I live out in the hinterlands of KC . . .in Lenexa. Having lived on the Plaza for over 10 years, I never thought I would live "west of town" in a city that has the platonic tagline "I like Lenexa," because obviously the people that live here cannot commit to feeling the big person emotion of love. The most people in this town can do is "like Lenexa." So, no one who lives here, loves it here. I can relate. Poor Lenexa, it deserves to find someone who will give it the love it needs.
But, we do have a few gems in our city crown. We host the Lenexa BBQ Contest (surely you have attended one of those at least once) and the Spinach Festival at Legler Park every year. Apparently, Lenexa used to be all farmland (duh, it still is!) with everyone growing mostly spinach. Every year they would gather after the Spinach harvest and celebrate the leafy green, that put greenbacks in their pocket with a feast and festival. The tradition still continues and this Foodie made a point to go and see what delicious food could be had at the Spinach festival. For $7.00 I received a plate that was supposed to be a celebration of the beauty and versatility of spinach. Here's the photo of my plate, you be the judge. The little green balls of fried spinach, they were the goodness . . .everything else was completely, shockingly forgettable. Spinach pizza and cheese dip with spinach? Why not peanut butter, jelly and spinach sandwiches? IT IS CALLED THE SPINACH FESTIVAL - THE SPINACH DISHES SHOULD ROCK! But don't let the food prevent you from attending, the arts and craft vendors are amazing with wonderful little things to be acquired at every turn. My son, he loved the paddle boats. Not the paddling part, of course . . .but the riding and complaining part when his Daddy and Momma could not get the steam up to travel at warp speed across the pond. Faster! Faster! he screams, as we pop open a Red Bull just to have enough energy to get out a foot or two off shore and back in one piece.
However, we have a lovely home, and if it was located on a desert island it would be paradise. But the reason we bought the house was our wonderful living room with huge vaulted ceilings and a great stone fireplace. We have skylights and a mantel over the fireplace that we decorate for every season. So, when 2008 dawned and I needed a New Year mantel decor theme, I turned to my Brazilian mother-in-law . . .who suggested an all white, silver and gold mantel as that is how they ring in the New Year on the beaches in Brazil . . .all in white and metallics. Worth a try for the appealing visuals the words "beaches in Brazil" seemed to conjure in my mind.
Crap, I thought, I've got nothing that is white. So, I started digging in the basement, then in my closets and eventually in my china hutch and kitchen cupboards. Guess what? I own a ton of white plateware and serving pieces. So, I took my old pasta pot and grabbed some of my Grandma Betty's crystal and silver mixed it with some lovely plateware and linen my friend Buffy gave me years ago and went to work. (I bought almost all of the bigger pieces from a lovely art store in Weston almost 10 years ago, I wonder if it is still there?)
Ta-da! I channeled my inner Nell Hill and check it out, this is the coolest FOODIE mantel decor that I have ever done! It makes me happy every time I look at it, and it sets the tone for 2008 for me! This is the year of the Foodie. I can feel it.
All of my friends and family who have seen the mantel have said . . .interesting, unusual, but soooooo you. Of course, I am the same person who goes to the zoo this fall with my son and sees THIS and then puts THIS on my front door.