouldn't go to well with my house :)  In any case, I am not the only one sharing tablescape eye candy with you today.  

Did you miss the contributor's amazing posts this week on their home blogs?  They have some OUTSTANDING ideas for Thanksgiving tablescapes and fall parties.  Click the images below to see their full posts!!

Aki's Adorable Acorn and Squirrel Fall Tablescape


Jill's Beautiful Thankful Table and DIY Charms


Nikki's Amazing Equestrian Tea Party and Pavlova





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2 COMMENTS:

Jenny Piirto Monday, November 03, 2014  

Drooling over this serveware. We are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year...this would be perfect! I love the nutcracker and cheese plate. And the pink salt- brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? I don't need your fancy schmancy Himalayan pink salt, I've got gel coloring!

Amy Renea Wednesday, November 05, 2014  

Hi jenny!! I never knew the joys of gel food coloring until a couple years ago. Now I use it for EVERYTHING :) I am hosting Thanksgiving too - we should talk!!

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