At this time of year a feeling of an urgency to draw in and bring people closer than usual. Cooking intimate meals mostly alfresco and making yummy snippets that are simply soothing and comfortable.
This weekend we celebrated Abbey’s 29th bday! Whhhhaaattt…! It is hard to believe. I had just about one day to prepare so I knew I had to keep it simple but special. The weather has taken on a cooler note so poolside with a fire was on the docket. Abbey’s spirit is wild and carefree so the dinner would be as well.
I pulled three beautiful Amber pots from the storefront and went on a foraging expedition for creekside finds. I settled on some tall grasses that will dry, the most beautiful burnt mauve wisteria branches, and asparagus fronds that had overgrown with rust berries. These graced the buffet table made of an old board and two wine barrels. We use this year round to serve off of as long as it is good to be outdoors.
The table was set for 10 although the guest list was more. Whoever wanted the table could set there and the others could congregate in the pool chairs. I bought a 1/2 off bouquet of fall colored flowers and then gathered willow from our trees and more dried grasses to fill in with the bouquet. It turned out flowing and beautiful.
The menu was Pork Butt and Elk Brisket on the large outdoor BBQ. The smells filled the air with the most amazing aromas. A large pot of Mac & Cheese with a three blend of gouda, swiss and cheddar, roasted Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes with walnuts drizzled with olive oil and honey and lots of cumin, and a arugula salad with goat cheese, dried fruits and bacon. YUMMY! Baking is a joy but time consuming so I opted for a carrot cake from Kroger and added fruits and flowers to the top. Easy Peasy! We served a charcuterie board for the guests as they arrived. Lemonade and Wine of choice was the beverage.
Everything was uncomplicated and able to be pulled together that afternoon. We used paper dinnerware which made it even easier. So much enjoyment without lots of work.
As the days draw to a shorter end take the time for just a moment to savor and feel the shift of the seasons and slow down. Catch your breath, find your place in your beautiful landscape that is changing all around you. Celebrate your people, life, and the blessings we so often do not even see in nature itself.