Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer Party

     Every Summer I like to have a party.  (You can see previous Summer parties here: Summer 2012 and Fourth of July 2011)This Summer was so beautiful, we ended up having three!  But this is the only one I actually planned... =)  We are in the middle of redecorating our house (which is a lot more complicated than I had anticipated, let me just say) so instead of providing the whole spread as I have in years past, I hosted and decorated, and made a couple of things, but relied on my talented friends to bring the majority of the food.  It worked beautifully!  Because this party was much later than parties I've thrown in the past, and because the Summer was so dry and gorgeous, and because my garden was actually not gnawed to bits by slugs and deer, my garden looks the best it ever has.  I realized that my friends all had beautiful gardens, too!  So I asked them to bring a dish that featured something they grew.  It was wonderful to see the variety of foods!

The sign says "Welcome" but the breeze kept blowing!

I found these vintage milk glass cups at Joss and Main.  Just the right size for a little baby's breath and fern frond.

The snack tray featured my two "fancier" recipes:
I made gluten-free, vegan crackers  by Elana of Elana's Pantry for my friends who are of that variety of eaters.  The only thing I did different from Elana's recipe is that I used fresh Rosemary instead of a dried herbs de provence as she recommends.  They blended exceptionally well with a blackberry and strawberry jam I made following the procedure I outlined in my earlier jam post a few weeks ago.  I just subbed out equal parts blackberries and strawberries for the fruits in the recipe and omitted the thyme.  I served it with some Beecher's cheese (a local favorite).

Lemonade made with Sucanat may have a different color than you're used to, but it still tastes fabulous!

     These are the greens and herbs I picked for my salad and chicken legs.  Lettuce, chard, kale, basil, mint, purslane, nasturtiums, and a couple of beet greens for the salad.  Rosemary, sage, and thyme for the chicken legs.  All I did for the legs was dry them off, rub with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkle with herbs and baked them at 350 until they were nearly done.  I bumped it up to 400 for the last 5 minutes of cooking to brown them a little more.

I found the neat straws and lids (both made in the USA) on sale on Zulily at the beginning of the Summer and got the compostable napkins, plates, and cutlery on Amazon.

Burlap, twine, and sign cards came from Michaels.

Herbed chicken legs, salads, bread with spun honey (one of my friends keeps bees!), macaroons, roasted herbed potatoes, Russian honey cake.  Just after I took this picture, another friend came with some delicious carrot soup!  I need a bigger food table...

     If you want to throw a good Summer party, it's great to have nice decorations and yummy food, but the very best thing is good, interesting friends who are willing to share a lazy afternoon with you!  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a beautiful rest of the Summer!

And go ahead and eat your cake with a knife.  It's Summer!  It's a party!  Anything goes!


  1. This is GORGEOUS post, Brooke! Makes me wish I was sitting there with a mason jar in hand :)

    1. Thank you, friend! You are welcome any time! =)

  2. What a beautiful summer party, Brooke! Thank you for sharing all your inspiring ideas. :)

  3. You can really throw a party! What a beautiful table and so pretty outside. Looks like it was lots of fun!

  4. You are amazing at hosting!! Hi Brooke! I just got to hang out with Susan this past weekend at a card making class that she taught and of course I thought of you and wanted to check into your blog and see what's up. I saw your april 1 post about the recent recipes you've been cooking. Sounds scrumptious! I'm throwing Bronte's birthday party this weekend. She turned 7 back on April 3. hard to believe she was only 2 when we left Washington! Hope you are all doing well. I still want to take a trip out there.


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