Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So, you must have figured out by now that I am the worst blogger in the whole world. I am really going to try and be better, as anyone that knows me knows how much I love to talk, and cook, and decorate, and eat, and this sort of covers all of that. For months, I have been telling the kids that I wanted us to start eating outdoors more. Well, last Saturday night against a few protests of, "It's too hot," we finally had the chance to do it. I cook this stuff up in my head, and dreamed of wine, Italian fare and dining al fresco. Sometimes a plan comes together and sometimes it doesn't, but I was full steam ahead and had everyone plan on this outside get-together.
We used to do this all the time, when we stayed at my grandparents farm during the summer, and it was much less complicated. Of course back then there were not cell phones and I-Pads, and every kid did not have their own vehicle. I remember our cookouts with my grandparents, parents and cousins, which were filled with my grandmother's amazing ability to throw a meal together at the drop of a hat. They always had a big garden, like we do, and it supplied all of the "fixins" for the hamburgers. Of course after the cook out there were wolf calls to make, which was basically us howling at the moon, until we would get a howl back, and then came the spooky tales. Everyone would tell there scariest ghost stories, and we would scare ourselves so badly, and then have to go in and go to bed, listening to every creak of the house, and thinking that Big Foot was going to come carry us away.

Sorry for veering off course...so, this night it was a gathering of everybody, to include my kids, Victoria and Nick (Alex has sadly gone off to school) and Victoria's friend Tristan, her adorable son, Grayson, and of course, Joe (husband), Christi (sister-in-law), Carrington (niece) who is also quite adorable, my mother Charlotte, and Nick's friend Riley, who has grown up at our house.
I love this old, metal, outdoor chandelier, and use it as often as we can, to light up the night while dining outdoors. I also have to have lots and lots of candles sprinkled about. Christi is worse than I am about candles, she lit every one. I cooked the lasagna and Cesar Salad ahead of time, so not that much to do. I used linen drop cloths to cover the tables, and gathered real silverware, as I hate plastic, silver serving trays, which I collect. If you can run across silver trays at an estate or garage sale, then get them. They always make for a beautiful table. Throw in some blue Spode dishes and of course some wine, and it is a party. The kids slurped on pink lemonade and we slurped on some pretty delicious wine, and a good time was had by all. My advice...enjoy this warm weather and the evening breezes. Even if you don't have a grove of Oak trees, set up on a porch, under any tree or shelter, and you are ready for some good food and the amazing gift of slowing life down, listening to stories, and maybe even throw in a scary story at the end. Wishing you loads of end of summer fun! XOXO Carolyn

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