Life should be so simple that we could spend every day playing with dishes and visiting with friends and family.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Garden Party Table
Susan at Savoring Time in the Kitchen is hosting a Garden Party this weekend. Although, I don't have a garden---flowers or vegetable---I decided to participate. Click here to see Susan's Garden Party post and to find links to all the other parties.The flowers that I have in large planters are wilting in the extreme heat, so I will spare you the recent photos.
Click on the video and enjoy Ricky Nelson as he welcomes us to The Garden Party.
We love fresh vegetables and fortunately live in an area where they are plentiful throughout the summer months. I even have a perfect set of dishes with a vegetable theme, but I used those last week for Tablescape Thursday. So, I went digging through my stash of dishes looking for something for a Garden Party. I almost went with some china and an elegant theme. However, the weather has cooled somewhat and the late evening hours we are able to enjoy the outdoors for dining. So, I went for a more practical garden meal on the screened porch.
I decided that these plates with a birdhouse would work for the party this weekend. I tried to snag photos of the birds in the backyard, but since I was looking for them, they didn't show up. I have a male cardinal (red)and an occasional white female that visits my back yard area . I just love to watch them as they flitter from branch to branch. There is also a mockingbird that returns every year to make a nest in the spring. She is very territorial and has chased my husband up under the covered porch on several occasions when he was working under the tree that held her nest. We also have a couple of small rabbits that frequent the yard and many, many squirrels. All of them have been missing since I have manned the porch with a camera.
However, I decided that this rugged looking little birdhouse was an appropriate centerpiece for my Garden Party table for the evening.
I used round beaded placemats as chargers. I found these at a Salvation Army TS after Christmas for 99 cents each. They were new and still had the tags from Horchow! I couldn't believe the price.
I used a set of dark green handled flatware on top of red napkins and a red tablecloth.
Glassware used includes four amber wine goblets that I found recently for half price at a thrift store. They ended up being only 75 cents each that day. The other glasses were found last week at GW for $1 each and are green Coke looking glass. I love the shape and size of them for iced tea.
The menu for the evening was peel and eat shrimp that was cooked with Old Bay Seasoning served with cocktail sauce, Hoppin' John and a loaded baked potato.
Iced tea and an assortment of white wine was served. A Merlot was out for DH after meal time. He prefers the Merlots and enjoys them with most foods or as an after dinner drink.
This particular Cap Rock chardonnay is a Texas wine that I enjoy.
I always have to laugh at the piles of shrimp peelings that are left behind and tell their own story.
Dessert for the evening was homemade vanilla ice cream. I made this last weekend for one of the ice cream socials and froze several big bowls of it. Since it is not as hot this weekend and we are actually able to enjoy eating outside, the ice cream was a nice treat. However, I scooped it into the bowls and placed it inside the freezer for a few minutes before serving.
If you aren't from the South, you might not be familiar with Hoppin' John, so I looked up a little info for you. Hoppin' John History
Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year. Rice for riches and peas for peace. - Southern saying on eating a dish of Hoppin' John on New Year's Day.
Hoppin' John is found in most states of the South, but it is mainly associated with the Carolinas. Gullah or Low Country cuisine reflects the cooking of the Carolinas, especially the Sea islands (a cluster of islands stretching along the coats of south Carolina and northern Georgia). Black-eyed peas, also called cow peas, are thought to have been introduced to America by African slaves who worked the rice plantations. Hoppin' John is a rich bean dish made of black-eyed peas simmered with spicy sausages, ham hocks, or fat pork, rice, and tomato sauce.
This African-American dish is traditionally a high point of New Year's Day, when a shiny dime is often buried among the black-eyed peas before serving. whoever get the coin in his or her portion is assured good luck throughout the year. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing that should be eaten on New year's Day is Hoppin' John. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, many southern families toast each other with Champagne and a bowl of Hoppin' John. If it is served with collard greens you might, or might not, get rich during the coming year.
There are many variations to traditional Hoppin' John. Some cook the peas and rice in one pot, while others insist on simmering them separately.
Most food historians generally agree that "Hopping John" is an American dish with African/French/Caribbean roots. There are many tales or legends that explain how Hoppin' John got its name:
It was the custom for children to gather in the dining room as the dish was brought forth and h op around the table before sitting down to eat.
A man named John came "a-hoppin" when his wife took the dish from the stove.
An obscure South Carolina custom was inviting a guest to eat by saying, "Hop in, John"
The dish goes back at least as far as 1841, when, according to tradition, it was hawked in the streets of Charleston, South Carolina by a crippled black man who was know as Hoppin' John.
Although not from the Carolina's, a variation of this dish is a favorite of mine. However, I use jalapeno peppers in it. These pepper are one thing that I do have growing in a small garden tub. We eat lots of these peppers.
I cooked fresh black eyed peas and used fresh tomatoes and our own peppers.
Thanks for stopping by my Garden Party. I hope you enjoyed your visit as much as I enjoyed having you. Be sure to visit Susan and all the other participants on the link at the top. Be sure to leave use comments, as we love to here from each of you.
Welcome to my blog. I made a Christmas blog to share photos of my holiday decor with some cyber friends. However, I didn't keep posting after the holidays and decided that I liked it as a special tribute to my favorite time of the year. I intended to post on it monthly on Rudolph Day on the 25th of each month, but life got in the way and I haven't posted since December. I am a Christmas nut and really plan and celebrate it all year long.
During the fall I found a holiday forum on Garden Web and started visiting there in addition to my two holiday favorite sites Our Home for the Holidays and Magical Holiday Home. The wonderful people over at GW got me hooked on dishes and tablescapes. I even me a few of the same members on the HGTV decorating forums and have been following their blogs all year.
I finally decided that I wanted to participate in blog land and not just read and look, so here I am. I am hoping to participate in Tablescape Thursday, Foodie Friday, and some of the other fun things I look forward to seeing weekly.
I hope I can figure out Mr. Linky and all the other things that I have been reading about. This is all new to me and I am a bit overwhelmed. But, I am here and ready to have even more fun as a participant.
I love the holidays and decorating for them. I have always been a Christmas nut and have enjoyed the fall and Halloween, but never to an extreme. This year, I decided to host our first Boo Bash, Halloween Cosume Party and have found a new love!
I named this blog Haven Haunt as a contridiction of the term haven, which is where the name of where I live. Since it is for Halloween, I decided on Haven Haunt.
I have been married for 36 years and have one adult daughter and one son, who is in Heaven. We have a Mini Pin dog, named Duke and a Daushund, who just crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this past summer.