Autumnal Table: Oysters and Antlers

Spode Woodlands: Oysters & Antlers

The holiday season always begins for me with pulling out my cherished Spode Woodlands dinnerware. Its rich chocolatey browns and earthy hues fill me with inspiration to bring the outdoors in. This year I had tried my hand at the popular DIY oyster shell decoupage crafts, therefore having so many extra shells, I decided to use them for my Thanksgiving table. Living in area that is brimming with natural beauty makes is easy to incorporate the natural world into my home décor. Oysters and antlers were the centerpiece, flowing from a McCarty Pottery platter and planter. Cotton from a nearby farm, rosemary from my kitchen garden and white roses from the market finished off my tablescape theme.–our-pottery

Adding to my table with some antique store finds this year made it all come together with just the colors I wanted. Knives with amber handles added the pop of color needed to give a little kick to my heirloom Richelieu silverware.

For the place cards, each guest had a monogrammed oyster shell, created with a gold paint marker, atop their plate. I had difficulty finding oyster themed linens so I painted my own using white cotton napkins I found on Amazon with acrylic fabric paints designed to be both soft and flexible. They are washable and reusable, making them both beautiful and practical. Urban Villa White Premium Quality 20 By 20 Inches Dinner Napkins, 100% Cotton Casement Weave, Set of 12, White Over sized Cloth Napkins with Mitered Corners, Durable Hotel Quality: Kitchen & Dining

Handpainted Cotton Napkins

The menu flowed over with the oyster theme, as well, but having guests with a shellfish allergy created a bit of adjustment. I concocted both sweet and savory versions of an Oyster Rockefeller, or rather, Mockefeller, with a thoroughly cleaned oyster shell as the base. I went a step further for the allergic guests by wrapping them in cellophane or foil before topping with edible items.

The White and Dark Chocolate Turtles were so delicious with their toasted, salted pecans, rich, homemade caramel and melted white and dark chocolate topping. For extra detail, gold sanding sugar was added for a gilded, finishing touch. For serving, I covered a McCarty Pottery platter with rock salt for an authentic oyster presentation.

Sweet Oyster Mockefeller

For my Savory Version of Oyster Mockefeller, I used crawfish tails as the base rather than oysters. Strangely, my allergic son is not affected by the freshwater crawfish like he is the saltwater shellfish. I suppose that is the silver lining to living in Louisiana with a shellfish allergy.

Savory Oyster Mockefeller

For dessert, I baked a towering, three layer chocolate cake adorned with hand painted, watercolor oyster sugar cookies to match my napkins. This decadent cake was filled with Oreo cookies and cream filling and covered in the most amazing chocolate buttercream. I liked the more rustic feel of a “messy” coating of frosting rather than perfectly smooth. Divine.

Chococlate Cakes with Cookies and Cream Filling
Handpainted Watercolor Sugar Cookies
White roses and berries
Dessert on the lawn

As suitable as this was for a Thanksgiving theme, it could also be used for an earthy, natural Christmas table.

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday as much as I did.



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