Back in the mid-Seventies, my dad came home for a visit from his job in Algeria. He lugged along a gift for my mom - a tooled brass table with a wrought iron folding stand. It looked like a giant plate.
He called it a Meshwi dish. He said North Africans used it as a serving dish for traditional cooking.
Loosely translated, "meshwi" means barbecued meat. He said the food was placed on the big plate, and people sat around it on cushions and ate with their hands. I tried to look it up, but I can't find much information.
Mom used it as a coffee table, and she when she moved to took it with her to New Brunswick to be closer to her family, it went with her. When she passed away, my sister took custody of the table, but was unable to find a place for it.
So she gave it to me, and I polished it up and placed it in the same spot where it had sat for many years, in what is now my living room.
I then went on the hunt for a glass top for it, to protect the brass and to make it a level surface for coffee table stuff. An estimate of $200 seemed a bit steep, so I found a glass coffee table at a discount store for half the price. The top fit beautifully.
Now I had a set of tripod legs from the coffee table. I thought, "Hey, I should look for a nice big round tray to put on it, and it could be used in the backyard for parties."
Well, it was hard to find a round tray big enough, and I took my little tape measure to Homesense. I found a wooden disk, rather heavy, and kind of expensive. But I had my birthday money, so I bought it.
When I got it home, I discovered it wasn't wide enough for the tripod base, but I liked it. My husband informed me that it was the lid of a wooden barrel, or cask.
Neato. It would make a great cheese board! I could serve whisky and wine on it! How provincial!
But I still wanted a stand for it. I was getting groceries at the Super Store, and they had cheap metal tray tables. Twelve bucks! And a round metal tray to put in the middle of my brass table instead of the square one I had purchased for three bucks at Value Village!
So, I took the base and placed the cask lid on top, and now I have another table.
I'm starting to run out of floor space, but when my eyes rest on items that either bring back memories or make new ones, I am happy.
Now all I need are a few people to come over and drink some wine and eat some cheese. And maybe eat some Meshwi, too.
Oh, also, I have a set of tripod legs still looking for a table top. I think I'll just tuck 'em under the stairs in the danger room for now. Let me know if you come across a round tray at least 26 inches wide.