Friday, May 17, 2019

My Favorite Diner Tablescape

A recent visit to my summer time childhood town during this past warm and sunny week gave me the opportunity to look up and stop in at one of the few family-owned diners still operating in this small town.  Certainly, I was thrilled to return to such a friendly and peaceful community filled with special heartwarming, fun-filled memories.  However, even though little has remained the same since I was growing up, the townspeople and businesses struggle hard to retain the town's hospitality and charm.

One of the few things that still does remain and thrive in small towns such as my own is the small diner.  Usually these quaint diners are a family affair resulting in many of them owned and operated by various members of a family and, undoubtedly, through the years, has precipitated a change of ownership from one family to the next.  Nonetheless, it remains a local family business which continues to serve up some great tasting, homemade meals.

I can only say that I truly appreciate to this day all of the cherished memories of eating at these cozy and neighborly establishments where good-hearted, honest folks were (and still are) talkative and caring to each hungry customer who visits. The delicious food is always served with a generous portion of good humor by easy-going, good-natured, and highly sociable waitresses.

Although today's menu at these diners currently offer less in the way of a limitless selection of hearty foods, by comparison, the menu of the past, had an overwhelming abundance of choices.  During the times of small town economic growth and popularity, tourism flourished and so did the menu.  Diners such as this one offered visitors everything from scrumptious, mouth-watering hamburgers and juicy broasted chicken with homemade coleslaw or fresh potato salad to a very large choice of tasty pies and tortes made early that morning.  All of which were promptly served hot and flavorful to your table with endless cups of coffee for the adults or creamy milk shakes or soda for the children.

Of course, I must not forget to mention that all of this good food and gracious service took place in an atmosphere most remembered for its extreme cleanness, coziness and, in my opinion, whimsy and playfulness.  The diner's decor at that time made plenty use of mixed colors and patterns to make their customers feel invited and at home.  Of course, the one pattern that I sentimentally recall and favored in the diner was the red and white gingham.  Often, it was embellished with red and white polka dots or plenty of bright blues or yellows.  Most of all, it was paired up with red floral patterns and red and turquoise colored accents.  It immediately left a lasting impression.  It is one that has carried with me for many, many years.

So in honor of my return visit to one of my enduring childhood diners, I decided that this week's tablescape will be simply a replica of the diner in my childhood past and be called, My Favorite Diner.  Although times have changed, including diners, the loving memories of this diner will forever hold a sweet spot in my heart and, hopefully, will win over your choice of welcoming, homespun eateries.

Welcome to The Little Yellow Corner Diner............

I couldn't resist including a homemade menu-of-the-day to add some color and more fun to a diner style table.  The menu is slipped into a plastic sheet protector and, of course, has turquoise and white gingham bows tied through the holes.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts always remind me of one of the desserts offered at various diners.  Simple and sweet, these moist donuts makes a perfect dessert with a hot cup of strong coffee.  To make these flavorful donuts, I followed a recipe for pumpkin donut holes but used a donut ring pan and adjusted the time for baking them.  You can get the recipe here:  Pumpkin Donut Holes.

If donuts are not your choice of desserts, some juicy mini fruit pies might be a delicious alternative.  A dollop of rich and creamy whipped cream on top of a mini blueberry, apple or cherry pie with a cup of hot coffee ends a pleasant day and an amazing visit to my town of my childhood.