Not too long ago, I caught a re-run of Barefoot Contessa in which Ina was expounding the virtues of a simple and tasteful table setting. In this episode, Ina said—and this is a quote—“It makes me crazy when people start talking about things like tablescapes.” My first thought, of course, was whether this was a shot at Sandra Lee. Do people other than Sandra Lee talk about things like tablescapes? I suppose it’s possible. Who knows what goes on up there in the
Anyway, on yesterday’s episode, Ina was throwing a baby shower, and guess what she made in addition to Greek gazpacho and a roasted salmon nicoise platter? She made a tablescape! She didn’t use the word "tablescape,” but when you have a candy-filled train chugging across the same table where people are eating, you have a tablescape.
This is disturbing me a little. I mean, first, let’s talk about the meal. Spicy gazpacho soup and salmon nicoise are not traditional baby shower fare. Which is fine—I expect Ina to rise above the traditional and class things up—that’s her style. But when you pair a sophisticated meal with an unsophisticated tablescape, well, that’s when I become concerned.
I’m going to have to keep a close watch on Ina in the coming weeks. And a close watch on Sandra Lee, lest she try to one-up my girl by making a bigger, better trainscape.