Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Club Night and Moderntone Dishes

I hosted our monthly book club last week and we discussed Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.  The novel was centered around two female characters, one an orphaned Irish girl who, with other children from New York, was sent West to hopefully find a new home, and a modern day orphan in today's foster care system.  Kline did an artful job of weaving these two women's lives together in an easy and interesting read.  As always we had a lively discussion and lots of laughter! 
Since part of the book was set in the 1930s and 40s, I decided to use the Moderntone Platonite dishes my dear mother-in-law gifted me several years ago.  I've never actually used them and thought this would be the perfect time to get them out.  As a very young child, I remembered my mother setting our table with pink plates, pink cups and saucers and even little pink salt and pepper shakers.  Many years later, I think the first time I visited my husband's parents' home, I saw those same pink dishes PLUS BLUE dishes, GREEN dishes and YELLOW dishes!!!  Besides the plates, cups and saucers, there were BOWLS, TUMBLERS AND SHERBET DISHES!  I couldn't believe there was actually a complete set!  My mother told me she had gotten her starter set from the local grocery store but had traded the other colors with family members so she could have her pretty pink dishes.  I was so taken with my mother-in-law's collection that she gave them to me when she moved.  They've been in storage until now.

Here are a few photos of our table.
We enjoyed popcorn during our discussion but I chose two recipes suggested from the book for dessert.  The first was Mrs. Murphy's Current Cake, which Dorothy enjoyed for her birthday while attending Miss Larson's class. 

The second was a rhubarb tart Dorothy remembered her grandmother baking.  (Well, she remembered her making a tart, not exactly sure it was rhubarb.)

I'm including the recipes for the current cake from this site, which gives great ideas for book club recipes!

Dorothy's Current Cake
“The bread, dense and moist, tastes like Ireland.”

(This recipe is adapted from Nick Malgieri's “The Modern Baker” [DK Publishing, 2008].)       Makes 1 loaf

2 cups whole-wheat flour (see note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup buttermilk or whole milk

2 cups dried currants (or chopped raisins)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 ½-by-4 ½-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. 
In a large bowl, whisk eggs then beat in sugars. Separately whisk in oil and then buttermilk, whisking until smooth after each addition. Fold in flour mixture and then quickly fold in currants.

Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top.  Bake in preheated oven until well risen and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool bread in pan 5 minutes, then unmold onto a rack and cool completely before slicing.
Note: A combination of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour also can be used.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my lovely Moderntone dishes as much as I've enjoyed using them this past week!  I'm having a little trouble putting them back in their boxes.  :)

Linking to:
   Tablescape Thursday
   Share Your Cup Thursday
   Home Matters
   Simple and Sweet Fridays
   Home Sweet Home
   Foodie Friday
   Amaze Me Monday
   Something to Talk About
   Tuesdays at Our Home


Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Really pretty dishes! I enjoyed that book too - aren't book club discussions the best?

Joy said...

How pretty! Besides being perfect for the book club meeting, they are just pretty and happy - I'd have trouble putting them away, too.

Valerie Roberts said...

What lovely and fun colors. I love the shape of your dishes. I will have to try your recipe. Looks delicious!

My Garden Diaries said...

How fun and clever are you!!! I wished I lived closer because I would so join your book club!! I love how you tied the book into the table setting which by the way is gorgeous! As well as the recipes which look delicious!! I bet everyone had a wonderful time! Pretty table buddy and happy almost weekend to you! Nicole xo

Tea in Texas said...

Wow, what a great way to inspire a tablescape by using the time of the book! Your beautiful Moderntone dishes is so much fun with the tablecloth. The recipe from the book was a good idea to entertain your guests!


Stephanie said...

Oh my, what a pretty table! I just love the soft pastel colors. And that cake...yum!

Enjoy your weekend. Hugs!

Rosemary and Thyme said...

Wow, I love the cheery and bright dishes. They are perfect for the season. Have fun with your book club.

Janet said...

Such a sweet those vintage dishes and the tablecloth.

Tammy said...

The dishes remind me of all the colors of springtime. What book are you reading next?

Have a Daily said...

Oh wow, these are just perfect for Spring time! Just right for your book review also. I love all of the fun colors! What a great gif from your mil. Thanks for sharing with SYC. I will be featuring you this week.

Kim said...

What a beautiful tablecloth! The colors are gorgeous!

My thrift store addiction said...

Hello, I hopped over from Share Your Cup. Your dishes are gorgoeus ~ I found a set of the pink Moderntone and I absolutely love them!

Simplistically Living said...

Very cute dishes! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty. We hope to see you again Friday.


Loving the book. I'm a reader too.
The dishes are lovely and the pastel colors are so sweet and delicate...a very serene set.
Your book club sounds awesome, wish I was close to you.
The recipe for the cake looks great. I pinned this entire post.
Thanks for sharing my friend.
Happy weekend.

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Love the fresh palette of Spring color, how cheerful!

Babs R said...

Love your pretty vintage tablescape and recipe for the with "Orphan Train" Book Club meeting.

Kathleen said...

Loved that book!