Only problem is that Piero always gives me so many little "taste tests" that I forget to leave room for the actual meal and have to change outfits at the last minute, replacing my slim-cut jeans for something more forgiving, like a vintage Moroccan djellaba.
For our dinner parties, Piero takes care of all the savories, and I am in charge of decor and dessert. For this occasion, I baked a rustic fig tart with marzipan filling. It was my first one ever and was incredibly simple (I found the recipe in the October issue of "Everyday Food".) Unlike Piero who can turn on some jazz music and improvise his way through a five course meal, I require explicit directions when I cook. I don't have the chef gene, I have the sous-chef gene. I need the recipe firmly propped up in front of me and my measuring cups and spoons within reach. But I love those "Everyday Food" recipes because they are for beginner cooks like me and pretty much fool-proof. I added some bougainvillea flowers from the back garden for a bit of styling color, slid it onto my mother's vintage Sascha Brastoff "Roman Coin" platter and voila.
The dining room is coming together, despite the lack of curtains and my (so far) fruitless hunt for new dining chairs. But the new "Genuine Fake Bookcase" wallpaper from Deb Bowness added so much warmth to the room. And I am still loving my upholstered "Gosford Park" kitchen door (it looks like leather, but it's actually faux, in deference to our sticky-fingered six-year old and his equally sticky-fingered friends). Thanks again to Doug, my wallpaper guy extraordinaire, who padded the door with batting fabric and then pounded in about 800 gold nailheads around the edges of the fabric. As he said to me, "It's not going anywhere now."