white denim, suede boots, striped tee and a great crewneck keep things easyContinue reading
new white skirt, old white linen for the festive seasonContinue reading
In keeping with previous thoughts about moving things around, I hosted a small dinner for five of us out at the country house down on our lower deck two nights ago. Sure, it means enlisting the help of some of your guests to get the necessities on-site (chairs!) and prepping a meal that doesn’t need to be served piping hot. It increases the work a bit, yet the result is always an evening to remember, and I absolutely love creating memorable evenings.
It really was kind of an off-the-cuff thing, sister in town from San Fran and it was her last night. We had both been in New England the days before, and both of us had talked about eating lobster, and lobster rolls, she is dining alone at Black Point Inn in Scarborough ME, and me dining alone for lunch one afternoon just outside of Portsmouth NH. I was on one of my daily long walks while my husband was in an all-day board meeting and had been on the fence about stopping for lunch. I did end up stopping at an adorable little place directly on the water, and once seated realized it was a cash-only, bring your own beer/wine place. Having only twenty-one dollars in cash on hand, I couldn’t get the lobster roll, or the lobster salad, and had to settle on the chicken or to be specific chicken on top of the green salad. Had they sold beer or wine I might have forgone the chicken with my twenty-one dollars and had a beer and a salad, the salad without chicken or lobster. Anyway, I decided to make us some lobster rolls for our shared meal, with coleslaw, smashed potatoes, a blueberry peach cobbler, and homemade vanilla bean ice cream. She did a great zucchini, corn, and tomato salad to round things out. She and Elizabeth set the table, I got things together in the kitchen. Once we got everything down to the lower deck, we simply sat and enjoyed the evening while the sun went down, dining and talking and drinking wine, all until it felt time to retrieve the cobbler from the oven and the scratch ice cream from the freezer, all of which we enjoyed even further into the night.
Every day dress, dinner on the lower deck.
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I tried to hijack Christmas Eve this year and was steadfastly diverted. Called the club a few weeks ago and made a 6:30 pm dinner reservation for twelve and told the oldest daughter in Boston on the down low. She was all for it, we thought it would be fun to get out for a little and be fancy.
Once the news started flowing through the ranks I was hit with heavy push-back. Our tradition has been a casual king crab leg kind of thing with lots of clarified hot butter, and the boys wanted in. In our world what the boys want the boys get, and funny, we usually do to. Thinking that when you give and give and give it comes back, maybe not in the way you anticipate but good things always seem to return when you put yourself out there and do things for others.
And honestly, I kind of feel weird about being out and being served on a sacred holiday such as Christmas or Easter or even Mother’s Day, I always think the staff should be home with their loved ones, so in truth I was okay with keeping with our usual and staying in.
It did mean I was busy from dawn to dawn, really only stopping for a workout and sleep, two things that are must-dos. I’m also now surrounded by adult off-spring, and they all pitched in to make magic happen.
For the food I put together a simple cheese tray garnished with figs and local Amish honey. Shrimp cocktail and gifted salted cashews from the new son-in-law’s parents, all served in the living room with kids on the floor and piled all around, it was divine. We did buffet style for dinner, a platter of those legs, asparagus risotto with truffle oil, sliced beef tenderloin with horseradish cream sauce and garnished with small roasted tomatoes still on the vine. Desert was Baked Alaska; it really didn’t freeze fully and kind of fell on the plate, yet it was delicious all the same.
At the table we played games and then moved into the living again for more games and the ubiquitous opening of all matching PJ’s and the reading of The Night Before Christmas by oldest son, simply magical.
Constant cooking and moving and doing is okay by me, I’m blessed by family and a husband that supports all my crazy activity, financially, emotionally, and physically, he truly is a modern day St Nick.
We’ve had a constant flow of humans in and out and at our table, and I truly couldn’t be happier. We’re all moving towards a new year and a new decade and I’ll continue to put out food and love from our kitchen. I guess if I had one message from all of this, I would encourage anyone to cook from the heart, and serve those they love. My heart is full, and my hands are raw, and that’s all good and okay.
With love and JOY, every day dress.