I’m dining with the butterflies~ enjoying this book~ with its beautiful illustrations by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717), German-born naturalist and artist.
At a time when few women were educated or literate, and rarely travelled, Maria Sibylla Merian was a pioneer, and made history with her studies of insects in Surinam.
Trained as a copperplate engraver and watercolorist, she documented the metamorphosis of butterflies, laying the foundation for modern entomology.
On seeing a collection of butterflies from Dutch Guiana, (modern Surinam), she decided to study tropical flora and fauna, to discover whether the moths and butterflies she saw in collections shared the same life cycle as those she had bred: the egg and caterpillar stage.
In 1699 she sailed for South America with daughter Dorothea, the first time any woman had ventured on a journey of exploration on this scale.
Having evaluated and categorized her specimens, in 1705 she published her major work Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, in Dutch and Latin.
She made 60 copperplate engravings to illustrate the stages of insect development, arranged around the cultivated and wild plants she had encountered on her travels.
With its detailed text and imagery, the Metamorphosis is the first work on the natural history of Surinam. For 17th century Europeans it was an insight into an unknown world.
This quilted throw from HomeGoods migrated into my cart recently and was the inspiration for this table.
I thought it would be the perfect foundation for this book, with the butterflies sipping nectar from the quilted flowers~ while I sipped on tea from my Portmeirion Botanic Garden Blue Tea Set and dined among the embossed butterflies on my Lennox Butterfly Meadow Cloud plates.
Quilted throw/ HomeGoods by Ridgefield Home
Plates/ Lennox Butterfly Meadow Cloud/ HomeGoods
Bee Stems/ Sur La Table
Napoleon Bee flatware/Horchow
Tea Set/ Portmeirion Botanic Blue/ Marshalls
I spread my wings with a little bow tie pasta chicken salad, recipe courtesy of Pillsbury~ to fly over and join the fun at Lynn’s Celebrity Cook-Along with Pillsbury~ and a few Pepperidge Farm butterfly crackers served on the side.
Dried Cherry-Nut Chicken Pasta Salad, recipe can be found here.
I substituted chopped pecans for slivered almonds in the recipe and made an additional substitution with the dressing called for. Not a huge fan of poppy seed dressing, I decided to try Trader Joe’s Champagne Pear Vinaigrette that is slightly sweet, and has some gorgonzola in it, when I read a comment that suggested adding some gorgonzola to the pasta salad for additional flavor. It was a quick & tasty substitution for the poppy seed dressing that I mixed with Olive Oil Mayo and complemented with the dried cherries, nuts, chicken & bow tie pasta.
I recently had a milestone birthday, and was gifted with my very own Poppin’ Fresh Pillsbury Dough Boy napkin holder, since the Dough Boy was introduced 5o years ago, in 1961 :-)
A metamorphosis~ from crescent rolls to sugar-sprinkled butterflies garnish a layer of berries, lemon curd & whipped cream.
“TASCHEN’s reprint of a hand-colored first edition copy, belonging to the University Library of Basel, includes the complete plates with a commentary by Katharina Schmidt-Loske. Merian accomplished a pioneering achievement of the modern age. This publication pays homage to her work and offers readers an opportunity to appreciate her sumptuous engravings.”
Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday~