Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 Gourmet & Birthdays

Saturday night my husband and I hosted the June monthly gourmet group at our home. Since they were all coming to the dinner, I decided that we would honor two of our members for their milestone birthday's that they shared. One was my sweet husband and our friend, Tom Sawyer. 

We had such a great time celebrating even though right in the middle of appetizers in the back yard it started to rain.  So...we pulled the party in the garage.  We had 39 people in attendance so it's not easy to host that many for appetizers in my home.  Everyone came to the garage where we quickly set up tables and brought the appetizers inside.  The rest of the night was spent celebrating with good friends and good food. 

Our menu was some of the boys favorites:

Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Green Salad
Main Course
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Chicken Spaghetti
Italian Green Beans with Bread Crumbs
Birthday Cake of Course!
Vanilla Ice Cream
Homemade Blackberry Cobbler
(made with handpicked berries by our scared fingers)
Sweet Potato Pie
We started the appetizers out in one of the living room of our yard.  There is a love seat, two chairs with ottomans and bistro table with chairs out there so people can mingle well.

Since our theme seemed to end up Italian we started with table decorations that lend that way.  I put large baskets of loaf bread for that olive oil and balsamic vinegar to be enjoyed on the table.  This is our deck and as you can see before the rain it would have been a great night to watch the stars while eating!

Our friends also gathered by the fireplace area where there is additional seating and another table to seat more of our friends. Notice the wooden painted cupcake that was painted by my friend, Lauren to help celebrate birthdays. 

It was a nice place to gather as people arrived through the back gate to the party.

This is a pic of our kitchen table showing our bread baskets before dinner.

The dining room was also decorated with the paper lining each side of the tables.  It was a nice addition since it helped keep the olive oil and vinegar off the table cloth. Check out the vase of tomatoes from our yard on the table.

The airplane was decided upon because my husband works for
Express Jet and both men love to travel via Express Jet and Delta. 

The birthday cake was made by a friend of our at our church, Shirley Tyler.  She always does a great job and love to use her as she is retired and local.  She also makes cookies and other items as things to give guests as they leave afterward. 

Blowing out the candles for a mile stone birthday was pretty easy surprisingly.

Tom looking pleased with himself after giving those candles a work out!

I set up the desserts in the kitchen and served from there. 
Look at that huge pan of Blackberry Cobbler, Yum, Yum!!

This chest/coffee table was my moms hope chest and we had it painted 3-4 years ago.  We had to put up a table in the den to seat some of the guest.  It ended up holding our going away tray of bread that we gave departing guest. AS you can see I wrapped them on white paper and tied them with jute.

One thing I forgot to mention that during our appetizers we played a game with our old childhood photos. I previously asked everyone in our gourmet group to text/email me their photos between the ages of 5-10.  I put them in a word document and printed them out.  Everyone had to guess who the photos were and it was a lot of fun.  There was a winner that missed less than 5 people out about 25 photos. Madelyn Alexander you ROCK!

 I thought the night was a huge success as people lingered and talked to late hours.  Afterwards, the cleanup wasn't too bad.  Below is a pic of my cleaned up kitchen with my home grown vase of tomatoes still shining.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Our Garden

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  Genesis 2:15

The scripture above is on a plaque above my garden bench that my husband painted years ago when he built the bench.  I thought you would enjoy being reminded of this verse as I share. 

Welcome to our garden that we so enjoy working in every week.  I wanted to share some of the pics that we have taken of our backyard.  Please enjoy!

The outdoor patio is outside our garage and off our back deck. We decided several years ago to extend our gathering area to include this area.  We had some men dig it out about 3 inches down and install the pebble rock. Over the last couple of years we have ran a path on each side of this fireplace area and lined them with monkey grass.  The paths go to another sitting area in the back of the lot where there is a fire pit and benches.  As you can tell we love our outdoor rooms.

We have ordered 2 more Adirondack chairs and should be coming this week. 
So excited we can all gather in front of the fireplace. 

The fire screen is really not a fire screen at all but an old Mexican garden
gate that we use there in the summer while its warm outside. 
This is the left path leading to the playground and fire pit seating area.

My husband built this arbor about 15 years ago.  It has jasmine on it and has done quite well.  As you can see this path continues and leads to the garden shed, which I'm sorry I didn't include that picture.  Next time!

These bloomed last month and were triple blooms. They are planted in a bed covered with ivy and come up with ivy underneath.  Pretty carpet for them.  They were just beautiful!  Each year I get a new one and plant it after Christmas and the next year they always come back prettier than they were in the pots at Christmas.

This year was our new addition we installed as a above ground planter garden.  We had a tree removed several years back and the grass had not grown over the stump removal so we put in a little batch of tomatoes.  Can you believe that we have 75 green tomatoes from these 6 plants.  I know that is unbelievable, but true.  Also planted is squash, okra and all varieties of bell peppers and several banana peppers.  All in that small area!

I purchased 5 Tea Olives bushes this past weekend, so we will be planting those in between the knock out pink roses in the background against our brick wall.  They will be planted in between every 3 bushes.  This line of monkey grass is not a straight line, but a scallop.  There are 3 scallops and so there will be one planted on each end and one in between each scallop.  I'll post an after pic later.  They will grow about 4 feet tall and help disguise the garage in the background.

On the left side is a bank of holly bushes that are 9 feet tall and to the right of it is another path that goes around to the front door.  It's a very shady area. 

These are pink geraniums that flank each side of our fireplace.  I can't believe they were planted the week of Easter and have doubled in size.  They love the sun that this area provides.  Also there is a small pot of lavender that also loves the dry summer Georgia heat.

You can see my storybook rabbit behind the fireplace.  I simply love this rabbit. He is about 4 feet tall and everyone that comes in the garden loves this bunny.  He is reading to two smaller bunnies below his feet.

 This is a lace cap hydrangea that I planted several years ago.  It's in a pretty large pot and my deer love it.  I have to keep it sprayed with "Deer Off". 

This path leads from the playground area to the left of the fireplace, and is our 3rd seating area.  It's where my sun loving plants love to sit as they recover from damage or issues.  The actual potting bench is behind it in the shade.  I love this are because it's out of the sun but has some sun in the morning.

I hope you have enjoyed the little tour of our backyard.  Come by anytime and enjoy your summer in your backyards!