Friday, June 28, 2013

New McCoy Pottery & A Dinner Party Menu

On our drive home from the cherry orchard, we stopped in a small, quaint town for lunch and popped into an antiques store. I found two nice McCoy pots in my favorite green color to add to my collection. Each piece was less than $20. I must now have at least 25 pieces of McCoy, Hull and other early to mid-20th century American pottery pieces. They're spread throughout the house, but I would like to have a place where I can display several of the pieces together for maximum impact. One day we will remodel our mudroom and that's where I'd like to have a shelf to display some of my pottery collection.

I wasn't familiar with the mark on this piece -- the letters "MCP" inside what looks like a measuring cup or pitcher -- so I looked it up online. I learned that it was used after McCoy Pottery was sold to the Mount Clemens Pottery Company in 1967. I believe this piece is from the Tierra line, 1968.

In addition to loving the color of the little pot below, I also love its design. I tried to find the name of the pattern online, but wasn't successful. Does anyone know which McCoy pattern this is?

On a separate note, we had friends over for dinner a couple of weeks ago. A coworker friend (the same one who gave me the white peonies) brought me this gorgeous bouquet of blue hydrangeas from her garden, which looked perfect on our dining table. Aren't fresh flowers wonderful?

I really enjoy entertaining. I love to cook, set a nice table and create a relaxing evening for family and friends. I also love planning a menu! Here's what we served.

Before dinner, we had fantastic whiskey sours from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. 

Whiskey Sours

In a jar, combine:
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • 2/3 cup simple syrup
  • 3/4 cup whiskey (I use Knob Creek Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey) 
Shake well and serve. This recipe makes four drinks. Homemade whiskey sours are so delicious, you won't want to use commercially made sweet  and sour mixer again, I promise. With the cocktails, I served roasted rosemary mixed nuts, below.

Everything on the dinner menu came from my library of Everyday Food magazines. We made:
  • Maryland style crab cakes (instead of 2 lbs. crabmeat, we used half that amount: 2/3 lb. jumbo lump and 1/3 lb. backfin. This made 8 small cakes. Be sure to pick through the backfin meat to remove all sharp shell fragments)
  • Corn and scallion salad -- so easy and delicious
  • Asparagus with creamy vinaigrette and almonds. Both side dishes can be made ahead, refrigerated and brought to room temperature before serving.
  • Flourless chocolate cake with Cointreau for dessert, recipe below.
It was a mighty good menu, if I do say so.

Flourless Fudge Cake

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter the parchment. Dust paper and sides of pan with cocoa powder and tap out excess.
2) In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, melt 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter and 12 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur (such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier).
3) In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer on high speed, beat 6 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until pale and doubled in volume, about 6 minutes. Stir in chocolate mixture.
4) In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat 6 egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until medium-stiff peaks form. Whisk half of egg whites into chocolate mixture, then gently fold in remaining half of egg whites.
5) Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until cake pulls away from sides of pan and center is just set, 45 to 50 minutes. On a wire rack, cool completely in pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Serve dusted with confectioner's sugar, if desired. Serves 10.


  1. LOVE the pottery and the hydrangeas! Thanks for sharing the party ideas. The mixed nuts are a classic..Yum! Have a nice weekend! xxleslie

  2. Your new old pots are beautiful!! I would gladly buy antiques and vintage than new pieces at triple the prices. Lovely finds, Claudia!

  3. I, too, have begun collecting McCoy pottery but in the sunny yellow color. The art deco designs are so structurally wonderful and eye catching. And you can't complain about the prices, either. There's just something special about collecting or acquiring antiques and collectibles because each piece has a unique history and as such is a piece of our collective story.

  4. Hi Claudia, Your friend is so generous and what beautiful hydrangeas! Really so pretty!

    You would have loved my mother's habit of stopping in Zanesville and Roseville, Ohio on the way to my grandmother's house in Eastern Ohio when we were children. Had to always stop at the potteries and pick up seconds. My aunt and grandmother did the same on their way to Cincinnati. All of the family kitchens had plenty of Ohio pottery.

    What a perfect menu for lucky dinner guests. Ina got the nut recipe from Union Square Cafe in NYC. We have had them at the bar when visiting our daughter.

    I just can't believe how pretty the hydrangeas are!

  5. I love McCoy and it's nice to collect because it's still so affordable. I believe the planter is called the "Beaded" pattern. I have a book at home and I'll look if I can remember.

    I have several pieces in different colors but I've been focusing on collecting all one pattern in white and I plan to make a shelf in my kitchen for displaying them all in one place.

  6. What a great menu! I'm a hydrangea hoarder. I went through a phase a few years ago when I was learning to propagate and literally made about 100 new hydrangea plants! I'm scaled down now to maybe 25 but I can't help myself from buying 5 or 6 new ones every year!


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