|One of the veggie "crate labels" I photoshopped for event decoration, using an existing historical label as the basis.|
When Lisa started her own urban garden this year, and began to blog about it (with her partner-in-grime, Amy) at Urb Garden Girls, I have to admit I felt the tiniest flush of jealousy. I don't have the space to grow garden food, though I grew up with one in my backyard. So when Lisa approached me with the idea of a dinner party that would bring the freshness of their garden straight to a community table, I was thrilled.
|Another crate label. A doozy - this one used to say "Irma," not "Lisa."|
Soon Chris offered to join in with a contribution from his own blog, The Enlightened Hedonist. Chris is always seeking a way to enrich his life through thoughtful pleasure. He recently described my mindful eating as my own personal enlightened hedonism - and I realized he's right! My journey has been very much about keeping the enjoyment of food while being mindful about it. Something that brings Chris pleasure is creative mixology, so he came up with two signature cocktails for the evening, also made with ingredients from his garden. You can read more about it in his blog entry, here.
Lisa tended her garden - much like she tends her friendships - with care. So she encouraged friends to donated the fruits of their own urban gardens - eggs, avocados, lemons, apples - as well as a beautiful location for our meal. And I took that bountiful harvest (along with supplemental ingredients from my favorite farmer's market) and whipped it into a feast for 24!
|Our buffet-style garden feast.|
Lisa and Amy decorated for the party, which we held in the backyard of their friend Christy's house. And thank goodness - I love well-decorated events, but when I'm cooking for a big crowd, I just can't manage it myself. Thanks to them, it turned out beautifully.
|The decorated table, with vintage linens from Lisa's collection, as well as candles, sunflowers, and my crate labels.|
I was especially unable to decorate (or photograph... thanks to Rochelle for all of these pictures) because Tom had fallen ill and could not join me for cooking duty. Originally we'd planned for him not to be there due to his work schedule, so luckily I had two sous-chefs to help me - Keith and Alexa.
|The three of us, done with cooking for the day!|
|A serving of the harvest spoils, plus one of Chris' cocktails (calories extra.)|
|Chris at his "bar," a gardening table.|
|Baked apples for dessert - with Reddi Wip (which was within the calories) or Brown Butter Sage ice cream (which wasn't.)|
I don't have a good picture of it, but we were also treated to an after-dinner apertif, fresh apple-carrot-ginger juice pressed by Amy. It was, honestly, my favorite part of the meal!
|Each guest was sent home with a goodie bag with extra produce from the gardens.|
|Isn't Lisa's dress cute? And she MADE her rooster/tin-roof earrings. She talks about them, |
and the whole day, on her jewelry blog, Inspired Adornments.
It turned out to be a beautiful day, with delicious fresh food and drinks, and wonderful friends. I'm so grateful to be a part of my community, and so happy we were able to celebrate together.
|Which we did, by twinkle-light, well into the evening.|
I'll be back tomorrow with some recipes from the party - and some fashion details from it, too. Until then, please take care of you!