Our first meeting was at my friend Annie’s house last month and so she got to choose the theme and give us our assignments. We had a wonderful night of delicious food from friends who share many of our interests and great taste in all things culinary. The menu was over the top. I forgot my camera on that night, so I can’t share with you anything from that night, but the theme was
We volunteered to host in August, because the weather would be nice enough for us to eat outside—the 10 foot orange plastic picnic table being the only place I can seat 8 for dinner. I had fun coming up with a design scheme and planning the menu and it was a magical evening. Everyone had a fabulous time.
Some of my best memories of summer come from my time spent with my Hinckley grandparents on their farm on the lakeshore in
For our dinner, I invited my friends to compliment my summer favorites with theirs.
Annie brought a plate of local cheeses, along with dates, almonds, pears and grapes. She also made some crostini (addictive) and a great spinach dip. Tannya brought a wonderful sort of Cobb salad with 2 kinds of beans, corn, grilled shrimp and avocado. And Melissa made a delicious peach cobbler and homemade brown sugar/vanilla ice cream. David did the honors on the ice cream with liquid nitrogen. At one point during the dinner, I looked across at Jake Callister who was shaking his head. Pacing oneself is always a problem when all the food is so fantastic.
To make the porch more festive, I sewed curtains to block the car from our “dining room” from fabric I asked my mom to bring the last time she came. I had just enough—a little less than 10 yards. I had to buy the PVC to hang them on at $1.53 per 10 foot length, four in total. I borrowed 15 strings of Christmas lights from a lady who has everything (Marie Bell) and David hung a false ceiling for me using nails left over from a previous project. I used cans headed for the recycling bin to make tin punch lanterns (Jonas loved helping) and glass jars that once held spaghetti sauce, peanut butter and jam were transformed into chandeliers hung on shepherd hooks with wire handles (I borrowed the hooks from Annie who works at Pottery Barn and got them on some screaming discount. David had the wire in his useful box—it was the perfect guage). The tablecloth was an interior design mistake I made a couple of years ago when I tried to make curtains for our living room. Awful hanging up—perfect for this dinner. So, necessity truly is the mother of invention. And for just a few dollars and a lot of ingenuity, I have demonstrated once again some serious girl power. And the wonder of a supportive husband.
Some fun memories of this: Jonas walking outside the morning after the curtains were hung only to turn and walk back to me to say: Mom, thank you so much for these beautiful curtains. I love them so much!
Drilling tin can lanterns on the dryer while Jonas sat and watched and did pretend drilling on the washing machine. Then coming inside and drinking more grape juice with him so we could get more cans to make more lanterns the next day.
Lighting everything on Friday night for a dress rehearsal and LOVING it!
Blowing a string of lights by connecting 10 of them together through and extension cord.
Seeing the toile in my studio on a fabric roll and feeling scathingly brilliant for thinking to use it as a tablecloth.
Watching everyone leave as the lights twinkled them home.
Sitting at the picnic table under a zillion lights to read the night after the party.
Lighting everything again on Sunday just to see it one more time.
We’ll have to take it down sometime, but I wish we didn’t. I’ll start shopping for Christmas lights on clearance right away.