Conversations

Paint The Town Red with...


INVITATIONS


On vellum paper or any type of 'aged' paper print a simple invitation similar to the one below,

 

 

I think you get the idea, play around with this and have fun...be creative.


SETTING

Drape a large red blanket or tablecloth (raid your Christmas stash if necessary) at your front door.  Put down some grass mats from Ikea at the front door for all the shoes and have your guests either bring their slippers or have big baskets with inexpensive dollar store flip flops for them to wear and take home.  Escort your guests to the reading area which will consist of several throw pillows and cushions in a variety of sizes; I even put red pillow cases on my outdoor cushions.  Drape blankets over your couch and chairs, creating a 'sleeping' area. Bring some bricks in from the garden to resemble the birthing area.  Wach how many women stay away from this area!  Do you have some kind of Teraphim to resemble that of the sisters. I used a gold trophy my son had and taped a sign to say 'Maxine's Teraphim'.  Do you have a small deck fountain?  Bring it inside or play a CD of running water white noise sounds.  Water is an important element to Dinah's story.  Have toilet paper handy...

A henna station would be an interesting table at your book gathering.  Allow your guests to choose the style they would like.  Consult a website with symbols and their meanings.  I used Henna Heaven, www.hennaheaven.co.uk.  I have given a few examples below from this website,

Palm Decorations - designs invoke images of opening and and offering (usually sun or flower)

Back of Hand Decoration - acts as a shield-closing, defending, clenching - symbolizes protection

SYMBOLISM

Peacock - beauty

Butterfly - transformation

Dragonflies - rebirth

Tortoise - protection and fertility

Have a variety of bibles around.  I put out my children's bible stories too.  Also I included a few books that I picked up from the library, Alan Dershowitz, The Genesis of Justice and Deena Metzger's What Dinah Thought.  Both of these books were suggested as further reading to 'The Red Tent'.

Why not dress up the 'birthing area' with a midwife's kit.  Create your own by using an old leather handbag or suitcase.  Fill apothecary jars or mason jars with cotton balls, string, plastic knives, and reeds (from a music store?).

DRESS

I think simple is the order of the day.  Wear a simple linen or cotton empire dress or kafton style dress.  If you don't have one, make one out of a bed sheet - toga style.  Include several bangles and pile on the jewels ladies.

FOOD

Again, keep it simple.  A few items you may want to include,

Leah's great beer and sweet wine

Date and Honey cakes or fine wheat flour cakes (page 25)

Fig bread (recipe to follow)

Dried figs, and apricots or whatever dried fruits you like

Olives with a variety of artisan style breads

Goat cheese and Manchego Cheese

Serve as many dishes on stoneware plates or platters.

One last thing, string herbs in bunches around the seating area and food zone.  They were very proud of these!

 

Fig and Date Bread

Ingredients

1 cup chopped pitted dates 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped dried figs 2 eggs

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup boiling water 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8 x 4 inch baking pan.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the dates, figs, butter and baking soda.  Pour in the boiling water, stir well and let stand for 15 minutes.

3.  Beat the sugar, walnuts and eggs into the date mixure.  Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the date mixture just until blended.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

4.  Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Compliments of allrecipes.com

 

Return to The Book Boutique